Question # 536: ASA Is it permissible or correct for the imam to lead in group dua after every salat.
bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,
Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).
First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.
Shorter Answer: It is not an act of Sunnah to collectively make du’aa (supplication) after every fard (obligatory) prayer, whereby the imam raises his hands after the prescribed prayers, and the members of the congregation do likewise, and the imam offers du’aa, and the members of the congregation say ‘Ameen’ to his du‘aa. Observing these practices regularly is considered an act of bid‘ah (religious innovation) since such an act was not reported by the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) or his Companions (رضي الله عنهم). The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “Whoever introduces into this matter of ours (i.e., Islam) that which is not part of it, his act is rejected.” The act of Sunnah in this regard is that when one finishes his obligatory prayer in jama’ah, he should, without raising hands, recite the prescribed du’aa individually (i.e., on his own). Also, please refer to Question # 97: Making Dua’a after Salah
Long Answer: It is not an act of Sunnah to recite Dhikr collectively, or to make collective [du’aa] supplication after reciting the prescribed Dhikr, or to conclude the supplication by reciting Al-Faatihah. Observing these practices regularly is considered an act of bid‘ah (religious innovation) because it involves introducing into the religion what is not originally included in it. It was not reported that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) or the Companions (رضي الله عنهم) used to recite the prescribed Dhikr after the obligatory prayers collectively nor that he (صلى الله عليه و سلم) used to supplicate after the prayers and the Companions would say Aameen (Amen) and conclude their supplication by reciting Al-Faatihah. None of these practices was reported, and had they observed them, it would have been reported to us.
Imam Ahmad was asked: Is it makrooh for people to gather together, calling upon Allah and raising their hands? He said: I do not regard it as makrooh for the brothers so long as they did not meet deliberately for that purpose, provided they do not do it on a regular basis.” [He also said to stop such a person who supplicates collectively] …because this is something that has been introduced into the religion… (al-Adaab ash-Shar‘iyyah)
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: Meeting together to read Qur’an, remember Allah, and call upon Him (du‘aa) is good and mustahabb, so long as it is not taken as a regular practice like those gatherings that are prescribed in Islam, and so long as it is not accompanied by any reprehensible innovation. (Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa)
The Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas …replied [to a similar question]: “Acts of worship are based on tawqeef (i.e., it is not permissible to worship Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) through any act of worship unless this act of worship is proven in the shar‘i texts (Qur’an and Sunnah) to be an act of worship that was prescribed by Allah), so it is not permissible to say that these acts of worship are prescribed in terms of their principle, number, form or place, except on the basis of shar‘i evidence to that effect. We do not know of any basis for that in the Sunnah of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) or in his words, deeds, or what he approved of.” (Majallat al-Buhooth al-Islamiyyah)
The Committee was asked about raising the hands for du’aa after the five daily prayers?… They replied: “It is not proven that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) raised his hands in du’aa after the obligatory prayers as far as we know, so raising them after the salaam of an obligatory prayer is contrary to the Sunnah.” (Fatawa al-Lajnah) The Committee also stated that saying du’aa out loud after the five daily prayers or regular Sunnah prayers, or reciting du’aa in unison as a regular practice is a reprehensible innovation (bid’ah), because it was not proven that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) or his Companions (رضي الله عنهم) did anything like that. Whoever makes du’aa after the obligatory or regular Sunnah prayers in unison is going against the way of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jama’ah, and for those people to accuse those who disagree with them of being kafirs and not belonging to Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jama’ah, is misguidance, ignorance and a distortion of the facts.” (Fatawa Islamiyyah)
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen …replied [to a similar question]: “This is acceptable if it is not taken as a regular practice. But if it is taken as a regular practice, it may be regarded as Sunnah when it is not Sunnah. If this is a regular practice that every time they sit together, they end with du‘aa, then it is an innovation (bid‘ah) that is not known from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم). But if it is done occasionally, such as if they come to a text that contains a warning or encouragement, then they call upon Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) in du‘aa, then there is nothing wrong with it because there is a difference between that which is done regularly and that which is done occasionally. If a person does something occasionally, he is not to be blamed for it. Occasionally some of the Sahaabah prayed with the Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) when he prayed at night (qiyaam), but despite that, it is not Sunnah to offer that night prayer in congregation except occasionally.” (Liqaa’aat al-Baab al-Maftooh)
[In conclusion,] whoever does such practices has introduced into Islam something that is not genuinely a part thereof. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “Whoever introduces into this matter of ours (i.e., Islam) that which is not part of it, his act is rejected.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) Another version reads: “Whoever performs an act that is not in accordance with our way (i.e., Islam), his act is rejected.” (Muslim)
Imam An-Nawawi said: “This hadith is one of the great principles of Islam and an example of the succinct statements of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم). It is an explicit statement on rejecting all religious innovations … This hadith should be memorized and used in rebutting wrong practices and should be widely used as proof in this regard.”
The act of Sunnah in this regard is that when you pray with them and finish your prayer, you should recite the prescribed Dhikr individually after the prayer. You may supplicate individually afterward if you wish. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) was asked: “When is supplication most likely to be answered?” He said: “In the last part of the night and after the obligatory prayers.” (At-Tirmidhi)
After concluding your supplication, stand up and perform the post-prayer Sunnah if you wish. It is better to perform it in your house because the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “The best prayer is the one performed at home except for the obligatory one.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) By doing so, you would have done the post-prayer acts as prescribed.
(Unless stated otherwise, the above reply is based on various answers on similar topics provided by:
- Islamqa.info; and
- Islamweb.net, a website belonging to the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs in the State of Qatar)
Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.