Is it more appropriate to say prayers (dua) after the prayer (salah) or at the end of the prayer?

The Details of the Question

- In the advice of our Prophet to Muadh, he says ‘at the end of the prayer’, that is, before the salutation. However, in many places it is translated as after the prayer. Why?
لا تدعن أن تقول دبر كل صلاة” أي: مكتوبة، “اللهم أعني على ذكرك وعلى شكرك وعلى حسن عبادتك”: ودبر كل صلاة يعني: في آخر الصلاة قبل السلام، هكذا جاء في بعض الروايات، أنه يقولها قبل السلام وهو حق

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The hadith in question is as follows:

عن معاذ بن جبل -رضي الله عنه- أن النبي -صلى الله عليه وسلم- قال: «يَا مُعَاذ، واللهِ، إِنِّي لَأُحِبُّكَ، ثُمَّ أُوصِيكَ يَا مُعَاذُ، لاَ تَدَعَنَّ فِي دُبُرِ كُلِّ صَلاَة تَقُول: اللَّهُمَّ أَعِنِّي عَلَى ذِكْرِكَ، وَشُكْرِكَ، وَحُسْنِ عِبَادَتِكَ»

According to what Muadh Ibn Jabal (Radiyallahu Anh) reported, the Prophet (pbuh) said:

“O Muadh! I definitely love you. Never abandon praying as follows after every prayer: اَلّٰــهُمّ أَعِنِّى عَلٰــى ذِكْرِكَ وَشُكْرِكَ وَ حُسْنِ عِبَادَتِكَ ‘O Allah! Help me to mention you, to thank you and to worship you well.’

- This hadith is sound. (see Abu Dawud, h. no: 1522; Ibn Hanbal, h. no: 7982; Hakim, 1/273)

Hakim states that the hadith is sound and Dhahabi confirms it. (see Hakim / Talkhis, ibid)

The phraseدبر كل صلاة = after / following each prayer” was understood in two different ways by scholars.

- Scholars who explained this hadith stated that the phrase دبر كل صلاة meaning “after / following each prayer” could mean “after the end of each prayer or before the salutation of each prayer”. (see Awnul-Mabud, 4/269)

- On the other hand, Ibn Hajar also explained the phrase “Dubura kulli salah” in the place where he included this hadith narration. According to him, what is meant by this phrase is “after salutation”. There is unanimous agreement about it because this phrase is also used for tasbihat. It is unanimously agreed that this tasbihat is done after salutation at the end of prayers. (see Ibn Hajar, Fathul-Bari, 11/133)

To sum up, according to the majority of scholars, the phrase “Dubura kulli salah”, which means “after every prayer” in the hadith, means after salutation because the same phrase is used for tasbihat, which is ordered to be said after the prayers, and there is almost unanimous agreement that it is after salutation.

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