Issues of Congregational dua.

Q. The issue of CONGREGATIONAL Dua after the compulsory prayers has become an issue of great conflicts in the recent past. We have found that some senior Scholars also opine that this dua is an innovation.

1) Are the above mentioned Fatawa correct? If not, can you please respond to their arguments.

2) Is there any clear hadith which shows that Nabi (Sail Allahu alayhi wassallam) and Sahabah or anyone in the Khair al quroon used to supplicate in this manner?

3) Since we are muqallids, is there any mention in the classical Hanafi works (books between 150 A.H to 1250 A.H) concerning CONGREGATIONAL dua after Salaah?

4) There are numerous harms which comes about because of the congregational supplication. Amongst others are:
a) It disturbs latecomers
b) It has become a mere ritual
c) People are totally unmindful of authentic Adhkaar which are recorded in the Saheeh sittah
d) People confine themselves to the dua of the lmam
e) People began regarding it as compulsory. The proof of this is the numerous critisms on those Imam who omitted it in a few places.

Based on these, can we apply the principle that ‘averting harm is better than attaining benefit’?

A. As you have rightly said, the issue of this congregational dua has become one of great conflict in the recent past. This is certainly true, since no one from amongst the great scholars has made it an issue before now. This is a very interesting point and it makes one wonder as to who are those who are making it an issue. Although it has never been a problem, due to the fact that some have started to condemn it, many scholars had to give their official opinion regarding it.

In giving their opinion, they looked at it differently and thus submitted their honest advice on the matter. Hence, we would see that some have stated that it is a bidah while others have mentioned that it is permissible.

At the onset, it is agreed by all scholars that Congregational Collective dua after the fard salaah was not a practice of the Prophet (S.A.W). Hence, it is wrong to attribute this practice to the ‘sunnah’ of the Prophet (S.A.W).

Practicing upon it with this understanding is certainly wrong and can be deemed a bida’h since in it there is a clear intention of bringing into and considering something to be a part of the ‘Sunnah’ when it is not so.

From a different angle, one can see that the act of ‘dua’ and supplication is one which has been emphasized in the Quran and Sunnah. The believers have always been requested to ‘call on Allah’ and turn to Him in supplication. While exhorting us to do so the Quran and Sunnah have not given us any specific instruction as to when supplication can be made and how it can be made. Hence, from the general teachings, it is deduced that the Quran and Sunnah have not condemned the act of making dua at a specific time nor have they condemned the manner of supplication, collectively or individually.

As a result, it will therefore be wrong for anyone to say that the act of making collective dua after the fard salaah is opposed to the teachings of the Quran. It is with this understanding that many scholars have stated that this act is permissible.

Having said this, the answers to your questions are:

I) I have tried to access the information mentioned on the sites you have quoted, but was unable to get the information.

2) There are clear Ahadith which shows that the Prophet SAW and the sahabahs supplicated collectively. You can check our web page for the relevant information under the ‘Fatawa’ section.

3) Yes, there are references indicating to the permissibility of the congregational dua after salaah.

4) (a) If the Imam wishes to supplicate for himself and the congregation after the salaah then he need not make the dua loud. If he fears that the late comers can be disturbed, supplicating silently is encouraged.

(b) You can only say that it is a ritual, if you know the intention of those who are supplicating. If each person along with the Imam has a sincere hope and desire that Allah may listen to their supplication and grant them what they are asking for, then you will be wrong to say that it is a mere ritual.

(c) Joining in the collective dua should in no way prevent one from the masnoon Adhkaar that are evident after salaah. If one wishes to supplicate to Allah with the congregation, he can do so after he has ended his dua or even after the remaining sunnah or nafl salaah (when there are sunnah /nafl after the fard salaah).

(d) Even if people confine themselves to the dua of the Imam there is no harm in this, while one is encouraged to supplicate to Allah individually, there is no prohibition if one confines himself with the Imam’s dua.

(e) It is totally wrong for one to consider this collective dua as compulsory. This should not be understood in this manner. Instead, people should be educated with respect to its position.

While it is totally wrong to criticize anyone who does not do it, I do not believe that this action is sufficient to think that the criticizers hold the view that the collective dua after salaah is compulsory.

Applying the principle of ‘averting harm is better than attaining benefit’ is subjected to different interpretations and in my honest opinion, cannot or should not be used in an issue of this nature. (And Allah knows best).

The reason I say this is on account of the fact that one can argue that neglecting the act of supplicating to Allah is extremely harmful since one loses the chance of an opportunity of having his supplication answered by Allah. In this way, not supplicating would be harmful. So if we want to remove harms, we should make the dua.

In this respect one can also argue that the real harm is the making of dua. Instead, it is in making a petty issue a big one. The harm is in the open condemnation and criticism that is levied by people. Even if this practice is stopped to avoid problems, you would soon see that other problems will begin.

As such the real solution to the problem is in the acquisition of sound and proper Islamic knowledge and in respecting and accepting of the authentic and genuine scholars of Islam.

And Allah knows best.

Mufti Waseem Khan