Does the congregation also need to say “Samiallahu liman hamidah” supplication?

The Details of the Question

- Some scholars says, only the imam says "samiallahu liman hamidah" in congregational prayers and the congregation says only "Rabbbana lakal hamd." Some scholars say we can say both of them. Which one is correct?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Scholars hold different views regarding the issue.

According to Shaafii madhhab, the muqtadi (the congregation that follows the imam) also says, “samiallahu liman hamidah” like the imam and then says “Rabbana lakal-hamd”.

According to the scholars of the other three madhhabs (the majority), the muqtadi says only “Rabbbana (wa) lakal hamd”. (see Nawawi, al-Majmu,  3/419-420; al-Jazari, al-Fiqhu alal-Madhahibil-Arbaa, 2/227-228; W. Zuhayli, al-Fiqhul-Islami, 2/79)

A hadith in Bukhari and Muslim support the scholars of the three madhhabs; another hadith supports Shafiis.  (Nawawi, ibid; W. Zuhayli, ibid)

It is understood from the explanations above that both ways are permissible. That is, saying or not saying it does not harm the prayer; the prayer is valid.

However, the advice of Imam Nawawi is as follows: Prayer is dhikr; those two sentences are dhikr. Therefore, it is more appropriate to say both of them. For, the congregation glorifies and makes dhikr in ruku and sajdahs with the imam. The moderate way should not be different. (That is, since the congregation makes dhikr and glorifies Allah in other parts of the prayer like the imam, it is necessary to do the same thing here.) (Nawawi, ibid)

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