Questions on Swalawat al-Fatih

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following questions were asked of Ustadz Fakhruddin Owaisi at-Tijani on the nature of Swalawat al-Fatih as recited by the Tijaniyyah Thariqa’.  Adapted below are the answers to these questions.

1.         What is the difference between Shaykh al-Bakri's (q.s.) Swalawat al-Fatih and Shaykh at-Tijani's (q.s.) one?

2.         Are the two swalawat exactly the same in redaction and in fadhila?

3.         Was Shaykh al-Bakri (q.s.) an ikhwan of Shaykh at-Tijani (q.s.)?

4.         Can we add the mention of the swahabah in it by saying ‘wa swahbihi’?

There is only one Swalawat al-Fatih for the Tijaniyyah.  It was Given originally to Shaykh al-Bakri (q.s.) in a plate of Nur by the Holy Ka’bah, after he spent many years asking Allah (s.w.t.) to Show him the greatest swalawat upon Nabi (s.a.w.).  He was a quthb from the Bakri thariqa’ and a direct descendant of Abu Bakr asw-Swiddiq (r.a.).  He died long before Shaykh Ahmad at-Tijani (q.s.).  Originally, Shaykh at-Tijani (q.s.) used to recite it with the Bakri-Khalwati ‘ijazah.  Then it was given directly by the Prophet (s.a.w.) to Shaykh at-Tijani (q.s.).

There is no difference in the fadhilah of the words.  The difference is in the idzin or permission to recite it.  The supreme fadhilah in reciting it is when we recite it with the permission of a Tijani shaykh.  There are three levels in the supreme fadhilah: al-martabah az-zhahirah, al-bathinah, bathinat al-bathinah, which point to the three maratib and mazhahir of the Rasulullah (s.a.w.).

As for non-Tijaniyyah, they have many variations of the Swalawat al-Fatih.  The scholar of Madina, Shaykh Alfa Hashim (q.s.) mentions four versions in his al-Ajwibah al-Hashimiyyah.  There is even a version narrated from Imam ‘Ali ibn Abi- Thalib (k.w.).  Ii has even been said that Abu Bakr as-Swiddiq (r.a.) and Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (q.s.) used to recite it.

The version that the Tijaniyyah recite is a reflection of the Eternal Swalawat of Allah (s.w.t.) though it is not included in the Holy Qur’an; therefore, we must stick to it and not add or delete anything from it.  In fact, one of the strict conditions for a person benefiting from the Swalawat al-Fatih is to believe that it is not the words of any person but a Divine Emanation.  It is mentioned in the Tijani primer Bughyat al-Mustafid that, “And its Complete Merit is gained by two conditions: To have the Permission of the (Tijani) Shaykh (to recite it) and to believe that it emanated to him from the Divine Presence.”

So the Swalawat al-Fatih as we recite it was given directly by the Prophet (s.a.w.) to Shaykh Ahmad at-Tijani (q.s.).  Therefore we cannot add to it according to our desires.  The noble swahabah were not specifically mentioned in the Swalawat al-Fatih, not because they are not important, but because they are already included in the words ‘wa alayhi.  The words ‘wa ‘ala alayhi’ means ‘and his family’.  In the spiritual sense, this includes all the swahabah, the awliya’ and the entire Ummah in fact, as we are all ‘his family’.  The Prophet (s.a.w.) is reported to have said, "I am the grandfather of every pious person"  A Tijani will only benefit from the blessed Swalawat al-Fatih or any other dzikr if he recites it the way he received it from his shaykh.


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