Q 2: Did the Prophet (peace be upon him) start his assemblies by saying, "Verily, all praise (Part No. 24; Page No. 230) be to Allah!" or did he use other supplications as well? What is the ruling on people who commence their speeches with other supplications which mainly revolve around praising Allah and extolling him? Bear in mind that there are many sheikhs who do not stick to this opening,
as it is clear in one of the versions of his book "Sifat Salat Al-Naby".
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) did not say this supplication at the beginning of all his Khutbahs (sermons) and assemblies. He used this one and other supplications. Thus it is permissible
for a Muslim to begin an educational or religious assembly with any supplication confirmed from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). It is also permissible to begin an assembly by merely praising Allah, "All praise be to Allah!" or by mentioning Allah's Name, "In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful" or just "In the Name of Allah". The Prophet (peace be upon him) stated,
"Any matter of importance which is not begun with Bismillah (in the Name of Allah) is defective."
In another narration, he said,
"Any matter of importance which is not begun with Al-hamdu lillah (praise be to Allah) is defective."
May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.