Fiqh of salawaat
The Fiqh of Salawat
by Sayyid Sohail Hanif
Åðæñî Çääñîçî èîåîäîÇÆðãîÊîçï êïÕîäñïèæî Ùîäîé ÇäæñîÈðêñð êîÇ ÃîêñïçîÇ ÇäñîÐðêæî ÂåîæïèÇ ÕîäñïèÇ Ùîäîêòçð èîÓîäñðåïèÇ ÊîÓòäðêåÇë
In the name of Allah, the inspirer of truth. All praise is to Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate, and all blessings and peace to our Master Muhammad, his family, companions, and those who follow them.
Allah Most High says “Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet, O you who believe, send blessings on him and salute him with all respect.” [Qur’an, 33:56]
The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said “The one in whose presence I am mentioned and does not send blessings on me is a miser.” [Reported by Tirmidhi, who declared it well and rigorously authenticated].
The meaning of sending blessings on the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)
The great 19th Century Shaykh al-Azhar, Imam Bajuri mentions in his supercommentary (hashiya) on the Sanusiyya in aqida,
“There are three meanings for salat (‘sending blessings’): The first is purely linguistic and it is prayer (du`a) in it’s most general sense. The second is purely legal and it is the spoken elements and physical actiosns that start with the saying Allahu Akbar (‘Allah is most great’) and ends with the greetings of peace (taslim), with specific preconditions. [f: Namely, the ritual prayer.] The third is both linguistic and legal. According to the majority, it is mercy when attributed to Allah; and seeking forgiveness (istighfar) when attributed to any other than Him, whether angels and others. As for the word ‘salam’, it’s meaning is security. The purpose of this is to reassuring the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) about what he fears for his nation.Some have explained it as greeting, meaning, when attributed to Allah, that He address him with His beginninglessly eternal speech to indicate the loftiness of his immense rank.” [Ibrahim al-Bajuri, Hashiya al-Bajuri `ala al-Sanusiyya, pg 7, Mustafa al-Babi al-Halabi]
Imam al-Sakhawi, in his Qawl al-Badi`, added that linguistically, the word salat (‘sending blessings’) returns to two meanings. The first is supplication (du`a) and seeking blessings (tabarruk). Allah’s saying, “And pray for them, Indeed you prayer is a source of tranquillity,” carries this sense. The second meaning is worship. It can also be used to mean seeking forgiveness (istighfar), blessings (baraka), recitation, mercy, and forgiveness. Therefore, the meaning of the word salat depends on the context, as well as the one offering it, and the one it is being directed to.
The ruling of sending the peace and blessing on him (May Allah bless him and give him peace)
Imam Haskafi mentions in his Durr al-Mukhtar concerning sending the peace and blessings on the prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace),
“It is obligatory once in a persons life, without any difference of opinion.and it is differed upon concerning it’s necessity every time he is mentioned (Allah bless him and give him peace) the chosen opinion according to Tahawi is that it is necessary (wajib) every time he is mentioned and the opinion of the school is that is repreating it is recommended [f: that is, saying it once in a session is necessary, and repeating it every time the Prophet’s name is mentioned is recommended].”
Ibn Abidin explains,
“Sending of blessings on the prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) is necessary once in each session [where his name is mentioned]…and its repetition is recommended [if the Prophet’s name (Allah bless him and give him peace) is repeated].” [Radd al-Muhtar `ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar, 1:246, Bulaq ed.]
This was taken from the position verified by Imam Abu’l Barakat al-Nasafi in his al-Kafi and Imam Kamal ibn al-Humam in his Zad al-Faqir.
Places and time when the sending of peace and blessings on the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) is recommended
Imam al-Haskafi mentions,
“It is recommended in all times, when possible.”
Ibn ‘Abidin adds,
“The scholars have specifically mentioned a number of places when it is recommended: . on Fridays during the day and the night before, in the morning and evening, . upon entering the mosque and upon exiting, . when visiting his blessed grave (Allah bless him and give him peace), . when at Safa and Marwa, . during the Friday sermon and other sermons [f: the the khatib; as for those listening, they do not do so with their tongues, but within themselves], . after replying to the adhan, . when the call to commence the prayer is given (iqamah), . in the beginning, middle and end of a supplication (du`a) [f: because the salat on the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) is accepted by Allah, and He will not reject that which is between it, out of His supreme generosity, as the scholars mention], . after the du’a of qunut [in the witr prayer], . when meeting and parting, . during the ablution, . when having forgotten something, . when giving an admonition, . when commencing and completing the reading of hadith, . for all authors, students, and teachers, . people getting married and people marrying others off, . in letters, . and before all important matters.” [Radd al-Muhtar, 1:348, Bulaq]
What is the reward and benefit of the peace and blessings
Imam al-Sakhawi records numerous benefits and rewards of sending blessings on the blessed prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). These include:
1. Allah’s sending blessings on the slave
Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “He who sends blessings on me once, Allah sends him blessings ten times.” [Muslim, Abu Dawud, & Tirmidhi]
Anas ibn Malik (Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “He who sends blessings on me once Allah sends blessings on him ten times and removes from him ten sins and raises him by ten degrees.” [al-Nasa’i].
Abu Kahil relates that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “O Abu Kahil, whoever sends blessings on me three times every day and three times every night out of love for me and longing for me, it is his right on Allah that He forgive him his sins for that day and night.”
3. Sufficiency for one’s worldly and other-worldly affairs for the one who makes all of his prayers blessings on the prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)
Ubayy ibn Ka`b relates: I said, “O Messenger of Allah, I send much blessings on you. What proportion of my prayer should I devote to you?” He said, “As much as you like.” I said, “A quarter?” He said, “As much as you like, and if you increased it would only be better for you.” I said, “Then a half?” He said, “As much as you like and if you increased then it would only be better for you.” I said, “Then two thirds?” He said, “As much as you like and if you increased it would only be better for you.” I said, “I’ll devote all of my prayers to sending blessings on you.” The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “In that case it will suffice you from your worries and your sins will be forgiven. ” [Reported by Tirmidhi who declared it well authenticated]
4. Attaining intercession of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)
Abu al-Darda’ relates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever sends blessings on me ten times in the morning and ten in the evening will have my intercession on judgement day.” [Tabarani]
Imam al-Sakhawi mentions other benefits, including: . attaining the pleasure of Allah Most High and His mercy, . protection from His anger, . being shaded by Allah’s throne on judgement day, . purification of the heart from hypocrisy, . and seeing our Beloved Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) in one’s sleep. [al-Qawl al-Badi’ fi al-salat ‘ala al-Habib al-Shafi’, 203]
May Allah fill our hearts with love of His beloved Prophet. May He inspire our tongues to send much blessings on him (Allah bless him and give him peace) and guide us to lead our lives in accordance to his exalted and noble sunna.
And Allah alone gives success.
Sohail Hanif, with Faraz Rabbani.
Dedicated to the Beloved of Allah, our Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace), his family, companions, and those who followed in the footsteps on the Sunni path.
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