Everyone is aware of the importance of Dua’. Kitaabs have been compiled on the virtues and benefits of Dua’. Everyone is free to make Dua’ at any time and as much as the heart desires. But when this laudable practice is cloaked with a specific form and given congregational status in the Musjid, then this very meritorious ibaadat is transformed into Bid’ah Sayyiah (Evil Innovation).
The following question was posed to Hadhrat Mufti Muhammad Shafi (rahmatullah alayh):
Question: “Is it an act of thawaab to collectively make dua’ after the Sunnats on Fridays? What is the harm in making such dua’? How is it to criticize those who do not participate in this dua’?”
Hadhrat Mufti Shafi (rahmatullah alayh) answered:
Answer: “Understand well that no one has the right to increase or delete from the established Ahkaam of the Shariah. Hundreds of thousands of Sahaabah who sacrificed their lives for acts of thawaab never engaged in such a congregational dua’ nor did they teach it. Now who are we who imply by our action that we are correcting the error of such great sages of the Deen (the Sahaabah, Taabieen, etc.)? The implication is that we are superseding them in the pursuit of thawaab by indulging in this bid’ati dua which is considered an incumbent obligation and the spirit of Imaan.
Indeed our inverted and noxious intelligence is lamentable. We criticize, condemn and curse those who abstain from bid’ah. In so doing we ourselves become the accursed ones. It is improper to practise even acts of thawaab beyond the confines of the Shariah………….. After the Dua’ made after the Fardh, the relationship between the Imaam and Muqtadis terminates. One is free to perform the Sunnat Salaat in the Musjid or at home as was the practice of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the majority of the Sahaabah.
It is bid’ah for the Imaam to make dua’ after the Sunnats. It is not permissible and the prohibition is emphasised. It is ignorance to criticize those who do not participate. It is mischief, strife, injustice and sinful…………… Bear in mind the Ahaadith of Rasulullah (in which bid’ah is condemned). He said that every bid’ah is deviation, and deviation leads to the Fire. Therefore always abstain from bid’ah.” [Najaatul Muslimeen]