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Prayers on the Prophet

A lot of people assume that sending prayers upon the Prophet is something to be looked down upon or left to the realms of those who commit religious innovations. Such a view is completely erroneous. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was no more than a man, but the best of mankind. He was no more than a Prophet, but the sayyid, leader and seal of all Prophets. He was no more than a messenger, but one who delivered the greatest and complete message. 

The nobility, sacrifice, compassion and uprightness of the Prophet is unmatched, and in veneration of his standing as one chosen by God himself, our awe of the Prophet as a human is multiplied. To this end, Allah says, “O you who believe! Send Salah on him[1], and greet him with the Islamic way of greeting.”[2]
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: ‘Whoever sends a prayer upon me, Allah sends ten upon him.’[3]
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: ‘Do not take my grave as a place of habitual ceremony.  Send prayers upon me, for verily your prayers reach me wherever you are.’[4]
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: ‘A miser is one whom when I am mentioned to him, fails to send prayers upon me.’[5] 
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: ‘Among the most excellent of your days is Friday because on that day Adam was created, and on that day he died, and on that day the Trumpet will be sounded, and so on it shall come the Hour.  So invoke blessings on me frequently on that day, for your blessings will be brought to me.’ He was asked, ‘Oh Messenger of Allah, how will our blessings be conveyed to you when your body has become part of the decaying earth?’ He replied, ‘Allah has prohibited the earth from destroying the bodies of the Prophets.’[6]
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: ‘When any Muslim sends greetings to me, Allah returns my soul to me so that I may respond to his greetings.’[7]

Other instances when it is recommended to send Salah on the Prophet (peace be upon him) is on entering a masjid, leaving a masjid, and in the tashahhud of the daily prayers.[8] Also when passing by the grave of the Prophet (peace be upon him).[9]

 

Many of the ancient scholars opined that salah upon the Prophet means mercy. According to this opinion, when one prays to Allah, he is asking for Allah’s mercy, and if he prays upon the Prophet, he is asking Allah to have mercy on the Prophet (peace be upon him).Ibn al-Qayyim was of the view that for Allah to pray over His Prophet means Allah’s praise for the Prophet in the heavens. This is substantiated by a narration in al-Bukhari that Abu al-‘Aaliya said: ‘Allah’s prayer upon His Prophet is for Him to praise him amongst His angels.’

According to this view, for the angels or human beings to send prayers upon the Prophet, is asking Allah to praise the Prophet and exalt his status.

 

The word ‘Aal’ in the Arabic language refers to a person’s family as it also refers to his followers. Hence, the scholars have differed with respect to the word ‘Aal’ that occurs in the syntax of prayers upon the Prophet, as to what exactly it refers to.One view (favoured by the Shi’ite) is that ‘Aal’ refers to those of the Prophet’s family to whom it is forbidden to give Zakah. Another view (endorsed by the Hanbali school of law) is that ‘Aal’ refers to all those who follow the Prophet (peace be upon him) until the Day of Resurrection. This is also reportedly the view of the Companion, Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah. Some Hanbalis such as Ibn Qudama and al-Majd Ibn Taymiyya (the grandfather of shaikh’l-Islam Taqi’d-din ibn Taymiyyah) held that ‘Aal’ refers to God-fearing members of the ummah.

 
It is often claimed by extreme sufis that salafis hate the Prophet or refuse to revere him, and consequently, dislike sending prayers upon the Prophet. Such a view is an unashamed lie given that salafis generally tend to view the sending of prayers upon the Prophet during prayers as obligatory and that the sending of prayers is as an act of worship by which one may draw close to Allah. What salafis refuse to do is afford the Prophet the same amount of attention or reverence they do Allah – the beloved of Allah, may Allah unite us with him at the hawd, is not equal in stature to Allah, Lord of the great throne.
Notes: 
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[1] Narrated ’Abdur-Rahmaan bin Abee Laylah: Ka’b bin ’Ujrah met me and said, ‘Shall I not give you a present I got from the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alaiyhi wa sallam)?’ ’Abdur-Rahmaan said, ‘Yes, give it to me.’ He said, ‘We asked Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ’alaiyhi wa sallam) saying, ‘Oh Allaah’s Messenger! How should one (ask Allaah to) send As-Salaah upon you and the Ahlul-Bayt (the members of the family), for Allaah has taught us how to greet you?’ He said, ‘Say, Allahumma salli ’alaa muhammadin wa ’alaa aali muhammadin, kamaa sallayta ’alaa ibraaheema wa ’alaa aali ibraaheema innaka hameedun majeed. Allahumma baarik ’alaa muhammadin wa ’alaa aali muhammadin, kamaa baarakta ’alaa ibraaheema wa ’alaa aali ibraaheema innaka hameedun majeed.  Saheehul-Bukharee 4/589
[2]  Surah 33, Al-Ahzaab:56
[3] Saheeh Muslim 1/288
[4] Sunan Abi Daawood 2/218, and Musnad Ahmad 2/367
[5] Sunan At-Tirmithi 5/551, and others
[6] Sunan Ibn Maajah 1/524, Sunan Abi Daawood 3/370
[7] Sunan Abi Daawood
[8] Refer to Hisnul Muslim, by Sa’eed ibn ’Ali ibn Wahf Al-Qahtaanee
[9] Refer to Hajj, ’Umrah and Ziyarah, by Shaykh ’Abdul-’Azeez bin ’Abdullaah bin Baaz

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5 comments

  1. shadow caster

    Missing…
    Salam.

    A whole article about sending prayers on the Prophet (SAW) but no example of HOW to do it? People need to be taught how to say it clearly.

    Allahumma Salli Ala Muhammed Wa ‘ala Aali Muhammed

  2. @Abu Farism reclaim islam
    Salamualaykum
    I was just alone in the classroom yesterday thinking of this man, beloved sh. Haitham Haddad, may Allah bless him and preserve him upon goodness, and i asked myself is he even salafi…lol

  3. Allahoma sal a’ala Mohammad
    What about the insults and this silly Offensive movie about Sayedna Mohammad ?
    i just wanna know what should be our actions as citizens? we must do anything what must be our role as muslims to defend our Prophet ?

  4. We need to reclaim Islam
    Excellent points on the usage of ‘aal’ – as believers we all benefit from this salawat insha’Allah.

    I have studied with some (sufi) shu’ukh from Al-Azhar, and along with them my criticism of ‘Salafi’ is they have a lot of rhetoric but very little action.

    However despite my initial hesitation I have also had the opportunity to study with shu’ukh from Umm al-Qura, who Alhamdullilah I witnessed myself them practising the elements of ‘tasawuf’ which all muslims agree upon.

    Whilst there I remember one of our teachers walking out of a lecture as he didn’t hear enough of the students sending salawat upon the Prophet (saaw). When he was later questioned regarding his walking out he stated ‘I didn’t want to be the reason for these students being cursed’ (by not sending salawat upon the prophet).

    Point being we all need to be balanced rather than constantly fighting one another, the sufi need to realise ‘some’ of the practices go too far and beyond what is legislated. The salafi need to realise they don’t do enough to show their love. Let us all at the very least make our tongues and hearts move with his salawat whenever we hear his name (sallallahu alayhi wa ‘Aalihi wa sahbihi wa sallam)

    As a ‘sufi’ I have found this website beneficial in disciminating many of the myths about ‘Salafis’. I have only seen or heard good from Shaykh Haitham al Haddad who I believe is behind this website? I pray all muslims LEARN their deen, only seeking the truth and to soften their hearts to one another and look for the truth of other side. Isn’t this how our real salaf were!

  5. “One view (favoured by the Shi’ite) is that ‘Aal’ refers to those of the Prophet’s family to whom it is forbidden to give Zakah.” In order to remove any unwanted confusion or malice, this view is held by many scholars of Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jamaa`ah. This is the view adopted by ibn al-Qayyim in his Jalaa’ al-Afhaam. He quotes a number of evidences supporting his view. And Allaah ta`aalaa knows best.

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