Dua’a directly after the prayer is not legislated – Explained by Shaykh Uthaymeen
You mentioned as it relates to the issue or Dua’a or raising the hands during the Dua’a; that the Salaf, the Companions, and the people of knowledge would supplicate before the Salaam. Thus as it relates to the issue of raising the hands after the prayer, is this for the obligatory prayers and the supererogatory prayers likewise, is it better for the person to raise his hands or not?
May Allah bless you. Firstly; do not ask about raising the hands after the prayer. Ask about Dua’a after the prayer. Is it legislated or not? We say: It is not legislated; because Allah said:
فَإِذَا قَضَيْتُمُ الصَّلاةَ فَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ
And when you have completed the prayer, remember Allah (Soorah An Nisa 4:103)
He did not say: ‘Supplicate.’ Therefore the place for Dua’a is not after the prayer. The place for Dua’a is before the Salaam (before the Salaam to exit the prayer).
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم used to teach his companions the tashahhud, and he said: ‘Then after it (the tashahhud), supplicate as you like’. Thus he made the place for Dua’a before the Salaam.
And he advised Muadh رضي الله عنه to say after the final tashahhud before the Salaam:
اللَّهُمَّ أَعِنِّي عَلَى ذِكْرِكَ وَشُكْرِكِ وَحُسْنِ عِبَادَتِكِ
“O Allah, help me in remembering You, in giving You thanks, and worshipping You well.”
(Collected by Abu Dawud 1522)
And this is a Dua’a. And this is necessitated by the intent, because as long as the person is praying he is conversing with Allah, and when he leaves the prayer the conversation ends. So is it more befitting to supplicate while you are conversing with Allah or after you have left the conversation? The first is more befitting (to supplicate while you are conversing with Allah). And there is no difference whether it is the obligatory prayers or the supererogatory prayers.
Translated by Rasheed ibn Estes Barbee