Is reciting Surah Al-Fatihah and Du`a' (supplications) in congregation after finishing the obligatory Salah (Prayer) a Sunnah (commendable) or Bid`ah (innovation in religion)?
The best guidance is that of Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the most evil matters are the newly innovated matters. The Prophet's Khalifahs (successors) and Sahabah (Companions) accepted the guidance of the Prophet (peace be upon him), acted according to it, and transmitted it to the next generation. The Prophet's guidance was to perform Dhikr (Remembrance of Allah) and Du`a' alone; he did not ask any of the Sahabah to gather (Part No. 7; Page No. 122) and supplicate with him in congregation. What the people are doing now when they recite Surah Al-Fatihah and Du`a' in congregation after Salah is Bid`ah. It is authentically reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) that he said,
"Anyone who does something that we have not ordered (in worship) it will be rejected."
(Related by Muslim in his Sahih [Book of authentic Hadith])
The basis of this Hadith is related in the Two Sahih (authentic) Books of Hadith (i.e. Al-Bukhari and Muslim) on the authority of
`Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) who said that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
"Anyone who introduces something in this matter of our (the religion) that is not from it, it will be rejected."
There are many other Hadith that carry the same meaning. The last generations of this Ummah (nation based on one creed) will not be successful, unless they follow the example of the early generations, as Imam
Malik ibn Anas (may Allah be merciful to him) and other scholars acknowledged.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.