Is it permissible to listen to Naats that say Ya Rasullah in them? What about in Namaz we pray Al Salaamu Alayka Ayyuhan Nabiyu?
It has always been the belief of the Ahlul Sunnah Wal Jamaah that no one besides Allah Ta’ala is omnipresent and no one besides Allah can see or hear what we are doing or saying at all times.
Ya Rasullah, in the arabic language means O Messenger of Allah. Yaa in the Arabic language is used to call someone who is present.
For example if I was addressing my friend, I would say Ya Ibrahim, if he was present and can hear me. However if he was not present but was somewhere else, then to say Ya Ibrahim would not make sense.
That is why the Ulema have written that to say Ya Rasullah with the belief that the Prophet Salla Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam is present and listening is impermissible.
However there are some situations where to say Ya Rasullah would be permissible.
1) When a person addresses the Prophet Salla Allahu Alayhi wa Sallam in a Naat or a Nasheed or poem, the same way poets address the sun, moon, stars, etc. knowing that the sun, moon, and stars cannot listen and reply. Similiarly, one says Ya Rasulallah out of extreme love, the same way a mother says O my son, regarding a son of her’s who has passed away knowing that the son cannot hear her call.
2) A person sends salutations to the Prophet Salla Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam by saying As Salaatu Was Salaamu Alayka Ya Rasullah, not with the belief that the Prophet Salla Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam is listening, but with the belief that the angels will convey the salutation on his behalf. This is can be permissible as it comes in Hadith that Allah has certain angels who roam the earth, and convey my Ummahs’ salutations to me. An example of this is like a person writing a letter to someone and then sending it to him through a messenger. However, instead of sending salutations to the Prophet in this manner it is more preferable to send salutations in those words which appear in the Ahaadith, eg Durood Ibrahimi.
3) When one is in front of the Rauzah Aqdas (The place where the Prophet of Allah Sallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam is resting). In front of the Rauzah Aqdas, one can address the Prophet Salla Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam using “Yaa” because it is our belief that the Prophet Salla Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam is alive in his grave, and listens and replies to those who greet him.
Therefore, to sing poetry and Nasheeds with the words Ya Rasulallah will be permissible on the condition that one does not believe that the Prophet Salla Allayhi Wa Sallam is present and listening.
As for us saying “Al Salaamu Alayka Ayyuha Al Nabiyyu,” in Al Tahiyyat during Salah, that is not done with the intention that the Prophet Salla Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam is listening. The Tashahud which is recited in Salah is actually an imitation of the conversation which took place between Allah and his beloved Messenger Salla Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam on the Night of Miraaj, therefore it is hikaayat (copying) of the words we were taught.
And Allah is All Knowing
(Ikhtilaf e Ummat aur Siraat e Mustaqeem)