Khutbah al-Jumu`ah, Masjid at-Tawhid
by Abdur-Rahim Rydhan
Allah (swt) says in the Holy Quran:
"Verily Allah and His angels shower blessings on the Prophet (s). O, Believer! Send blessings upon him and salute him with a worthy salutation."
In the Holy Quran Allah (swt) has described the good qualities and praises of a number of Prophets; for instance, when Adam (as) was created all the angels were ordered to prostrate before him. Ibrahim (as) is described as Khalilullah. Friend of Allah. Various other Prophets have been mentioned with praises. However, our Prophet (s) has been given a distinguished place by Almighty Allah in the Holy Quran, as evidenced by this verse:
Allah has asked the believers to honor His Messenger (s), because He Himself is honoring the Prophet (s). This is the utmost honor to our Messenger (s), whose status is that of Leader of Apostles.
This verse of the Quran starts with the word "inna," which lays down more stress and emphasis. Whenever a sentence starts with the word inna, it implies the continuity and perpetuity of an act. Therefore Allah and the angels perpetually shower blessings upon the Prophet (s).
It is written in the book Ruhul Bayan, "To shower blessings upon the Prophet (s) by Allah means to honor him for the praised station: ... which is the Office of Intercession ... . And to send blessings by the angels upon the Prophet (s) means to pray for the raising of his position and to pray for pardon from Allah (swt) for his followers; and to ask blessings upon Prophet (s) by us is actually to praise him with his good qualities and to follow his ways with love and sincerity."
It is mentioned in the same book Ruhul Bayan that the honor given to the Prophet (s) is more than what was given to Adam (as) when the angels were ordered to respect him; whereas in the case of Rasulallah (s), Allah Himself is honoring him. In the above verse, the Prophet (s) has been addressed as the Prophet (s) and not Muhammad (s), unlike the other Prophets, who have been addressed so frequently with their names. It is due to his magnificence, nobility and utmost respect. A similar case could be cited in the following verse of the Holy Quran, where Prophet (s) is mentioned with Ibrahim (as): "Lo! Those of mankind who have the best claim to Ibrahim are those who followed him, and this Prophet ...."
Here too, he has been called "this Prophet" (s) rather than as Muhammad (s). The point is: Prophet (s) is addressed by his name in the Holy Quran, only a few times, and that is also due to some special reasons... [It is important to note that the word salat which in this verse refers to Allah, His angels and to the believers, is a common word which is used for several meanings and purposes at various places in the Holy Quran. The scholars give a number of explanations to the word salat used in this verse. These explanations have been given according to the positions of the personage referred to in the verse. According to some scholars "Salah ala Nabi (s)" means: To praise and respect him in order to show favor. And the praise and the respect for the Prophet (s) will differ according to the personality who sends salat (blessings). A similar difference may be noted in the meaning of the word kindness. For instance, the kindness of a father toward his son means his affection and love for his son, while the kindness of a son toward his father reflects his respect and favor for his father. So the salat of Allah upon the Prophet (s) would mean his praise and regard for Prophet (s) with kindness and mercy; and the salat of angels would mean their praises and respect for the Prophet (s) with favor, love, sincerity, obedience and submission. Imam Bukhari narrates from Abu Aliah: "The blessings of Allah upon the Prophet (s) means His praises for the Prophet (s) before the angels; and the blessings of the angels upon the Prophet (s) means their benedictions and prayers for him." Ibn Abbas (r) said: "Yusalluna (the angels send blessings), means Yubarrikuna (the angels pray for abundance in the eminence and status of Prophet (s)"....
It is narrated in a hadith that when this verse of the Holy Quran was revealed, the companions of the Prophet (s) asked, O Prophet of Allah! The way to offer salaams upon you has been known to us, i.e. the salaam which is recited in the attahiyat. Teach us the way to send salat. The Prophet (s) asked them to recite the following salat: "O Allah! Shower your blessings upon our master Muhammad and his descendants as you showered your blessings upon Ibrahim and his descendants: Verily you are the Praiseworthy and Glorious. O Allah! Give prosperity to our Master Muhammad (s) and his descendants as you gave prosperity to Ibrahim and his descendants; verily You are the Praiseworthy, the Glorious.
Imam Sakhawi (r) writes in his book Qaul-i-Badi: "One of the reasons of saying O Allah! Send blessings upon Muhammad (s), instead of saying I send blessings upon Muhammad (s) is: we are full of sins, imperfect, but the personality of the Holy Prophet (s) is perfect and faultless. The blessings and praises of a sinner are blemished, thus have us wait for a personality who is perfect. The only possible way, therefore, is to request Allah to shower His choicest and eternal Blessings upon the Holy Prophet (s). This is a request for the blessings from the one who is the Pure for such a person who is Virtuous and Modest."
Allamah Heishafsuni (r), while reasoning about the above issue, writes in his book, Lataif O Hikm - "A person should not say in his salat that he sends blessings upon Prophet Muhammad (s), because one does not enjoy a befitting position for such an expression. Almighty Allah, being the only reality, could be requested to do it."
Although Allah ordered us to send blessings upon the Holy Prophet (s) because our blessings can not touch the height of the Prophets (s) place.
At one place, Prophet (s) praised Allah (swt) in the following way: "O Allah! I cannot enumerate the praises due to you; you enjoy the same praises as you have praised yourself." Taking this prayer as an example, Imam Sakhawi (r) mentioned, "The Prophet (s) praised Allah just as he himself praised Him and we should ask such blessings upon Prophet which were regarded most suitable by Allah (swt)."
For this reason, we ask Allah to send His choicest blessings upon the Holy Prophet (s).
This prayer for the blessings will be credited to us for securing higher positions in Paradise. We should practice this in abundance. Make a habit of reciting darud frequently. To ask blessings upon the Holy Prophet (s) is a sign of love for him. One of the features to be amongst the Ahle-Sunnah is to send blessings upon the Holy Prophet (s) abundantly. Imam Zarqani (r) writes in his book, Sharh-i-Mawahib, "The purpose of asking blessings" is to obtain admittance to Allah by following his commandments and to repay some of the rights of the Holy Prophet (s) which are due upon us."
Our blessings are not a recommendation for the Holy Prophet (s), because it is not proper for sinners like us to recommend anything for that Holy Soul. Allah has given us the order to be thankful for the blessing of having a Prophet (s), but we were unable to show our due obligation to him. Therefore, Allah Himself guided us towards the right way and that is to request that Allah shower His everlasting blessings upon His beloved Prophet (s). Scholars say that to ask blessings upon the Holy Prophet is obligatory (at least once in a lifetime) on the basis of the verse that is the subject of todays Khutbah.
Abu Hurairah (r) reports that the Prophet of Allah (s) said, "Allah sends ten blessings upon the person who sends one blessing upon me." Only one blessing by Almighty Allah is sufficient, but here we are being told by Rasulullah (s) that sending one salat (blessing) to him entitles us to ten blessings from Allah (swt). As a matter of fact, this is the greatest virtue of Darud (or salawat ) on Rasulullah (s).
Imam Sakhawi (ra) quotes Amir bin Rabi (ra), that he heard the Holy Prophet (s) saying: "Allah sends ten blessings upon the person who asks one blessing upon me. It is up to you how many blessings you ask."
This hadith has been supported by the narration of Abdullah bin Amr (ra), in which it is added, "Allah and His angels both send ten blessings on the person asking one blessing upon the Holy Prophet (s)." Similar contents are narrated by a number of companions of the Holy Prophet (s), which are quoted by Imam Sakhawi (ra). He writes, "Allah has linked His Blessings with the Blessings asked for the Prophet (s) in the same way He has included the name of the Prophet (s) with His name in the Kalimah-i-Shahadah; he has linked obedience to Himself with obedience to the Prophet (s); he has linked love for Himself with the love of the Prophet (s).
Brothers and sisters in Islam: virtues of Darud (salawat ) are too numerous to cover in a short time. I have only touched upon a few; just as a reminder to myself and to you. Allahs Prophet (s) is in no need of our blessings. The situation is, of course, quite the opposite. We are in need. And as I have attempted to present to you, by sending salawat to the Prophet (s); we are the ones who actually benefit. Let us make a habit of reciting salawat to Prophet (s) in abundance. And reciting salawat is especially virtuous on Friday. This is supported by the hadith that reward for virtues is increased on Fridays.