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Image Courtesy of Flickr: King-slaveofALLAH
Image Courtesy of Flickr: King-slaveofALLAH

Bismillah

Introduction

Of the greatest blessings that Allah ta'ala has given to mankind is sending the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam as our guide and the Qur'an as our Book.

With the exception of Muhammad sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, every Prophet and Messenger sent by Allah azza wa jal was sent to a specific nation for a specific time period. Allah ta'ala chose Muhammad sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam as the Messenger for all the worlds and raised his status and mention among all of mankind.

Allah ta'ala describes this bounty that He gave to the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam in the Qur'an,

وَرَفَعْنَا لَكَ ذِكْرَكَ

and We have raised for you your mention. (94:4)

We bear witness five times a day that he is the Messenger of Allah, we send peace upon him during our prayers, we open our gatherings with his mention after the mention of Allah azza wa jal and we ask Allah to bless him before we make a duaa. All of these acts show that we bear witness that he sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam delivered the message.Bearing witness that he delivered the message necessitates his love, his obedience and sending salah when he is mentioned, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam.

Allah azza wa jal says,

إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا

Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet: O you that believe! Send your blessings on him, and salute him with all respect. (33:56)

The ayaat in the Qur'an that commands the believers to do good deeds or refrain from evil actions begins with “Ya ayyuhal latheena aamano”, “O you who have believed” however this ayah does not begin in this way. Rather, Allah ta'ala mentions that He and His Angels send blessings and greetings on the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam first before calling the Believers to follow. Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala calls the believers, because of your emaan, send salah and salaam on the Messenger. The Scholars of tafseer state that this is to show the honorable and elevated status of the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam as well as to show the honor in the act of sending salah on him. If Allah and His Angels do this action, it should motivate the Believers to do so as well. Imam Sa'di rahimahullah states in his tafseer regarding this ayah,

And in this there is an indication of the Prophet's completeness, high rank, elevated status with Allah and His creation, and his wide fame. Indeed Allah the exalted and His Angels confer blessings upon him meaning: Allah praises him before the Angels, and in the exalted assembly [of Angels] due to His love for him. And the close Angels [too] praise him , make du'a for him, and seek forgiveness [for him] in humbleness and humility.

O you who have believed, ask [Allah to confer] blessing upon him and ask [Allah to grant him] peace following the example of Allah and the Angels, rewarding him for some of the rights he has upon you, completing your faith, glorifying him, loving and honoring him, increasing in your good deeds, and expiating from your sins. And from the best forms of asking Allah to confer blessings upon him is the form that he taught to his companions: “O Allah, send Your salah upon Muhammad and upon the family of Muhammad, as You sent Your salah upon the family of Ibrahim, verily You are the Most Praiseworthy, Most Glorious. And send Your blessings upon Muhammad and upon the family of Muhammad, as You sent Your blessings upon the family of Ibrahim, verily You are Most Praiseworthy, Most Glorious” And this command of asking Allah to confer blessings upon him is legislated at all times and many of the scholars have made it mandatory in the prayer.

Tafseer al-Kareem al-Mannaan


Why do we Send Salawat on the Prophet?

If a close relative of ours passed away, such as a parent or a sibling, we would vehemently ask Allah to forgive them, to grant them security, and to enter them into Jannah. The Believers are those who love the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam more than their family, wealth and their own selves so just as we would ask Allah to forgive and bless our relative, we should send prayers upon our Messenger sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam who, by the bounty and mercy of Allah, has taught us our faith. Allah azza wa jal says,

هُوَ الَّذِي بَعَثَ فِي الْأُمِّيِّينَ رَسُولًا مِّنْهُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَإِن كَانُوا مِن قَبْلُ لَفِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ وَآخَرِينَ مِنْهُمْ لَمَّا يَلْحَقُوا بِهِمْ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ ذَ‌ٰلِكَ فَضْلُ اللَّهِ يُؤْتِيهِ مَن يَشَاءُ وَاللَّهُ ذُو الْفَضْلِ الْعَظِيمِ

It is He Who has sent amongst the unlettered a Messenger from among themselves, to rehearse to them His Signs, to purify them, and to teach them the Book and Wisdom (Sunnah),- although they had been, before, in manifest error;-As well as (to confer all these benefits upon) others of them, who have not already joined them: And He is exalted in Might, Wise. Such is the Bounty of Allah, which He bestows on whom He wills: and Allah is the Lord of the highest bounty. [62:2-4]

We send salawat on the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam to acknowledge the great blessing that Allah has given us by sending the Messenger to us. Just as prayer is a manifestation of our love, gratitude and obedience to Allah azza wa jal, sending salawat on the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam shows our love for him, our respect for him, and our obedience to him.

We must also remember that Rasul Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam was only a man who does not possess any power to harm or benefit us. Many from amongst our Ummah have taken their love of the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam to an extreme that is not only forbidden in our religion, but does the exact opposite of their intended goal. Worship is exclusive for Allah azza wa jal and obeying and loving the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam falls under the worship of Allah.

Meaning of 'salah' and 'Salaam'

The linguistic meaning of salah is to pray and to supplicate. When it is said, salla 'alaa (صلى على) like the above ayah, it gives us three meanings:

  1. To incline to someone and pay attention to them out of love.
  2. To praise someone (thanaa' ثناء).
  3. To pray for someone.

When salah is used for Allah ta'ala (i.e., when Allah does “salah” on someone) it means:

  1. Allah loves that person.
  2. Allah praises that person.
  3. Allah sends blessings, His Pleasure and Mercy on that person.

When the creation does salah it means that they pray to Allah to send blessings on that creation. They seek forgiveness for them and ask Allah to send good to them. The meaning of love and praise is also understood in this meaning.Salawaat is plural of salah.

We are commanded in this ayah to do two things:

Firstly:

صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ

“send your salah on him” this means that we ask Allah to send blessings on the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam and ask Allah to praise him in the manner that he guided us to do.

There is a small difference of opinion amongst the scholars on the meaning of sending salah; the majority state that it means 'mercy from Allah, prayers for forgiveness offered by the angels, and duaa offered by humans.' The other group of scholars such as Ibnul Qayyim, Abul Aliyah and shaykh ibn al-Uthaymeen state that the meaning of sending blessings on the Prophet is to ask Allah to praise him in the assembly of the Angels.

Shaykh ibn al-Uthaymeen rahimahullah states,

The best that can be said concerning this is what Abu'l-'Aaliyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The salah (blessing) of Allah upon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is His praising him among the “higher group” (the angels). So what is meant by Allahumma salli 'alayhi (O Allah send blessings upon him) is: O Allah, praise him among the higher group, i.e., among the angels who are close to Allah.

Al-Sharh al-Mumti', 3/163, 164

Both of these meanings can be taken as the definition because it is all included in the linguistic meaning of sendingsalah, and Allah knows best.

Secondly:

وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا

and offer tasleem as it should be (offered)“. The linguistic meaning of tasleem is to offer greetings of peace. It also gives a meaning of asking for peace and security. This meaning comes from the root word of tasleem and the word salaamah. The two meanings of tasleem are:

  1. 'May as-Salaam (The Perfection, One who Gives Peace and Security) be with you', meaning may His Blessings be upon you.
  2. 'May you be secure, peaceful and safe.”

Shaykh ibn al-Uthaymeen rahimahullah states:

The meaning is: May Allah protect, keep safe and take care of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). It is as if we are saying: Allah is watching over you, protecting you, helping you, etc. The meaning of greeting the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is to pray for him and ask that he be kept safe from all harm.

It may be said: This duaa is something obvious during his lifetime, (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), but after his death, how can we pray that he be kept safe and sound when he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) has died?

The answer is that prayer for safety and well-being are not limited to the time when someone is alive…we pray for the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), that he will be kept safe from the terrors of the standing (on the Day of Resurrection).

Al-Sharh al-Mumti', 3/149, 150


How to Send Salawat

The most important aspect of sending salawat is that it is done in accordance with what the Prophet himself taught us; as a condition for the acceptance of deeds is that they are from the sunnah of Rasul Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam.

After the mention of his name, one should say: sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam or alayhi salaatu wa salaam which can be translated as: may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him or peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. One can also say any duaa that sends peace and blessings upon him such as: Allahumma sali wa sallim alaa Nabiyyina Muhammad, O Allah send Your praise, prayers and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad.

For other times such as in salah or on Fridays, one should say what the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam taught us from the sunnah. There are two authentic narrations with different wordings:

Abu Muhammad Ka'b bin Ujrah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam came to us and we asked him, “O Messenger of Allah, we already know how to greet you (i.e., say As-salamu alaykum), but how should we supplicate for you?” He said, “Say: `Allahumma salli `ala Muhammadin, wa `ala aali Muhammadin, kama sallaita `ala aali Ibrahima, innaka Hamidum Majid. Allahumma barik `ala Muhammadin, wa `ala aali Muhammadin, kama barakta `ala aali Ibrahima, innaka Hamidum Majid [O Allah, exalt the mention of Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as you exalted the family of Ibrahim. You are Praised and Glorious. O Allah, bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as You blessed the family of Ibrahim. You are Praised and Glorious.]”' [Bukhari and Muslim]

Abu Humaid As-Sa'idi (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Companions of the Messenger of Allah said: “O Messenger of Allah! How should we supplicate for you?” He sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam replied, “Say: `Allahumma salli `ala Muhammadin wa `ala azwajihi wa dhurriyyatihi, kama sallaita `ala Ibrahima; wa barik `ala Muhammadin wa `ala azwajihi wa dhurriyyatihi, kama barakta `ala Ibrahima, innaka Hamidum-Majid [O Allah, exalt the mention of Muhammad and his wives and offspring as You exalted the mention of the family of Ibrahim, and bless Muhammad and the wives and the offspring of Muhammad as you blessed the family of Ibrahim. You are the Praised, the Glorious'].” [Bukhari and Muslim]

Can we Send Salawat for the Prophet with those Traveling to Madinah?

A modern practice we see nowadays is asking those who are going for hajj/umrah and will be visiting the Prophet's masjid to say, “send my salaams to the Prophet,” however this is not from the sunnah nor has it been recorded that any of the righteous predecessors did this. Shaykh ibn al-Uthaymeen rahimahullah beautifully states,

We say: if you send salaam upon him from the farthest ends of the earth, your salaam will reach him, because Allah has appointed angels who travel about the earth, and if anyone sends salaams upon the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), they convey that salaam to the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). So if we say now, “O Allah, send blessings and peace upon the Messenger of Allah,” our salaam will be transmitted to him. In prayer we say, “Al-salaamu 'alayka ayyuha'l-nabiyyu wa rahmat-Allahi wa barakatuhu (Peace be upon you, O Prophet, and the mercy of Allah and His blessings),” and the salaam is transmitted to him…

I have heard some people saying in Madinah, “My father asked me to give his salaams to the Messenger,” but this is wrong. The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is not alive so that the salaams of a living person may be passed on to him. If your father sends salaams to the Messenger, the salaam is conveyed by those who are more able than you to convey it and are more trustworthy than you , namely the angels.

So there is no need for that, and we say: You are where you are, wherever you are on earth you can say, “Peace be upon you, O Prophet,” and it will reach him faster and more reliably than that.

Majmoo' Fataawa aShaykh Ibn Baz, 23/416, 417

Send your salaam on him now and it will reach him by the will of Allah.

Benefits and Virtues of Salawat

There are numerous benefits in sending salah and salaam upon the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam. The fact that there are benefits for the person who performs this noble deed is one of the beautiful aspects of our deen. There is no such thing as a futile good deed in Islam; every good deed carries a benefit, even if it is a small one, for the one who engages in it.

  • You are following the way of Allah azza wa jal and His Honorable Angels. “Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet.” (33:56)
  • Your salah on him reaches him sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam. We have lost our chance in this life to see and interact with our Messenger sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, but out of Allah's Great Mercy He has allowed our duaa to reach him no matter how far or close we are to his grave. It was narrated that Abdullah ibn Mas'ood (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said: “Allah has angels who go around on earth, conveying to me the salaam of my ummah.” [Sunan Nasaa'i, Saheeh Al-Albani]
  • The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam will return your greeting. Abu Hurayrah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, “There is not one of you who sends his greetings upon me except that Allah returns the soul to my body (in the grave) and I return his greeting.” [Abu Dawood, Saheeh Al-Albani]
  • Amplification of reward, removal of sins and receiving the blessings of Allah. Abdullah bin 'Amr bin Al-'As (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam saying: “Whoever supplicates Allah to exalt my mention (i.e., send salah), Allah will exalt his mention (i.e., send salah)ten times and remove from him ten sins and raise him ten degrees.” [Muslim]
  • Jibreel alayhi salaam will send salah and salaam upon you. AbdurRahman ibn Awf (may Allah be pleased with him) said, I came to the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam while he was in prostration and he elongated his prostration and then said, “Jibreel came to me and he said, 'whoever sends blessings (salah) upon you, I will send blessings on him, and whoever sends greetings (salaam) upon you, I will send greetings upon him,' so I prostrated out of thankfulness to Allah.'” [Haakim, Saheeh Al-Albani]
  • Answering of one's duaa. Most of us do not know that duaa is suspended between the heavens and earth until we send salawat on the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam. Umar radi Allahu anhu said, ““Duaa is suspended between heaven and earth and none of it is taken up until you send blessings upon your Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam.” [At-Tirmidhi, Hasan Al-Albani] The scholars state that it is recommended (mustahabb) to include salawat in our duaa for the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam. More details here.
  • The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam invited the believers to make salah on him. It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said: “Do not take your houses as graves and do not take my grave as a place of festivity (which you visit repeatedly). Send blessings upon me for your greeting will reach me no matter where you are.” [Abu Dawood, Saheeh Al-Albani]
  • You will not be among the humiliated. Abu Hurayrah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, “May his nose soil with dust in whose presence mention is made of me and he does not supplicate for me.” [At-Tirmidhi, Saheeh Al-Albaani] imam Nawawi rahimahullah states the saying 'may his nose be rubbed in dust' means to suffer humiliation and disgrace. That is “may such person be humiliated and disgraced who hears my name and does not invoke Allah's blessings upon me.”
  • You will not be among the miserly. Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, “The miser is the one in whose presence I am mentioned but he does not supplicate for me.” [At-Tirmidhi, Saheeh Al-Albani]
  • You will not be among those that Jibreel alayhi salaam made duaa against and the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam replied “ameen” (O Allah, grant it). It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) ascended the minbar and said: “ameen, ameen, ameen.” It was said: 'O Messenger of Allah, you ascended the minbar and said, 'ameen, ameen, ameen.” He said: “Jibreel came to me and said: 'If Ramadan comes and a person is not forgiven, he will enter Hell and Allah will cast him far away. Say ameen.' So I said ameen. He said: 'O Muhammad, if both or one of a person's parents are alive and he does not honour them and he dies, he will enter Hell and Allah will cast him far away. Say ameen.' So I said ameen. He said: 'If you are mentioned in a person's presence and he does not send blessings upon you and he dies, he will enter Hell and Allah will cast him far away. Say ameen.' So I said ameen.” [ibn Hibbaan, Saheeh Al-Albani]
  • You will be among the closest to the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam on a Day that will cause a child's hair to become grey. Ibn Mas'ood (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said: “The people who will be nearest to me on the Day of Resurrection will be those who supplicate Allah more often for me.” [At-Tirmidhi, Hasan li ghayrihi Al-Albani] imam Nawawi rahimahullah states, “Nearest to me” signifies “those who are most entitled to my intercession”.
  • Allah will love you and forgive you because following the sunnah of the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam. Allah says, “Say (O Muhammad to mankind): “If you (really) love Allah then follow me , Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (3:31)
  • Your love for the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam will increase. When you love someone, your mind is filled with thoughts of them. By constantly making duaa for the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam whenever his name is mentioned, you are making a conscious effort to remember him. Put in the effort to internalize the salawat whenever you make them and understand who you are making duaa for, and insha'Allah your love for him will increase tremendously, alayhi salaatu wa salaam.


Obligatory and Recommended Times to send Salawat

We've established that sending salawat on the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam is a noble deed in Islam, however there are prescribed times for it and times that this act is not recommended or allowed. Furthermore, for specific supplications that the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam taught us, we must only say what he narrated without any modifications.

Ibn Hajar rahimahullah says,

The wording of dhikrs is tawqeefi (i.e., acts of worship which must be done as prescribed in the texts), and they have special characteristics that cannot be subject to analogy. So one must adhere to the wording as it was narrated.

Al-Fath Al-Baari (11/112)

The obligatory and recommended times are as follows:

  1. During the tashahhud in prayer. Shaykh Al-Albani rahimahullah gives a detailed description on sending salah in the tashahhud as well as some important notes on this act in general in his book “The Prophet's Prayer Described”.
  2. After the adhan. Abdullah bin 'Amr bin Al-'As (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam saying, “When you hear the adhan, repeat what the Mu'adhdhin says. Then ask Allah to exalt my mention because everyone who does so will receive in return ten rewards from Allah. Then beseech Allah to grant me Al-Wasilah, which is a high rank in Jannah, fitting for only one of Allah's slaves; and I hope that I will be that man. If any one asks Al-Wasilah for me, it becomes incumbent upon me to intercede for him.” [Muslim] In another hadeeth, Sa`d bin Abu Waqqas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, “He who says after the adhan: `Ash-hadu an la ilaha illallah Wah-dahu la sharika Lahu; wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan `abduhu wa Rasuluhu, radhitu Billahi Rabban, wa bi Muhammadin Rasulan, wa bil Islami Deenan [I testify that there is no true god except Allah Alone; He has no partners and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger; I am content with Allah as my Rubb, with Muhammad as my Messenger and with Islam as my Deen],' his sins will be forgiven.” [Muslim]
  3. When entering and leaving the masjid.
  4. Fridays. Aus bin Aus (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, “Among the best of your days is Friday; so supplicate Allah more often for me in it , for your supplications will be displayed to me.” He was asked: “O Messenger of Allah! How will our blessings be displayed to you when your decayed body will have mixed with the earth?” He sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam replied, “Allah has prohibited the earth from consuming the bodies of the Prophets.” [Abu Dawood, Saheeh Al-Albani]
  5. Daily Adhkar (remembrances) of the morning and evening. Abu Dardaa (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, “whoever sends blessings on me ten times in the morning and ten times in the evening will receive my intercession.” [Al-Tabarani] This hadeeth is disputed amongst the scholars of hadeeth; Shaykh Al-Albani declared its chain weak while Al-Sakhawi and imam ibnul Qayyim declared it authentic. However, sending salawat on the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam daily is still recommended based on the hadeeth, Ibn Mas'ood (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said: “The people who will be nearest to me on the Day of Resurrection (i.e., receive my intercession) will be those who supplicate Allah more often for me.” [At-Tirmidhi, Hasan Al-Albani]
  6. When his name is mentioned in a gathering/written form etc. The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, “The miser is the one in whose presence I am mentioned but he does not supplicate for me.” [At-Tirmidhi, Saheeh Al-Albani] It is important to note though that it is established among the scholars that it is not obligatory to send salawat on the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam every time his name is mentioned. Shaykh Al-Munajjid from IslamQA explains in detail here.


Times When it is not Allowed or Disliked to send Salawat

Imam ibnul Qayyim rahimahullah stated,

Sending blessings upon the Messenger of Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, although it is one of the best and most beloved of deeds to Allah, every dhikr has its own place and time, where no other can take its place.

Jala' al-Afhaam (1/424)

These times include:

  1. When slaughtering the animal. The sunnah of slaughtering is to say only “Bismillah Allahu Akbar”, “With the Name of Allah, Allah is Greater [than everything else]”.
  2. When sneezing. It was narrated from Nafi' that a man sneezed beside Ibn 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with them) and said “alhamdulillah was-salaam 'alaa Rasul Allah (Praise be to Allah and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah).” Ibn 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “And I say, 'alhamdulillah was-salaam 'alaa Rasul Allah (Praise be to Allah and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah)' – but this is not what the Messenger of Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam taught us. He taught us to say: 'Alhamdulillahi 'alaa kulli haal (Praise be to Allah in all situations).'” [Al-Tirmidhi, Saheeh Al-Albani]
  3. When bowing (ruku') or prostrating (sujood) in prayer, or any times in the salah other than the tashahhud.
  4. If you come upon an ayah in the Qur'an that has the name or mention of the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam.


Writing SAWS/SAS/PBUH etc

The Muslim is one who strives to do ihsaan (utmost good) in all of their deeds, even a seemingly simple deed such as making a duaa for the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam.

Dr Saleh as Saleh rahimahullah mentions a few opinions on writing abbreviations in a short 20 min lecture which can be listened to here.

Shaykh ibn Baaz rahimahullah said when asked about the validity of writing SAWS or the like:

“The Sunnah is to write the entire phrase “sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam,” since it is a kind of supplication, and supplication is worship, (in one's writing) just as it is in one's speech. So to abbreviate it using the letter SAAD or the word SAAD-LAAM-'AYN-MEEM [or in English: SAWS etc] is not a supplication nor it is worship, whether it occurs in speech or writing. For this reason, this abbreviation was not used by the first three generations, those that the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam testified to their goodness.”

Fatwawa Al-Lajnatid-Daa'imah #18770

Imam Suyooti rahimahullah (as mentioned in the lecture by Dr. Saleh) also affirms this by saying, “It is disliked to resort to these abbreviations when making salah and salaam on the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam.”

Shaykh Ahmad Shakir said, “It is the absurd tradition of some of the later generations that they abbreviate the writing of 'sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam.'” [Musnad imam Ahmad]

Why is it that we can debate with each other and discuss futile issues but when it comes to making a duaa for your own Prophet, we resort to abbreviations? Let's openly display our love and take those extra few seconds to add some letters.

We should all strive and adopt the practice of writing out the salawat, even if we are students taking notes. It allows us to do ihsaan (the utmost good), it causes others to read and say the salawat which will be a good deed for you, and it shows our love for the Messenger sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam. It is reported that the past scholars and students of hadeeth would leave spaces after writing the name of the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam in their notes and after returning home, fill in all the blanks with the salawat. Resorting to abbreviations may also make us among those who are miserly and those who Jibreel alayhi salaam made duaa against; may Allah protect us from being among them.

As a final reminder, Shaykh ibn Baaz stated (as mentioned in the lecture by Dr. Saleh), “And this is my advice to every Muslim, to every writer and reader that he should seek the superior and look for that which has more reward and keep away from that which diminishes that.”

The Messenger of Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam loved this ummah so much so that on his deathbed he kept repeating “ummati, ummati“, “my Ummah! my Ummah!”

He is the one who said, “I wish to see my brothers!” The Companions said, “O Messenger of Allah! Are not we your brothers?” He sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, “You are my Companions, but my brothers are those who have not come into the world yet.” [Muslim]

He is the one who made duaa for you after every prayer, so dear brothers and sisters, let us return a duaa for him.

A'ishah radi Allahu anha narrated “Once, when I saw the Prophet in a good mood, I said to him: “O Messenger of Allah! Supplicate to Allah for me!” So, he said: “O Allah! Forgive 'A'ishah her past and future sins, what she has hidden, as well as what she has made apparent.” So, I began smiling, to the point that my head fell into the lap of the Messenger of Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam out of joy. The Messenger of Allah said to me: “Does my supplication make you happy?” I replied: “And how can your supplication not make me happy?” He then said: “By Allah, it is the supplication that I make for my Ummah in every prayer.” [Narrated in Al Bazzaar, Hasan Al-Albani]

We ask Allah to make us among those who love, follow and obey His Prophet and we implore Him to make us among those who will be with His Messenger on the Day of Judgment and to grant us his companionship in The Highest Gardens of Jannah. Ameen.

May the most perfect and complete Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon our Messenger and Prophet, and Allah the Most High knows best.

48 Responses

    • Amatullah

      If you can believe it, this is condensed. SubhanAllah, I was surprised myself at the amount of information you can find on this topic! Of course, not much in English.

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  1. Yousuf

    Thank you for the great article. Learned a lot and Inshallah will try my best to make it as my habit.

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  2. Navaid Aziz

    As salam ‘alaikum,

    A very well researched piece. Jazaakillahu khairan! May Allah continue to grant you tawfeeq and success. Ameen.

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  3. Ibn Masood

    mashaAllah ukhti! May Allah swt reward you abundantly for your articles!

    And as a cherry to top off your already beautifully baked and decorated cake:

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  4. muhajjirah

    asalaam alaikum warahmat ALLAH wabarakatu:

    Allahuma Sally Ala Sayidinna Muhammad, alayhee salaat wa’salaam!!! mashaAllah this is an excellent piece, may Allah reward you for the spreading of this knowledge.

    so many times ppl say “send my salaams to Rasullilah, alayhee salat wa’salaam” so it was one of the first things i wanted to learn about. but that deed is easier than having to be here in madinah! because it is the Noble Angels who deliver your salaams to him, and with which Prophet Muhammad alayhee salaam, responds.

    May Allah send His Peace & Blessings upon our beloved Rasullilah…alyahee salat wasalam!

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  5. Amatullah

    baarak Allahu feekum for the comments! I realize that this is quite long but you must understand how difficult it is to do justice to any topic regarding the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam. InshaAllah I hope it is beneficial and I’ll accept any feedback :)

    Just had to say that I didn’t work on this by myself, a few people helped me with resources. May Allah azza wa jal reward them greatly.

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  6. ummmaryam

    Assalamualykum warahemutullahee wabarakatahu,

    Allahu Akbar .Allahu Akbar..

    Jazakillahu khairaa .Mashaallah.Learned a lot.may Allah give you more and more barakah in your time.

    I do have a doubt regarding times when it is not allowed ” If you come upon an ayah in the Qur’an that has the name or mention of the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam.” ..If we are reading Quran word by word for example “[وَإِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلَـئِكَةِ here rabbuka means your lord that is prophet salallahualayhiwasallam’s lord ..Can I send salams then or not?

    salaam

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    • Amatullah

      wa alaykum salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu Umm Maryam,

      wa iyyaki alhamdulillah.

      It is not recommended when reciting Qur’an meaning when you are reading in Arabic, like openly from the Mushaf or in salah or listening to a recitation. If it’s during class [i.e., like a tafseer class] or you are reading from a book, according to a link above from IslamQA and what I read from shaykh ibn Uthaymeen rahimahullah, then you should say “sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam” or the like.

      Other than that, I can’t really expound as I only put this together based on research so I don’t know. Allah knows best.

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      • ummmaryam

        Assalamualykum dear sister,

        Jazakillahu khairaa for being so kind and for answering each and every question with sabr.May Allahtaala accept all your service and reward you abundantly .

        salaam.

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  7. Bint Khalid

    Amatullah, may Allah subhana wa Ta’ala bless you immensley! Your articles are totally uplifting and inspiring and just know that I truly love you for the sake of Allah :) Miss you lots!

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  8. aarij

    Masha Allah, a very comprehensive article. I was wondering, what is the proof for this:

    “If you come upon an ayah in the Qur’an that has the name or mention of the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam.”

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    • Amatullah

      It is from a fatwa of Imam Nawawi rahimahullah which can be found in the IslamQA link:

      In Tuhfat al-Muhtaaj, which is a Shaafa’i book, it says (2/65):

      If the worshipper recites or hears a verse in which the name of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is mentioned, it is not mustahabb to send blessings upon him, as the author said in a fatwa (i.e., al-Nawawi).

      Allah knows best.

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      • aarij

        jazakillahi khairan. i saw one of my teachers do otherwise once (and that was at the end of juz 2 at the end of the recitation), so i was just wondering where that opinion came from.

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  9. abu Rumay-s.a.

    barak Allahu feekie, may Allah ta`ala grant you the highest ranks with the company of our beloved Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa salaam)..what a beneficial article masha`Allah…

    Just would like to add to the list of virtues.

    - Our remembrance of our beloved prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa salaam) should increase our ittiba (following) and impact our character and interpersonal relations, specially in the home between spouses, parents, and children. As the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa salaam) said, “those closest to me on the day of Judgement are those of you with the best akhlaaq”..

    - When we make salawat upon our prophet, then we also follow him more obediently, thereby attaining Allah’s love as the ayah, (Say, If you love Allah, then follow me, and Allah will love you and forgive you your sins)..

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  10. abu nabeeha

    Jazakallah for this beautiful reminder.
    I shall be very grateful if somebody can answer my questions regarding this inshallah.
    1) When somebody mentions the name of the prophet, is it sufficient to send salaam silently in heart, or are we required to say it loud. If so, how loud?

    2) What is the ruling on this subject when the jumuah khutbah is going on. Is there any difference of opinion on this?

    Thanks alot again for sharing this beneficial knowledge.

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  11. Faraz Omar

    Baarak Allahu feek. really nice article. may Allah accept it from you. may Allah guide us to often send salah n salaams on our beloved prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam.

    just one small criticism. Ending the article on the topic of abbreviation seems to undermine the purpose of the article. All the benefits and virtues and importance of the salaat alan-nabi ends on that note, which is not as important as the rest, and gives an impression that this is the crux of action that you want your readers to take after reading the piece.

    It would have been better if it had come in the middle or if you had added a last sub-title that urge us to implement this sunnah as an act of worship as much as possible. Though this is how I clearly see you intended.

    I hope you take this +vely and are not offended by this feedback.

    But Masha Allah… may Allah guide us to learn Islam and study it more. Really inspiring stuff.

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    • Amatullah

      jazaak Allahu khayran for the feedback, I’m not offended in the least.

      Actually another staff writer told me the same thing but I honestly forgot to change it. InshaAllah I will be more mindful in the future.

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  12. Nisa

    MashaAllah I really enjoyed reading it :) Yet another wonderful article by Sr. Amatullah alhamdulilah. Looking forward to more bi’idnillah!

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  13. Holly Garza

    Assalamu alykum wa ramatulahi wa barakatu

    MashaAllah!!!! Great article, very well put together with such good wealth of information. Thanks for sharing. I am AlhamduliAllah in the habit of saying this but why I say it has become so much more meaningful! Jazakillahu khaiyer.MashaAllah, I Learned a lot. It also reminded me of my faults I need to work on such as patience and guarding my tongue. It is a great article that can make me feel more knowledgeable, more in love with my deen and ashamed of my faults without making me “jumpy” May Allah reward you immensely and Jazak Allah Khayer for sharing

    May Allah give you much more barakah in your time and ability to share.

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      • Amatullah

        wa alaykum salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu Holly,

        wa iyyaki, baarak Allahu feeki for your comments and duaa :)

        I totally understand what you mean about the abbreviations. i feel the same way about abbreviating the salaams.

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  14. Twists of the Texts | Ahmadiyya

    [...] for construction, but, Ammar ibn Yusuf was carrying two bricks. Upon seeing him, the Prophet (Prayers and peace be upon him) said “Rejoice Ammar! The transgressing side will kill you!” Later in his life, he was [...]

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  15. Sam

    Reading this is beautiful, really well laid out and explained…i have personally benefited today. thank you for your hard work. I just want to suggest something, i think alot of people can benefit from this work if you share it, there a great site for muslim converts were this work can be of use to many people, please consider sharing it on http://www.MuslimsIn.com

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  16. feint

    Salam Alaykum,

    A great addition I may suggest:

    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]

    And Allah knows best

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  17. Abu Nour

    As-salamu ‘alaykum,

    Sorry I just cannot get over your phrasing: he (alayhi salawatu wa salam) is just a man with no power to benefit. Are you serious? I would think that statement borders kufr: Is the revelation of no benefit to you? Is the Sunnah or no value? Are you not counting on shifa’a? How did the Sahaba treat the Messenger (sallaLlahu alayhi wa sallam) and how does the Quran speak of him–every word of his is hidayah, every prayer of his is mustajab (with the four ways that Allah responds to prayer). May Allah reward us all for our intention and improve our adab and ‘ilm.

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