Reciting surat Al-Sajdah in the dawn prayer of Friday
What is the ruling for reciting the chapter of al-Sajdah in the dawn prayer of Friday?
It is recorded in the Sahih of Bukhari and the Sahih of Muslim that reciting the two Qur`anic chapters, Al-Sajdah and Al-Insan, was a practice that the Prophetobserved. At-Tabarani likewise reported that the Prophetrecited the chapters of Al-Sajdah and Al-Insan in the dawn prayer of Friday on a regular basis. This counters the argument of those who renounce the regular performance of this practice and the claim of those who maintain that it is a sunnah to refrain from observing a sunnah act on a continuous basis. In its most general sense, this is an erroneous assumption and, if construed according to its apparent implication, is contradictory.
The mustahhab, mandub, and sunnah An action that is mustahhab, mandub or sunnah is a non-obligatory command to perform a certain action which is primarily undesirable to neglect. An action that is deemed desirable to omit is referred to as makruh i.e. that which is interdicted but not strictly prohibited; therefore, it is desirable to refrain from a makruh act.
The practice of the Companions
The Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) treated the mustahab, mandub and sunnah actions as if they were wajib [a duty]. In an effort to emulate the Prophet's every act, they observed such actions on a continuous basis and reproached each other for any neglect. Some of them even went as far as to emulate the Prophet's natural dispositions. Ibn Abu Shaybah reported in Al-Musannaf through Al-Shu'bi (may Allah have mercy on him) who said, "I have not seen Ibn Abbas recite any chapter [from the Qur`an] on Friday except "Tanzeel" (Al-Sajdah) and "Hal 'Ata" (Al-Insan)."
The claim that it is a sunnah not to follow the Prophet's actions on a regular basis may be due to the fact that he refrained from observing some mustahab actions regularly for fear that they become obligatory upon his community or that some may assume that they are wajib. A scholar or a person who follows the example of the Prophet may do likewise for the same reason.
Following the opinion of some Maliki scholars and others, proponents of this claim have maintained that it is a sunnah not to follow the actions of the Prophet, thereby blocking the means to what is unlawful. This would have been feasible before rulings were established. But later, after distinguishing between what is mustahab and what is wajib, there is no room for such a claim or for acting upon it. This is especially so, since it has been established that the Prophetobserved this sunnah in particular on a regular basis. It is invalid to allow 'blocking the means' and similar statements to stand as a barrier between the people and between following the Prophet's sunnah regularly.
Scholars have maintained that following the sunnah of the Prophetis of utmost precedence under any circumstances.
Allah the Almighty knows best.