بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
و الصلاة و السلام على أشرف المرسلين
و على اله و اصحابه أجمعين
First of all, nothing forbid us to do dhikr with the Name “Allah” neither in Allah’s book nor in the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ. Another argument is the fact that the companions did not practice this kind of dhikr. No one can prove this because nobody knows how they performed their spiritual retreat and what kind of invocations and supplications they used to practice and the reality of their spiritual state except their Lord. It is narrated that Abu Huraira said: “I have memorized from the Messenger of Allah two containers: As for the first one, then I have relayed it; as for the other, if I were to convey it, this pharynx (throat) would get cut.” [Sahih Bukhari]
It is totally inconceivable to think that Companions refused to give a certain knowledge or to think that they hid it. They propagated Knowledge within people using their words in accordance with the well-known hadith: “Speak to the people according to their level of knowledge”. They propagated the degree of Islam to the people of Islam, they propagated the degree of Iman to the people of Iman, and they propagated the degree of Ihsan to the people of Ihsan, and the main reason is to avoid the rejection of Allah and His Messenger ﷺ by people.
Sayiduna Abu Huraira (radiAllahu ‘anhu) propagated the container of the exoteric knowledge (dhahir) to exoteric people, those who only consider the external meanings and he also propagated the container of the esoteric knowledge (batin) to the esoteric people, those who dive into the hidden meanings of faith. Allah ﷻ says: “Do you not see that Allah has made subject to you whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth and amply bestowed upon you His favors, [both] apparent and unapparent? But of the people is he who disputes about Allah without knowledge or guidance or an enlightening Book [from Him].” [Surah Luqman, verse 20]
So there are visible and hidden favors, and the greatest favor is beyond any doubt that Allah has guided us to his Faith. Regarding the claim that the Law (shari’a) orders Muslims to practice specific kind of dhikr with complete spell having a specific meaning and the claim that the Name of Allah would just be an isolated word and an expression which do not lead to meanings and knowledge’s, we can consider the following hadith: “Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with) reported: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Allah the Exalted says: I am as my slave expects me to be, and I am with him when he remembers Me. If he remembers Me inwardly, I will remember him inwardly, and if he remembers Me in an assembly, I will remember him in a better assembly. And if he comes one span nearer to me, I go one cubit nearer to him; and if he comes one cubit nearer to Me, I go a distance of two outstretched arms nearer to him; and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running.” [Sahih Bukhari, Hadith 6883]
He who practices dhikr with the Ism Al-Mufrad “Allah”, he in fact only mentions Allah, among people or alone and the Lord knows the intention of His servant. Is it acceptable to think that the validity of Dhikr Allah only depends on the use of a specific number of Arabic words which should be properly conjugated and which should have a clear meaning? How, therefore, people who do not speak Arabic would do? How those who do not master grammar rules would do? How would mute people do?
May our Lord be glorified, for whom sounds and voices do not mix, He who never confuses tongues, He knows with His Pre-eternal Knowledge which comprehends everything the intention and the wish of each. The dhikr followed by deep thought is not limited by the validity of the expression nor by grammar rules but on the contrary, it is based on the purity of the primordial human nature.
We also consider the dhikr with the Name “Allah” as an apostrophe which had its grammar characteristic removed. It is like saying that he who practices this kind of dhikr, says in reality “ Ya Allah/ O Allah”. And the proof of this expression validity is the Koranic verse: “Joseph, Ignore this” [surah Yussuf/ verse 29]. In Arabic the meaning of this verse is “Ya Yussuf/O Yussuf”. Furthermore, when Sayiduna Bilal (radiAllahu ‘anhu) was tortured by Umayya ibn Khalaf, under the burning sun, he said: “Ahad, Ahad/ One! One!” and the Prophet ﷺ did not forbid that, on the contrary, He corroborated it.
It has been said that someone went to meet Imam al-Shibli and he told him:
“O Abu Bakr, why do you say Allah instead of “La ilaha illa Allah”?
Al-Shibli answered: “I do not deny Him by other than Him”
The man said: “tell me more, O Abu Bakr”
He answered: “My tongue cannot pronounce words of apostasy”
The man repeated: “tell me more, O Abu Bakr”
And Al-Shibli answered: “Say, “Allah” and then leave them.”
The man uttered a cry, then he died. His body was lying on ground lifeless. His companions turned against al-Shibli and they went to complain to the caliph, claiming he was responsible for the death of the man. The Caliph sent a letter to Al-Shibli in which he asked him his version of events. He answered that it was a soul whining because of an intense Love and that Allah called him back and he answered to the call, what is being reproached it?
When the Caliph heard the words of al-Shibli, he cried out and said: “leave him alone, he did nothing wrong”. [tafsir ‘ara`is il-bayan fi tafsir il-Qur`ân// Imâm al-Baqilli]
And Imam Muslim narrated in his Sahih, a hadith which cannot be clearer about the dhikr with the Ism al-Mufrad, when the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said : “The Hour will not occur as long as anyone says, “Allah ! Allah!”” [Sahih Muslim, hadith 216].