In my school every morning a person recites surah al fatiha and a dua and the rest of the people follow him. Is this (reciting al fatiha and the dua in congregation) something that is ok to do or is it an innovation? What if I am the one appointed to lead on some days, is that considered as helping in innovation? Please advise me so that I can follow the sunnah and stay away from newly invented matters.
All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
Surah Al-Faatihah is the greatest Surah in the Quran and supplication is one of the greatest acts of worship. As for making supplication collectively in a manner that one invokes Allah while the rest says 'Amen', it is lawful in general. On that, Sheikh Ibn Taymiyyah said:
“To gather in order to recite the Quran, Thikr, and supplication collectively is something good and desirable unless it is done as a regular habit and regarded like prescribed gatherings under the Sharee‘ah, and unless it is accompanied by objectionable Bid‘ah (religious innovation).” [End of quote]
As for opening the daily work by permanently reciting Surah Al-Faatihah and continually making supplication in a collective manner after recitation, it is included under this habit that is not prescribed in the Sharee’ah as far as we know. In truth, many innovations start in the very beginning by admiring such matters, and arranging or organizing them, after which they would widely spread among people, to the extent that they would be seen as a religion and an adopted Sunnah that cannot be rejected.
In truth, our communities are replete with such innovations that scholars could not treat, especially after people firmly believe that they are part of the religion.
Therefore, in our opinion, it is not permissible to permanently recite Surah Al-Faatihah at the beginning of the school day, nor is it permissible to continually make supplication in a collective manner. Thus, when it is your role to do so, you should abstain.
For more benefit on collective supplication, please refer to Fatwa 428194.
Allah knows best.
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