Following the rules of transmission of Sunnah of the prophet (mpbuh), any addition by one part of the world will eventually overcome by general understanding of the other part, or by looking at the historical references, hadith (a scientific study). Secondly, following the rules of hadith literature where one off incidence reported by khabr-e-wahid (hadith reported by one narrator) or less credible narrators we are inclined towards looking at general consensus of Muslims.
The mass supplication after obligatory prayers in congregation is also one such matter that requires further understanding. Please correct me if I am wrong, but this practice does not have a universal acceptability amongst Muslims. If such a practice has been introduced in our society, it is either due to some references from hadith which this society holds reliable or deliberate attempt has been made for its introduction.
Could you please be kind enough to detail your understanding on this matter? Why do you not consider it a Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh)? Secondly, what references do Muslims in this society use in order to justify their action? Thirdly, how can we Muslims help these people realize that it is a wrong addition (if it is considered as wrong)?
References from Sunnah including references from hadith literature, historical references if any would help me to understand the matter in detail.
Thank you for your time.
There is nothing in any reliable narrative that would show that the Prophet (pbuh) practiced or promoted mass congregational supplication after obligatory prayers. The basis on which the practice is so widely held in some Muslim societies is basically on the following grounds:
on the grounds that there is no harm in doing so; and
after the spread of Islam in non-Arab countries, because the worshippers did not generally understand the utterances during the ritual prayers, they started offering extra-supplications after the completion of the obligatory prayers as a means of satisfaction of actually praying and supplicating for their needs.
The reason why we do not consider it a part of the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh) is because the practice does not meet our criteria for considering something a Sunnah of the Prophet, as explained in one of our earlier questions1
We, as Muslims, should tell our other Muslim brothers that the only practices that we should perpetually adhere to are those that were practiced and promoted by the Prophet (pbuh). Other practices that were not practiced and promoted by the followers do not deserve our perpetual adherence, even if they apparently seem to be harmless or even pious in their nature.
I hope this helps.
November 3, 2004