Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
I have read that the dhikr of “Allah” is allowed, and Imam Ghazali and Imam Suyuti have stated its permissibility. I have also heard that it is forbidden. My question is whether the dhikr “Allah Hu” (meaning Allah is) is permissible?
In the Name of Allah, the Merciful and Compassionate
There is nothing prohibiting this. It is dhikr; it has sound meaning, and great scholars of mainstream Islam have methodically used it.
The basis of remembrance is general encouragement, and it’s unconditional (mutlaq), given the general, unconditional encouragements in the Quran and sunna to remember Allah -—without limiting it to a specific modality. [‘Isa, Haqai’q ‘an al-Tasawwuf; Ibn ‘Atai’llah, Miftah al-Falah]
Allah Most High says, “O believers! Always remember Allah, with much remembrance, and glorify Him morning and evening. He is the One Who showers His blessings upon you—and His angels pray for you—so that He may bring you out of darkness and into light. For He is ever Merciful to the believers” [Quran, 33.41-43]
The Specific Remembrance in the Quran and Sunna
However, in general, the transmitted modes of remembrance (dhikr) of the Quran and sunna are superior. This doesn’t make any permissible modes disliked or improper, however.
The exception would be when a true spiritual guide gives one a spiritual method for spiritual training or treatment. [Zarruq, Sharh Hizb al-Bahr]
And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.
[Shaykh] Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Faraz Rabbani spent ten years studying with some of the leading scholars of recent times, first in Damascus, and then in Amman, Jordan. His teachers include the foremost theologian of recent times in Damascus, the late Shaykh Adib al-Kallas (may Allah have mercy on him), as well as his student Shaykh Hassan al-Hindi, one of the leading Hanafi fuqaha of the present age. He returned to Canada in 2007, where he founded SeekersGuidance in order to meet the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge–both online and on the ground–in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He is the author of: Absolute Essentials of Islam: Faith, Prayer, and the Path of Salvation According to the Hanafi School (White Thread Press, 2004.) Since 2011, Shaykh Faraz has been named one of the 500 most influential Muslims by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.