by Shaykh Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh
Whenever the blessed name of our beloved Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam is mentioned, the one who is fortunate to utter this name and also the one who is fortunate to hear his name should, with utmost love and reverence, say, ‘sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam.’ Nowadays, there is great negligence amongst youth in this regard. Some years ago, with the now older generation, we would see such great love and enthusiasm in reciting salāh ‘alan nabī (durūd); whenever the following verse would be recited in the khuṭbah, everyone would read some formula of salāh ‘alan nabī:
Truly, Allāh and His angels send blessings upon the Prophet; O you who believe! Send salutations and abundant greetings upon him (too). (33:56)
This verse contains a command from Allāh ta‘ālā to send salāh ‘alan nabī as this is an action performed by both Allāh and His angels. However, for the youth nowadays this verse doesn’t bring any response. When it is recited we do not see anyone reading salāh ‘alan nabī audibly or even silently.
The ‘Ulamā have deduced from this verse that it is fard (compulsory) to send salutations and greetings upon the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam at least once in a lifetime. Thereafter, whenever one participates in any gathering, be it a dars (lesson) on the Qur’ān or ahādīth, a lecture or even an informal gathering, then the first time the blessed name of the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam is mentioned it is wājib (obligatory) to read salāh ‘alan nabī; thereafter, every time, in the same gathering, whenever the blessed name is mentioned it is mustaḥab (desirable) to read salāh ‘alan nabī each time.
What Love Dictates
Remember, love and reverence for the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam dictates that even if the sharī‘ah had not stipulated that salāh ‘alan nabī be read when his blessed name is mentioned, we would still send salutations and greetings upon him in abundance.
So, whenever we hear the verse above read in a khutbah, we should read salāh ‘alan nabī. There are many formulae for salāh ‘alan nabī. The most virtuous is the formula that we read in salāh. The shortest formula is ‘sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam’. This is the formula commonly used by the Muhaddithūn and is probably the most frequently recited form.
Our love for the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam should be such that we should not think of it to be a burden; rather, we should be eager to read it whenever we can. If, during a lecture, the scholar is explaining a point and happens not to mention the name of the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam for some time, we should feel that something is missing and eagerly await the mentioning of the blessed name so that we can say salāh ‘alan nabī.
Love and reverence for the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam also dictates that we do not shorten his name when writing it. Many, instead of writing ‘Muḥammad’ in full, suffice with writing ‘Mohd’. We write an article or letter of many pages and the only word that we find that we can shorten is the blessed name of the beloved of Allāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam! Similarly, many do not write, for example, ‘sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam’, sufficing with ‘s.a.w’. Again, in the whole letter, article, etc. are these the only words that we can find to shorten? There is a similar trend in the Urdu language where the letters ‘Sād’ or ‘Sād, Lām, ‘Ayn and Mīm’ are used to represent ‘sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam’. Ponder for a while that who is planting these thoughts in your mind about shortening the name and salutation for our beloved Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam. What does this show regarding our love and reverence for our beloved Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam?
Writing the Durūd
I remember when I was a student in Dār-al-‘Ulūm, the way we were taught by our elders and the culture in the Madrāsah was such that as the blessed name of the Prophet Sallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam was mentioned again and again, it was very difficult to take down all the notes from the lectures and also write the name of the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam with salutations. Therefore, in our notes, wherever we had to write the blessed name of the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam and salutations, we would leave out a blank space and after class, in our own time, with our best handwriting we would write the salutations in our note books.
I would also like to bring an important point to the attention of many lecturers, who speak with the most eloquent language and accents, yet, when it comes to salāh ‘alan nabī they quickly mumble the words, void of love and reverence. Is this the level of our love and reverence for our Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam?
Nothing but Benefit
In reading salāh ‘alan nabī there is nothing but benefit for us:
1. Allāh ta‘ālā sends ten mercies upon a person who recites salāh ‘alan nabī once.
2. Ten sins are forgiven.
3. The person’s rank is raised by ten degrees.
4. Ten rewards are written for him.
5. There is acceptance of du‘ā where salāh ‘alan nabī is recited at the beginning and at the end.
6. The person will be blessed with the intercession of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam.
7. Allāh will forgive his sins.
8. Allāh is pleased with him.
9. The person will be nearer to the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam on the Day of Judgement.
10. The person will have all his worries removed in this world and the Hereafter.
The great luminary in the field of tazkiyah and ihsān, Shaykh-al-Hadīth, Shaykh, Mawlānā Muhammad Zakariyyā rahimahullāh would often receive letters regarding different problems, and he would reply with appropriate answers. However, one point he would emphasise on in every reply was to be punctual in the recitation of salāh ‘alan nabī.
“There is a solution to every problem in sending salutations upon Muhammad sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam.”
Finally, the great shaykh, Shaykh Mawlānā Rashīd Aḥmad Gangohī rahimahullāh would instruct that salāh ‘alan nabī be read a minimum of 300 times daily by every Muslim. In the beginning, we could read the shortest formula of salāh ‘alan nabī mentioned above. After that we should try to recite salāh ‘alan nabī with the most virtuous salāh ‘alan nabī mixed in after every 10-15 of the shortest formula. This figure of 300 should be increased on the day of Friday, as the day of Friday has a special affinity with the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam.
May Allāh ta‘ālā enable us to read salāh ‘alan nabī in abundance and have true love and reverence for our beloved Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam.