Du’a or dhikr after the salaah?: Ibn Taymiyah

In the great collection of Ibn Taymiyah’s works, in the book of fiqh under the section of salaah, one question was posed as follows:

وسئل عن هذا الذي يفعله الناس بعد كل صلاة من الدعاء : هل هو مكروه ؟ وهل ورد عن أحد من السلف فعل ذلك ؟ ويتركون أيضا الذكر الذي صح أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم كان يقوله ويشتغلون بالدعاء ؟ فهل [ الأفضل ] الاشتغال بالذكر الوارد عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أو هذا الدعاء ؟ وهل صح أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم كان يرفع يديه ويمسح وجهه أم لا ؟ .

And it was asked about what the people do of du’a (supplication) after every salaah – it is disliked? And has it been narrated that any of the salaf did that? And also, they leave of the dhikr which the Prophet (ﷺ) actually said while they busy themselves with supplication. So which is more virtuous – busying oneself with dhikr which has been narrated from the Prophet (ﷺ), or with du’a? And is it authentic that the Prophet (ﷺ) used to raise his hands and wipe over his face or not?

And ibn Taymiyah’s answer followed:

Appropriate adhkaar following the salaah

فأجاب : الحمد لله رب العالمين . الذي نقل عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم من ذلك بعد الصلاة المكتوبة إنما هو الذكر المعروف . كالأذكار التي في الصحاح وكتب السنن والمساند وغيرها مثل ما في الصحيح : أنه كان قبل أن ينصرف من الصلاة يستغفر ثلاثا ثم يقول : ـ

So I reply: Alhamdu lillaahi rabb al-‘Aalameen. That which is recorded from the Prophet (ﷺ) concerning this issue of what follows the obligatory prayers is only the well-known dhikr, such as the adhkaar which are found in the books of saheehsunanmusnads and elsewhere – like what is in the saheeh: that before he would turn around after the prayer, he used to make istighfaar three times and then he would say,

اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ السَّلَامُ وَمِنْك السَّلَامُ تَبَارَكْت يَا ذَا الْجَلَالِ وَالْإِكْرَامِ

Allaahumma anta’l-salaam wa minka’l-salaam tabaarakta yaa dh’al-jalaali w’al-ikraam

“O Allah, you are al-Salaam, and from you is al-salaam. Blessed are You, O Owner of Magnificence and Generosity!”

And in the saheeh that he used to say after each obligatory prayer,

لَا إلَهَ إلَّا اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ اللَّهُمَّ لَا مَانِعَ لِمَا أَعْطَيْت وَلَا مُعْطِيَ لِمَا مَنَعْت وَلَا يَنْفَعُ ذَا الْجَدِّ مِنْك الْجَدُّ

Laa illaaha illallaahu waḥdahu laa shareeka lahu. Lahu’l-mulk wa lahu’l-ḥamd wa huwa ‘alaa kulli shay’in qadeer. Allaahumma laa maani’ limaa a’ṭayta wa laa mu’ṭī limaa mun’ata wa laa yanfa’u dh’al-jaddi minka al-jadd

“There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah, alone with no partner. To Him belongs the dominion and to Him belongs the praise, and He is – over all things – powerful. O Allah, none can prevent what You bestow, and none can give what You withhold, and the greatness of the great is of no avail against You.”

وفي الصحيح أنه كان يهلل هؤلاء الكلمات في دبر المكتوبة :  ـ

And in the saheeh that he used say these words after the obligatory prayers,

 لَا إلَهَ إلَّا اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ . لَا حَوْلَ وَلَا قُوَّةَ إلَّا بِاَللَّهِ لَا إلَهَ إلَّا اللَّهُ وَلَا نَعْبُدُ إلَّا إيَّاهُ لَهُ النِّعْمَةُ وَلَهُ الْفَضْلُ وَلَهُ الثَّنَاءُ الْحَسَنُ لَا إلَهَ إلَّا اللَّهُ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْكَافِرُونَ

Laa illaaha illallaahu waḥdahu laa shareeka lahu. Lahu’l-mulk wa lahu’l-ḥamd wa huwa ‘alaa kulli shay’in qadeer. Laa ḥawla wa laa quwwata illaa billaah. Laa illaaha illallaahu wa laa na’budu illaa iyyaahu. Laahu’l-ni’matu wa lahu’l-faḍl wa lahu’l-thanaa’a’l-hasan. La ilaaha illallaahu mukhliseena lahu’l-deena wa law kariha’l-kaafiroon

“There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah, alone with no partner. To Him belongs the dominion, and to Him belongs the praise, and He is – over all things – powerful. There is no movement or might except with Allah. There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah, and we do not worship anyone other than Him. To Him belongs the blessing and to Him belongs the grace and to Him belongs the excellent praise. There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah. We make our religion exclusively and sincerely for Him, even though the disbelievers dislike it.”

وفي الصحيح { أن رفع الصوت بالتكبير عقيب انصراف الناس من المكتوبة كان على عهد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم } وأنهم كانوا يعرفون انقضاء صلاة رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بذلك وفي الصحيح أنه قال : { من سبح دبر كل صلاة ثلاثا وثلاثين وحمد ثلاثا وثلاثين وكبر ثلاثا وثلاثين فتلك تسع وتسعون وقال تمام المائة : لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له له الملك وله الحمد وهو على كل شيء قدير : غفرت ذنوبه ولو كانت مثل زبد البحر } وفي الصحيح أيضا أنه يقول : { سبحان الله والحمد لله والله أكبر ثلاثا وثلاثين } . وفي السنن أنواع أخر .ـ

And in the saheeh, “That he would raise his voice with takbeer after he turned towards the people following the obligatory prayers, and that was during the time of the Prophet” and that they would recognize the conclusion of the Prophet’s prayer (ﷺ) by that. And in the saheeh that, “Whoever says subhanAllaah 33 times, al-hamdulillaah 33 times and Allaahu akbar 33 times after every prayer – then that is 99, and then complete 100 by saying:

لَا إلَهَ إلَّا اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

‘There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah, alone with no partner. To him belongs the dominion, and to Him belongs the praise, and He is – over all things – powerful.’ – whoever does this then his sins will be forgiven even if they were like the foam of the ocean.” And also in the saheeh that he said, “subhanAllaah, w’alhamdulillaah, w’Allaahu akbar 33 times.” And in the sunan works there are other varieties.

والمأثور ستة أنواع : أحدها : أنه يقول : هذه الكلمات عشرا عشرا عشرا : فالمجموع ثلاثون .ـ

And there are six ways that it was narrated. Firstly: that he said these words ten times each, so altogether they were 30.

والثاني : أن يقول كل واحدة إحدى عشر فالمجموع ثلاث وثلاثون . ـ

And secondly: that he said each one eleven times, so altogether they were 33.

والثالث : أن يقول كل واحدة ثلاثا وثلاثين فالمجموع تسع وتسعون .ـ

And thirdly: that he said each one 33 times, so altogether they were 99.

والرابع : أن يختم ذلك بالتوحيد التام فالمجموع مائة . ـ

And fourthly: that he concluded with al-tawheed, so altogether there were 100.

والسادس : أن يقول كل واحد من الكلمات الأربع خمسا وعشرين فالمجموع مائة .ـ

[Note: the fifth position does not appear in any of the manuscripts that this translator found]

And sixthly: that he would say each of these phrases 25 times, so altogether they were 100.

وأما قراءة آية الكرسي فقد رويت بإسناد لا يمكن أن يثبت به سنة . ـ

And as for reciting ayah al-Kursi, then it has been narrated with an isnad which is not able to be confirmed if it is sunnah.

The issue of collective supplication

وأما دعاء الإمام والمأمومين جميعا عقيب الصلاة فلم ينقل هذا أحد عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ولكن نقل عنه أنه أمر معاذا أن يقول دبر كل صلاة : ـ

And as for the imam and the congregants making supplication collectively after the prayer, then not a single person transmitted this from the Prophet (ﷺ), however it was transmitted from him that he commanded Mu’adh to say,

اللَّهُمَّ أَعِنِّي عَلَى ذِكْرِك وَشُكْرِك وَحُسْنِ عِبَادَتِك

Allaahumma a’innī ‘alaa dhikrika wa shukrika wa ḥusni ‘ibaadatik

“O Allah, aid me in your remembrance and gratitude to You and excellent worship of You,” following (dubr) every prayer, and similar reports.

ونحو ذلك . ولفظ دبر الصلاة قد يراد به آخر جزء من الصلاة . كما يراد بدبر الشيء مؤخره وقد يراد به ما بعد انقضائها كما في قوله تعالى { وأدبار السجود } وقد يراد به مجموع الأمرين وبعض الأحاديث يفسر بعضا لمن تتبع ذلك وتدبره . ـ

And the phrase ‘following the prayer’ [ar. ‘dubr al-ṣalaah‘, literally ‘the back/tail of the prayer’] is intended to mean ‘the last part of the prayer’, just as the intended meaning of ‘dubr of a thing’ is ‘its end’ and what is meant by that is: ‘what comes after its conclusion’, just as is mentioned in Allah’s statement “and after the sujood” [50:40], and He wants for there to be gathering of the two things [i.e. both the Qur’an and the sunnah] and some ahaadeeth explain others for whoever pays attention and ponders over them.

وبالجملة فهنا شيئان : ( أحدهما دعاء المصلي المنفرد كدعاء المصلي صلاة الاستخارة وغيرها من الصلوات ودعاء المصلي وحده إماما كان أو مأموما .ـ

So in all, there are two things here: the first is that the supplication of the praying person is individual just as the supplication of the praying person during salaat al-istikhaarah and other prayers, and the supplication of the praying person is on his own whether he is the imam or the congregant.

( والثاني دعاء الإمام والمأمومين جميعا فهذا الثاني لا ريب أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لم يفعله في أعقاب المكتوبات كما كان يفعل الأذكار المأثورة عنه إذ لو فعل ذلك لنقله عنه أصحابه ثم التابعون ثم العلماء كما نقلوا ما هو دون ذلك ; ـ

And secondly, the supplication of the imam and the congregants together – concerning this second thing there is no doubt that the Prophet (ﷺ) did not do that after the obligatory prayers, as it has been narrated from him that he did adhkar. And if he had done that, then his companions would have transmitted that from him, and then the taabi’een and then the scholars just as they transmitted what is less than that.

ولهذا كان العلماء المتأخرون في هذا الدعاء على أقوال : منهم من يستحب ذلك عقيب الفجر والعصر كما ذكر ذلك طائفة من أصحاب أبي حنيفة ومالك وأحمد وغيرهم ولم يكن معهم في ذلك سنة يحتجون بها وإنما احتجوا بكون هاتين الصلاتين لا صلاة بعدهما .ـ

And so for this reason, the later-day scholars are of multiple opinions concerning this type of supplication: Some of them consider it to be preferable after fajr and ‘asr, as has been mentioned by a group of the Hanafis and Maalikis and Hanbalis and others, but they do not have any evidence from the sunnah with them to argue that point; they only argue that point due to these two prayers not having any [optional] prayers after them.

ومنهم : من استحبه أدبار الصلوات كلها وقال : لا يجهر به إلا إذا قصد التعليم . كما ذكر ذلك طائفة من أصحاب الشافعي وغيرهم وليس معهم في ذلك سنة إلا مجرد كون الدعاء مشروعا وهو عقب الصلوات يكون أقرب إلى الإجابة ـ

And some of them [i.e. the other opinion of the later-day scholars] regard it as preferable after the completion of each prayer. And they say: do not do it out-loud except when you intend to teach it. That was similarly mentioned from a group of the Shaafi’is and others, and they do not have any evidence from the sunnah with them except the mere fact that supplication is legislated and what is after the prayers is closer to being answered.

Supplication in the last part of the salaah

وهذا الذي ذكروه قد اعتبره الشارع في صلب الصلاة فالدعاء في آخرها قبل الخروج مشروع مسنون بالسنة المتواترة وباتفاق المسلمين بل قد ذهب طائفة من السلف والخلف إلى أن الدعاء في آخرها واجب وأوجبوا الدعاء الذي أمر به النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم آخر الصلاة بقوله : { إذا تشهد أحدكم فليستعذ بالله من أربع : من عذاب جهنم ومن عذاب القبر ومن فتنة المحيا والممات ومن فتنة المسيح الدجال } رواه مسلم وغيره . وكان طاووس يأمر من لم يدع به أن يعيد الصلاة وهو قول بعض أصحاب أحمد وكذلك في حديث ابن مسعود : { ثم ليتخير من الدعاء أعجبه إليه } وفي حديث عائشة وغيرها أنه كان يدعو في هذا الموطن والأحاديث بذلك كثيرة .ـ

And that which they mentioned is considered by the Divine Legislator to be the heart of the prayer, for supplication at the last part [of the prayer] before finishing it is divinely legislated in the sunnah at the level of sunan al-mutawaatir and by the agreement of the Muslims; rather a group from the salaf and the latter-day people has even come to the point of saying that supplication in the last part of the prayer is obligatory (waajib) and they considered as obligatory the supplication which was commanded by the Prophet (ﷺ) in the last part of the prayer by his saying,

إِذَا تَشَهَّدَ أَحَدُكُمْ فَلْيَسْتَعِذْ بِاللَّهِ مِنْ أَرْبَعٍ يَقُولُ اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ عَذَابِ جَهَنَّمَ وَمِنْ عَذَابِ الْقَبْرِ وَمِنْ فِتْنَةِ الْمَحْيَا وَالْمَمَاتِ وَمِنْ شَرِّ فِتْنَةِ الْمَسِيحِ الدَّجَّالِ

“When one of you makes the tashaahud then seek refuge with Allah from four things: from the punishment of Jahannam, from the punishment of the grave, from the tribulations of life and death, and from the fitnah of the Maseeh al-Dajjaal,”

narrated by Muslim and others. And Taawoos commanded the person who did not make this supplication to repeat his prayer, and this was the statement of some of the companions of Ahmad [ibn Hanbal – i.e. of some of the Hanbalis]. And likewise in the hadeeth of ibn Mas’ood, “[after mentioning the wording of the tashaahud] and then select any supplication you would like.” And in the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah and others that he would supplicate at this place [of the prayer], and the ahaadeeth on this subject are numerous.

والمناسبة الاعتبارية فيه ظاهرة فإن المصلي يناجي ربه فما دام في الصلاة لم ينصرف فإنه يناجي ربه فالدعاء حينئذ مناسب لحاله ـ

And the juristic correctness of that position is clear, for verily the one who is praying is conversing with his Lord, so he remains in the prayer as long as he does not turn away, for verily he is conversing with his Lord. So supplication therein is befitting of his state.

Dhikr is most appropriate after the completion of the salaah

أما إذا انصرف إلى الناس من مناجاة الله لم يكن موطن مناجاة له ودعاء . وإنما هو موطن ذكر له وثناء عليه فالمناجاة والدعاء حين الإقبال والتوجه إليه في الصلاة . أما حال الانصراف من ذلك فالثناء والذكر أولى .ـ

As for if he turns away from his conversing with Allah towards the people, then it is no longer the appropriate time for conversing with his Lord or supplication. Then it is only the appropriate time for dhikr to Him and praising him. So the conversing and supplication is while he is directing and turning his face towards Him during the salaah. As for after turning away from that, then praise and dhikr are most appropriate.

وكما أن من العلماء من استحب عقب الصلاة من الدعاء ما لم ترد به السنة : فمنهم طائفة تقابل هذه لا يستحبون القعود المشروع بعد الصلاة ولا يستعملون الذكر المأثور بل قد يكرهون ذلك وينهون عنه فهؤلاء مفرطون بالنهي عن المشروع وأولئك مجاوزون الأمر بغير المشروع والدين إنما هو الأمر بالمشروع دون غير المشروع . ـ

And similarly, there are some from ‘ulamaa’ who consider it preferable to immediately follow-up the prayer with supplication which is not contained in the sunnah. Among them are a group which affirm this and do not consider the legislated sitting after the prayer to be preferable nor do they use the transmitted adhkaar, but rather they dislike that and prohibit others from it. These ones are excessive in their prohibiting of what has been divinely legislated, and they have permitted affairs which are not legislated. And the deen is only those matters which are divinely legislated to the exclusion of what has not been divinely legislated.

The issue of raising the hands, and the issue of wiping the face

وأما رفع النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يديه في الدعاء : فقد جاء فيه أحاديث كثيرة صحيحة وأما مسحه وجهه بيديه فليس عنه فيه إلا حديث أو حديثان لا يقوم بهما حجة والله أعلم .ـ

And as for the Prophet’s raising of his hands (ﷺ) during supplication, then it has come in many authentic ahaadeeth; and as for his wiping his face with both his hands, then there is nothing from him concerning this except for one or two hadeeth which do not establish a proof – and Allah knows best.

[Majmoo’a al-Fataawa 22/515-520]

See also: The supplication of istikhaarah – before of after the tasleem? : Ibn Taymiyah

See also: The reward of salaah while sitting: Ibn Taymiyah

See also: Supplicating upon Completion of the Qur’an: Sheikh ibn ‘Uthaymeen

See also: “Call upon your Lord in humility and privately; indeed, He does not like transgressors.”: Imam al-Qurtubi’s tafsir of 7:55

See also: Indeed, the prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: Reserve a part of your prayer for the house

See also: Which is more virtuous: reading a small amount of the Qur’an with tarteel and contemplation, or a large amount quickly? – Ibn al-Qayyim

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10 thoughts on “Du’a or dhikr after the salaah?: Ibn Taymiyah

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