Wednesday, 6 June 2012
An Understanding of Swalawat al-Fatih
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Swalawat al-Fatih is a Divine Emanation from Kalam Allah (s.w.t.). But what is the distinction between the Swalawat al-Fatih and the Qur’an?
Allahumma swalli ‘alaa sayyidinaa Muhammadin al-faatihi lima ughliq wa al-khaatimi lima sabaq naswiri al-haqq bi al-haqq wa al-haadii ilaa swiraathika al-mustaqin wa ‘alaa alihi haqqa qadrihi wa miqdaarihi al-‘azhiim.
O Allah, Send Salutations upon the Honourable Muhammad, the opener of that which is closed, the completion of that which preceded him, the helper of the Truth by the Truth, the guide to the Straight Path and upon his people, this (salutation) be of the same merit as his.
Firstly, the Kalam of Allah (s.w.t.) is not only the Holy Qur’an. All Divine Books are also from the Eternal Speech. Ahadits qudsi are also from the Kalam of Allah (s.w.t.). The Qur’an is only that which was meant to be the Qur’an. The Swalawat al-Fatih is obviously not part of the Qur’an and not equal to it in status.
However, as confirmed by Shaykh Ahmad Sukayrij (q.s.) in one of his letters, the wordings of Swalawat al-Fatih reflect the Eternal Meanings of Allah’s (s.w.t.) Salutation to the Haqiqah al-Muhammadiyyah. The Qur’an Confirms that this Salutation is Eternal.
… Send Blessings upon the Prophet ... (Surah al-Ahzab:56)
The Swalawat al-Fatih, as the Tijaniyyah recite it, contains all the meanings of that Salutation, from the Hadhrat al-Ithlaq to Hadhrat at-Taqyid, from Infinity to the Finite and from al-Ahad to Ahmad (s.a.w.).
It is the opening of all Existence, al-Fatihi lima Ughliq, and its ending as well, al-Khatimi lima Sabaq. The Arabic words of the Swalawat al-Fatih are of the Divine Inspiration called “ilham”, which is possible for the awliya’ to receive.
There may seem a similarity of the distinction between the Qur’an and the words of the hadits qudsi. However, hadits qudsi are not narrated via dreams and visions of the awliya’. Accepting the latter is based on one’s own conviction, the Tijaniyyah accept that statements of their shuyukh to be true. The wilayat of the Tijaniyyah shuyukh is accepted by the Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah. And a wali cannot lie.
There is particular wisdom in the Swalawat al-Fatih having not been Revealed to us from our Prophet (s.a.w.) during his lifetime amongst the swahabah, but rather in the later generations. This was a question asked by a murid to our shaykh, Shaykh Ahmad ibn Muhammad at-Tijani (q.s.).
The gist of his answer, from the Jawahir al-Ma’ani, was that the special merits and rewards of Swalawat al-Fatih were not meant for the time of the swahabah as they did not need it. It was the people of the latter days of immense corruption that needed a powerful recitation, such as the Swalawat al-Fatih, for the effacement of sins and the raising of maqamat. This was the wisdom Granted to the Prophet (s.a.w.).
The same may be said of something like the Hizb al-Bahr or any other du’a or instruction the awliya’ received from the Prophet (s.a.w.) after his passing. Great scholars such as Shaykh ash-Shathibi (q.s.), Imam an-Nawawi (q.s.), and even Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (q.s.) confirmed the occurrence of such things.