بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Is dua after salaah in congregation a sunnah or should the imam get up immediately after salaah to perform his sunnah whilst the muqtadi’s complete there athkaar.
Mufti Taha’s Answer
Both dhikr and du’a after congregational salah are sunnah. Their being sunnah applies to both the imam and the muqtadi (the follow). (Sharh al-Muhadhdhab 3:465) The preferred position of the madhhab, as stated by Imam Shafi’i in Kitab al-Umm (2:288) is that both imam and muqtadi should engage in dhikr and du’a individually and silently, except in a situation where the imam has to teach his congregation how to make dhikr and du’a. In the latter case the imam would make dhikr and du’a loudly only for as long as it takes the congregation to learn. In contrast to this position, Imam Adhra’i adopts the view that dhikr should be made loudly as a rule and not as an exception to the rule. (al-Hawashi al-Madaniyyah 1:227)
The formal, congregational aspect of salah terminates at the salam. Thereafter both the imam and muqtadis have the choice of engaging in dhikr and du’a—which is the better option—or of standing up and continuing with their sunnah salah, or leaving.
What our fuqaha have mentioned about the imam standing up immediately pertains to the situation where he opts not to engage in dhikr and du’a, or alternatively to the situation where the imam stands up in order to engage in dhikr and du’a at another spot away from the place where he was leading the salah. This last option, of the imam standing up to make dhikr and du’a elsewhere, is said by Ibn Hajar to be the better option. The other option of the imam remaining seated in his place to engage in dhikr and du’a right there, is also described as sunnah. (Tuhfat al-Muhtaj 2:104-105) It is thus not a case of one option being sunnah and the other being against the sunnah, but rather of alternative choices all within the ambit of the Sunnah.
Some of our fuqaha have pointed out that where the imam alone stands up and leaves the congregation to engage in dhikr and du’a, the advantage is that latecomers would not imagine that the salah is still in process. Imam Adhra’i, however, points out that this advantage would be achieved even when the imam simply turns away from the qiblah; thus standing up is not the only option. (Hashiyat al-Shirwani 2:105)
Allah Knows Best