Q. If the Imaam has made Salaam in Salaah and the followers have not completed their Tashahuud, Durood and Dua, can they complete it first and then make Salaam after the Imaam?
A. It is compulsory (Waajib) to follow the Imaam in every posture of Salaah. As an example, if a follower (Muqtadi) has not completed the second or third Tasbeeh of Ruku’ or Sajdah and the Imaam has moved to the next posture in Salaah, it is compulsory for the followers to abandon the recitation of the second or third Tasbeeh of Ruku’ or Sajdah and follow the Imaam in the next posture of Salaah.
However, in the sitting posture (Qa’dah) of Salaah, if a follower has not completed the recitation of Tashahhud and the Imaam has made Salaam and terminated the Salaah, it is compulsory for a follower to complete the recitation of Tashahhud first and then make Salaam. After reciting Tashahhud, it is Makooh-e-Tahreemi (highly disliked) for a follower to complete the recitation of Durood, Dua and then make Salaam if the Imaam had already terminated the Salaah.
N.B. The difference between the two rulings above is that the recitation of the second or third Tasbeeh in Ruku’ or Sajdah is Sunnah whereas following the Imaam and the recitation of Tashahhud is compulsory (Waajib). A compulsory (Waajib) act will take precedence over a Sunnah act i.e. to follow the Imaam or complete the recitation of Tashahhud before making Salaam. (Shaami 1/470-Ahsanul Fataawa 3/281)
Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ismaeel Bassa