Bismi Llahir Rahmanir Rahim
by Naielah Ackbarali
Sending abundant blessings (salawat) and peace (salam) upon the Prophet ﷺ is a way to show our gratitude towards him ﷺ. It is a demonstration of a believer’s love and veneration for the Prophet ﷺ, and it is also one of the most beneficial supplications that a person can make.
The one who considers the tremendous sacrifices of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ will not hesitate to send blessings and peace upon him. He ﷺ put his life on the line to deliver this message to mankind. He gave up his home and left his family to migrate to al-Madina al-Munawwara. He ﷺ was stoned and driven out by the people of Ta’if. He ﷺ was injured at the Battle of Uhud. He ﷺ was constantly concerned for his ummah and would supplicate for them.
It is said that making salawat is also a way of compensation for some ‘rights’ that the Prophet ﷺ has over creation because he ﷺ is the most significant means through which every favor has reached them.
Thus, as believers, we must stay connected to the Prophet ﷺ and keep his presence ﷺ alive in our hearts. We should try to continuously remember him ﷺ and praise him ﷺ as much as possible because he ﷺ is the cause of our success in this world and the Hereafter.
Allah’s Command To Believers
In the Qur’an, Allah Most High says that He sends blessings upon the Prophet ﷺ and then orders the believers to send their blessings and salutations upon the Prophet ﷺ. Allah says:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ ۚ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا
Indeed, Allah showers His blessings upon the Prophet, and His angels pray for him. O’ believers! Invoke Allah’s blessings upon him, and salute him with worthy greetings of peace.
What is interesting is that there is no other command in the Qur’an in which Allah Most High says that He also performs it Himself – except with the sending of salawat upon the Prophet ﷺ. This exclusivity certainly shows the tremendous rank and honor of the Prophet ﷺ.
In Arabic, the term salat has several meanings. Although scholars hold various interpretations for what it means in this verse, many say that when salat is attributed to Allah Most High, it refers to His mercy. When it is attributed to the angels, it means du’a. When it is attributed to the believers, it refers to making supplication for Allah’s blessings and mercy. Sending salutations (salam) means to greet the Prophet ﷺ with peace like what is mentioned in the tashahud for prayer.
Benefits of Sending Blessings Upon The Prophet ﷺ
Aside from fulfilling the Qur’anic injunction in the previously mentioned verse, there are a number of reasons why a believer should be avid to make salawat on the Prophet ﷺ:
1. All your concerns will be lifted and your sins forgiven.
Ubay ibn Ka’ab (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “‘I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), I frequently invoke Allah to elevate your rank. How much of my supplications should I devote to you?’ He said, ‘You may devote as much as you wish.’ When I suggested a quarter, he said, ‘Do whatever you wish, but if you increase it, it will be better for you.’ I suggested half, and he said, ‘Do whatever you wish, but if you increase it, it will be better for you.’ I suggested two- thirds, and he said, ‘Do whatever you wish but if you increase it, it will be better for you.’ I said, ‘Shall I devote all my supplications invoking Allah to elevate your rank?’ He said, ‘Then you will be freed from your worries and your sins will be forgiven.’” [Tirmidhi]
2. Allah will send blessings on you.
The Prophet ﷺ said: “Whoever sends blessings upon me, Allah will send ten blessings (mercies) upon him.” [Muslim]
Being remembered by Allah Most High is the greatest bounty a believer could ever want.
3. It will draw you closer to the Prophet ﷺ in the Hereafter.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “The closest of people to me on the Day of Resurrection will be those who sent the most blessings upon me.” [Tirmidhi]
‘Closest’ could mean close physical proximity to him ﷺ or the most eligible for intercession.
4. The Prophet ﷺ will receive and return your greetings.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “There is no one who sends greetings of peace (salam) upon me, but Allah will restore to me my soul so that I may return his salam.” [Abu Dawud]
Just imagine that the best and most noble of creation is replying to our greetings!
Scholars state that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ returning salam applies to those who are present at his grave and those who are far away. The only difference is that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ hears the one who recites salawat before him, whereas the salawat recited from a distance are conveyed to him.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Allah has angels who go around on earth conveying to me the salam of my Ummah.” [Nasa’i]
5. Your sins will be erased and your status raised.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Whoever sends blessings upon me once, Allah will erase ten sins from him and will raise him ten degrees in status.” [Nasa’i]
6. It helps your du’a to be accepted.
Umar Ibn Khattab said, “Du’a is suspended between heaven and earth and none of it is taken up to the heavens until you send blessings upon your Prophet ﷺ.” [Tirmidhi]
Obligatory Times To Send Salawat
Scholars deduce that:
1) Sending salawat upon the Prophet ﷺ at least once in person’s lifetime is obligatory (fard).
2) It is mandatory (wajib) to send salawat upon the Prophet ﷺ whenever a person hears his blessed name. The Prophet ﷺ said: “May that person be humiliated who when my name is mentioned in his presence does not send blessings upon me.” [Tirmidhi]
3) If the Prophet’s name ﷺ is mentioned repeatedly in a sitting or gathering, then sending salawat only once will discharge a person’s obligation, but it remains recommended to say it each time the Prophet’s name ﷺ is mentioned.
Optimal Ways To Send Salawat
When the name of the Prophet ﷺ is mentioned, one should send both blessings (salah) and salutations (salam) upon him ﷺ and not opt for one without the other.
Either of these two phrases suffices:
صلّى اللهُ عَليْهِ و سَلّم
sall Allahu alayhi wa sallam
May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.
عَليْهِ الصَلاةُ وَ السَّلامُ
alayhis salaatu was salaam
May peace and blessings be upon him.
The Prophet ﷺ taught us the best and most complete way of how to send salawat upon him. According to the most authentic narrations, he ﷺ instructed the Companions to say:
اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ كَمَا صَلَّيْتَ عَلَى آلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ، اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ علَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ كَمَا بَارَكْتَ عَلَى آلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ
`Allahumma salli `ala Muhammadin, wa `ala aali Muhammadin, kama sallayta `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.
اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلى مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى أَزْوَاجِهِ وَذُرِّيَّتِهِ، كَمَا صَلَّيْتَ عَلَى آلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، وَبَارِكْ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى أَزْوَاجِهِ وَذُرِّيَّتِهِ، كَمَا بَارَكْتَ عَلَى آلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ
`Allahumma salli `ala Muhammadin wa `ala azwajihi wa dhurriyyatihi, kama sallayta `ala aali Ibrahima wa barik `ala Muhammadin wa `ala azwajihi wa dhurriyyatihi, kama barakta `ala aali 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.
Recommended Times To Send Salawat
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
“Verily, the best of your days is Friday. Adam was created on it, on it he died, on it the trumpet will be blown, and on it the shout will be made. Thus, send blessings upon me often, for your blessings are presented to me.” They said, “O Messenger of Allah, how are our blessings presented to you after you have decayed?” The Prophet said, “Verily, Allah Almighty has forbidden the earth from consuming the bodies of the prophets.” [Abu Dawud]
Apart from Friday, there are other occasions when sending blessings upon the Prophet ﷺ is encouraged. The renown Hanafi scholar Alama ibn Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) compiled a detailed list. He says:
“It is recommended to send blessings upon the Prophet ﷺ at every possible moment that one is able. The scholars state that there are certain times when it is specifically recommended:
- During the day and night on Friday, and also on Saturday, Sunday and Thursday because this is what has been found in different narrations.
- In the morning and the evening.
- Upon entering the mosque and exiting it.
- When visiting his ﷺ noble grave in Madina.
- At the mounts of Ṣafa and Marwa.
- When delivering the Friday sermon and any other sermon.
- After the reply of the adhan.
- When the iqama is given.
- At the beginning, middle and end of a supplication (du’a).
- After the qunut supplication in the witr prayer.
- Upon finishing the talbiya.
- When meeting and parting.
- During ablution.
- When having forgotten something.
- When giving admonition and spreading knowledge.
- When commencing to read a Prophetic narration and at its completion.
- When writing a question or fatwa.
- For every writer, student, teacher, preacher, person seeking marriage, person getting married and person marrying others off.
- In letters and messages.
- And on the occasion of any important matter.”
He further comments that it is disliked to send salawat during sexual relations and while relieving oneself.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
“The miser is the one in whose presence I am mentioned and he does not supplicate on my behalf.” [Ahmad]
A miser it a person who does not grant another his due rights. Sending salawat does not require much effort. A person who forgoes it is not fulfilling the Qur’anic injunction and deprives himself of great reward.
Thus, we should be avid to make salawat and strive to acquire the rewards of this practice by supplicating for the Prophet at all appropriate times. This signifies our gratitude to Allah Most High for granting us the tremendous favor of sending the Prophet ﷺ to us, AlhamduliLlah.
- Imam ibn Abidin, رد المحتار على الدر المختار
- Imam al-Tabarani, التفسير الكبير
- Imam Nawawi, رياض الصالحين