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Meanings and Reflections of Salawat upon the Prophet
By: Yousaf Seyal
By the name of Allah the Gracious the Merciful
Praise be to Allah the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth. Praise be to Him who created man from clot, and honored man from amongst His creation. O Allah send prayers and peace upon the most honored of creation. The one whom You have praised in the Quran and said : “And thou (standest) on an exalted standard of character“(68:4); Our master Muhammad. And send prayers upon his household, his companions, and those who follow him until the day of gathering.
Indeed it is a blessing from Allah that He has blessed us with the blessing of Islam, and that within itself is a sufficient blessing. It is a blessing that He has blessed us to be from the nation of His beloved, for it is reported that His beloved said,‘ I am your portion from the Prophets, and you are my portion from the nations’. And it is great blessing from Allah that we come together to remember Him and His beloved. May Allah make us true lovers and followers of Him and His Habib.
Throughout these blessed days we have been reminded and taught various ways of getting closer and building our connection with the Prophet. Some of these ways include reading his Seerah,reading the Prophetic sayings, singing praises of him, and following his sunnah. Today I want to focus on one of the very direct and core connections we have with him. Through which if one does, is promised many divine gifts and blessings. It is indeed sending salawat upon the Prophet.
Allah says in the Quran:
(إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا)
Allah and His angles send blessings on the Prophet: O ye that believe! Send ye blessings on him, and salute him with all respect. (Surah Al-Ahzab;56)
The scholars hold various opinions pertaining the ruling on sending prayers on the Prophet.
Some of these opinions are:
1- It is necessary to send prayers upon the Prophet.This is in a more general sense without specifying an amount, though once in one’s lifetime suffices.
2- It is a recommended act. They understood the verse not to be a command, but merely a virtuous act.
3- It is obligatory to say it at least once in one’s lifetime. This is because the commandment is general without specification of a number ie: excludes repetition. This position has been said to be held by Imam Abu Hanifa,Malik,Thawri and Owza’
There are many different ways of sending prayers upon the Prophet. Here is one of the more famous forms known as Salatul Ibrahimiyyah. The following narration is from Imam Malik’s Muwatta.
وَحَدَّثَنِي عَنْ مَالِكٍ، عَنْ نُعَيْمِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ الْمُجْمِرِ، عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ زَيْدٍ، أَنَّهُ أَخْبَرَهُ عَنْ أَبِي مَسْعُودٍ الأَنْصَارِيِّ، أَنَّهُ قَالَ أَتَانَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فِي مَجْلِسِ سَعْدِ بْنِ عُبَادَةَ فَقَالَ لَهُ بَشِيرُ بْنُ سَعْدٍ أَمَرَنَا اللَّهُ أَنْ نُصَلِّيَ عَلَيْكَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ فَكَيْفَ نُصَلِّي عَلَيْكَ قَالَ فَسَكَتَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم حَتَّى تَمَنَّيْنَا أَنَّهُ لَمْ يَسْأَلْهُ ثُمَّ قَالَ ” قُولُوا اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ كَمَا صَلَّيْتَ عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَبَارِكْ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ كَمَا بَارَكْتَ عَلَى آلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ فِي الْعَالَمِينَ إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ وَالسَّلاَمُ كَمَا قَدْ عَلِمْتُمْ” .
Abu Masud al-Ansari al-Badari says,‘The Messenger of Allah came to us and we were in the gathering of Sa’ad ibn Ubadah. Bashir ibn Sa’ad said to the Prophet,’Allah has commanded us to send prayers upon you O Messenger of Allah,so in what manner shall we do so?’ The Prophet then kept silence until we wished he had not asked. Then the Messenger of Allah said,’Say: O Allah send your prayers upon Muhammad,and the family of Muhammad, as you have sent prayers upon Ibrahim, and the family of Ibrahim. And send blessings upon Muhammad, and the family of Muhammad as you have sent blessings upon Ibrahim and the family of Ibrahim. In the worlds You are worth of praise and glory’ and send peace as you have learnt.
In this Hadith the Prophet teaches us how to send prayers upon him. Many of us have memorized these words and repeat them in our 5 daily prayers. But what do these words mean? What does it mean for Allah and His angels to send prayers upon the Messenger of Allah? This is what I would like to touch upon next.
Salah-Prayer linguistically means:
1) to Invoke-Allah says in the Quran:
( وَصَلِّ عَلَيْهِمْ إِنَّ صَلاتَكَ سَكَنٌ لَهُمْ)
“Of their goods, take alms, that so thou mightest purify and sanctify them; and pray on their behalf. Verily thy prayers are a source of security for them: And Allah is One Who heareth and knoweth.” (Surah At-Tawbah;103) The Prophet’s prayers were invocations on their behalf.
2) to Worship
A formal meaning of prayer in relevance to Salawat:
Imam Qurtubi says in his tafsir: Prayers from Allah are the descending of His mercy, and indication of His pleasure to the Prophet. From the Angles they are invocations and seeking forgiveness on his behalf. And from His nation invocations and honoring his command.
It is important to note that the Prophet is sinless. He is protected from Allah and does not sin. The angels seeking forgiveness for him is a raise in his rank and honor.
Another interpretation of Allah’s prayers upon his Prophet is His than’a -praise. Allah mentions His Prophet amongst the angels whilst the angels invoke for blessings upon him.
It has been said the prayer of the tongue is reverence. The 5 daily prayers are referred to as ‘Salah-Prayer’ for what it entails of bending ones back (Salaa in Arabic means the middle part of the back). A child when greeting an elderly person bends down in honoring him. Salah entails a person to bend his back in ruk’u and sujud in reverence and awe of Allah. Then the scholars of language expanded this meaning and referred to every Dua-invocation as prayer for what it entails of honoring the One being sought. As well as honoring the seeker for what he seeks from the virtues of Allah and His pleasure.
A few of the many virtues of sending Salawat upon the Prophet:
1) Abu Hurayrah says: The Prophet said: ‘Whomsoever sends prayers upon me will be granted in return ten prayers from Allah.’-Muslim
2) Ali says: The Messenger of Allah said: ‘Allah has angels whom roam the earth. They report to me the prayers of the one who prays on me’- Darqutni
The angles carry the invokers name to the Prophet wherever that person may be. It has also been reported the Prophet himself returns these salawat with prayers from him.
3) It is narrated the Prophet said,‘Send abundant prayers upon me on Friday and it’s night. For I will be a witness or interceder for him on the day of rising.’
Imam as-Shafi’i said,’I love sending prayers upon the Prophet abundantly in every moment, but I love to do so more increasingly on Friday and it’s night.’
One of the most beautiful things I witnessed in my days in Damascus was the constant remembrance of the Prophet in every moment. You would walk into the souk and hear shopkeepers as well as the layman shouting out,’Sallu alal Habib’’. When ending an argument between two people, the first thing said to calm a person was,‘Salli alan Nabi’. Mawlids are held constantly throughout the week in the masajid. And the streets are decorated with banners in praise of the Prophet throughout the month of Rabi al’Awwal. May Allah bring peace to it’s people. (Amin)
An essential advice my Shayukh and teachers would always point out and remind us with, was constantly sending prayers and peace upon the Prophet. For it does not only build ones connection, but leads to a relationship with him. Picture yourself right now, standing in front of the grave of the Prophet, with awe and serenity, saying,‘As salatu was salamu alayka Ya Rasulallah.’ but the picture is not yet completed until Allah,His Prophet and angels invoke for you. You are gifted ten good deeds and ten sins have been forgiven. Your rank has been risen by ten and the virtues of just one prayer upon him is endless. And Allah multiplies in reward as He wishes.
I ask Allah to bless the nation of His Habib. To make us true Lovers of His Habib. And to raise us on the Day of Rising with His Habib.
I would also like to thank Sr.Sidra Mushtaq for blessing me with the opportunity to write for her blog in such blessed days. May Allah accept her efforts and grant her better than what she seeks in this world and the hereafter.
Walhamdu lillahi rabbil a’lameen
Rabia al-Awwal ,1433 H. (January 2012)
by Naosheen Pervez
We hear of Heaven’s first lady and fair maidens frequently,
Of faith’s first martyr and faithful mothers stories we retell,
This month, the first of Spring, in which we celebrate joyfully,
Let our thoughts on the blessed mother of God’s Last Prophet dwell.
Through a pure, noble lineage Prophetic light reached Abdullah,
For a wise lady among the Jews that light was plain to see,
What she desired and was denied passed on to Amina,
Allah chose Amina to give birth to the Prophet of Mercy.
Four doulas from another realm came on that momentous night,
Out went a flame of falsehood lit since a thousand years before,
And the palaces of Basra could be seen there was such light,
Amina’s newborn baby knelt in prostration on the floor.
Amina has honour that no other woman ever can,
The baby she gave birth to became the greatest man.
- Respect and admiration are given to people based on what they do and achieve, how they look, what they have, and what they know. Yet some people deserve them simply for being who they are.
- Destiny will bring you what is meant to be yours even without you foreseeing or pursuing it.
- In Sayyida Amina’s (as) birth story, she tells of four mothers of previous Prophets visiting her that night; one of them was Asiya (as) the wife of Pharoah. She did not give birth to Musa (as) but she was his mother. You don’t have to carry your baby in the womb and give birth to her in order to love her and be a mother.
- The Prophet, salallahu alayhi wasalam, was supported by miracles from before his birth.
- The Prophet’s, salallahu alayhi wasalam, first action upon entering the world was to worship Allah ta’ala; immediately demonstrating perfected ubudiyah.
- Remember the Prophet’s, salallahu alayhi wasalam, words when he was asked who deserves dutiful treatment more than any other: “Your mother… your mother… your mother.”
- What greater honour than a connection to the Prophet, salallahu alayhi wasalam?
© Naosheen Pervez, Rabi’ al-Awwal 1433/January 2012
I pray you all are well and in the best of states. Firstly, I would like to apologise for not updating the blog or Facebook page with quotes as frequently as I used to. Alhumdulilah, I was blessed with the opportunity to attend this year’s Rihla in Turkey. Initially, I intended to blog some of the gems our Scholars were providing us with on a daily basis whilst on the Rihla. However, I then had a change of heart and wanted to completely disconnect myself from everything whilst on the Rihla, and simply enjoy being in the company of, and sitting at the feet of the Scholars to learn Sacred Knowledge.
I usually take my camera with me to most places, but this time, I even left that behind! At the RIS retreat last year, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf said something to the effect of how sometimes we should just put away our cameras and experience the moment, and everything around us in that moment, rather then focus all our efforts in capturing the best picture! (paraphrased). I can attest that the experience is really different, if not, much better when you do not have a camera to take shots with! You really can enjoy and cherish those special moments in a more profound and reflective way.
The Rihla is an experience, which you won’t fully understand or realize the worth of it until you actual experience it. This year’s Rihla was very special as it focused on the vision and works of Imam al-Ghazali (d. 505 AH/1111 CE). The programme took place in the famous Uludag mountain of Bursa. Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad said that Mount Uludag has it’s own relationship with the people of hearts!
Shaykh Yahya Rhodus mentioned in one of his final lessons that it’s important to share the knowledge we gain with others so they can benefit inshaAllah. With this in mind, I will be posting some of my notes/quotes from this year’s Rihla on the blog over the next few weeks. I will not be able to share all my notes, but what I do share, I hope it benefits the readers. I will also try posting some photos to complement the notes/quotes, but will have to ask other students to provide some photos as I did not take any!
The Deen Intensive Social Media team did a fantastic job of tweeting quotes from each lesson, which I hope you all were following. In addition, the Live Stream provided people around the world the opportunity to be part of the Rihla. I would strongly recommend signing up to the Live Stream as you still are able to view the videos from all classes, that is if you haven’t already signed up! Please keep the Deen Intensive Rihla Team in your blessed prayers as they worked really hard to provide a wonderful programme.
To be continued……..
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. All praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger Muhammad, mercy to the worlds.
Alhumdulilah, I was able to attend part 2 of the 99 Beautiful Names of Allah subhananhu wa’tala course over the weekend with Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi (May Allah elevate his rank and protect him). I thought I’d post some of the gems the Shaykh shared during the course. Please be aware that these are my notes, they are not comprehensive at all but I pray what I do share is of some benefit to the readers. Any mistakes, errors or misinterpretations of words are from me alone and not the Shaykh, so please do forgive and overlook my shortcomings! You are welcome to share these notes but *please* do not just copy and paste anything without referencing where you got them from as I do not want my notes to be taken out of context or misinterpreted.
May Allah reward all those at Sacred Knowledge who assisted in organising and facilitating this blessed course. We look forward to Shaykh Muhammad coming back for part 3 of the course very soon inshaAllah!
- The One who is subtle. He is subtle in handling our affairs.
- He is beyond the reach of people’s understanding when it comes to affairs. His decree is very subtle.
- Our job is to surrender to the will of Allah, and when things happen to us, we say Allah knows best.
- In order to get the right result, you need to hand yourself to Allah
- Allah is al-Lateef. The outcome of His lutf will not appear immediately. For example Sayyidina Yusuf alayhi salam was imprisoned for many years. After being released finally, he was made treasurer of the store houses and then went on to become the leader. This story shows us that sometimes we do not see the sweetness of our struggle straight away and it can take years for us to understand why something happened to us; sometimes we may not even see the end fruits until the day of judgement, but it will all be sweet in the end inshaAllah!
- If you have no clue as to why something is happening to you, then you need to surrender to the will of Allah.
- The power of dhikr is beyond imagination!
- Calamities are divine gifts, they are to test our surrender to Allah!
- His power overwhelms every other power! No one can compare to Allah!
- Allah doesn’t let down any believer!
- The miskeen’s in this duniya are the kings in the next!
- People in al-Jannah (paradise) are not arranged in ranks like they are in this world.
- Reciting Ya-Lateef 129 times is the basic dhikr when afflicted with tribulation and hardship. Maintain this dhikr until Allah takes you out of that tribulation.
- Allah is your Beloved! You love Allah and He loves you! Allah will not betray you! Allah gives you better than what you give, just be patient and wait.
- Sometimes we may get hardship for 20 years but never understand why.
- The awliya (friends of Allah, Saints) say that if a believer is punished in this world then it’s out of the love of Allah because He wants to purify you in this world so you do not enter the hell fire.
- Within a blink of an eye, Allah can change peoples states to the opposite!
- Allah suffices us!!
- Be happy with Allah!
- Ask Allah but don’t complain.
- Never doubt the subtle care Allah is providing for you! His love is divine… His love is pure to us!
- Imam Ibn AtaAllah Iskandari mentioned in his hikam that Allah doesn’t allow you to open your hands and call upon Him, but that he WANTS to answer you!
- The One who knows everything. Allah knows the news of everything.
- When Allah wants to take revenge He takes it unexpectedly.
- There is wisdom behind everything. You can give someone with bad adab knowledge, but that person may then pass that knowledge onto someone who has good adab so in effect the one with bad adab is just a means for the person who has good adab.
- Hand all your affairs to Allah and don’t worry about the future- leave the unseen to Allah.
- When you go out and help an old person cross the road, you know that when you are old, Allah WILL send someone to help you too!
- If you are upset, everyone around you is upset. If you are happy, everyone around you is happy, so be happy!
- Al-Haleem is the One who does not punish the people who do not obey Him straight away (in this world).
- Hilm is not to rush to get angry. The prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam was al-Hilm.
- The dua of the oppressed is answered, but sometimes, the dua of the oppressed is not answered because the one who has been oppressed has gone and bad mouthed the oppressor, so by doing that there remains no difference between them both- they are now equal. The wrath of Allah is much more than your wrath so do not take revenge when someone has hurt or wronged you. Leave that to Allah!
- If you want Allah to forgive you, forgive others. Treat people how you want Allah to treat you!
- Al-Azeem means the Great. Allah is the Great, His attributes are Great.Everything compared to Him is nothing. This is why He deserves the greatest respect and servitude.
- The best state is the state you are in! This doesn’t mean you don’t struggle, you should.
- If you can do your best in the duniya, then you can do your best for the aakhira.
- If you believe Allah is the Great, then you shouldn’t fear anyone but Allah!
- Al-Ghafoor is the Oft-Forgiving.
- Seeking the forgiveness of Allah is the major cause of prosperity
- Impact of great sins affect us, our health, our business etc.
- Remember you are knocking on the door of Allah whose forgiveness is given to all people in all time!
- Never belittle the power of dhikr. Doubt your state and mind and heart but trust in Allah!
- Ash-Shakoor is the One who is thanked.
- Allah gives a lot of reward for the smallest things we do.
- Our share in this divine name is to thank Allah.
- People are just means, don’t be veiled by them. See the Real Giver!
- Learning to be thankful to Allah for not always being given what we want is to be truly thankful.
- Al-Hafeez is the One who Preserves and is taking care in the best way.
- Al- Hafeez is the One who handles the affairs of the one who are created and protects them from all harm.
- Al- Hafeez is the One who knows all stations and ranks.
- You need protection, go to Allah!
- Repetition is the key to memorisation.
- Allah is sufficient for us, He is enough for us!
- Al- Muqeet is the Provider. Allah is the One who gives everything He creates substance.
- Allah pre-destined the food for everything He created. Allah will not create an extra human being without creating extra food for him.
- Allah is taking care of every human being!
- Ask everything you need from Allah!
- Al-Haseeb is the One who is Self-Sufficient. He is capable of providing for His servants. He suffices for everyone.
- Al-Haseeb also means the One who does reckoning.
- Our share in this name is to hold ourselves responsible for our actions. We blame ourselves. Take yourself into account for what you have done.
- Sayyidina Umar radiAllahu anhu said that hold yourself accountable before you are held accountable!
- If you do not get what you want from this world then Allah suffices for you. ‘HasbunAllahu wa ni’mal wakil.’ Allah is sufficient for us and He is the Best Guardian. (3:173)
- Al-Jaleel is the Majestic. The One Whose rank is the highest. The One who we can never reach and no one is similar in His essence and attributes.
- Allah is the One who has all-Majesty. We need to see His signs. His signs are His miracles in what He created.
- Al-Kareem is the Most Generous.
- Allah is the most Generous. If you want Allah to give you, you need to give to people. If you want Allah to be Generous to you then you need to be generous to people. You give, Allah will give you more!
- Imam Ibn AtaAllah al-Iskandari said that never aspire to the generosity of other than Allah!
- Ar-Raqeeb is the One who Observes, the Watchful One.
- Allah watches over all of His servants. He is taking care and is watching. Allah is providing and listening to the calls when the calls are made!
- The least of grains are not absent from His sight! He is watching over everything.
- Our share in this name is to be observers of ourselves.
- If you have lost something, recite surat Duha and you will find it.
- Al-Mujeeb is the One who answers and Gives what He wants and more!
- When giving, give what that person is asking for and extra so you do not make him feel like a beggar and also make yourself generous.
- Every dua you say, every time you say Ya Allah, Allah answers it! Allah is al-Mujeeb, He answers you, do you answer Him? Do you answer His call to prayer?
- Al-Hakeem is the Wise One.
- Allah is the Most wise and places everything in its place to balance it out.
- Seeing the wisdom takes a bit of reflection.
- You will never have enough money to distribute amongst people, but you can always have enough good character to distribute amongst everyone.
- People involved in dawah need to have wisdom. Saying to unbelievers that they are going to hell, won’t make them turn towards Allah.
- If you want to succeed in dawah, don’t present Islam by criticising other religions, start with the beauty of Islam
Jaza ‘Llahu anna Sayyidina Muhammadan sallaAllahu alayhi wasalam ma huwa ahluhu
Jaza ‘Llahu anna Sayyidina Muhammadan sallaAllahu alayhi wasalam ma huwa ahluhu
Jaza ‘Llahu anna Sayyidina Muhammadan sallaAllahu alayhi wasalam ma huwa ahluhu
Subhana Rabbika Rabbi l’izzati amma yasifun, wa salamun ala l’mursalin, wal-humdulillahi Rabbi l’alamin.
‘Al Kauthar’ are a group of artists’ who sing traditional songs from Arabic Andalusian and Turkish sources. I first came across their live performance during the ‘Imam al-Ghazali’ programme with Shaykh Abdul Hakim Murad and Shaykh Yahya Rhodus in Spain (2009). Ever since I heard them live, I always wanted to get hold of their album as I really liked their style and vocals.
I was really happy to finally discover them online and thought I’d share some of my favourite traditional songs here. They are good for the heart and soul…… Enjoy
The other day, I received a card from a dear friend of mine in Norway. Inside, she wrote a beautiful quote by Mevlana Rumi as a reminder. The quote captivated me, so I cannot help but share it here:
My heart is so small
it’s almost invisible.
How can You place
such big sorrows in it?
“Look,” He answered,
“your eyes are even smaller,
yet they behold the world.”
~ Mevlana Rumi
The above quote reminds me of Allah’s promise to us in the Majestic Qu’ran:
“Allah does not burden any human being with more than he is well able to bear: in his favour shall be whatever good he does, and against him whatever evil he does. O our Sustainer! Take us not to task if we forget or unwittingly do wrong! “O our Sustainer! Lay not upon us a burden such as Thou didst lay upon those who lived before us! [2:286]
“When Allah tests you it is never to destroy you. When He removes something in your possession it is (only) in order to empty your hands for an even greater gift!”
~ Ibn al-Qayyim