Hadra – (a special way of doing Dhikr by standing and swaying from side to side) is a very popular form of doing dhikr in some parts of the middle east, North Africa and Yemen. However not many people know its origins. where did it emerge from? was it a practice of the companions? who was the first to do it? etc. Is it a bida (innovation) in Islam? Interestingly enough i have come across this statement in Al Ibriz by Syyiduna Abdul Azeez Ad Dabbagh – the Ghous (support) of his time, with regards to Hadra:
…alDabbagh states that it didn’t exist during the first three generations of Islam. And this accords with what the religious scholars have affirmed. AI-Dabbagh then notes that in the fourth generation four or five Friends of God who were endowed with illumination and had disciples and followers were in fact the origin of the ecstatic dance. They observed how angels worship God and are engaged in recollection. AI-Dabbagh explains: ‘There are some angels …who recollect God with their tongue and their whole body. You see their body swaying to the right and to the left, and swaying forward and backward.’ These few Friends, while absent in beholding God, unconsciously imitated the angels. …
Read the complete quotation of Syyiduna Abdul Azeez Dabbagh on HADRA here
SO, it is clear that the hadra is not from the sunnah. But, that of the form of worship which some of the angels engage in. This clearly confirms that it was not the practice of the prophet (sallahu’alihi’wa’salam), the companions, and the four founding fathers of the schools of thoughts (scholars) and therefore is a BIDA (innovation) in Islam. Now having included this statement/quote, i am pretty much sure there will be an onslaught of criticisms from people. Before you intend to reply or form a conclusion in your mind, please be aware that the person who made this statement was not an ordinary person like you or i. He was the Ghous (support) of his age. Which was attested to by the great scholars of his time. An unlettered saint endowed with numerous miracles and most important of which was the sight of our liege lord Syyiduna Muhammad (Sallahu’alihi’wa’salam) on a constant basis. If he is attesting to this, then it must be the truth!