Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) told us that the blessing of Allah the Most Exalted is with those who gather and work as a unified front (jama’a) for the cause of Islam. In a hadith Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said: ‘Allah’s hand is upon the jama’a.’ (Tirmidhi.)
Indeed engaging in remembrance of Allah collectively is encouraged in many ahadith. The Prophet is reported to have said: “If a group of people sit together remembering Allah, the angels will circle them, mercy will shroud them, peace will descend onto them and Allah will remember them among those with Him.” (Muslim)
Zikr in a group may help teach those who do not know the desired azkar and bring hearts together and strengthen their noble ties. To ensure that our company is always filled with remembrance of Allah, it is of paramount importance that we continuously seek the company of the righteous if we wish to be elevated in the eyes of Allah.
We are enjoined to be careful with the selection of friends, for our companionship can and must be a form of zikr. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said: `The best friend is the one who makes you remember Allah when you see him.’ Also: ‘Whosoever Allah wishes good for, He will grant him a righteous friend who will remind him if he forgets and aid him if he remembers’. In another beautiful hadith, Abü Hurayrah r.a narrates the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: Allah has angels who traverse around the world. When they climb up to the heavens Allah asks them despite knowing better than them; “Where have you come from?” They reply: We have come from Your servants on earth. They glorify You, they magnify You. They proclaim Your oneness, they praise You, they beseech You. And they ask Your forgiveness. Allah says: I have forgiven them, have given them whatever they asked, and I have given them protection from whatever they sought protection.’ The angels say: “O our Sustainer! There was a certain sinful person among them. He was merely passing by and sat down with them” Allah says: “I have forgiven him as well. They are people with whom even a wretched person is not deprived. (Muslim).
As soon as you see the seed of iman planted in your heart and you recognise it in someone else’s and you find that he agrees with you, you will feel ten times stronger. Social scientists have also discovered that group life is one of the most powerful forces to stimulate and improve the human being.
Sourced from: “In the Early Hours” – Khurram Murad, pp. 51, 52; Abdur Rahman Al-Basha (1994). Portraits: From the lives of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad. Volume III. Translated by Alexandra S. Al-Osh. Fairfax , VA : IIASA.