The Incentive for Salawat

It is related that the Prophet – may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said –  ‘When someone sends a blessing upon me, in veneration of the right that is due to me, Allah – most great and majestic-  creates from it an angel with one wing in the east and one wing in the west with his feet resting in the lowest of the earth, and his neck bowed under the Throne. Allah – most great and majestic- says to him, ‘Send blessings upon My slave as he sent blessings upon My Prophet,’ and he will continue to bless him until the Day of Resurrection.’

– Narrated by Ibn Shaheen in al-Targheeb and al-Daylami in al-Firdaws, and quoted by al-Jazuli in Dala’il al-khayrat.

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Shaykh Salih al-Ja’fari – may Allah be pleased with him and please him –  said:

‘Oh Allah, send blessings (salli) upon our master Muhammad, the blessing of one who sends blessings upon him out of veneration of his worth * and bless him (barik) with a blessing that returns to us with his beautiful secret * The loyal Prophet, the best of those who will come to the place of Resurrection * And the best of those who invited others to you, and disciplined the souls, and remembered You * and likewise upon his family, and send peace.’

– The 24th salaat from the 40 Salawat Muhammadiyya

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Shaykh Ahmad ibn Idris – may Allah be pleased with him and please him –  said:

‘O Allah I ask you… to send blessings upon our Master Muhammad of worth most great….. Out of veneration of your worth, O our master Muhammad, O you of a nature most great….”

– Excerpted from the Salaat Azeemiyya

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Shaykh al-Islam Ahmad b. al-Mubarak al-Lamati said: I asked: ‘Does the Prophet – God’s blessings and peace be upon him – acquire profit or not from our invoking blessings on him? Now when it comes to this question, the religious scholars are in disagreement – God be pleased with them!’

Shaykh Abd al-‘Aziz al-Dabbagh – God be pleased with him – replied:

‘God the Sublime didn’t prescribe this for us with the intention of benefiting His Prophet – God’s blessings and peace be upon him! Rather God prescribed it for us with the intention of benefiting us in particular. It’s like someone who possesses slaves. He sees a fertile piece of land that no other land can equal in agriculture. He then has mercy for his slaves. He bestows this land on them with the understanding that all the cultivation will be their job and they’ll do it alone. He doesn’t bestow it on them in the manner of partnership. This is how it is with our invocation of blessings on the Prophet – God’s blessings and peace be upon him – and its recompense is entirely for us. If on some occasions the light of its recompense flares up and is united with his light – God’s blessings and peace be upon him- this is simply like something that returns to its origin, and nothing else. Now the recompenses established for the believers are all because of the faith found in the believers, and the faith in them comes from the Prophet’s light – God’s blessings and peace be upon him! So the recompenses established for us actually comes from him – God’s blessings and peace be upon him! There’s no similitude for him among things perceived by the senses except the encompassing ocean along with the rains when they reach the ocean in torrents. The water of the rains in fact originates from the ocean. So when it returns to the ocean, one doesn’t talk of it as increasing the ocean….

You see a man recite the Dala’il al-khayrat. If he wishes to invoke blessings on the Prophet – God’s blessings and peace be upon him – he pictures him in his thought and pictures the things desired for him, such as The Means (al-wasila), The Lofty Degree (al-daraja al-rafi’a), the praiseworthy station (al-maqam al-mahmud), and other things that are mentioned in the invocation of blessings. He pictures himself demanding these from God the Sublime and supposes in his thought that, because of his effort, God answers him and grants him this for His Prophet – God’s blessings and peace be upon him! It enters the imagination of the supplicant that the Prophet – God’s blessings and peace be upon him – has obtained great benefit because of him. He rejoices and is delighted. He increases his recitation and takes his invocation of blessings to an extreme, raising his voice while doing so. He feels how his invocation comes forth from the arteries of his heart. Humility overwhelms him and great delicacy descends on him, and he thinks he’s in a state beyond which no higher state exists. In this imagining he’s greatly mistaken and he doesn’t attain anything from God the Sublime by means of this invocation of blessings on his part because his invocation is connected with what he imagined and what he pictured in his thought. His imagining is false and the false isn’t connected with the True – He is exalted! What’s united with the True (al-Haqq) – He is exalted – is the truth (al-haqq) as it really is, the way that if a person opens his eyes, he sees the truth as it really is. Everything that’s like that is connected with the True – He is exalted! Everything that a human being doesn’t see if he opens his eyes is false and the false isn’t connected with the True – He is exalted! Let someone who invokes blessings on the Prophet – God’s blessings and peace be upon him – be on guard against this great affliction. But most people don’t understand it and they imagine that this delicacy and sweetness that’s come over them is from God – He is exalted! Rather, it’s from Satan, so that he may drive them away from the True – He is exalted – and greatly increase their distance [from God] by means of it.

The incentive should be love of the Prophet – God’s blessings and peace be upon him – and veneration for him, not anything else. In that case, the light of the invocation will flare up, as previously mentioned.

On the other hand, if the incentive for it is the bondsman’s benefit, he’ll be veiled and his recompense will decrease, as previously stated. The same is true if the incentive for it is the Prophet’s benefit – God’s blessings and peace be upon him – for in that case invoking blessings on him isn’t connected with the True – He is exalted – and won’t reach Him, as already mentioned. But God alone confers success.!’

– Ahmad b. al-Mubarak al-Lamati,  Pure Gold from the Words of Sayyidi ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Dabbagh,  pp. 528-530.

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