By Imam Murtadha Gusau
Friday, December 23, 2022 (Jumadal Ula 29, 1444 AH)
In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate
All praise is for Allah, we praise Him, we seek His help, we ask for His forgiveness, and we seek refuge with Allah from the evils of our own souls and the wickedness of our actions, whoever Allah guides, there is none that can lead him astray, and whoever Allah allows to go astray, there is none that can lead him to the right path.
I testify and bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship in truth but Allah, alone, without any partners. And I testify and bear witness that Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is His Servant and Messenger. As for what’s after:
Dear brothers and sisters! Today, I’d like to begin my Friday article by stressing the point that it is among the prescriptions of Islam to recite Salutations and Blessings upon Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) as is evident in the following Qur’anic verse:
“Verily, Allah and His Angels send (shower) blessings on the Prophet, O you who believe! Send upon him blessings and salute him fully well in abundance.” [Surah al-Ahzab: 56]
Allah Almighty in the Noble Qur’an has enjoined the performance of many things upon us such as Salah, Zakah, Fasting, Hajj etc. In numerous verses He has also praised His Prophets and described their good qualities. When He created Adam (AS) and directed the Angels to perform Sajdah (prostration) to him, He does not say in any of His directions, “I (Allah) am doing it, therefore you should do likewise.”
This honour was exclusively for our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). Here, in the above verse, Allah Almighty at the very outset attributed Salawat (recital of blessings) on our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), first to Himself, then to His Angels, and after this enjoined on the Muslims to do the same, by saying:
“Undoubtedly, Allah and His Angels send blessings on the Prophet, O you who believe! Send upon him blessings and salute him fully well in abundance.“
Respected servants of Allah! Truly, there cannot be a greater honour for the Believers than this, who have been favoured with a share in this Divine Action by Allah Almighty and His Angels.
Sending prayers on the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is important but unfortunately there is a sad tendency in Muslims today, to neglect and deemphasize the importance of our beloved Prophet (Peace be upon him).
But it is a well-known fact that devotion to the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) is one of the essential duties of a believer. Devotion to him should actually exceed the love we have for our property, kin and kith, and progeny. Devotion to the Prophet is evidence of true faith. This devotion entails, among other things, sending blessings on him to show him gratitude and acknowledge his many favours, as befits his standing. It is stated in the commentary of the Qur’an (Tafsir):
“Some scholars are of the opinion that the meaning of Allah’s blessing is, to raise the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) to al-maqam al-mahmud (the Glorious Station), the place from where he will intercede with Allah Almighty on behalf of his Community (Ummah). The invocation (offering) of Blessings on the Prophet in Arabic is “Salawat”, or “salat ala an-nabi”, or as “Salatus-Salam.”
Dear brothers and sisters! The literal meaning of Salat is none other than Du’a, or as we know in English, ‘the prayer.’ Hence, when one performs Salat to Allah, he is praying to Allah. When one sends Salat upon the Prophet, he is not actually praying to the Prophet, but in fact, sending prayers upon the Prophet, thereby praying to Allah alone.
Some scholars have stated that Salat also 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.
There are also a number of Hadiths which mention the rewards to be earned for sending blessings and salutations upon the Prophet. Sahl Ibn Sa’ad (RA) narrates:
Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) came out and met Abu Talha. The latter rose and went to him saying:
“My father and mother be sacrificed for you, O Messenger of Allah! I see joy and delight in your face?” The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “Yes, for Jibril (Gabriel) has just come to me saying: O Muhammad, whoever among your Ummah (Community) invokes blessings upon you once, Allah records for Him ten good deeds, erases from his account ten evil deeds (sins), and elevate (raises) him by ten ranks because of it.” [an-Nasa’i]
Abu al-Darda (RA) relates that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:
“Whoever sends blessings on me ten times in the morning and ten in the evening will have my intercession on Judgment Day.” [Tabarani]
In another Hadith narrated by Ibn Mas’ud (RA), the Messenger of Allah, (Peace be upon him) said:
“Verily the nearest of people to me on the Day of Judgment will be those who recited much prayers on me.” [at-Tirmidhi]
“Those who are most deserving of my intercession on the Day of Judgment are those who used to increasingly seek Allah’s Blessing for me.” [at-Tirmidhi]
It is reported that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“The Angels will continue to bless anyone who blesses me, as long as he continues to do so, so do a lot or even a little.” [Ahmad, Ibn Majah and at-Tabarani]
In another Hadith, it is related that:
“People will come to me that I only recognise by the abundance of their prayer (Salat) on me.”
And in yet another Hadith it is narrated that:
“The first among you to be saved from the terrors of the Day of rising and its places (Day of Judgement) will be the one who said the most prayers (Salats) for me.”
Abdullah Ibn Amr Ibn Al-As is reported to have said that:
“One who sends blessings upon the Prophet once, Allah and His angels will send seventy-fold blessings.”
Ubay Ibn Ka’ab (RA) relates that:
“I once told the Prophet (Peace be upon him) ‘O Messenger of Allah, I invoke much. What portion of that should be of prayer upon you?’ The Prophet (Peace be upon him) replied, ‘However much you wish.’ To this, I said, ‘A fourth?’ He said, ‘If you wish, but should you increase that number, it will be better for you.’ I then said, ‘A third?’ And he said, ‘If you wish, and if you increase it, it is still better for you.’ ‘A half?’ I asked. He replied, ‘If you wish, and if you do more, it is still better for you.’ I then said, ‘Indeed! Then I shall make all of my prayers upon you!’ To this, he responded, ‘If you do that, then you will be freed of anxiety and your wrongs pardoned!’” [at-Tirmidhi]
Dear servants of Allah! There are also severe warnings for not sending prayers and blessings to Prophet (Peace be upon him), as narrated by Ali Ibn Abi Talib (RA), the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“A miser is one who does not invoke blessings upon me when I am mentioned in his presence.” [at-Tirmidhi]
Abu Hurairah (RA) reported that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“If people sit in an assembly in which they do not remember Allah nor invoke a blessing on the Prophet, it will be a cause of grief for them on the Day of Judgment.” [at-Tirmidhi]
Dear brothers and sisters! In Conclusion it can be stressed that, let us keep our tongues moist with the continuous recitation of Salat and Salam on our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) – to keep us away from idle gossip and further to increase our reward and bring change in our lives.
May Allah the Exalted reward him (Peace be upon him) for his Ummah (Nation) with the best reward that a Prophet was given for his Ummah (Nation). And we ask Allah the Exalted to grant him (Peace be upon him) the intercession and favour, and the high eminent level, and raise him to the honoured station that Allah promised him. May Allah make us among those who love and support him sincerely (Peace be upon him). And we ask Allah to resurrect us in his group and that we enter paradise with him. Indeed Allah is the All Hearing, Answering.
I conclude with this and send prayers of blessings and peace upon our beloved Prophet as our Lord commanded:
“Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [Allah to confer] blessing upon him and ask [Allah to grant him] peace.” [Qur’an, 33: 56]
O Allah, guide us with those whom You have guided, grant us well-being among those You have granted well-being, be an ally to us along with those whom You are an ally to, and bless what You have bestowed upon us, and save us from the evil of what You have decreed. For verily You decree and none can decree over You. He whom You support can never be humiliated. Glory is to You, our Lord, You are Blessed and Exalted.
O Allah, We ask You for all that is good, in this world and in the Hereafter, what we know and what we do not know.
O Allah, we seek refuge with You from all evil, in this world and in the Hereafter, what we know and what we do not know.
O Allah, we ask You for the good that Your servant and Prophet has asked You for, and we seek refuge with You from the evil from which Your servant and Prophet sought refuge.
O Allah, we ask You for Paradise and for that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed, and we seek refuge in You from Hell and from that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed. And we ask You to make every decree that You decree concerning us good, ameen.
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all creation; may Allah extol the mention of our noble Prophet Muhammad in the highest company of Angels, bless him and give him peace and security―and his family, his Companions and all those who follow him correctly and sincerely until the establishment of the Hour.