Answered by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,
It is permissible (and rewarding) to recite the various forms of Dhikr, Tasbih and Dua after prayers as mentioned in the various Hadiths of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), both individually and collectively, and both silently and loudly.
Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the completion of the Messenger of Allah’s (Allah bless him & give him peace) prayer would be known by the recitation of the Takbir.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, no: 994)
Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that raising of the voice with Dhikr was practiced in the time of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) when they left the obligatory prayer. And Ibn Abbas said: “I would know of when people left the obligatory prayer by the (loud) Dhikr and I used to hear it.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, no: 995)
Based on the above and various other narrations found in the Sunnah literature, the renowned Hanafi jurist, Allama Ibn Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) states in his Radd al-Muhtar that raising one’s voice whilst doing Dhikr (m: in all its forms) is permissible due to the various evidences found in the Sunnah, except in certain circumstances. He concludes his discussion by quoting Imam al-Sha’rani as saying:
“All the scholars (ulama) have agreed, both early (salaf) and late comers (khalaf), upon the recommendation of group Dhikr (m: meaning loudly) in the Masjid, except when it disturbs a sleeping person, the one engaged in prayer and the one reciting Qur’an.” (Radd al-Muhtar ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar, 1/660)
Therefore, it is permissible to recite the various forms of Dhikr loudly after obligatory prayers. The reciting of Subhan Allah and al-Hamdulillah 33 times and Allahu Akbar 34 times has been prescribed in the Hadith. Thus, if the Mu’adhin or someone else reminds people by saying it loudly, then there is nothing wrong with that, as long as it is not considered to be a specific form of Sunnah, and that those who do not wish to join in are not condemned.
As far as doing group Dhikr in the Masjid after Sunnah prayers is concerned, it is best avoided, for it may disturb others engaged in other forms of worship. Yes, if there is a common understanding amongst the people, in that they all participate in the group Dhikr, then it would be permitted.
You state that you wish to carry out your own Dhikr and not join in the group Dhikr. This is perfectly allowed; hence you should not be looked down upon. The other members of the congregation should be made aware that it is not necessary for people to join a specific form of group Dhikr. In fact, condemning those who wish not to join would make the group Dhikr a form of reprehensible innovation.
In conclusion, you may recite the various forms of Dhikr after prayers on your own or by joining in with the group. Both methods are permissible, and one method should not be deemed necessary.
And Allah knows best
Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari
Darul Iftaa, Leicester, UK
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