The Hadrah according to Ad-Dabbagh

قول الغوث عبد العزيز الدباغ عن الحضرة الصوفيةShaykh Abd Al-Aziz Ad-Dabbagh on the Sufi Hadrah, how it appeared, and why it was not practiced by the early generations.

و إنما ظهرت الحضرة في القرن الرابع و سببها أن أربعة أو خمسة من أولياء الله -تعالى- ، و من المفتوح عليهم ، كان لهم أتباع و أصحاب و كانوا -رضي الله تعالى عنهم- في بعض الأحيان ربما شاهدوا عباد الله من الملائكة و غيرهم يذكرون الله -تعالى-، قال : و الملائكة عليهم الصلاة و السلام منهم من يذكر الله بلسانه و بذاته كلها ، فترى ذاته تتحرك يمينا و شمالا و تتحرك أماما و خلفا فكان الولي من هؤلاء الخمسة إذا شاهد ملكا على هذه الحالة تعجبه حالته، فتتأثر ذاته بالحالة التي يشاهدها من الملك ثم تتكيف ذاته بحركة الملك فتتحرك ذاته كما تتحرك ذات الملك و تحكى ذاته ذات الملك ، و هو لا شعور له بما يصدر منه لغيبته في مشاهدة الحق سبحانه، و لا شك في ضعف من هذه حالته و عدم قوته، فإذا رآه أتباعه تحرك بتلك الحركة تبعوه ،فهو يتحرك لحركة الملك ، و هم يتحركون لحركته و يتزيون بزيه الظاهر ،ثم هلك الأشياخ الخمسة أهل الباطن و الصدقرضي الله عنهم، فاشتغل أهل الزي الظاهر بالحضرة ، و زادوا في حركتها، و جعلوا لها آلة ، و تكلفوا لها، و توارثتها الأجيال جيلا بعد جيل … فقد علمت أن سببها ضعف من الأشياخ المذكورين أوجب لهم عدم الضبط ظواهرهم، و أهل القرون الثلاثة -رضي الله عنهم -لم تكن في أزمنتهم و لا سمعت عن أحد منهم، و الله أعلم 
AI-Dabbagh said-May Allah be pleased with him: ‘The hadrah appeared in the fourth generation and the cause for it was that there were four or five Friends of Allah -exalted is He -endowed with illumination who had followers and disciples. On certain occasions they had perhaps observed servants of Allah among the angels and others engaged in dhikr of Allah the Sublime.’ He said:

‘There are some angels-blessings and peace be upon them-who remember Allah with their tongue and their whole body. You see their body swaying to the right and to the left, and swaying forward and backward. When one of these five Friends of Allah beheld an angel in this state, the angel’s state filled him with admiration. His body was influenced by the state he beheld on the part of the angel and his body adopted the movement of the angel. His body then swayed just like the angel’s body swayed and his body imitated the angel’s body.

But he was unaware of what issued from him because of his absence in beholding Al-Haq – exalted is He! There is no doubt about the weakness and lack of strength of someone whose state is like this. When his followers saw him swaying with this motion,they followed him. He started to move because of the angel’s motion and they started to move because of his motion. They adorned themselves in his external state.

The five shaykhs, who were people of the interior and sincerity, passed away-May Allah be pleased with them-and the people of mere externalities then occupied themselves with the hadrah. They increased its movement and added musical instruments and took much trouble over it. The generations, one after the other, then handed it on as a legacy. 
Thus, you have understood that its origin was a weakness on the part of the above-mentioned shaykhs which led them to have no control over their exteriors. But as for the people of the [first] three generations-Allah be pleased with them-the hadrah didn’t exist in their eras and you heard nothing of it from them. But Allah knows best!’