After Fajr and Asr Fardh, the Imaam should turn either sideways – any side – or face the muqtadis. Everyone should then engage in his own thikr and dua silently. Tasbeeh Faatimi should be recited during this time. It is meritorious to also recite Aayatul Kursi. The duration of sitting and engagement in Thikr and Dua is left to the discretion of the musallis. It is highly meritorious to remain in Thikr and Dua until sunrise, and after Asr until sunset. The longer, the better. But no one has the right to castigate a musalli for not sitting as long as he (the castigator) chooses to sit. The loud congregational dua is bid’ah.
After the Fardh of the other three Salaat, the Imaam should not turn facing the muqtadis as promoted by some. The Imaam as well as the muqtadis should engage very briefly in Istighfaar and a short dua the length of the customary, Allaahumma antas salaam…….
It is in conflict with the Sunnah to get up immediately after the Salaam and rush out of the Musjid without valid reason. The above-explained procedure should be adhered to. However, if someone has a valid reason for leaving immediately after the Salaam, it will be permissible. Obviously this will be an exceptional case.
After the short dua following the three Fardh Salaat (Zuhr, Maghrib and Isha), the musalli should immediately engage in the Sunnatul Muakkadah. Other athkaar and lengthy dua should be after completing the Sunnat and nafl Salaat.
In your issue Vol. 18 No. 12 you have described as bid’ah the practice of Imaams making a bayaan or tafseer immediately after the Fardh Salaat. I am one such Imaam in a Musjid where our seniors want it that way. I am at a loss. So, my question is: Is it better for me to resign my position or follow my employer’s instruction because I understand that it is not such a very serious issue. Your advice will be very helpful.
The fact that you have described a bid’ah ‘not such a very serious issue’ reveals that you have not understood the meaning and the vile consequences of bid’ah. Assuming that it is not a ‘very serious issue’, then too, according to the Hadith the one who regards sin lightly is like one who thinks lightly of Allah Ta’ala. Hadhrat Aishah (radhiyallahu anha) warned that we should not minimize such sins which people regard as ‘little sins’. All sins are great and evil, and what is regarded as ‘little’ ultimately develops into what every Tom, Dick and Harry acknowledges is ‘gigantic’ sin.
It does not require colossal intelligence, deep insight and the knowledge of a genius to understand that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), the Sahaabah, the Taabi-een, the Tabe Taabieen and the Fuqaha of all ages, performed the Sunan-e-Rawaatib (the Sunnats after the Fardh) immediately after the Fardh Salaat. There was no activity, Deeni or worldly, interspersing between the Fardh and Sunnat Salaat.
But more than 14 centuries after the completion and perfection of Islam, and while the Pattern of life of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the Sahaabah is fresh and glaring in front of us, we find seniors inventing new practices. Regardless of the logic of the benefits they may perceive in this new interruption between Fardh and Sunnat Salaat, the bottom line is the fact that it is a practice alien to the Sunnah. As such it must be abandoned. This should be adequate to debunk your ‘not so very serious’ idea.
Whether you should resign or not, is left to you. We refrain from advising you on this aspect. An interruption between the Sunnat and Fardh Salaat is a serious issue which no longer concerns even the Ulama. If after the two Sunnats of Fajr and after the four Sunnats of Zuhr, one engages in any worldly act, then the Sunnats should be repeated. If after the Fardh Salaat the musallis engages in some conversation thereby delaying the immediate performance of the Sunnat Salaat, then according to some Fuqaha, the Sunnatul Muakkadah Salaat is lost. There is no way of compensating for it other than Istighfaar.
Another view is that while the Sunnatul Muakkadhah is valid, the thawaab is substantially reduced. Thus, according to both views there is substantial damage to the Salaat as a consequence of an interruption not sanctioned by the Sunnah. According to the Fuqaha, this damage to the Salaat is the consequence of every act which negates the Tahreemah (i.e. the Salaat), and is not confined to worldly acts.
Just as reciting from the Qur’aan Majeed naatharah (i.e. looking in the Mushaf – copy of the Qur’aan) negates Salaat, and just as doing kitaab-reading during Salaat invalidates Salaat, so too do these acts of virtue negate the Sunnat-e-Muakkadah Salaat according to one view, and according to the other view, reduces the thawaab. Precisely for this reason, that is, to avoid an interruption, it is not permissible for the Imaam to engage in a long dua after such Fardh Salaat followed by Sunnatul Muakkadah (i.e. Zuhr, Maghrib and Isha). The Fuqaha have categorically prohibited this.
Furthermore, the Fuqaha have ruled that even Aayatul Kursi, Tahmeed and Tahmeed (and any form of Thikr) should be delayed until after the Sunnatul Muakkadah. The interruption which is validated by the Shariah is only a Dua equal in length to the usual “Allahumma Antas salaam……..” The Fuqaha base this on the narration of Hadhrat Aishah (radhiyallahu anhua). As for the other athkaar narrated in the Ahaadith, the Fuqaha have adequately explained these. It is not proper and not permissible for us Muqallideen to look beyond the confines of the Rulings of the Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen.
Some Fuqaha have said: “To commence the Sunnats immediately after the Fardh is Masnoon.” The Masnoon interruption of the short Dua does not affect the Ittisaal (or immediate adjoining). If the Sunnatul Muakkadah is performed after auraad and athkaar, then while the Sunnats will be discharged, it will not be in accordance with the Sunnah since the Sunnah time adjoins the Fardh Salaat. However, in one view, the Sunnatul Muakkadah is irreparably eliminated.
Now that you have understood the emphasis which the Shariah places on Ittisaal (immediate adjoining) between Fardh and Sunnat Salaat, you will, if you are unbiased and in search of the Haqq, better understand the prohibition of interrupting this Ittisaal with Kitaab-reading. While there is no compensation for this Ittisaal if lost, there is a compensation for the kitaab-reading. It could be delayed until after the musallis have comfortably completed their Salaat which is the primary obligation when visiting the Musjid.