Q: What is the position of reciting 40 Durood in a gathering? Should a person recite it individually? Is there a Hadith that supports the fact that the Sahaaba and those after them recited Durood in their gatherings?
A: It is permissible to read durood in a gathering, as it is permissible to make thikr in a gathering. It is reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Beautify your gatherings with salaat upon me”. And Hazrat Ayesha (radhiyallahu anha) once told people: “Adorn your gatherings with salaat upon the Messenger.” These statements are recorded in the book Al-Maqaasidul-Hasanah. In a sound hadith narrated by Imam Bazzar RA it is stated: “Verily Allah has angels who travel around the earth seeking the halqas (circles) of thikr. When they arrive at such gatherings these angels surround them, then they send a report back to Allah The Most Exalted, Lord of Honour, stating: ‘O Our Lord! We came across a group of your servants who were honouring Your Favours, reciting Your Book, and sending salutations upon Your Rasool Muhammad…. Allah then commands: “Envelope them with mercy”. The angels then petition Allah: ‘O Our Rabb! Among them is a certain sinner who only joined them at the end of the gathering; (what about him)? Allah, The Almighty replies: “Envelope him also with My Mercy, for they are such people that whoever joins them will never become wretched.” (Al-Qowlul-Badee’ p.117)
From the above narrations we learn that to read durood in a gathering is a virtuous act that is loved by Allah Ta’ala and was encouraged by Our Rasool (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and his Sahaaba. The forty durood are taken from authentic books of hadith. Therefore, if people read these durood or any other durood in a gathering it is not only permissible but very rewarding and highly encouraged, especially in this day and age when people seldom engage in the thikr of Allah. However, one should not regard this as compulsory and should not condemn those who do not join.