Taken from the book: "The Prophets Prayer Described
" Author: Shaikh Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaanee
Important Notes about as-Salaah 'alaa an-Nabiyy - Sending Prayers on the Prophet of the Ummah
1) It can be seen that in most of these ways of sending prayers on the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam), there is no mention of Ibraaheem separate from his family, the wording being, "... as you have sent prayers on the family of Ibraaheem." The reason for this is that in 'Arabic, the family of a man includes the man as well as his dependants, e.g. in the words of the Exalted,
"Allaah has chosen Aadam, Nooh, the family of Ibraaheem and the family of 'Imraan above all people
" (aal-'Imraan 3:33);
"We sent against them a violent tornado with showers of stones, except the family of Loot - We delivered them by early dawn"
(Qamar 54:34); similar is his saying (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam), O Allaah! send prayers on the family of Abu Awfaa
. The phrase Ahl al-Bayt (people of the house) is also like this, e.g.
"Allaah's grace and His blessings be on you, O people of the house" (Houd 11:73). Hence, Ibraaheem is included in "the family of Ibraaheem".
Shaikh-ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah says,
"Most of the versions have, 'as you sent prayers on the family of Ibraaheem' and 'as you sent blessings on the family of Ibraaheem'; some have 'Ibraaheem' himself. This is because he is the cause of all prayers and purifications on them; the rest of his family are secondary recipients of all that. To show these two points, both wordings have been employed separately."
Further, there is a well-known question among the people of knowledge: about the nature of the comparison in his statement, "as you sent prayers on ...", for it is true that the model for comparison is normally superior to the one being compared; here, the opposite is the case, since Muhammad (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) is greater than Ibraaheem, and so his superiority dictates that the prayers requested are more excellent than any prayers received or to be received by anyone else. The people of knowledge have provided many answers to this, and these can be found in Fath al-Baari and Jalaa' al-Ifhaam. They amount to about ten views, all of which are unsubstantiated, some weaker than others, except one, a well-supported view, and adopted by Shaikh-ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn al-Qayyim. This view is: "The family of Ibraaheem includes many prophets; none like them is found in the family of Muhammad. Therefore, when prayers on the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) and his family are sought similar to that bestowed on Ibraaheem and his family, which includes prophets, the family of Muhammad receives out of that what is appropriate for them. Since the family of Muhammad does not reach the rank of the prophets, the extra blessings and benefit given to the prophets, including Ibraaheem, are left for Muhammad (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam). Thus he gains a distinguished position which others cannot reach."
Ibn al-Qayyim says,
"This is the best of all the previous views: that Muhammad (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) is one of the family of Ibraaheem; in fact, he is the best of the family of Ibraaheem, as 'Ali ibn Talhah has related from Ibn 'Abbaas (radi Allaahu 'anhu) about the saying of the Exalted, "Allaah has chosen Aadam, Nooh, the family of Ibraaheem and the family of 'Imraan above all people" (aal-'Imraan 3:33); Ibn 'Abbaas said, "Muhammad is among the family of Ibraaheem". This is text for the fact that if other prophets descended from Ibraaheem are included in his family, then the inclusion of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) is more fitting. Hence our saying, "... as you sent prayers on the family of Ibraaheem", includes the prayers sent on him and on the rest of the prophets descended from Ibraaheem. Allaah has then ordered us to specifically send prayers on Muhammad and his family, as much as we send prayers on him, along with the rest of Ibraaheem's family generally. Therefore, the Prophet's family receives out of that what is appropriate for them, leaving all of the remainder to him (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam). There is no doubt that the total amount of prayers received by Ibraaheem's family, with the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) among them, is greater than that received by the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) alone. Therefore, what is sought for him is such a great favour, definitely superior than that sought for Ibraaheem. Hence, the nature of the comparison and its consistency become clear. The prayers sought for him with these words are greater than those requested any other way, since what is requested with the supplication is that it be as much as the model of comparison, and that the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) receive a large portion: the comparison dictates that what is requested is more than what was given to Ibraaheem and others. Thus, the excellence and nobility of Muhammad (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam), over and above Ibraaheem and his family, which includes many prophets, is evident, and is as he deserves. This sending of prayers on the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) becomes evidence for this excellence of his, and this is no more than he deserves. So, may Allaah send prayers on him and on his family, and send peace on them, many greetings of peace, and reward him from our supplications better than He has rewarded any prophet from his people. O Allaah! send prayers on Muhammad, and on the family of Muhammad, as you sent prayers on the family of Ibraaheem; You are indeed Worthy of Praise, Full of Glory. And send blessings on Muhammad, and on the family of Muhammad, as you sent blessings on the family of Ibraaheem; You are indeed Worthy of Praise, Full of Glory."
2) The reader will see that this part of the Prayer, with all its different types, is always a sending of prayers on the family of the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam): on his wives and children as well as himself. Therefore, it is neither from the Sunnah, nor carrying out the Prophet's command, to leave it at "O Allaah! send prayers on Muhammad" only. Rather, one of these complete types of supplication must be used, as is reported from his action (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam), whether in the first or the last tashahhud. There is text about this from Imaam Shaafi'i in al-Umm: "The tashahhud in the first and second instance is the same thing; by 'tashahhud', I mean the bearing of witness and the sending of prayers on the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam): neither will suffice without the other."
In fact, one of the most amazing things to arise from this age and its intellectual anarchy is that one person, Muhammad Is'aaf Nashaasheebi, in his book al-Islaam as-Saheeh ("The Correct Islaam"), has the audacity to reject the sending of prayers on the family of the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) when sending prayers on him, despite it being firmly established in the Saheehs of al-Bukhaari and Muslim, and elsewhere, on the authority of several Companions, e.g. Ka'b ibn 'Ujrah, Abu Humaid as-Saa'idi, Abu Sa'eed al-Khudri, Abu Mas'ood al-Ansaari, Abu Hurairah and Talhah ibn 'Ubaidullaah! In their ahaadeeth, it is found that they asked the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam), "How do we send prayers on you?", so he taught them this way of doing so. Nashaasheebi's argument for his view is that Allaah the Exalted did not mention anyone else with the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) in His saying:
"O you who believe! Send prayers on him, and salute him with all respect." (Ahzaab 33:56) He then goes on to say in his refutation that the Companions asked him (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) that question because the meaning of "salaah" was known to them as "supplication", so they were asking: "How can we supplicate to you?"!
This is a clear deception, for their question was not about the meaning of "salaah" on him, in which case he would have a point, but it was about the manner of doing the salaah on him, as is found in the narrations to which we have referred. Thus it all fits, for they asked him about the way of doing it according to the Sharee'ah, something which they could not possibly find out except from the guidance of the All-Knowing, All-Wise, Giver of the Sharee'ah. Similarly, they could also ask him about the way of performing the Salaah made obligatory by words of the Exalted such as "Establish the Salaah (Prayer)"; for their knowledge of the literal meaning of "Salaah" could not remove their need to ask about its manner according to the Sharee'ah, and this is crystal clear.
As for Nashaasheebi's argument referred to, it is of no consequence, for it is well-known among the Muslims that the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) is the expounder of the words of the Lord of the Worlds, as He says:
"And We have sent down to you the Message that you may explain clearly to the people what is sent for them" (Nahl 16:44). Hence, the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) explained the way of doing salaah on him, and it included mention of his family, so it is compulsory to accept that from him, due to Allaah's saying:
So take what the Messenger gives you (Hashr 59:7), and the well-known authentic hadeeth, Verily, I have been given the Qur'aan and something similar to it.225
I really wonder what Nashaasheebi and those taken in by his pompous words would say if someone were to reject the tashahhud in prayer altogether, or reject the menstruating woman's abstaining from prayer and fasting, all with the argument that Allaah the Exalted did not mention the tashahhud in the Qur'aan; He only mentioned bowing and prostration, and He did not exempt a menstruating woman from prayer and fasting in the Qur'aan!! So, do they agree with such arguments, which are along the lines of his original one, or not? If they do, and we hope not, then they have strayed far, far away from guidance, and have left the mainstream of the Muslims; if they do not, then they are correct in agreeing with us, and their reasons for rejecting those arguments are exactly the same as our reasons for rejecting Nashaasheebi's original pronouncement, which we have explained clearly.
Therefore beware, O Muslims, of attempting to understand the Qur'aan without recourse to the Sunnah, for you will never be able to do that, even if you were the Seebawaih226 of the age, the expert of the age in the 'Arabic language. Here is an example in front of you, for this Nashaasheebi is one of the leading scholars of the 'Arabic language of this period; you have seen how he has strayed, after being deceived by his knowledge of the language, by not seeking the aid of the Sunnah in understanding the Qur'aan; in fact he has rejected this aid, as you know. There are many other examples of this - there is not enough room here to mention them, but what we have mentioned will suffice, and Allaah is the Granter of all capability.
3) The reader will also see that in none of these types of salaah on the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) is there the word sayyid (chief, leader). The later scholars have differed about the validity of its inclusion in the Ibraaheemee salaah. Due to lack of space we will not go into the details of that nor make mention of those who rejected its validity in keeping with the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam)'s complete teaching to his ummah when he instructed, "Say: O Allaah! send prayers on Muhammad ..." on being asked about the manner of salaah on him, but we will quote the Haafidh Ibn Hajr al-'Asqalaani on this, bearing in mind his position as one of the great Shaafi'i scholars of both hadeeth and fiqh, for contradiction of this teaching of the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) has become widespread among Shaafi'i scholars!
Haafiz Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Ghuraabeeli (790- 835 AH), a companion of Ibn Hajr, said, and I quote from his manuscript227:
He (i.e. Ibn Hajr), may Allaah benefit us with his life, was asked about the features of salaah on the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam), whether during prayer or outside it, compulsory or recommended: Is one of its conditions that the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) be attributed with sayaadah (leadership), e.g. 'O Allaah! send prayers on sayyidinaa (our leader) Muhammad ...' or 'the foremost of creation', or 'the leader of the children of Aadam' etc.? Or should one stick to 'O Allaah! send prayers on Muhammad'? Which of these two is the better approach: including the word sayyid, due to it being an established attribute of the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam), or leaving it out due to the absence of it in the narrations? He (Ibn Hajr), may Allaah be pleased with him, replied: "Yes, to follow the narrated wording is superior. It cannot be said, "Maybe the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) himself did not say it out of modesty, just as he did not say (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) on mention of his name, although his ummah has been encouraged to do so" - for we say that if that were superior, it would have been quoted from the Companions and then from the Successors, but we do not come across it in any narrations from any Companion or Successor. This is despite the volume of quotations from them. We have Imaam Shaafi'i, may Allaah exalt his rank, one of the foremost among men in his respect for the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam), saying in the preface to his book which is a base for the people of his madhhab: "O Allaah! send prayers on Muhammad ..." etc. until the end of what his judgment dictated, "... every time one of the rememberers remembers him, and every time one of the heedless fails to remember him", which he seems to have deduced from the authentic hadeeth which has in it that the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) saw the Mother of the Believers engaging in long and numerous glorifications, so he said to her, "You have said words which, if weighed against the following, would be balanced: Glorified be Allaah, as many times as the number of His creation"; he (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) used to like supplications which were concise, but exhaustive in meaning. Qaadi 'Iyaad set out a chapter about salaah on the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) in his book ash- Shifaa' (The Book of Cure), quoting in it narrations from the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) on the authority of several Companions and Successors; in none of these is the word sayyid reported:
a) The hadith of 'Ali, that he used to teach them the manner of salaah on the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) by saying, O Allaah, Spreader of Plains, Originator of Heights, send the foremost of Your prayers, the most fertile of Your blessings, and any remaining compliments, on Muhammad, Your slave and messenger, the opener of what is closed.
b) Again from 'Ali, that he used to say, "The prayers of Allaah, the Beneficent, the Merciful, of the Angels nearest (to Allaah), of the Prophets, of the Sincere ones, of the Witnesses, of the Righteous, and of whatever glorifies You, O Lord of the Worlds, be on Muhammad son of 'Abdullaah, Seal of the Prophets, Imaam of the Godfearers, ... etc."
c) On the authority of 'Abdullaah ibn Mas'ood, that he used to say, "O Allaah! send Your prayers, Your blessings and Your mercy, on Muhammad, Your slave and messenger, the imaam of goodness, the messenger of mercy, ..." etc.
d) From al-Hasan al-Basri, that he used to say, "Whoever wants to drink from the cup which quenches, from the fount of the al-Mustafaa, should say: O Allaah! send prayers on Muhammad, and on his family, his Companions, his wives, his children, his descendants, his household, his in-laws, his helpers, his followers, and all those who love him." This is what he (Qaadi 'Iyaad) has written in ash- Shifaa', regarding the manner of salaah on the Prophet, on the authority of the Companions and those who succeeded them, and he also mentioned other things in it. Yes, it is related in a hadeeth of Ibn Mas'ood that in his salaah on the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam), he would say, "O Allaah! send the best of Your prayers, mercy and blessings on the leader (sayyid) of the messengers ..." etc., transmitted by Ibn Maajah, but its isnaad is weak, so the hadeeth of 'Ali, transmitted by Tabaraani with a acceptable isnaad, takes precedence. This hadeeth has difficult words, which I have reported and explained in the book Fadl an-Nabi (Excellence of the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam)") by Abul Hasan ibn al-Faaris. Some Shaafi'is have said that if a man took an oath to send the best salaah on the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam), the way to fulfil his oath would be to say, "O Allaah! send prayers on Muhammad every time the rememberers remember him or the heedless fail to remember him"; Nawawi said, "The one which is most fitting to be designated as correct is that one should say: O Allaah! send prayers on Muhammad, and on the family of Muhammad, as you sent prayers on Ibraaheem ..." Several of the later scholars have replied to this by saying that in neither of the two ways mentioned above is there anything to prove which is superior as regards narration, but as regards the meaning, then the former is clearly superior. This issue is well-known in the books of fiqh, and of all the scholars of fiqh who addressed this issue, without exception, in none of their words does the word sayyid appear. Had this additional word been commendable, it would not have escaped all of them, leaving them ignorant of it. All good is in following what is narrated, and Allaah knows best."
Ibn Hajr's view of the unacceptability of describing the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) as sayyid during the salaah on him in accordance with the Qur'aanic order, is also that of the Hanafi scholars. It is the view which must be adhered to, for it is a true indication of love for him, (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam);
"Say: If you do love Allaah, then follow me: Allaah will love you."
Because of this, Imaam Nawawi said in Rawdah at-Taalibeen (1/265), "The most complete salaah on the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) is: O Allaah! send your prayers on Muhammad ..." etc., corresponding to type no. 3 given, in which there is no mention of sayyid!
4) It should be known that types nos. 1 and 4 are the ones which the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) taught his Companions when they asked about the manner of salaah on him, so this has been used as evidence that these are the best ways of doing the salaah on him, for he would not choose anything for them or himself except the best and noblest. Imaam Nawawi, as mentioned, endorsed (in Rawdah at- Taalibeen) that if a man were to take an oath to do the best possible salaah on the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam), this could not be fulfilled except in these ways.
Subki has given another reason: whoever does salaah with those types has made salaah on the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) with certainty, and whoever does so with other words is in doubt whether or not he has performed the prayers as requested. This is because they said, "How do we send prayers on you?" and he replied, "Say: ...", thus defining their salaah on him as their saying such-and-such. This was mentioned by Haitami in ad-Darr al-Mandood (25/2); he then said (27/1) that the objective is achieved with all the types which have occurred in authentic ahaadeeth.
5) It should be known that it is not valid to combine all these way into one way of salaah, and the same goes for the different tashahhuds given previously. In fact, that would be an innovation in the religion; the Sunnah is to say different ones at different times, as Shaikh-ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah has explained in his discussion of the takbeers of the two 'Eids (Majmoo' al-Fataawaa 29/253/1).
6) 'Allaamah Siddeeq Hasan Khaan says in his book Nuzul al- Abraar bil 'Ilm al-Ma'thoor min al-Ad'iyah wal-Adhkaar, after giving many ahaadeeth about the excellence of repeated salaah on the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) (p. 161):
"There is no doubt that the foremost among the Muslims in sending salaah on him (sall-Allaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) are the People of Hadeeth and the narrators of the purified Sunnah, for it is one of their duties in this noble branch of learning to make salaah on him before every hadeeth, and so their tongues are always engaged in his mention, may Allah grant him mercy and peace. There is no book of Sunnah or collection of hadeeth, be it a jaami', musnad, mu'jam, juz', etc., except that it comprises thousands of ahaadeeth; even one of the least bulky ones, Suyooti's al-Jaami' as-Sagheer, contains ten thousand ahaadeeth, and the rest of the collections are no different. So this is the Saved Sect: the body of the People of Hadeeth, who will be the closest among men to the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) on the Day of Resurrection, and the most likely to be rewarded by his intercession (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam), may my mother and father be sacrificed for him! This excellence of the People of Hadeeth cannot be surpassed by anyone unless he does more than what they do, something which is well-nigh impossible. Therefore, O desirer of good, seeker of salvation, no matter what, you should either be a muhaddith, or be close to the muhadditheen; do not be otherwise ... for apart from that there is nothing which will benefit you."
I ask Allaah, Blessed and Exalted, to make me one of these People of Hadeeth, who are the closest among men to the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam); perhaps this book will be a testimony to that. May Allaah shower His mercy on Imaam Ahmad, who recited:
The religion of Muhammad is in narrations,
The best mounts for a young man are the traditions;
Turn not away from Hadeeth and its people,
For Opinion is night, while Hadeeth is day,
A young man can be ignorant of the guidance ...
Although the sun is shining in all its splendour !
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