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“Believers! Send your Blessings on him” | Resource for Salawat on the Prophet

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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 dua 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 Salaah 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 salaah (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.]”’ [Al-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’].” [Al-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 inshaAllah 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.

Amatullah is a student of the Qur'an and its language. She completed the 2007 Ta'leem program at Al-Huda Institute in Canada and studied Qur'an, Tajwid (science of recitation) and Arabic in Cairo. Through her writings, she hopes to share the practical guidance taught to us by Allah and His Messenger and how to make spirituality an active part of our lives. She has a Bachelors in Social Work and will be completing the Masters program in 2014 inshaAllah. Her experience includes working with immigrant seniors, refugee settlement and accessibility for people with disabilities.

57 Comments

57 Comments

  1. Avatar

    ibnmasood

    December 21, 2009 at 1:03 AM

    That was rather exhaustive, not concise! masha Allah :-)

    • Avatar

      Amatullah

      December 21, 2009 at 4:45 AM

      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.

  2. Avatar

    Yousuf

    December 21, 2009 at 1:04 AM

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

  3. Avatar

    Navaid Aziz

    December 21, 2009 at 2:08 AM

    As salam ‘alaikum,

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

  4. Avatar

    Ibn Masood

    December 21, 2009 at 2:33 AM

    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:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX48sFSuLdg

    • Avatar

      Amatullah

      December 21, 2009 at 4:47 AM

      baarak Allahu feek. that video is amazing!

    • Avatar

      Ismail

      July 1, 2016 at 7:22 PM

      This video is gone, know where to find it

  5. Avatar

    muhajjirah

    December 21, 2009 at 2:38 AM

    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!

  6. Pingback: “Believers! Send your Blessings on him” | Resource for Salawat on the Prophet | allah.eu

  7. Avatar

    Amatullah

    December 21, 2009 at 4:51 AM

    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.

  8. Avatar

    ummmaryam

    December 21, 2009 at 6:38 AM

    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

    • Avatar

      Amatullah

      December 21, 2009 at 10:58 AM

      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.

      • Avatar

        ummahmed

        December 21, 2009 at 11:06 AM

        jazakillahu khairaa..

      • Avatar

        ummmaryam

        December 21, 2009 at 5:46 PM

        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.

  9. Avatar

    Bint Khalid

    December 21, 2009 at 9:49 AM

    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!

  10. Avatar

    Yus from the Nati

    December 21, 2009 at 10:26 AM

    Beast. Jazakillahukhair.

  11. Avatar

    aarij

    December 21, 2009 at 10:54 AM

    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.”

    • Avatar

      Amatullah

      December 21, 2009 at 10:56 AM

      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.

      • Avatar

        aarij

        December 21, 2009 at 11:18 AM

        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.

  12. Avatar

    Hafsa

    December 21, 2009 at 1:19 PM

    Jazakallukhair! Beautiful!

  13. Avatar

    Ibrahim ibn Imran

    December 21, 2009 at 3:35 PM

    Jazaakumullahu Khairan for the great article mashaAllah.

  14. Avatar

    abu Rumay-s.a.

    December 21, 2009 at 4:16 PM

    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)..

    • Avatar

      Amatullah

      December 22, 2009 at 9:56 AM

      wa feek barak Allah. Jazaak Allahu khayran for adding those virtues!

  15. Avatar

    abu nabeeha

    December 21, 2009 at 6:04 PM

    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.

    • Avatar

      Amatullah

      December 22, 2009 at 9:57 AM

      inshaAllah I will try and do some research and get back to you.

  16. Avatar

    Yasir Qadhi

    December 21, 2009 at 11:50 PM

    Ma sha Allah, keep up the good work sister!

    Yasir

  17. Avatar

    Faraz Omar

    December 22, 2009 at 12:50 AM

    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.

    • Avatar

      Amatullah

      December 22, 2009 at 9:54 AM

      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.

  18. Avatar

    Amatullah

    December 22, 2009 at 9:57 AM

    Jazaakum Allahu khayran for the encouraging words and comments :) May Allah azza wa jal accept our deeds.

  19. Avatar

    Nisa

    December 22, 2009 at 11:00 AM

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

  20. Avatar

    Holly Garza

    December 24, 2009 at 5:05 PM

    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.

    • Avatar

      Holly Garza

      December 24, 2009 at 5:35 PM

      I forgot to put in her, that I was beginning to develop the nasty habit of abbreviating it as well. This is very beneficial

      • Avatar

        Amatullah

        December 28, 2009 at 2:05 PM

        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.

  21. Avatar

    AbdAllah

    December 27, 2009 at 9:19 AM

    Dear respected sister in Islam

    Asalm ualkum.

    I have taken liberty to post your most beneficial article on follwing site with some editing (without changing meaning of the original text) to expand the rewards InshaAllah.

    http://ahlalhdeeth.cc/vbe/showthread.php?t=7729

    • Avatar

      Amatullah

      December 28, 2009 at 2:02 PM

      wa alaykum salam wa rahmatullah

      baarak Allahu feek akhi.

  22. Avatar

    shuja

    December 31, 2009 at 6:56 PM

    subhan’ALLAH what a beautiful article.

    Sallahu Alayhi Wasalm.

  23. Pingback: Twists of the Texts | Ahmadiyya

  24. Avatar

    Muqith Mujtaba Ali

    February 26, 2010 at 4:31 AM

    Assalamu Alaikum, dear brothers and sisters, at Muslim Matters.

    Masha Allah this section covers all aspects of salawat and salam on our glorious Prophet Muhammad
    (Sal-lal-lahu-alaihi-wa-sallam).
    I am going to link this in my seerah blog,
    http://www.muhammad-theideal.blogspot.com
    insha allah.

    Jazakallah Khair.

    Muqith.

  25. Avatar

    Sam

    June 27, 2010 at 7:57 AM

    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

    • Avatar

      Amatullah

      June 27, 2010 at 10:35 PM

      Please feel free to share it inshaAllah.

      • Avatar

        Sam

        June 28, 2010 at 2:46 AM

        thanks brother

  26. Pingback: From the Nurse to the Shaykh: A Heartfelt Reminder | MuslimMatters.org

  27. Avatar

    feint

    March 28, 2011 at 12:15 AM

    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

  28. Pingback: Sunnah 8: Passing prayers on the Prophet (pbuh) « A Sunnah A Day

  29. Pingback: Manners of Making Du’a – Continued | Lollies Place

  30. Avatar

    druana1

    July 4, 2014 at 4:42 PM

    Allah grant us useful resource from this website, al-wahhab.

  31. Pingback: All About the Selawat upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w (peace & blessings be upon him) | islambitbybit

  32. Avatar

    Abu Nour

    July 30, 2014 at 7:34 PM

    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.

    • Avatar

      Zafar

      September 19, 2014 at 2:57 PM

      Bismillah alhamdulillah wassalatu wasalamu ala rasulillah wa ala alihi wasahbi

      As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

      Amatullah Jazakallahu Khairan Kasiran kasira.
      May Allah Subhanahu give you best rewards in this dunya and aakhirah. May Allah give you Wisdom.

  33. Avatar

    abu sa'adah

    February 25, 2016 at 12:26 PM

    salamun alaekum sir, if we are on solat for instance and the imam recites a verse containing the prophet’s name to our hearing, we are use to responding but please if it is not allowed do we have an evidence from quran and sunnah prohibiting it. and please can you help with how the sahabah used to respond to it at least they were there with the prophet. many sheikhs have many things about it but their fatwas seems more of ijtihad than direct evidence. may Allah bless you

  34. Avatar

    Anila Moin Syed

    May 30, 2016 at 6:30 AM

    Alhamdulillah. A teacher of mine recommend me to read this article as i had a lot of confusions but by the mercy of Allah SWT i am so clear now about my beliefs. May Allah put barakah into your work.

  35. Avatar

    Ali

    January 12, 2018 at 12:57 PM

    Very informative and right directed to Deen-e-Ilahi
    plz Must watch like subscribe n share for more informative lectures

    Thanks

  36. Avatar

    humair

    January 28, 2018 at 3:32 AM

    Asalamoalaikum,

    Great resource i must say, my purpose for commenting is to showcase a resource which i recently discovered while surfing on the web, i was searching for different Fatwas, so i just encountered this website: https://www.awqaf.gov.ae/en/officialfatwacenter
    Here you can also ask your question and the best part is they help in you a very helpful manner and its for absolutely free.

  37. Avatar

    Hashim

    February 25, 2018 at 7:09 AM

    Salaam alaikum. If you don’t mind me asking how come some Muslim says the Holy Prophet’s (pbuh) name and then say “salalahu aleyhi wa Salam” when at the same time all the Hadith quoted above say that we should be including his (pbuh) family in the salutation? Shouldn’t we be saying “salalahu aleyhi wa alehi wa Salam” after saying his (pbuh) name according to the evidences provided by this article?

  38. Avatar

    Eleeny

    June 2, 2018 at 6:39 AM

    World best online Quran academy for various Arabic Quran learning classes in an easy way. effective way no matter where you are in the world.
    https://alazharquranteaching.com

  39. Avatar

    Aamna

    August 29, 2018 at 2:35 PM

    MashAllah very nice. People should read this that do not send Salawat on out Beloved Prophet (peace be upon him)

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featured

Lessons From Surah Maryam: 1

Shaykh Furhan Zubairi

Published

on

Alhamdulillah, it’s a great blessing of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) that He has given us both the opportunity and ability to come here tonight to study and explore the meanings of His words in Surah Maryam. I’m truly grateful for this opportunity. May Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) accept this effort from all of us and place it on our scale of good deeds.

Alhamdulillah, in our last series we were able to complete the tafsir of Surah Al-Kahf. InshAllah, in this next series, we’ll be exploring the meanings, lessons, and reminders of Surah Maryam. Tafsīr is an extremely noble and virtuous discipline. The reason why it’s so noble and virtuous is that it’s the study of the divine speech of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). As mentioned in a hadith the superiority of the speech of Allah over all other speech is like the superiority of Allah over all of His creation. There’s nothing more beneficial and virtuous than studying the Quran. And by doing so we’ll be counted amongst the best of people. As the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “the best amongst you are those who learn the Quran and teach it.”

All of us need to build a stronger relationship with the Quran. The Quran is full of wisdom and guidance in every single verse and word. It’s our responsibility to seek that guidance, understand it, contextualize it and more importantly act upon it. Tafsīr is such a unique science that it brings together all of the other Islamic sciences. While exploring a Surah a person comes across discussions regarding Arabic grammar and morphology, rhetoric, Ahādīth, fiqh, sīrah and all those studies that are known as the Islamic Sciences. One scholar described the Quran as an ocean that has no shore, بحر لا ساحل له. The more we study the Qur’ān the stronger our relationship with it will become. We’ll become more and more attached to it and will be drawn into its beauty and wonder. The deeper a person gets into tafsir and studying the more engaged and interested they become. They also recognize how little they truly know. It develops humility. That’s the nature of true knowledge. The more we learn the more we recognize we don’t know. May Allah ﷻ allow us all to be sincere and committed students of the Qur’ān.

Surah Maryam

Surah Maryam is the 19th surah in the Quran. It is a relatively long Makki surah made up of 98 verses. Some commentators mention that it’s the 44th Surah to be revealed, after Surah Al-Fatir and before Surah Taha. It has been given the name Maryam because Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) mentions the story of Maryam (as) and her family and how she gave birth to Isa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) miraculously at the beginning of the Surah. Just like other Makkan surahs, it deals with the most fundamental aspects of our faith. It talks about the existence and oneness of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), prophethood, and resurrection and recompense.

The Surah is made up of a series of unique stories filled with guidance and lessons that are meant as reminders. One of the main themes of this Surah is mercy… It has been mentioned over 16 times in this Surah. We’ll find the words of grace, compassion and their synonyms frequently mentioned throughout the sūrah, together with Allah’s attributes of beneficence and mercy. We can say that one of the objectives of the Surah is to establish and affirm the attribute of mercy for Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). That’s why all of the stories mentioned also have to do with Allah’s mercy.

Another objective of the Surah is to remind us of our relationship with Allah ﷻ; the concept of Al-‘Ubūdiyyah. These are the two major themes or ideas of this Surah; the concept of Rahmah and the concept of ‘Ubūdiyyah (Mercy and Servitude).

The Surah can be divided into 8 sections:

1) Verses 1-15: The surah starts with the story of Zakariyya (as) and how he was given the gift of a child at a very old age, which was something strange and out of the ordinary.

2) Verses 16-40: mention the story of Maryam and the miraculous birth of Isa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) without a father and how her community responded to her.

3) Verses 41-50: The surah then briefly mentions one part of the story of Ibrahim 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him), specifically the conversation he had with his father regarding the worship of idols. The surah then briefly mentions a series of other Prophets.

4) Verses 51-58: Mention Musa and Haroon 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him), Ismail 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) and Idrees 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) to show that the essence of the message of all Prophets was the same

5) Verses 59-65: compare and contrast the previous generations with the current ones in terms of belief and actions.

6) Verses 66-72: Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) addresses the Mushrikoon rejecting their false claims regarding life after death and judgment.

7) Verses 73-87: continue to address the Mushrikoon and warn them regarding their attitude towards belief in Allah and His messengers. They also mention the great difference between the resurrection of the believer and the resurrection of the non-believer.

8) Verses 88-98: contain a severe warning to those who claim that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has taken a child. They also express that Allah is pleased with the believers and mentions that one of the objectives of the Quran is to give glad tidings to the believers and to warn the non-believers.

Story

From various narrations, we learn that this surah was revealed near the end of the fourth year of Prophethood. This was an extremely difficult time for Muslims. The Quraysh were frustrated with their inability to stop the message of Islam from spreading so they became ruthless. They resorted to any method of torture that they could think of; beating, starving and harassing. When the persecution became so severe that it was difficult for the Muslims to bear it, the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) gave permission to migrate to Abyssinia. “For in it dwells a king in whose presence no one is harmed.” 10 men and 4 women migrated in the 5th year of Prophethood secretly. After a few months, a larger group of 83 men and 18 women migrated as well. This migration added more fuel to the fire. It enraged the people of Quraysh.

Umm Salamah [rahna]narrated, “When we stopped to reside in the land of Abyssinia we lived alongside the best of neighbors An-Najashi. We practiced our religion safely, worshipped Allah without harm and didn’t hear anything we disliked. When news of our situation reached the Quraysh they started to plot against us…” They decided to send two delegates to persuade An-Najashi to send the Companions back by offering him and his ministers’ gifts. The plan was to go to each minister with gifts and turn them against the Muslims. So they went to each minister with gifts and said, “Verily, foolish youth from amongst us have come to the country of your king; they have abandoned the religion of their people and have not embraced your religion. Rather they have come with a new religion that neither of us knows. The noblemen of their people, from their fathers and uncles, have sent us to the king asking that he send them back. So when we speak to the king regarding their situation advise him to surrender them to us and to not speak to them…” The minister agreed.

Then they went to the king, offered him gifts and said the same thing… The ministers tried to convince him as well. An-Najashi became angry with them and said, “No, by Allah, I will not surrender them to these two and I don’t fear the plotting of a people who have become my neighbors, have settled down in my country, and have chosen me (to grant them refuge) over every other person. I will not do so until I summon them and speak to them. If they are as these two say I will give them up, but if they aren’t then I will protect them from these two and continue to be a good neighbor to them as long as they are good neighbors to me.”

al-Najāshī then summoned the Prophet’s ﷺ Companions. When his messenger informed the Prophet’s Companions that they were to appear before the king, they gathered together to discuss what they should do. One of them asked, “What will you say to the name (al-Najāshī) when you go to him?” They all agreed on what they would say to him, “By Allah, we will say what our Prophet ﷺ taught us and commanded us with, regardless of the consequences.” Meanwhile, al-Najāshī called for his priests, who gathered around him with their scrolls spread out before them. When the Muslims arrived al-Najāshī began by asking them, “What is this religion for which you have parted from your people? You have not entered into the fold of my religion, nor the religion of any person from these nations.”

Umm Salamah [rahna] narrated, “The Person among us who would speak to him was Jaʿfar ibn abī Ṭālib [rahnu] who then said, “O king, we were an ignorant people: we worshipped idols, we would eat from the flesh of dead animals, we would perform lewd acts, we would cut off family ties, and we would be bad neighbors; the strong among us would eat from the weak. We remained upon that state until Allah sent us a Messenger, whose lineage, truthfulness, trustworthiness, and chastity we already knew. He invited us to Allah – to believe in His oneness and to worship Him; to abandon all that we and our fathers worshipped besides Allah, in terms of stones and idols. He ﷺ commanded us to speak truthfully, to fulfill the trust, to join ties of family relations, to be good to our neighbors, and to refrain from forbidden deeds and from shedding blood. And he ﷺ forbade us from lewd acts, from uttering falsehood, from wrongfully eating the wealth of an orphan, from falsely accusing chaste women of wrongdoing. And he ﷺ ordered us to worship Allah alone and to not associate any partners with him in worship; and he ﷺ commanded us to pray, to give zakāh, and to fast.” He enumerated for al-Najāshī the teachings of Islam. He said, “And we believe him and have faith in him. We follow him in what he came with. And so we worship Allah alone, without associating any partners with Him in worship. We deem forbidden that which he has made forbidden for us, and we deem lawful that which he made permissible for us. Our people then transgressed against us and tortured us. The tried to force us to abandon our religion and to return from the worship of Allah to the worship of idols; they tried to make us deem lawful those abominable acts that we used to deem lawful. Then, when they subjugated us, wronged us, and treated us in an oppressive manner, standing between us and our religion, we came to your country, and we chose you over all other people. We desired to live alongside you, and we hoped that, with you, we would not be wronged, O king.” al-Najāshī said to Jaʿfar [rahnu], “Do you have any of that which he came with from Allah?” Jaʿfar [rahnu] said, “Yes”. “Then recite to me,” said al-Najāshī. Jaʿfar [rahnu] recited for him the beginning of Surah Maryam. By Allah, al-Najāshī began to cry, until his beard became wet with tears. And when his priests heard what Jaʿfar [rahnu] was reciting to them, they cried until their scrolls became wet. al-Najāshī then said, “By Allah, this and what Mūsa (as) came with come out of the same lantern. Then by Allah, I will never surrender them to you, and henceforward they will not be plotted against and tortured.”

Describing what happened after the aforementioned discussion between al-Najāshī and Jaʿfar [rahnu], Umm Salamah raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) said, “When both ʿAmr ibn al-ʿĀṣ and ʿAbdullah ibn abī Rabīʿah left the presence of al-Najāshī, ʿAmr [rahnu] said, “By Allah tomorrow I will present to him information about them with which I will pull up by the roots their very lives.” Abdullah ibn Rabīʿah who was more sympathetic of the two towards us said, “Don’t do so, for they have certain rights of family relations, even if they have opposed us.” ʿAmr said, “By Allah, I will inform him that they claim that ʿĪsā ibn Maryam is a slave.”

He went to the king on the following day and said, “O king, verily, they have strong words to say about ʿĪsa (as). Call them here and ask them what they say about him.” al-Najāshī sent for them in order to ask them about ʿĪsa. Nothing similar to this befell us before. The group of Muslims gathered together and said to one another, “What will you say about ʿĪsa when he asks you about him?” They said, “By Allah, we will say about him that which Allah says and that which our Prophet ﷺ came with, regardless of the outcome.” When they entered into his presence, he said to them, “What do you say about ʿĪsa ibn Maryam?” Jaʿfar raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) said, “We say about him that which our Prophet ﷺ came with – that he is the slave of Allah, His messenger, a spirit created by Him, and His word, which he bestowed on Maryam, the virgin, the baṭūl.”

al-Najāshī struck his hand on the ground and took from it a stick. He then said, “ʿĪsa ibn Maryam did not go beyond what you said even the distance of the stick.” When he said this, his ministers spoke out in anger, to which he responded, “What I said is true even if you speak out in anger, by Allah. (Turning to the Muslims, he said) Go, for you are safe in my land. Whoever curses you will be held responsible. And I would not love to have a reward of gold in return for me hurting a single man among you. (Speaking to his ministers he said) Return to these two (men) their gifts, since we have no need for them. For by Allah, Allah did not take from me bribe money when He returned to me my kingdom, so why should I take bribe money. The two left, defeated and humiliated; and returned to them were the things they came with. We then resided alongside al-Najāshī in a very good abode, with a very good neighbor.”

The response was simply amazing in its eloquence. A believer puts the needs of his soul before the needs of his body. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) starts the Surah by saying,

Verse 1: Kaf, Ha, Ya, ‘Ayn, Sad.

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) starts Surah Maryam with a series of five letters. There are many different saying or explanations regarding these five letters. The most correct opinion is that these are from the broken letters. There are 29 different Surahs in the Quran that start with the broken letters. Only Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) alone knows the meanings of these letters. They are a secret from amongst the secrets of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), meaning that no one knows what they truly mean. Only Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) knows their meanings so they are from amongst the Mutashaabihat, those verses whose meanings are hidden.

However, we do find that some great Companions, as well as their students, sometimes gave meanings to these words. For example, it’s said that it is in acronym and each letter represents one of the names of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). Kaf is for Al-Kafi or Al-Kareem, “haa” is for Al-Hadi, “yaa” is from Hakeem or Raheem, “’ayn” is from Al-‘Aleem or Al-‘Adheem, and “saad” is from Al-Saadiq. Others said that it is one of the names of Allah and it’s actually Al-Ism Al-‘Atham or that it’s a name of the Quran. However, these narrations can’t be used as proof or to assign definitive meanings. They offer possibilities, but no one truly knows what they mean.

Now the question should come to our mind that why would Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) start of a Surah with words that no one understands?

1) To grab the attention of the listeners.

2) To remind us that no matter how much we know there’s always something that we don’t know.

3) These letters are the letters of the Arabic language and the Quran was revealed at a time that was the peak of eloquence of the language and it was their identity. The Quran was revealed challenging them spiritually and intellectually. The Arabs never heard these letters being used in such a majestic way.

4) To prove the inimitable nature of the Quran.

Allah then starts the story of Zakariyya 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him). Zakariyya 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) was one of the Prophets sent to Bani Israel. He was the husband of Maryam’s paternal aunt. He was also one of the caretakers or custodians of Baitul Maqdis.

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Heart Soothers: Idrees Al Hashemi

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Lesson 13 From Surah Al -Kahf

Last verses of Surah Kahf

Shaykh Furhan Zubairi

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Surah Kahf

Alhamdulillah last session we were able to cover the meanings of verses 83-98. InshAllah tonight we’ll explore the meanings of verses 99-110, which will bring us to the end of this noble and beautiful Surah. Just as a quick reminder, the last set of verses related the story of Dhul Qarnain, who was an upright and God-conscious ruler who ruled over the entire known world of his time. He was a righteous servant of Allah to whom Allah granted might, power and sovereignty over the world along with knowledge and wisdom. He was a special servant of God. We’re told about his journeys to the east, west, and north as well as his building of a huge wall to prevent Ya’jūj and Ma’jūj from escaping. This story highlighted the fitna and trial of might, power, leadership, and authority and showed us that the way to deal with it is through faith and sincerity. Dhul Qarnain was tested with a lot of wealth and power but it was unable to corrupt him because of his faith and sincerity. The Surah follows the story of Dhul Qarnain with a scene from the Day of Judgment.

Verse 99: And We shall leave them, on that day, to surge over one another like waves. And the trumpet shall be blown, and We shall gather them together.

The first part of this verse is referring to Ya’jūj and Ma’jūj and the second part refers to resurrection, when the Angel Isrāfīl will blow into the horn bringing all creation back to life. On that day, is referring to the day near the end of times when Ya’jūj and Ma’jūj will break through the barrier and surge down the mountains like waves upon humanity destroying everything in their way. As Allah ﷻ tells us in Surah Al-Anbiya, “Until when [the dam of] Gog and Magog has been opened and they, from every elevation, descend…” They will wreak havoc for a period of time known to Allah until they will be destroyed.

As we’ve covered before there will be two instances when the trumpet will be sounded. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has appointed the Angel Isrāfīl to blow into the trumpet. This will happen twice. The first time every single thing will be destroyed. The second time every single thing will be brought back to life. This is how the day of Resurrection will start. The sūr, which is a trumpet or a horn, will be blown and all of mankind will rise from their graves and come towards the plain of judgment. That’s what Allah ﷻ is mentioning here in this verse, “And the trumpet shall be blown, and We shall gather them together.”

The Surah then describes a scene from the day of Judgment that’s specific to the non-believers. Those who received the message and consciously chose to reject it and rebel against God and His messengers.

Verse 100-101: And We shall present Hell, on that Day, as an array before the non-believers, those whose eyes were veiled from the remembrance of Me, and could not hear.

Meaning on the Day of Judgment Allah ﷻ will show the non-believers Hell Fire, exposing it to them so that they can see it with their own eyes. They will see it with their own eyes and hear its raging and frightening sounds even before entering it. Allah then describes the non-believers with 3 characteristics, which are essentially three reasons why they will be punished in the hereafter:

1) “Those whose eyes were veiled from the remembrance of Me, and could not hear.” They weren’t able to understand the truth when it was presented to them because they were spiritually blind and deaf. They were blind to the signs of Allah’s existence and power all around them spread throughout the universe, so they never thought or reflected over them. On top of that, they weren’t able to understand what was being recited to them. Meaning, they consciously chose to ignore the message and turn away from it. Here Allah is contrasting their condition in the hereafter to their condition in the life of this world. In this world, they chose to turn away from belief in the fire and in the hereafter, they won’t have the option to turn away. The veil over their eyes will be removed and they will see the consequences of their choice.

2) The second is that they worshipped others besides Allah.

Verse 102: Do those who disbelieve reckon that they may take My servants as protectors apart from Me? Truly We have prepared Hell as a welcome for the disbelievers!

Allah is scolding them and showing them their mistake. Did they really think or believe that they could take created beings or inanimate objects as protectors apart from Me? Did they really believe that worshipping idols, angels or people would benefit them or help them in any way? There’s no help or protection except with Allah, who deserves to be worshipped alone without any partners. As Allah ﷻ says in Surah Maryam, “No! Those “gods” will deny their worship of them and will be against them opponents [on the Day of Judgment].” Allah then tells us that their punishment is Jahannam, which has been prepared as a resting place for them. “Truly We have prepared Hell as a welcome for the disbelievers!”

3) The third quality that the non-believers are described with is that they are fools for thinking that their actions in this world will be of any benefit to them in the Hereafter.

Verse 103-104: Say, “Shall We inform you who are the greatest losers in respect to their deeds? Those whose efforts go astray in the life of this world, while they think that they are virtuous in their works.

In this verse, Allah ﷻ is addressing the Prophet ﷺ directly and he’s telling him to pose this question to the non-believers. “Shall We inform you who are the greatest losers in respect to their deeds?” Do you want to know who the greatest and biggest losers are with respect to their deeds? They are the ones who did good deeds and put in effort, but all of it went to waste. Those individuals who were misguided in the life of this world so their actions were guided by their wants, desires, and pleasures. Their actions were misplaced and not guided by faith in Allah. The reason why all of their efforts will go to waste is their disbelief or absence of faith. As Allah says,

Verse 105-106: They are those who disbelieve in the signs of their Lord, and in the meeting with Him. So their deeds have gone to waste, and on the Day of Resurrection, We shall assign them no weight. That is their recompense, the Jahannam, for having disbelieved and for having taken My signs and My messengers in mockery.

The greatest losers with respect to their deeds are those who reject the signs of Allah in this world. Those who refuse to accept the oneness, might, power and magnificence of Allah, those who refuse to believe in life after death and accountability. Their deeds will go to waste and on the Day of Judgment, they won’t have any weight. We know from multiple verses and narrations that our deeds are going to be weighed on the Day of Judgment. And on the Day of Judgment, it’s not about the number of deeds but the quality. That’s why on the Day of Judgment our deeds won’t be counted but they will be weighed. It could be that the weight of one action or deed is more than a thousand other deeds.

Those actions that are devoid of faith and sincerity will have no weight whatsoever. As Allah ﷻ says in Surah Al-Furqān, “And We will regard what they have done of deeds and make them as dust dispersed.” Their recompense is the fire of Jahannam, and that is the ultimate justice and fairness. They get punishment as recompense because of their rejection and disbelief and mockery of Allah’s signs and His messengers. Allah ﷻ then contrasts the punishment of the non-believers with the reward of the believers in Paradise.

Verse 107-108: Those who believe and perform righteous deeds, theirs shall be the Gardens of Paradise as a welcome. Abiding therein forever, they don’t seek any change from it.

Just as Hell is a “welcome” for the non-believers, Paradise is a true “welcome” for the believers. Meaning, those who believe in the existence and oneness of Allah, believe in the Prophet ﷺ and life after death and that faith expresses itself through their actions, their reward will be Gardens of Paradise. Again we see this formula being mentioned, faith + righteous deeds. This is the simple formula to achieve success in this world and the next. Our faith has to be real and practical; it has to translate into action. If we do so then our reward will be Jannah al-Firdaws, which is the highest and most virtuous level of Paradise. The Prophet ﷺ said, “When you ask Allah for Paradise ask Him for Al-Firdaws. It is the highest level of Paradise, the middle of Paradise and the rivers of Paradise flow from it.”

  • إذا سألتم الله الجنة، فاسألوه الفردوس، فإنه أعلى الجنة، و أوسط الجنة، و منها تفجر أنهار الدنة.

In another narration, the Prophet ﷺ said, “In Paradise, there are a hundred levels, what is between every two levels is like what is between the heavens and the earth. Al-Firdaws is its highest level, and from it the four rivers of Paradise are made to flow forth. So when you ask Allah, ask Him for Al-Firdaws.”

  • “‏ فِي الْجَنَّةِ مِائَةُ دَرَجَةٍ مَا بَيْنَ كُلِّ دَرَجَتَيْنِ كَمَا بَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالأَرْضِ وَالْفِرْدَوْسُ أَعْلاَهَا دَرَجَةً وَمِنْهَا تُفَجَّرُ أَنْهَارُ الْجَنَّةِ الأَرْبَعَةُ وَمِنْ فَوْقِهَا يَكُونُ الْعَرْشُ فَإِذَا سَأَلْتُمُ اللَّهَ فَسَلُوهُ الْفِرْدَوْسَ ‏”‏ ‏.

They will be in Paradise for all of eternity, enjoying all of its pleasures and not wanting or desiring anything other than it. Allah (swt) then tells us about the extent and vastness of His knowledge. That his knowledge is infinite. This is also a description of the greatness and status of the Qur’ān.

Verse 109: Say, “If the ocean were ink for the words of my Lord, the ocean would be exhausted before the words of my Lord were exhausted, even if We brought the like thereof to replenish it.”

“The words of my Lord” may be a reference to Allah’s infinite knowledge or wisdom or the meanings of the Qur’ān. Meaning that if the oceans were turned into ink and the words of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) were to be written with this ink, then the ink would run out and the words of Allah (swt) would still be left, even if more ink were to be brought. This is an example to make us understand the vastness of Allah’s knowledge, wisdom, and secrets. This example is being given to make us as human beings recognize the infinite nature of Allah’s knowledge as compared to or finite and limited knowledge.

The ocean is the largest and richest creation known to us as human beings. It takes up more than 70% of the surface of the Earth. And we use ink to document and record our knowledge, which we think is vast and amazing. So Allah gives this example of the ocean as ink being used to write and record His words. The entire ocean is used up and then it’s replenished but the words of Allah are still being written. This example is trying to help us comprehend the difference between the infinite and the finite. “And if all the trees on earth were pens, and if the sea and seven more added to it were ink, the words of Allah would not be exhausted. Truly Allah is Mighty, Wise.” This example should allow us to recognize the greatness and magnificence of Allah ﷻ as well as humble us as human beings as well.

We as human beings should never be deceived or fooled by our own intellect and abilities. No matter how much we learn and how advanced we become scientifically and technologically, it’s nothing compared to the infinite knowledge and wisdom of Allah ﷻ. Our knowledge compared to the knowledge of Allah is like a drop of water compared to all the oceans. Allah ﷻ then ends the noble Surah by reminding the Prophet (saw) about humility and us about the path of true salvation.

Verse 110: Say, “I am only a human being like you. It has been revealed to me that your God is one God. So whosoever hopes for the meeting with his Lord, let him perform righteous deeds and make no one a partner with his Lord in worship.

Allah ﷻ is speaking directly to the Prophet ﷺ. He’s telling him to tell his nation, his community, that he is a human being just like them. He’s not an Angel nor is he divine in any way. He eats, drinks, walks, talks and sleeps just like them. The only difference is that he ﷺ receives revelation from above from the Most High. It has been revealed to him that there is only one God, alone without any partners. So whoever believes in the meeting with their Lord, meaning they believe in the last day, resurrection, accountability and judgment. They know that the life of this world is temporary and finite and that the life of the hereafter is eternal and infinite, should “perform righteous deeds and make no one a partner with his Lord in worship.”

Righteous deeds include fulfilling all of our obligations, obeying the commands of Allah and staying away from His prohibitions. It includes all voluntary acts of worship such as praying, fasting, reading Quran, making dua, dhikr and charity. It includes being kind to our parents, spouses, children, relatives, neighbors, and co-workers. It even includes smiling at someone. There are multiple paths of righteousness in Islam.

We’re then reminded to not associate partners with Allah in our worship; to not commit shirk. There are two types of shirk: al-shirk al-akbar and al-shirk al-asghar. Al-Shirk Al-Akbar is associating partners with Allah; it’s an act of disbelief. Al-Shirk Al-Asghar refers to ostentation and showing off or not having sincerity in acts of worship. The Prophet ﷺ referred to ostentation as “the lesser idolatry.” The Prophet ﷺ said, “I do not fear that you will worship the sun, the stars and the moon, but I fear your worshipping other than Allah through ostentation.” The Prophet ﷺ said, “What I fear most for my community is doing things for other than the sake of Allah.” Ibn al-‘Arabi quotes his shaykh, “Let not the hours of your dear life pass away confronting contemporaries and socializing with friends. Watch out! Allah concluded His statement on the following verse…”

Alhamdulillah that brings us to then end of this noble and beautiful Surah. A Surah that has a special and unique status because the Prophet ﷺ encouraged us to recite it specifically on Fridays. Through four stories the Surah focuses on four different types of trials we’re going to face in this world and how to respond to them.

1) The story of the people of the cave represents the trial of faith. And we’re taught that one of the best ways to deal with it is through good company; surrounding ourselves with people of faith and righteousness.

2) The story of the owner of the two gardens is representative of the trial of wealth. And we’re taught the most powerful way to deal with it is by recognizing the reality of the life of this world.

3) The story of Musa (as) with Khidr is representative of the trial of knowledge and the way to deal with it is through seeking knowledge and humility.

4) The last story, the story of Dhul Qarnain is representative of the trial of power. The solution is sincerity and righte

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