Wednesday, 21 February 2018   6. Jamadi-ul-Akhir 1439


Verse Of The Day
They ask thee to hasten on the Punishment: but, of a surety, Hell will encompass the rejecters of Faith!- 29:54

The Sunna Status of Collective Supplication


Bismillâhi al-Rahmâni al-Rahîm Allahumma Salli `ala Rasûlika wa Habîbika Muhammad wa `alâ Alihi wa Sahbihi Ajma`îna wa Sallim Taslîmâ


I. Introduction

Imam al-Jazari in his book al-Hisn al-Hasin listed among the etiquette of du`â': "Let both the supplicant and the listener say Amîn." Al-Shawkani said in his commentary on that work titled Tuhfat al-Dhakirin (p. 59): "There is mentioned in the sahîh hadith what guides [us] to this [practice]. Abu Dawud narrated that the Prophet heard a man supplicating whereupon he said: "He must conclude it with âmîn." Al-Hakim narrated - grading its chain sound (sahîh) - from Umm Salama - Allah be well-pleased with her - that the Prophet said Amîn in his supplication. Al-Hakim also narrated - grading its chain sound - that the Prophet said: "No group assembles, one of them supplicating while others say Amîn, except Allah answers them."

II. Evidence

There are many proofs for the collective du`â in the Qur'an and Sunna both inside and outside Salat.

Its proofs for the first case (inside Salat) need not be listed here other than to say that the congregation must say Amin together with and at the same time as the imam after the words, "walâ-d-dâllîn," whether out-loud as in the Three Schools, or silently as in the Hanafi; out-loud repeatedly during the (Shafi`i) imam's qunût supplication in the fajr salât; out-loud during the (other than Hanafi) imam's qunût in the witr salât in the second half of Ramadan; and out-loud during the imam's supplication in the prayer for rain (istisqâ').

Some of the proofs for the collective du`â outside Salât are:

In the Qur'an:

1. Surat Yunus, 89: {The supplication of the two of you has been answered}. The reports from the Companions and Salaf concur that the modality of this supplication was that Musa - upon him peace - supplicated while Harun - upon him peace - said Amîn, as narrated by the Imams of Tafsir from Ibn `Abbas, Abu al-`Aliya, Abu Salih, 'Ikrima, Muhammad ibn Ka`b al-Qurazi, al-Rabi` ibn Anas and others. See the Tafsirs of al-Tabari, Ibn Kathir (2:656) and al-Suyuti's al-Durr al-Manthur (3:315). Cf. al-Hakim, Ma`rifat `Ulum al-Hadith (p. 91).

In the Sunna:

2. As mentioned already, the Prophet said : "No group assembles (lâ yajtami`u qawmun/mala'un), one of them supplicating while others say Amîn, except Allah answers them." Narrated from Habib ibn Maslama al-Fihri by al-Tabarani in al-Kabir (4:21-22), al-Hakim in al-Mustadrak (3:347=1990 ed. 3:390) and he graded it sahîh, and al-Daraqutni.

Al-Haythami in Majma` al-Zawaid (10:170) said: "The narrators in its chain are those of al-Bukhari and Muslim except for Ibn Lahi`a and he is fair in his narrations."

However, the hadith masters have said that Ibn Lahi`a's narrations are sound (sahîh) if he narrates from certain narrators, among them `Abd Allah ibn Yazid al-Muqri' as is the case here (see Ibn Hajar, Tahdhib al-Tahdhib 5:378 and al-Arna'ut, Tahrir al-Taqrib 2:258-259 #3563).

So the hadith is sahîh as stated by al-Hakim and clearly stipulates that the collective du`â has better chances of being accepted by Allah Most High than the individual du`â. On the basis of this hadith and the ruling based on it. Whoever bans or opposes collective supplication is opposing the Sunna and committing bid`a.

3. Zayd ibn Thabit said: "While I, Abu Hurayra, and a third man were in the mosque one day, supplicating Allah Most High and remembering our Lord, the Prophet came out to us and sat with us. When he sat we fell silent. He said: 'Continue what you were doing.' So I supplicated, then my friend, before Abu Hurayra, while the Prophet said âmîn to our supplication. Then Abu Hurayra supplicated saying: 'O Allah! I ask you all that my two friends asked of you and I ask you for knowledge that shall not be forgotten.' The Messenger of Allah said âmîn. We said: 'O Messenger of Allah! We, too, ask for knowledge that shall not be forgotten.' He replied: 'The boy from Daws asked for it before you (sabaqakumâ / sabaqakum ghulâmu daws / al-ghulâmu al-dawsî).'" Narrated by al-Tabarani in al-Awsat with a chain of trustworthy narrators except for Qays al-Madani who is of unknown reliability as indicated by al-Haythami in Majma` al-Zawa'id (9:361); al-Bayhaqi in al-Sunan al-Kubra (3:440) both with the same chain, which Ibn Hajar declared "good" (jayyid) in al-Isaba (7:438 #10674) - citing al-Nasa'i's Sunan as he does in Tahdhib al-Tahdhib (12:291) - and al-Hakim (3:508=1990 ed. 3:582) with a chain he declared sound (sahîh) while al-Dhahabi cited the weakness of one of its narrators - Hammad ibn Shu`ayb - but in the Siyar (4:197=al-Arna'ut ed. 2:616) he cites Qays's chain [cf. al-Mizzi in Tahdhib al-Kamal (24:94)] with al-Fadl ibn al-`Ala' in lieu of Hammad, adding: "Ibn al-`Ala' is truthful (sadûq)," which makes this a fair (hasan) narration in shâ' Allâh. Ibn Hajar also cites it in Fath al-Bari (1959 ed. 1:215).

4. From Abu Shaddad while `Ubada ibn al-Samit was present and confirmed him: "We were in the house of the Prophet when he said: 'Is there any stranger among you?' He meant one of the People of the Book. We said, 'No, O Messenger of Allah.' He ordered for the door to be shut and said: 'Raise your hands and say Lâ ilâha illAllâh. We raised our hands and said Lâ ilâha illAllâh for a while. Then he lowered his hand and said: 'Glory and praise to Allah! O Allah, my Lord! Truly You have sent me with this phrase and commanded me to say it and promised me Paradise for it. Truly You do not break the tryst.' Then he said: 'Be glad, for Allah has forgiven you!'" Al-Haythami in Majma` al-Zawa'id (1:18-19) said: "Ahmad, al-Tabarani [in al-Kabir (7:290 #7163) and Musnad al-Shamiyyin (2:158 #1104)], and al-Bazzar narrated it and its narrators have been declared trustworthy." Elsewhere (10:81) he said: "Ahmad narrated it and its chain contains Rashid ibn Dawud who was declared trustworthy by more than one [authority] although there is some weakness in him, and the rest of its narrators are trustworthy. Al-Hakim narrated it (1:501=1990 ed. 1:679) grading it sahîh but al-Dhahabi disagreed because of Rashid, while al-Mundhiri in al-Targhib (2:330 #2288) and Zayn in his edition of the Musnad (13:271 #17057) both declared its chain fair (hasan) but Shaykh Shu`ayb al-Arna'ut in his edition (28:348-349 #17121) said its chain was weak (da`îf) due to the same narrator. Also narrated by al-Dulabi in al-Kuna (1:93)

5. `A'isha - Allah be well-pleased with her - related that the Prophet said: "The Jews do not envy you for anything as much as they envy you for Salâm and Amîn."

Narrated by Ibn Majah with a sound chain as per Muslim's criterion, al-Bukhari in al-Adab al-Mufrad, and Ibn Khuzayma in his Sahih. Another version from Ibn `Abbas mentions only Amîn and adds, "Therefore say it frequently," also in Ibn Majah but with a weak chain because of Talha ibn `Amr. Ibn Hajar cited them in Fath al-Bari (1959 ed. 11:4, 11:200).

Cf. al-Busiri, Misbah al-Zujaja (1:106-107). Although this narration's immediate context indicates that it refers to the Jumu`a prayer, yet its probative force is general, just as the import of the prayer for rain during Jumu`a in the next narration is general. And what is the difference between those that oppose collective du`â' in the mosques and the disbelievers that envy the Muslims for saying Amîn?

6. From Anas - Allah be well-pleased with him - in al-Bukhari's Sahih: A desert Arab came to the Messenger of Allah the Day of Jumu`a saying: "O Messenger of Allah, the beasts of burden are dying, the dependents are dying, the people are dying!" Whereupon the Messenger of Allah raised his hands in supplication and the people raised their hands in supplication with the Messenger of Allah ....

Al-Bukhari adduced this narration as a proof for the desirability of raising one's hands in supplication in general, not only during khutba. By the same token, collective supplication is lawful both inside and outside khutba.

7. From Abu Usayd al-Sa`idi - Allah be well-pleased with him -: "The Messenger of Allah said to al-`Abbas ibn `Abd al-Muttalib - Allah be well-pleased with him -: 'Do not leave your house tomorrow morning with your children [al-Fadl, 'Abd Allah, 'Ubayd Allah, Qutham, Ma`bad, 'Abd al-Rahman, and Umm Habiba] until I come and visit you for I have some need to ask of you.' So they waited for him until mid-morning, at which time he came in to see them, saying as-Salâmu `alaykum. They replied, `alaykum as-Salâm, wa rahmatullâh, wa barakâtuh. He said: 'How are you this morning?' They replied, 'We give thanks and praise to Allah!' [Ibn Majah narrates it only to here.] He said: 'Come close together, all of you,' until they let him gather them all into his cloak (ishtamala `alayhim bimulâ'atihi). Then he said, "O my Lord! Here is my paternal uncle and the brother and double of my father (sinwu abî), and these are the Folk of my House (wahâ'ulâ'i ahlu baytî)! Therefore shield them from the Fire just as I am shielding them this cloak of mine.' Whereupon the doorsill (uskuffatu al-bâb) and the walls of the house began to say "Amîn, Amîn, Amîn!"

Al-Tabarani narrated it in al-Kabir (19:263) and al-Awsat with a fair (hasan) chain according to al-Haythami in Majma` al-Zawa'id (9:270), Abu Nu`aym in Dala'il al-Nubuwwa (p. 432-433 #339) and al-Bayhaqi in Dala'il al-Nubuwwa, and in part, Ibn Majah, all of them with a chain containing `Abd Allah ibn `Uthman ibn Ishaq ibn Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas, who is weak. Al-Suyuti cites it in al-Khasa'is al-Kubra (2:309), Ibn Kathir in al-Bidaya, and al-Nabahani in the Hujjatullah (p. 450) and Nujum al-Muhtadin (p. 82).

8. From Umm Salama, the Prophet said: "When you are visiting a sick person or a dead one, say something good, for the angels say Amîn to whatever you say." Narrated by Muslim in his Sahih.

9. From al-Aswad ibn Hilal al-Muharibi: When `Umar was made Caliph he stood on the pulpit and said: "O people! I am going to invoke Allah, therefore say âmîn (hayminû)! O Allah, my Lord! I am coarse, so make me soft, and I am stingy, so make me generous, and I am weak, so make me strong."
Narrated by Abu Nu`aym in Hilyat al-Awliya' (1985 ed. 1:53) and Ibn Sa`d in al-Tabaqat al-Kubra (3:275). Where are those who would tell `Umar that collective du`â' is banned in Islam?

10. This and the following report suggests that Ibn `Umar, like his father, - Allah be well-pleased with both of them - supplicated together with others: From Wahb: "I saw Ibn `Umar and Ibn al-Zubayr supplicating [i.e. together] and rubbing their hands against their faces."

Narrated by al-Bukhari in al-Adab al-Mufrad (2:68) with a sound chain according to Shaykh `Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghudda in his Thalath Rasa'il (p. 93). This event may have taken place at the highly dramatic time following the death of al-Husayn ibn `Ali - upon them peace - at the hands of Yazid ibn Mu`awiya, after which Ibn `Umar told `Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr - Allah be well-pleased with them: "Al-Husayn has beaten us" i.e. with martyrdom, and they wept.

11. Ibn `Abd al-Razzaq narrated with his chain in his Musannaf (2:252-253) from Yahya ibn Sa`id al-Ansari the qadi of al-Madina that "Ibn `Umar used to supplicate together with al-Qass" (kâna yabsutu yadayhi ma`a al-Qass) and that "they [i.e. the senior Successors] mentioned that those that came before them [i.e. the Companions] would supplicate and then place back their hands on their faces so as to place back the du`â' and its baraka. Al-Qass is the Tâbi`î `Ubayd ibn `Umayr ibn Qatada al-Laythi al-Makki the admonisher and Qur'anic commentator.

Shaykh Abu Ghudda said (p. 94): "This is frank evidence to the effect that wiping the face with the two hands after raising them in supplication was practiced in the first generations."

12. From Abu al-Darda' - Allah be well-pleased with him -: "Raise up these hands of yours in supplication before they become manacled with the chains [of Hellfire]." Narrated from al-Faryabi's al-Dhikr by al-Zarkashi in his al-Azhiya (p. 74).

III. Additional Reports

13. A marfû` report with a very weak chain from Anas states: "I was given three things: I was given prayer in ranks; I was given `al-salâm [`alaykum],' which is the greeting of the dwellers of Paradise; and I was given `Amîn' which none was given before your time except that Allah gave it to Harun. For Musa would supplicate while Harun would say Amîn. Ibn Marduyah narrated it in his Tafsir, al-Harith ibn Abi Usama in his Musnad, Ibn `Adi in al-Du`âfa', and al-Bayhaqi in Shu`ab al-Iman as cited by al-Suyuti in al-Jami` al-Saghir wa Ziyadatuh. Cf. al-Ghumari, al-Mudawi (1:638 #577/1173).

14. Another marfû` report with a very weak chain from Ibn `Abbas by al-Daylami in al-Firdaws states in part: "The supplicant and the one who says Amîn are two partners in reward." Cf. al-Mudawi (4:43 #1782/4245).

15. In the marfû` hadith from Hudhayfa ibn al-Yaman narrated by al-Tabari: After the coming out of Ya'juj and Ma'juj, 'Isa - upon him peace - shall supplicate for help and the Muslims shall say Amîn, whereupon Allah shall send against them a beast called al-naghaf = black earthworms. Al-Suyuti cited it in al-Durr al-Manthur.

16. Shahr ibn Hawshab relates that one day Abu al-Darda' entered the Masjid of Bayt al-Maqdis and saw people gathered around their admonisher (mudhakkir) who was reminding them, and they were raising their voices, weeping, and making invocations. Abu al-Darda' said: "My father's life and my mother's be sacrificed for those who moan over their state before the Day of Moaning!" Then he said: "O Ibn Hawshab, let us hurry and sit with those people. I heard the Prophet say: If you see the groves of Paradise, graze in them, and we said: O Messenger of Allah, what are the groves of Paradise? He said: The circles of remembrance, by the One in Whose hand is my soul, no people gather for the remembrance of Allah Almighty except the angels surround them closely, and mercy covers them, and Allah mentions them in His presence, and when they desire to get up and leave, a herald calls them saying: Rise forgiven, your evil deeds have been changed into good deeds!" Then Abu al-Darda' made towards them and sat with them eagerly. The hafiz Ibn al-Jawzi relates it with his chain of transmission in the chapter entitled: "Mention of those of the elite who used to attend the gatherings of story-tellers" of his book al-Qussas wa al-Mudhakkirin (p. 31).

IV. Recent Fatwas

1. From Dr. Wahbe al-Zuhayli's al-Bida` al-Munkara ("Condemned Innovations") in which he took care to differentiate between the real innovations and the lawful practices which some misguided people have falsely branded as innovations, in the section titled "Innovations of Worship" (p. 46-48):

Supplication (al-du`â) is lawful whether individually or collectively (fardiyyan wa jamâ`iyyan) due to what Muslim narrated from Abu Hurayra - Allah be well-pleased with him - who said that the Prophet said:"No people gather for the remembrance of Allah Almighty except the angels surround them closely, and mercy covers them, and Allah mentions them in His presence." Al-San`ani said in Subul al-Salam (2:213): "This hadith indicates the merit of the gatherings of dhikr and the rememberers, and the immense merit of gathering for the purpose of dhikr."

The hadith master al-Mundhiri devoted a section to what he titled "The Encouragement to Attend the Gatherings of Dhikr and Assembling for the Purpose of Remembering Allah Most High (al-Targhib fi Hudur Majalis al-Dhikr wal-Ijtima` `ala Dhikr Allah Ta`ala). He cited narrations, among them that narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim from Abu Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah said: "Allah has angels roaming the roads to find the people of dhikr, and when they find such a group of people, they call each other and encompass them in layers until the first heaven.... [ending with the words:] They are the folk [= the true believers] and even those that sit with them shall obtain felicity."

Similarly, [al-Tirmidhi (hasan gharîb), Ahmad,] Ibn Abi al-Dunya, Abu Ya`la, al-Bazzar, al-Tabarani, al-Hakim - he declared it sahîh - and al-Bayhaqi narrated: "...What are the groves of Paradise?" to which he replied: "The gatherings of dhikr."

There might be in the gathering a righteous servant because of whom Allah answers the supplication of the gathering. The Ulema of the Muslim cities used to gather in the mosques the night before `Arafa for du`â' and dhikr.

Imam Ahmad approved of this, saying, "I hope there is no harm in it, several [of the Salaf] did it." Its basis in the Sunna is the encouragement towards du`â' and dhikr in the days of fragrant Divine gifts and the seasons that are righ in acts of worship and obedience. The hadith mentions: "Truly your Lord gives, on certain of your days, fragrant gifts. Lo! Avail yourselves of the fragrant gifts of your Lord."

[Narrated by al-Tabarani in al-Awsat and al-Kabir, Ibn `Asakir, Ibn Abi al-Dunya in al-Faraj, al-Hakim al-Tirmidhi in Nawadir al-Usul (#185), al-Bayhaqi in Shu`ab al-Iman, Abu Nu`aym in the Hilya, al-Quda`i in Musnad al-Shihab, cf. al-Haythami, Majma` (10:231) and al-Ghumari, al-Mudawi (1:600-602 #547/1108)].

So it is incorrect to declare as an innovation the collective supplication after Salat in the mosques and elsewhere, because supplication is desirable at that time even if one does not persist in it. Among the states of the Messenger of Allah , he sometimes isolated or singled himself out without those present in supplication so as to teach the formula of the supplications transmitted from him. [Cf. al-Shatibi, al-I`tisam (2:349-356).] While the practice of latter-day Muslims has settled on collective supplication.

However, al-Qurafi counted this among the blameworthy innovations in the Maliki School. [End of al-Zuhayli's words from his booklet al-Bida` al-Munkara.]

With regard to his words: "However, al-Qurafi counted this among the blameworthy innovations in the Maliki School": regardless whether its attribution to Imam al-Qarafi is correct, such a ruling is, of course, impermissible in the light of the authentic reports that establish the collective supplication as a Sunna of the Prophet , the rightly-guided Caliphs, the senior Companions, and the Salaf. Consequently, it was strenuously rejected by Shaykh Ahmad al-Ghumari at the end of his epistle on du`â' titled al-Minah al-Matluba fi Istihbab Raf` al-Yadayn bil-Du`â' ba`d al-Salawat al-Maktuba published by Shaykh `Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghudda in Thalath Rasa'il fi Istihbab al-Du`â wa Raf` al-Yadayn ba`d al-Salawat al-Maktuba (p. 108-112):

Whoever of them [the Malikis] objected, they objected only to the case when the imam supplicates out-loud and the people say Amîn, and this is originally why they declare disliked [the raising of the hands in supplication after Salât]. And this is faulty reasoning when there is an explicit text that contradicts it. In fact, it is recklessness in the Religion and invalidation of the Sunna of the Master of Messengers!.... Ibn `Arafa said: "I never heard anyone object to it except an ignoramus whom no-one considers an authority." ... `Umar ibn al-Khattab - Allah be well-pleased with him - said: "The Sunna is whatever Allah and His Prophet made Sunna, so do not make an incorrect opinion into a Sunna for the Umma!" End of al-Ghumari's words.

2. From Shaykh Hisham Kabbani's Encyclopedia of Islamic Doctrine (7:108-110):

Some "Salafis" also try to propagate the notion that collective du`â is wrong, that is: du`â led by the imam to which the congregation responds "Amin." This is a false notion, as just proven by the mention of the hadith of Zayd ibn Arqam whereby the Prophet said: "O Allah! OUR Lord" after every prayer. ["I heard the Messenger of Allah making du`â after every prayer (dubura kulli salât): allâhumma rabbanâ wa rabba kulli shay', O Allah! our Lord and the Lord of everything!" Narrated by Abu Dawud and Ahmad with a good chain.]

The principle for collective du`â is entirely based on the Qur'an and Sunna. Someone asked: I am inquiring about the permissibility of making congregational du`â in general and congregational du`â after the obligatory salât in specific? Many contemporary "Salafis" label this practice a blameworthy and unlawful innovation?

The answer is: There is decisive evidence (hujja qâti`a) for loud du`â in jamâ`a:

Al-Hakim relates from Habib ibn Muslima al-Fihri: I heard the Messenger of Allah say: "No people gather while some of them make invocation and others say AMIN except Allah answers them."

The Sunna of collective invocations specifically after the salât is established from the Sunna of dhikr directly after the salât as described by the hadith of Ibn `Abbas in Bukhari and Muslim whereby he knew from outside the mosque that the salât had ended by the sound of the collective takbir, and dhikr is a form of du`â as are all forms of worship according to the sahîh hadith in Tirmidhi: "The Du`â is `ibâda itself."

The Qur'an is replete with collective invocations by a group of Muslims, as the following one which Anas in Bukhari said the Prophet repeated the most: {O our Lord, grant us goodness in this life, and grant us goodness in the next life, and protect us from the Fire} (2:201). Also the du`â of the Hawariyyûn or disciples of Jesus: {O our Lord, we believe in what you have revealed, therefore write us among the witnesses} (3:53) and the du`â of the young men of the ashâb al-kahf: {Our Lord! Give us mercy from Thy presence, and shape for us right conduct in our plight} (18:10).

The congregational du`â hinges on the du`â of the imam of a people. Tirmidhi narrates from Thawban and he said it is hasan: The Prophet said that the imam who makes his du`â particular to himself has betrayed his people. Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, and Ahmad also narrate it.

When `Umar as the Imam of Muslims made his du`â through al-`Abbas, it was a collective du`â as established by the plural wording employed.

The evidence is clear to the effect that congregational du`â is ordered by the Prophet in the hadith that says: "When you hear in (loud) congregational prayer the Imam say: wa la al-DAALLEEN, say: AAMEEN." (Bukhari, Muslim and others) Ibn Hajar said in commenting on this hadith: "The meaning of the unmodified order 'say' is 'say loud'." This does not make it incorrect to say it silently according to other interpretations. At any rate this is clearly a plain congregational du`â as the noble Fatiha is the highest and best du`â of all. The fact that it is inside or outside salât is irrelevant, as words of dhikr and du`â that are halal inside salât do not become haram outside it.

Another clear evidence is the du`â of Qunut in the congregational Fajr prayer, whereby the Imam stands after rukû` in the second rak`a and makes loud du`â with his hands raised palms up, and the congregation repeatedly says AMIN until he goes into prostration. This is the position of the Shafi`i school as set forth by al-Nawawi in his Adhkar (Chapter of Qunût at Fajr) and elsewhere. It is recommended to make the same kind of loud qunût in prayers other than fajr in certain circumstances.

Nawawi cites the hadith of Anas whereby "The Prophetdid not cease to make Qunût in the Dawn (prayer) until he left the world." al-Hakim narrates it and said it is sahîh, and Ibn Hajar: hasan. He then cites the sahîh hadith of al-Hasan ibn `Ali stipulating the words taught by the Prophet for that Qunût. [End of excerpt from the Encyclopedia of Islamic Doctrine.]

And Allah knows best.

Shaykh Gibril Haddad

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