Salawat al-Sharifah

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What is salawat al sharifah? What does salawat sharifah means in islam?

Allah the Almighty swears in the Qur’an upon the life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Allah the Glorious states His name with the name of His messenger and proclaims the faith in his prophethood as a precondition for the faith in His Divinity. He also announces that He is not content with those who raise their voices in front of His messenger. He does not approve mentioning the blessed name of His Messenger like an ordinary name. In addition, He states that He and His angels’ praise the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and send their blessings to him, and then He orders the followers’ of Muhammad to send their blessing for him, too. This is stated in the following verse:

“Allah and His Angels send blessing on the Prophet: o you who believe send your blessings on him, and salute him with all respect.” (Ahzab 33; 56) According to this verse, sending blessings for the Messenger of Allah is a Divine requirement.

Ubay b. Ka’b (r.a.) narrates the following incident:

One day, I asked the Messenger of Allah (pbuh): “O Messenger of Allah! I send many blessings for you, but how much should I do that?”

He said: “As much as you want.”

I asked again: “If I assign one fourth of my prayers for calling blessings for you, would it be appropriate?”

He said: “You can assign as much of your prayers as you want, but if you assign more, it would be better for you.”

I said: “Then I will assign half of my prayer time for salawat al-sharifah.”

He said: “You can assign as much of your prayers as you want, but if you assign more, it would be better for you.”

I asked again:

“Would two thirds be enough?”

He said: “As much as you want, but if you assign more, it would be better for you.”

I said: “Then what do you think if I assign all my prayer time for sending blessings for you?”

He said: “Then Allah the Almighty appeases all of your troubles and forgives your sins.” (Tirmidhi, Qiyamah, 23)

This is why the friends of Allah constantly repeat ṣalawat al-sharifah; because, the more they send blessings for the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) the more the love for him increases in their hearts. Of course getting the proper benefit from his exemplary personality will be in the extent of the increase of love for the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) in the hearts.

On the other hand, according to the Islamic manners, supplications should begin and end with calling blessings for the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). Since sending salutations to the Prophet (pbuh) is considered a type of prayer, there is a common belief that it will not be refused by Allah the Almighty. Decorating our supplications with the blessings for the Prophet (pbuh) has originated from this fact. In other words, the belief that squeezing our prayers between two ṣalawat al-sharifah, which are expected to be accepted, may enable the acceptance of our prayers, too.

Umar (r.a.) says that:

“Prayer waits between earth and heaven. It would not ascend to Allah the Almighty, unless blessings and salutations are called for the Messenger of Allah (pbuh).” (Tirmidhi, Witr, 21)

One day the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) saw a man praying without saying his gratefulness for Allah the Almighty and without sending blessings for His Messenger. Upon this he said: “This man hurried up.” Then he called the man and told him:

“When one of you wants to pray, first say your gratefulness to Allah the Almighty, and then call for blessings for His Prophet. Finally say your prayers however you would like to pray.” (Tirmidhi, Daawat, 64)

Ibn Abbas (r.a.) reports the following hadith:

There was a war between the Jews of Khaybar and the tribe of Gatafan, and every time they met in a battle field, the Jews of Khaybar were defeated. Finally they prayed saying:

“O Allah! We want You to bless us with victory for the sake of the Prophet you will send at the end of the Days.” After this prayer they defeated the tribe of Gatafan; however when Allah the Almighty sent the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), they refused his prophethood and the book he brought. Then Allah the Almighty revealed the following verse:

“And when there comes to them a Book from Allah, confirming what is with them – though before that they were asking for a signal triumph over those who disbelieved – when there comes to them that which they (should) have recognized. They refuse to believe in it but the curse of Allah is on those without Faith.” (Baqarah 2; 89) (Qurṭubi, Al-Ja’mi, II, 27; Wahidi, Asbab al-Nuzul, p. 31)

Even the non-Muslims who used the name of the Messenger of Allah in their prayers received what they asked for and benefited from the mercy and blessings that he brought to the universe.

Allah the Almighty addresses His messenger in the Qur’an as follows:

“But Allah was not going to send them a penalty whilst you were amongst them….” (Anfal 8; 33)

This divine statement was revealed about the polytheists. If this was the reward for the polytheists just because they were physically in the same society with the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), then we should think about how great the reward for the believers would be; especially the reward for those who adorn their faith with the love for the Messenger of Allah; their reward will be beyond human imagination. The higher the level of a believer’s love for him the greater the reward of the believer in the Hereafter will be.

Source: An Excellent Exemplar, Osman Nuri Topbaş,  Erkam Publications

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