Another example of abrogation, Abu-Bakr Al-Hamdaani suggests in his book الاعتبار في الناسخ والمنسوخ من الآثار, pages 77-79, is the prohibition of reciting Al-Faatiha (Chapter 1) during a congregational vocal prayer where the imaam (prayer lead) recites it.
He reports two hadeeths to support this opinion. The first was narrated by Abul-`Aaliya and the second by Ibn Abbaas. Both say that the Sahaaba would recite after the Prophet (PBUH) had recited. But when this verse was revealed,
The Sahaaba stopped doing that. Al-Hamdaani says that Abul-`Aaliya's hadeeth is disconnected.
I don't see a case of abrogation here, nor do I see a reason why the Sahaaba stopped reciting. The hadeeth clearly says that the Sahaaba recited after
the Prophet finished reciting. Thus, they did pay attention to the Prophet's recitation and therefore complied with 7:204.
Al-Hamdaani reports a hadeeth, narrated by Abu-Hurayra, in which the Prophet (PBUH) asked the people if they recited. They said they did. He replied, "Why am I wrestling with the Quran?" So, people stopped reciting.
Al-Hamdaani casts doubt on the authenticity of this hadeeth. I looked it up and it seems reasonably authentic. It was narrated by Abu-Daawood and An-Nasaa'i who rated it authentic and by At-Tirmizhi, Ibn Hajar and Al-Albaani who rated it "sound."
I find this hadeeth pivotal! It clearly states that when a Sunna contradicts the Quran, the Prophet (PBUH) wants us to follow the Quran. That should have been an obvious conclusion of every Muslim, but alas it's not what many Muslims have done.
Indeed, several scholars have ruled that reciting Al-Faatiha is mandatory in every prayer, including congregational vocal prayer, even as the imaam is reciting it out loud. That ruling was made by Al-Awzaa`i, Abu-Hurayra and Ash-Shaafi`i. Their argument is that the authentic hadeeth unequivocally states that no prayer is accepted if the person does not recite Al-Faatiha.
I can't understand why these prominent scholars did not consider the other hadeeth, reported by Jaabir ibn Abdillah and reported by Al-Albaani who rated it "sound", and by Ibn Maajah who rated it authentic, in which the Prophet (PBUH) said, "Whoever prays behind an imaam, the recitation of the imaam is a recitation for him"?
Or why did they not consider the authentic hadeeth, reported by Muslim and An-Nasaa'i and narrated by `Ataa' ibn Yasaar and Zayd ibn Thaabit, in which the Prophet (PBUH) said, "There shall be no reciting with the imaam at all!"?
I also find it rather strange that Ash-Shaafi`i, who is famous for rejecting the notion that the Hadeeth can abrogate the Quran or vice versa, would rule for a hadeeth over the Quran.
Isn't it obvious that the mandate to recite Al-Faatiha only applies to silent or individual prayers and the prohibition only applies to vocal congregational prayers? Isn't that a reasonable reconciliation of all the hadeeths with the verse? The scholars have agreed that reconciliation annuls a claim of abrogation.
Even today, prayer leads tend to take one of two approaches to this issue. Some deliberately pause after recitation, leaving time for people behind them to recite. That is a decent thing to do. It avoids controversy and reconciles all opinions. Others deliberately do not pause, forcing people behind them to either skip reciting or recite with them. If they choose the latter, they would be violating the Quran!