Praise be to Allah, and may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, his family and his companions.
Bukhari and Muslim narrate a hadith on the authority of al-Qaasim Ibn Muhammad from Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) who said the Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) said: “He who innovates something in this matter of ours (i.e., Islam) that is not of it will have it rejected (by Allah).” This is a general principle; therefore I call upon Muslims irrespective of their different sects and labels to reflect on this great prophetic saying in which the Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) clarified that Islamic laws and rules are a prerogative of Allah and His Messenger (peace be on him) who came with the message from the Lord of the Worlds. It is incumbent to stick to the Book of Allah the Exalted and the guidance of the Prophet (peace be on him).
During the Friday sermon, The Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) used to say: “And to proceed, The truest of word is the Book of Allah and best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad. The worst of things are those that are newly invented; every newly-invented thing is an innovation.” [Reported by Muslim]. This is a confirmation of the principles that should be adopted by a human being in his religious practice, worship and actions.
Different Islamic communities have put in types of innovations in their actions, beliefs and the rest of other aspects of their lives because of little knowledge and too much ignorance. It is incumbent upom scholars and those doing propagation work to act gently and carefully in transferring people from innovation to Sunnah, transferring them from failure to do what ought to be done to perfection, and from sin to being good. This needs to be done gradually. Moreover this is what is required by the Shari’a.
I would like to advise the brother who asked the question that he should be gentle on this matter. He should endeavour to make some permissible supplications loudly after prayer has finished. This will be sufficient for him to continue giving the sermon thereby preventing what could have been a greater evil if he is to leave. Therefore I think that he should remain at his Mosque even if he does this act which is undoubtedly not part of the Sunnah, then gently and gradually introduce the Sunnah to the congregants. Meaning to say he clarifies to them that the principle on dhikr (remembrance) is that it is done individually and that the best time to supplicate is before making taslim not after finishing prayer. This is evidenced by a hadith narrated by Bukhari and Muslim on the authority of Ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him) who said that when the Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) mentioned tashahhud, he said: “Then choose any supplication that you like and call upon Allah the Mighty and Sublime with it.” This is before making taslim because it is a time where it is hoped that supplication will be readily responded to. The time after finishing prayer is meant for asking Allah’s forgiveness, praising Him, Glorifying Him and saying La ilaha illa Allah (None is worthy of worship except Allah).
And Allah knows best.
Dr. Khalid al-Mosleh
5 / 3 / 1430 AH