While Reciting al-Fatihah
There are many blessing contained within Surah al-Fatihah, and of these is the fact that Allaah accepts the duaa that is present in the Surah. The person recites it sincerely, fully aware of its meanings. Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:
"Allaah has said: 'I have divided the salaat between My servant and Me in two halves, and My servant will have what he asks for. So when the servant says, 'Alhamdu Iillahi Rabbil-Alameen,' Allaah responds, 'My servant has praised Me!' And when he says, 'Ar-Rahman ar-Rahim' Allaah responds, 'My servant has glorified Me'. And when he says, 'Malik yawm ad-Din', AlIaah responds, 'My servant has exalted Me'. And when he says, 'lyyaka na'abudu wa iyyaka nastain', Allaah says, 'This is between My servant and I, and My servant shall have what he desires'. And when he says, 'Ihdina as-Sirat al-Mustaqim ...' Allaah says, 'This is for My servant, and he will get what he desires." (Muslim)
So in this hadeeth, there is a great incentive for us to recite Surah a-lfatihah in every prayer with great humility and reflection, so that it is possible that we are given what we ask.
After finishing the recitation of $urah al-Fatihah in solaat, one is encouraged to say, 'Amin' out loud, for the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:
"When the Imam says 'Amin' then recite it behind him (as well), because whoever's Amin coincides with the Amin of the angels will have all of his sins forgiven." (Bukhari)
Duaa Before the End of Salaat
After a person has finished his tashahhud, and before he actually says salam, he should supplicate with any duaa that he likes, as this is one of the times of response. Ibn Mas'ud (RA) narrated: "I was once praying, and the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam), Abu Bakr, and 'Umar (were all present). When I sat down (in the final tashahhud), I praised Allaah, then sent salams on the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam), then started praying for myself. At this, the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam), said: "Ask, and you shall be given it! Ask, and you shall be given it!"
Duaa After the Salaat
There are numerous narrations that show that this time period is one during which du'aas are answered. Abu Umamah al-Bahili asked the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam), "O Messenger of Allaah! Which du'aa is the most likely to be responded to?" The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam), replied:
"In the last part of the night, and after the obligatory prayers"."
It should be mentioned that there is a difference of opinion amongst scholars over the exact meaning of after the obligatory prayers, and this stems from the Arabic word that is used to convey the meaning of 'after', for the word used is dubur.
Some scholars, such as Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, considered the meaning of this hadith to apply to the time period before one says the final salam of the prayer, and after one has finished reciting the tashahhud. So, according to those that follow this opinion, the word dubur would translate as 'at the end', and not, 'after'. According to this opinion, the time period would be the same as that mentioned in the previous section.
However, other scholars understand this hadeeth to mean the time period after the prayer finishes, and the word carries both meanings, as Ibn al-Qayyim mentioned.
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited