Saying Dhikr (Remembrance of Allah)

Q: In our country, after finishing Fajr (Dawn) Prayer, the Imam and the Ma'mums (persons being led by an Imam in Prayer) usually say: "Peace be upon you O Messenger of Allah". They say it many times in the same voice. They even blame those who do not participate with them. What is your opinion concerning this? Many thanks.

A: The basic rule is that acts of worship are Tawqifiy (bound by a religious text and not amenable to personal opinion). So, it is not permissible for any person to perform acts of worship in a manner not specified by Allah as He (Exalted be He) says: Or have they partners (with Allâh — false gods) who have instituted for them a religion which Allâh has not ordained? Also the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: He who innovates things in our affairs for which there is no valid (reason) (commits sin) and these are to be rejected. Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim. According to the narration of Muslim, the Hadith reads: He who does any act for which there is no sanction from our behalf, that is to be rejected. Invoking Allah's Peace and Blessings upon the Prophet (peace be upon him) is one of the best acts of worship, but doing it in the manner you have mentioned in your question is an act that has not been done by the Prophet (peace be upon him), his rightly-guided Caliphs nor any of the Prophet's Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) after offering Fajr (Dawn) Prayer or any other Salah. All good lies in following their footsteps. So, invoking Allah's Peace and blessings in the manner mentioned is an act of Bid`ah (innovation in religion) and it is not permissible to practice or participate in it according to the saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him) as in the Hadith narrated by (Part No. 7; Page No. 119)  Al-`Irbad ibn Sariyah: Those of you who live after me will see great disagreement. You must then follow my Sunnah and that of the rightly-guided caliphs. Hold to it and stick fast to it. Avoid novelties, for every novelty is an innovation, and every innovation is an error. There are numerous other Hadiths warning against Bid`ah. May Allah protect all Muslims from Bid`ahs and delusive Fitnahs (trials).May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.