Is it permissible for the imam to do a collective dua with the muqtadis after salah?
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
After quoting numerous excerpts from Ḥadīth and the books of fiqh, Muftī Rashīd Aḥmad Ludhyānwī (raḥimahullāh) presents the following conclusions on making du‘ā’ after the obligatory ṣalāhs :
1. To make dhikr and du‘ā’ after the obligatory prayers is proven from various explicit and authentic narrations.
The fuqahā’ (raḥimahumullāh), however, state that the imām should stand up to perform sunnats after Ẓuhr, Maghrib and ‘Ishā’. To delay the sunnats is makrūh. They offer two explanations for those narrations which prove du‘ā’ after ṣalāh:
a) Such narrations are related to Fajr and ‘Aṣr
b) Du‘ā’ is to be made after sunnats are performed as the sunnats are appended to the farḍs (mulḥaq bi ’l-farā’iḍ)
2. To raise the hands and make du‘ā’ is not proven as a regular practice after farḍ ṣalāh, hence to make du‘ā’ occasionally after ṣalāh in this manner when it is for a need is justified, but not as a habit.
3. It is not permissible to condemn one who raises his hands for du‘ā’ after ṣalāh, nor to condemn the one who doesn’t.
4. The imām should stand up to perform sunnats immediately after Ẓuhr, Maghrib and ‘Ishā’. It is makrūh to remain seated for longer than the duration of reciting:
اللهم أنت السلام ومنك السلام تباركت يا ذا الجلال والإكرام
5. To make du‘ā’ silently is unanimously more virtuous and there is more hope of acceptance in this manner.
6. The sunnah method is for the imām to make a concise du‘ā’ by himself in the presence of the congregation. Once the congregation departs, he may engage in lengthy du‘ā’. However, these days it is quite the opposite—the imām makes lengthy du‘ā’ in the presence of the congregants, but he is silent when he is alone!
7. For the imām and congregants to have any form of connection after the termination of ṣalāh, even if by doing silent du‘ā’ together, is not proven from any Ḥadīth.
8. The custom (practice) of making du‘ā’ with the imām, whether it is silently or loudly is a bid‘ah which has come into existence due to deficiency in knowledge and the prevalence of ignorance, and it is the excess of the ignorant.
9. If the imām makes du‘ā’ loudly with the intention that the congregants will be able to learn du‘ā’s after hearing them, then it is fine. Once they have learnt them, then it will be bid‘ah to make du‘ā’ loudly.
Analysis of the currently widespread practice of du‘ā’
1. The laity consider it to be a sunnah of ṣalāh.
2. The practice of making du‘ā’ is so rife that the one who leaves it out is made to be a victim of abuse. And the imām who does not practice congregational du‘ā’ may be removed from his post.
3. Despite the consensus on making du‘ā’ silently being more virtuous, people are adamant on the practice of making du‘ā’ loudly.
In light of the above, the current practice of making group du‘ā’ after ṣalāh should be abandoned. ‘Ulamā’ should give more attention to this.
It is necessary for imāms to totally abandon the practice of making congregational du‘ā’ loudly and educate the masses that to make congregational du‘ā’ after ṣalāh silently is also not proven from sunnah, thus, this too should not be given much importance. Moreover, imāms should occasionally leave out silent congregational du‘ā’ so that the thought of it being sunnah leaves the minds of the masses. However, before doing this, the masses should be educated about the ruling with compassion and kind-heartedness.
And Allah knows best
(Mufti) Bilal al-Mahmudi
قال علاء الدين الحصكفي الحنفي (المتوفى: ١٠٨٨هـ): ويكره تأخير السنة إلا بقدر اللهم أنت السلام إلخ. قال الحلواني: لا بأس بالفصل بالأوراد واختاره الكمال. قال الحلبي: إن أريد بالكراهة التنزيهية ارتفع الخلاف قلت: وفي حفظي حمله على القليلة؛ ويستحب أن يستغفر ثلاثا ويقرأ آية الكرسي والمعوذات ويسبح ويحمد ويكبر ثلاثا وثلاثين؛ ويهلل تمام المائة ويدعو ويختم بسبحان ربك. (الدر المختار مع رد المحتار. ج ١، ص ٥٣٠. دار الفكر)