Tuesday, 10 August 2010
Give Salutations Upon the Prophet (s.a.w.)
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Allah (s.w.t.) Says in the Holy Qur’an:
Allah, and His angels, Send blessings on the Prophet: O ye that believe! Send ye blessings on him and salute him, with all respect. (Surah al-Ahzab:56)
The language is in the present tense. Therefore, the Blessings are Sent Constantly and Continuously, from pre-Creation to beyond. There is neither stop nor break in it. We know from the hadits of Rasulullah (s.a.w.) that he was a Messenger before humanity was Created. He said, “I was a prophet while Adam was still between water and clay”. We have to understand from the ayah above that Allah (s.w.t.) has Made it wajib upon Himself by His Eternal Speech to Send Salutations upon the Prophet (s.a.w.). By reciting swalawat, we have become part of that, the ‘ibadah of Allah (s.w.t.) and the mala’ikat.
al-Hujatullah Imam Ghazali (r.a.) wrote in one of his books, “Fifty thousand years before Creation, Allah (s.w.t.) use to recite Surah ThaHa and Surah YaSin.” This is how YaSin begins:
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
YaSin. By the Qur'an, full of Wisdom - Thou art indeed one of the messengers. On a Straight Way. (Surah YaSin:1-4)
According to the scholars, ‘YaSin’ is a name Allah (s.w.t.) has Given to Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.). In the third ayah, Allah (s.w.t.) Says to the Prophet (s.a.w.), “Thou art indeed one of the apostles”. So fifty thousand years before the Heavens and Earth were Created, Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) already existed as a prophet of Allah (s.w.t.).
Undoubtedly, Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) is special. So much so that it is outside our realm of understanding. When the Arabs started performing swalah, some of them were not in full attention. In response, Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) said, “I see you all behind me even though I stand facing the Ka’bah”. He was the limits of kashf. Such is his maqam, that Abu Hurayrah (r.a.) narrated that the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “If anyone of you greets me, Allah Returns my soul to my body and I respond to the greeting”. Imagine the blessings of all those believers who make the journey to his resting place at Masjid an-Nabawi and send salaam to him. He is able to respond to each one of them at one at the same time. When the Prophet (s.a.w.) is present in any majlis and when one is aware and sends him salaam, even if it is a silent one in the heart, he responds. Our Prophet (s.a.w.) is the limits of adab.
Allah (s.w.t.) has Chosen him as the epicentre for a very special Blessing that He and His angels are constantly Sending. The Rahmah of Allah (s.w.t.) Descends from the ‘Arsh to the Ka’bah, and from there, it spreads around the world like ripples on a pond. And there is the secret to the thawaf. A commonly recited du’a from the Qur’an is:
… “Our Lord! Give us Good in this world and Good in the Hereafter and Save us from the torment of the Fire!” (Surah al-Baqarah:201)
The good in the next world is the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.). And the good in this world is also found in the companionship of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) and such a companionship is only attained by the constant recitation of swalawat and the overwhelming love of him it engenders. On the Day of Standing, when we are raised to stand in swaff behind our imam, we surely want to be amongst those of the first swaff standing behind our Prophet (s.a.w.). Our imam is who we have followed in this world. For the one who gives swalawat, surely his imam is Rasulullah (s.a.w.).