Permissibility of Sending Blessings and Salutations on Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him)

Contents of Article:

1. Preface:
2. Permissibility of Sending blessings and Honoring Prophet from Quran.
      – Sending salutation on prophet is divine practice of Allah.
– Praising and Honoring prophet
– Devine practice is eternal and will never change
3. Sending Salutations Whilst Standing Respectfully
      – Qiyaam-e-masrrat (To stand for someone as an expression of happiness)
– Qiyaam-e-muhabbat  (To stand for someone as an expression of love)
– Qiyaam-e-azmat(tazeem) (To stand in honor of a person).
4. Harf-e-Nida (Addressing Prophet, like using words “Ya Nabi” or “Ya Rasool”)
5. Believing in Prophets presence, his hearing from far and replying to salutations (Hazir-o-Nazir).
      – Definition of Hadhir-o-Nadhir
– Proofs from Quran.
– Prophet is witness over ummah.
– Prophet is among us.
– Prophet is closer to momin than there lives.
– Proofs from Ahadees
– Deeds of ummah are presented to prophet.
– Blessings and Salutations are presented to prophet before one finishes it.
– Prophets hears Salutations and greetings.
– Prophet replies to salutations and greetings.
– Prophet sees the entire ummah
– Prophets can make their presence after physical departure from our vision:
6. There is no restrictions of place, time or specific posture for sending blessings on prophet.
7. Conclusion#######################################################################

1. Preface: 
This article is intended to explore the permissibility and noble action of sending blessings and salutations upon Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) [durood-o-salam]

The blessings can be sent in any language, and in the manner of standing with utmost reverence, is not confined to the Ahle Sunnah from amongst the Asia or certain regions of the Indo-Pak, but can be traced to almost every country from far North to South, East to West and spreading across the whole world.

None of the authentic Kitaab written by the righteous scholars of the Ahle Sunnah, who are in the majority, have ever condemned this practice of the recitation and the standing and indeed no objection can be found either in the Glorious Quran or the Ahadith. However, there are still a minority group who severely condemn this practice and have labelled this very practice as Shirk, Bidat and Haraam due to ignorance or short of education/understanding.

Though there are lot authentic books clarifying the issue, we considered that it will be beneficial to present the extract of the books in short article and to point, exploring each noble action associated with reciting salaam in light of proofs collected in single place, which basically includes the following.
– Permissibility of sending blessings and Prasing Prophet.
– Standing in respect and honor during salam.
– Addressing Prophet using words Ya Nabi, Ya Rasool. (Harf-e-Nida)
– Believing that Prophet has ability to see, listen and make replies to Salaam (Hadhir-o-Nadhir)

May Almighty Allah, through the Wasila of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), guide us all to understand, assist and explore teaching of sahi ul Aqida Ahle Sunnah Wa Jamaat at a time when false ideologies are misleading the Ummah from the Straight Path. Aameen.

It is my humble request and dua that the youth read this article to the end with the light of Imaan and the objectivity that it deserves, so that the practice of sending blessings and salutations (salaam) on prophet continues to grow and the love of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) becomes a foundation of our beliefs and generations to come. Aameen.

2. Permissibility of Sending blessings and Honoring prophet from Quran.

It is completely within the Shari’ah (Islamic Law) to send Salutations and Blessings upon Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) as is evident in the following Qur’aanic verse

2.1 “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-Ahzab33:56]

Sending blessings on our prophet(peace be upon him) is divine practice of Almighty Allah. As Allah azza wajjal has Himself acted upon this command therefore this divine practice becomes the sunnah of Allah. This is unlike most of Allah’s other commands. All worships such as prayers, fasting, the pilgrimage, charity and donations are the commandments of Allah but not His sunnah. Allah neither performs hajj nor fasts nor prays. He is above all these things. All these duties and deeds are not His sunnah but the sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him). So if a person offers prayers or goes to Makkah for the pilgrimage or keeps the fasts of Ramadan or gives the poor due or does any other virtue, he is following the sunnah of the holy Prophet (peace be upon him) not the sunnah of Allah.

However, the showering of blessings and salutations upon the Prophet (peace be upon him) is the Divine practice of Allah, His sunnah. As the glory of Allah is the highest and the most exalted, so His sunnah is also the highest and the most exalted. The Prophet (peace be upon him) is the faithful and devotee of Allah. Amongst all of creation, his ranking is the highest and the most reverend. Yet regardless of this ranking and reverence, no human can be equal to the Creator. So in the same way, the sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) cannot equate with the sunnah of Allah (azzawajal)

The Quran further states:

2.2. Praise be to Allah, and peace on His servants whom He has chosen (for His Message). (Qur’ān 27:59)

2.3. And we have exalted your remembrance for you (O dear Prophet Mohammed – peace and blessings be upon him). [Surah Al Inshirah 94:4]

2.4. We have truly sent thee as a witness, as a bringer of Glad Tidings, and as a Warner, In order that ye (O men) may believe in Allah and His Messenger, that ye may “assist and honor him” and celebrate His praise (Puirty of Allah) morning and evening. [Surah Al Fath 48:8-9]

2.5. Glorified be your Lord, the Lord of Majesty, from what they associate to Him. And peace be upon the sent ones (the messengers). And all praise to Allāh, Lord of the worlds. (Al-Ṣāffāt  37: 180-182).

All worships are accomplished under the subjection of Divine commandments. It is obligatory for Believers to show reverence to Divine commandments, as they have traditionally held a superior position. Divine laws have also changed with the passage of time and from nation-to-nation. New Prophets brought new Revelations often subjugating older Divine laws. In contrast to this Divine practice has been constant and abiding. Divine practice is an inevitable reality, entirely safe from all sorts of alterations and effects. The Qur’an states:

2.6. “Yet you will never find any change in Allah’s practice”.[Surah Fatir 35:43]

From the above referred Quranic verses it is very clear that showering blessings on prophet is divine practice of Almighty Allah, and this practice is forever and will never change, Allah commands believers to send blessings on prophet, Almighty Allah has raised status of prophet and remembrance, and all are commanded to respect, praise and honor the beloved Prophet (Peace be upon him).

Whosoever does contrary to it, or raise objection when respect/praises for prophet is mentioned, surely he will be against Quran and doing Takdhib of it (Naudhobillah)

After establishing the ruling of the Holy Qur’aan on permissibility of reciting salaam and honoring prophet, we now quote few Ahaadith clarifying permissibility of standing in repect and honor for Prophet.

3. Sending Salutations Whilst Standing Respectfully

Standing up (Qiyaam) whilst offering Salawat (Blessings) and Salaam (Salutations) to Rasoolullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), in terms of religion is desirable and commendable (mustahab) according to the belief of the Ahl us-Sunnah. It is an act of happiness, respect and love, the origin of which is established from Shariah. This is the consensus of opinion of the entire ‘Ulama of Ahl us-Sunnah. Furthermore, it is known that anyone who visits the Prophet (sallallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) in Madina is obliged to stand in front of him with utmost respect at the time he gives him greetings and salutations. In general the Standing (Qiyaam) is of three kinds :

                – Qiyaam-e-masrrat (To stand for someone as an expression of happiness)
– Qiyaam-e-muhabbat  (To stand for someone as an expression of love)
– Qiyaam-e-azmat(tazeem) (To stand in honor of a person).

These kind of gestures in Islam are proven through many Ahadees, and practice of Sahaba, mentioned below are few of them:

a. Qiyaam-e-masrrat: (Standing as on expression of happiness)

The origin of Qiyaam-e-Musarrat is derived from the action of the companion of the Holy Prophet Hadhrat Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), as proved from the following Hadith

Hadhrat Uthman (radi allahu ‘anhu) said, “The Holy Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) passed away before we could ask him the solution to this problem.” Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radi allahu ‘anhu) said, “I have already asked him concerning this affair …” Then Hadhrat Uthman (radi allahu ‘anhu) said (upon hearing this glad tidings from Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radi allahu ‘anhu)), “I stood up for him.” (Sahih Bukhari)

b. Qiyaam-e-muhabbat:(Standing as an expression of love)

A’isha, the Umm al-Mu’minin, said, “I did not see anyone who more resembled the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, in manner of speaking that Fatima. When she came to him, he stood up for her, made her welcome, kissed her and had her sit in his place. When the Prophet came to her, she stood up for him, took his hand, made him welcome, kissed him, and made him sit in her place. She came to him during his final illness and he greeted her and kissed her. (Narrated by Imam Bukhari, Al Adab Al Mufrad, Hadith 433, under chapter of Greetings)

c. Qiyaam-e-azmat(tazeem): (Standing in Respect/Honor)

i. Narrated ‘Amir bin Rabi’a: The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “If any one of you see a funeral procession and he is not going along with it, then he should stand and remain standing till he gets behind it, or it leaves him behind, or the coffin is put down before it goes ahead of him . ” (sahi bukhari, kitabul janaiz, hadith 395)

ii. In a Hadith reported by Hadhrath Abu Huraira (radi allahu ‘anhu), he says, “The Holy Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was seated with us in the mosque and speaking to us. When he rose to depart, we all rose with him and remained standing until he entered any of the houses of his Blessed Wives.” (Mishkaat-Kitabul-Adaab, Babul Qiyaam, Page 403)

iii. Usama ibn Sharik (radi allahu ‘anhu) narrates : “I came to see the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) while his Companions were with him, and they seemed as still as if birds had alighted on top of their heads. I gave him my Salaam and I sat down. [Then Bedouins came and asked questions which the Prophet answered.] … The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) then stood up and the PEOPLE STOOD UP. They began to kiss his hand, whereupon I took his hand and placed it on my face. I found it more fragrant than musk and cooler than sweet water.”(Narrated by Abu Dawud [#3855], Ti[2038 – hasan sahih], Ibn Majah [3436], al-Hakim [4:399], and Ahmad [4:278]. Al- Hafiz Imam Bayhaqi cites it in Branch 15 of his Su’ab ul-iman entitled : The Fifteenth Branch of Faith, Namely A Chapter On Rendering honor To The Prophet, Declaring His High Rank, And Revering Him Vol. 2 p.200 [#1528])

iv. Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri: The people of (Banu) Quraiza agreed to accept the verdict of Sad bin Mu’adh. So the Prophet sent for Sad, and the latter came (riding) a donkey (or mule) and when he approached the Mosque, the Prophet said to the Ansar, “GET UP FOR YOUR CHIEF OR FOR THE BEST AMONG YOU.” Then the Prophet said (to Sad).” These (i.e. Banu Quraiza) have agreed to accept your verdict.” Sad said, “Kill their (men) warriors and take their offspring as captives, “On that the Prophet said, “You have judged according to Allah’s Judgment,” or said, “according to the King’s judgment.” ( Sahi Bukhari, Bab Al-Maghaazi, Hadith 447)

Indeed Hadhrat Sa’d (radi allahu ‘anhu) is worthy of such honour. Narrated Jabir (radi allahu ‘anhu) : I heard the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) saying, “The Throne (of Allah) shook at the death of Sa’ad bin Mu’adh.”

Allama Ibn Hajar Makki (rahmat allahi ‘alaih) states in Moulidatil Kabeer, “It is proven from Sunnah to stand for others besides the Holy Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), thus in honour of the Holy Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) it is permissible in the first instance. The proof hereof is the command to stand the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) gave in respect of Sa’ad ibn Muadh.”

The Qiyaam during sending Salutations on prophet and during the occasion of Mawlid an-Nabi may represent the three kinds of Qiyaam as discussed above, because it is a manifestation of happiness, love and honour towards the occasion which is celebrated to thank Allah for his arrival. However, the ‘ulama have also collectively designated these Qiyaam as Qiyaam-e-Tazimi, i.e. standing up in honour, love and happiness of a person, and in this case, to the Holy Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)

Note: At the same time people should not expect others to stand for themselves as it is recorded by Imaam bukhari through narration of Abu Mijaz and Muawiya that, The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said,

“Whoever likes to have the slaves of Allah stand up out of respect for him should take his place in the Fire.” (Al Adab Al Mufrad, Hadith 446 under chapter of greetings)

From the above narrations it is worth noting that standing in respect for the others/honored is not prohibited in islam, what prohibited in islam is that any men expecting others to stand for himself. Verily who ever expect others to stand for himself is in hell fire.

4. Harf-e-Nida (Addressing Prophet using words  like “Ya Nabi” or “Ya Rasool”).

The ‘Harf-e-Nidaa’ means – to use the pronoun for addressing the second person – who is present (ie. using the word ‘YA’ which means ‘OH !’, when addressing the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) eg. ‘Ya Nabi !, Ya Rasool !’)

The words ‘Ya’ and ‘Ayyu’ are for addressing. The one who is addressing is called Munadee and the addressee is called Munadaa.

Some individuals say addressing prophet by using the words like Ya Nabi ! and Ya Rasool is shirk! They say this because they believe that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) cannot hear and is not present so one should not call to him as he calls the one who is physically present. And few say that it is permissible to say so only out of love for the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) but not with the belief in mind that he can hear you.
If the ‘Harf-e-Nidaa’ was not permissible then why is it present in the Salaah, which we read five times a day, and every worshipper salutes the Holy Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), “Ayyuhannabiyyu” (Oh Prophet !)?

it is stated in Durr ul-Mukhtar,  “The ‘Tashahud’ must be read in the present and not as the repetition of an event such as took place during the Mi’raj when the ‘Tashahud’ was revealed. In fact, one must know and read ‘Tashahud’ and recite Allah’s Praises then make present (haazir) the Prophet (peace be upon him) and say ‘Assalamu alaika ayyahannabiyu …’, then the Salaam upon the present congregation and the pious peoples, and then the testament of the Oneness of Allah and the Messengership of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). This then constitutes the ‘Tashahud [Durr ul Mukhtar Volume 1, Page 228]

Allah Ta’aala orders us not to call upon the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) in the same way as we call upon each other : “Make not the summoning of the Messenger among yourselves, like one calls the other among you.” (Surah al-Noor, Verse 63)

i.e. When we call upon the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) it must be with utmost respect and not like how we call each other. This Ayat is sufficient evidence, because besides making it permissible, Allah Ta’aala also shows us the etiquette when calling Rasoolullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)

Few references where sahaba have addressed prophet in his absence.

i) It is related that once ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar’s foot went numb. He was told, “Remember the most beloved of people to you and it will go away!” He shouted, “Ya Muhammad!” and the feeling returned. [Imam al-Bukhari in Adab al-Mufrad, Under chapter Gestures, Hadith No. 964]

ii) Even salafi scholar Ibn Taymiyya writes, “In the same way as ‘Abd Allah ibn Umar’s foot became numb and he remembered the one he loves the most, ‘Abd Allah Ibn ‘Abbas’s foot also became numb. Someone also advised him to remember the one who he loves the most, whereupon ‘Abd Allah Ibn ‘Abbas exclaimed Ya Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and his foot immediately recovered from numbness” [Ibn Taymiyya, Al Kalim al Tayyib, chapter on ‘Khadirat Rijluhu’]

iii) Imām Nawawi Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anho in his commentary of the Sahih Muslim, and also in Kitāb al-Azkār, records that some individuals were sitting in the company of Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbās Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anho, when suddenly one of them suffered from cramps. The Noble Companion advised the man to remember the person whom he loved the most. The man screamed, “Ya Muhammada!” He was immediately cured. There are many As’hāb who narrate incidents of similar nature. [Al-Adhkar, Dar al Kitab al Arabi Berut – Lebanon, Page 271]

Substantiating this, ‘Allama Shahāb al-Din Khafāji Misri Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anho (d.1070/1660) states in his book, Nasim al-Riyād, commentary of Shifā by Imām Qādi Ayād Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anho (d.544/1149), that:

It is a common practice of the people of Madina al-Munawwara to proclaim “Ya Muhammada!” in times of difficulty and pain. [Nasim al-Riyād Sharha Shifā, Vol 3, Page 55]

iv)  When Sayyiduna Khalid bin Waleed Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anho clashed with Musailma Kaddhab, at one point the Muslims were faltering. When Syeduna Khalid Ibn Waleed saw this:

He then proclaimed according to the slogan of the Muslims and the slogan of that day was “Ya Muhammada”. [al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, Vol 6, Page 324]

v) Sayyida Zainab Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anha, the sister of Sayyiduna Imam Husain Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anho, proclaimed at Karbala:

“Ya Muhammadah Ya Muhammadah Salla ‘Alaykallahu wa Malaka al-Samahu”. [al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, Vol 8, Page 193]

vi] After the demise of Sayyiduna ‘Umar al-Faruq Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anho in 18 AH, there was a severe drought due to which Sayyiduna Bilal Ibn al Harith proclaimed, “Ya Muhammadah”. [al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, Vol 7, Page 91] 

5. Believing in prophets presence, his hearing from far and replying to salutations (Hadhir-o-Nadhir).

(Hadhir o Nadhir being a vast topic in itself only few references have been quoted to limit the size of document and as necessary to confine & support the current discussion, detailed article on Hadhir-o-Nadhir will be included in future article Insha Allah)

We, the Ahlus Sunnah, believe that the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant him peace] is Hazir and Nadhir, which simply put means that he views our actions and in this way we are presented to him. He [May Allah bless him and grant him peace] is Nadhir, since he views our actions, both good and bad.

It is not believe of ahlus sunnah that prophet is omnipresent (physically present everywhere and everytime), Ahlus sunnah believes that prophet witnesses all our deeds and actions and he can make his spiritual presence any where he likes.

5.1 Definition of Hadhir-o-Nadhir:

Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khan gives definitions Hadhir-o-Nadhir as follows: “Haadhir Nadhir does not mean that the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant him peace] is present. Rather, it means that the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant him peace] views the actions of his Ummah whilst he is in his grave. He can go from his grave to other places where he likes spiritually. He prays for us.  [Tawzeeh-ul-Bayaan Sharh Sahih Muslim vol 1 Chapter on Mi’raj Ja al-Haqq chapter  Al Haadir-u-wannadir by Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khan].

5.2 Proofs from Quran:
Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’an

i. “O Prophet! [May Allah bless him and grant him peace] no doubt, We have sent you as a witness, bearer of glad tiding and a Warner” [Surah Al-Ahzab, 33:45.]

ii. ” And know that Allah’s Noble Messenger is among you,….” [Surah Hujurat 49:7]

iii. We have indeed sent you (O dear Prophet Mohammed – peace and blessings be upon him) as a present witness and a Herald of glad tidings and warnings. (The Holy Prophet is a witness from Allah.) [Surah Fath 48:8]

iv. We have indeed sent a Noble Messenger towards you, a present witness over you [Surah Muzzammil 73:15]

v. And the day when We will raise from every group, a witness from among them, in order to testify against them and will bring you O dear Prophet (Mohammed – peace and blessings be upon him) as a witness upon them all; and We have sent down this Qur’an upon you which is a clear explanation of all things, and a guidance and a mercy and glad tidings to the Muslims. [Surah Nahl 16:89]

vi. Then how shall it be, when We bring up a witness from every nation, and (O beloved Muhammad !) We will bring you as a witness and a guardian against all those. ” [Surah al-Nisa, 4:41]

vii. “And thus We made you exalted among all nations that you may be witnesses to the people and this Messenger your guard and witness.” [Surah al-Baqara, 2:143]

The Qur’an refers to RasoolAllah [May Allah bless him and grant him peace] as ‘Shahid’(witness) and the witness is someone who sees whilst being present. [Mufradaat, Imam Raghib, under the word Shahid]

Allah sent the Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant him peace] as Shahid. It is for this reason we refer to him as metaphorically being Haadhir/Nadhir and that he is not Hadhir/Nadhir in the way that are the Angels Kiraman, Katibeen. (The Angels who are constantly present on the right and left shoulder of every human being.)

viii. The Prophet is closer to the Muslims than their own lives [Surah Ahzab 33:6]
Our lives are present. Nobody can deny this fact because if the life is absent then it would mean that we are dead. So if our lives are present, then the one who is nearer to us than our own lives has to be present.

Moulvi Shabeer Ahmad Uthmaani says, regarding the same ayat : If a Believers’s Imaan is considered seriously, then it is like a ray from the light of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). On this account, if a Believer ponders about his own reality, then, before he understands the state of his own Imaan, he has to first understand the wisdom of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). On this point it is true that the august presence of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is closer to us than our own souls.

5.3. Proof from Ahadith:

i) Deeds of ummah are presented to prophet.

a. The Prophet [May Allah bless him and grant him peace] stated: “My life is better for you, you narrate Ahadith and Ahadith are narrated for you. When I pass away it will continue to benefit you because your actions will be presented before me. If I see a good deed I shall praise Allah Soobha Nahu Wata’ala, If I see a bad deed of yours I shall ask Allah Soobha Nahu Wata’ala to forgive you. [Majma-uz-Zwaa’id, vol.9, pg.24]

b. The Holy Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) says, “My entire Ummah was presented before me with each individual’s scroll of deeds, good as well as bad.”(Muslim Shareef, Volume 1, Page 207, Musnad-i-Ahmad, Ibn Majah)

Further it is firm believe of ahlus sunnah that  that the Holy Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) hears the Salaat/Durood (Blessings) and Salaam (Salutations) that are sent to him. Furthermore, it is within His capabilities to see and hear events taking place far away as mentioned in Ahadees referred below. 

ii. Blessings and Salutations are presented to beloved prophet:

a. Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Invoke blessings on me abundantly on the day of Jum‘ah (Friday). Verily it is attended and the angels attend it, and none invokes blessings on me but his supplication is presented to me till he finishes it.” Ibn Majah, book of jana’iz (funerals) ch. 65, Hadith 1637.

b. “Invoke blessings upon me, since blessings invoked by you are conveyed to me wherever you may be” (Abu Dawood, Kitab Al-Manasik Wal-Hajj, Hadith 2042)

iii. Prophets hears Salutations and greetings

“He who invokes blessings upon me by my grave, I will hear him and he who invokes upon me at a distance it will be conveyed to me.” Ahmad bin Husayn Bayhaqī, Shu‘ab-ul-īmān, (Hadith: 1583)

iv. Allah returns soul and Prophet replies to salutations and greetings

Narrated AbuHurayrah: The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: If any one of you greets me, Allah returns my soul to me and I respond to the greeting. (Abu Dawood, Kitab Al-Manasik Wal-Hajj (rituals of hajj) Hadith 2036)
Some people misunderstands or misinterpret this Hadith saying that the Prophet (peace be upon him) is not alive since his soul returns to his body only when he is greeted.

The ‘Ulama have given various answers to people who use this Hadith and try to imply that the Prophet (peace be upon him) is dead and that he comes alive only when someone sends Salaam. Imam Jalaal’uddeen as-Suyuti (rahmat allahi ‘alaih) listed 17 of these explanations. In the book Anba’ al-adhkiya’ fi hayat il-ambiya’ he said that “radda” means “‘ala al-dawam”, i.e. permanently, and not temporarily: in other words, Allah does not return the soul and take it back, then return it again and then take it back again, but He has returned it to the Prophet (peace be upon him) permanently, and the Prophet (peace be upon him) is alive permanently, not intermittently as understood by few due to ignorance.

The above explanation is very much confirmed even if the Hadith is taken literally, since there is always people at prayer (Salaah) in the world during the entire twenty-four hour cycle, and sending Salawat on the Prophet (peace be upon him) is part of Salaah, therefore people are constantly and permanently invoking blessings and greetings on the Prophet (peace be upon him) without break. This shows that the Hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him) on the return of his soul takes into consideration the continuity of prayer (Salaah) concomitant with the revolving five times of prayer around the world, and that indeed he is alive in permanence, since Allah has entitled him to return every single Salaam that is made to him.

v. Prophet sees his entire ummah

Allama Imam Qastalani (rahmat allahi ‘alaih) commentator of Bukhari Shareef, writes in his book Mawahib ul-ladunya and Imam Muhammad Ibn Hajar al-Makki (rahmat allahi ‘alaih) writes in his book Madkhal, “There is no difference between the states of life and death of the Holy Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), in his seeing his entire Ummah and his recognising of their states, their intentions and their minds, and all this is clear to him; there is no secret thereof of him.” (Mawahib ul-ladunya Page 32, Madkhal Page 21)

5.4. Prophets can make their presence after physical departure from our vision:

It is written in the Sahihain of al-Bukhaari and Muslim, that Allah Ta’ala sent all the Prophets to our Prophet on the Mi’raj night. He became the Imam, and they performed two rak’as of Salaah, which is agreed by all and denier of this event of miraj is kafir. From this event of Miraj, it is established that all the Prophets (‘alaihimus salaam) made Haaziri (were present) in Musjid al-Aqsa to perform Salaah with our Noble Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) being the Imam. If Prophets cannot leave their Blessed Graves then how is it that all of the Prophets (‘alaihimus salaam) were present in Musjid al-Aqsa, on the blessed night of Mi’raj an-Nabi which occured long after (thousands of years of) the Wisaal of the other Prophets. 

After establishing the permissibility of sending salutations, prophets bestowed power of hearing, witnessing deeds of umma and prophets authority to make their presence after physical demise, now the question is what happens if salawaat is recited in different places at the same time? how can prophet make his presence in various places at same time? how fast he can make his spiritual presence?

before answering this let us quote the following.

i) It is recorded that at the time of the call to prayer (Adhan) the Iblees (Shaitaan) runs thirty six miles away and returns in an instant after the completion of the Adhan (Mishkaat – Chapter Adhan). We ask the individuals who generally pose this question to please explain, how can it be, that Allah Ta’ala’s Beloved, Huzoor-e-Aqdas Muhammad Mustafa (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is confined to his Blessed Grave while Shaitaan the cursed is freely running up and down, and that too, at high speeds !

ii) Besides Iblees, even Angels have this ability. The Holy Qur’aan says, “…when death comes to any of you, Our Angels take his soul and they do not fail ” (Surah al-Anaam, Verse 61). Relating to this it is written that, “For the Angel of Death the whole of the Earth is like a tray, so that he may take the souls as he pleases. There is no difficulty for the Angel of Death to take souls, even though there are many and many deaths in different places !” (Tafseer Kabir Khazeen and Ruh-ul-Bayaan)

iii) The speed of Jibra’eel (‘alaihis salaam) is such that, when Nabi Yusuf (‘alaihis salaam) was thrown into the well Jibra’eel (‘alaihis salaam) travelled from Sidratul Muntaha to the bottom of the well. When Nabi Ibraheem (‘alaihis salaam) was about to sacrifice Nabi Ismail (‘alaihis salaam) and had his knife on the neck of Nabi Ismail (‘alaihis salaam), Jibra’eel, travelled from Sidratul Muntaha to the earth with a Ram(sheep).
The above events relate to an Angel and it’s abilities, but men of Allah (Awliya Allah) are also bestowed with such powers. Asaf ibn Barkhiya’s taking the throne of Bilqis [the Queen of Sheba] to Sulaiman (‘alaihis salaam) is also reported in the Qur’an al-karim, Surah Naml, Verses 39 and 40. Queen Bilqis throne was miles away and protected in chambers, Hazrath Asaf ibn Barkhiya got the throne in blink of the eye. how did he go there? at what speed? how did he made his presence there in no time?? is not time factor applicable to him??

When our senses accepts this all, the freedom given to the iblees, the bestowed power to angles, Jibrael and Asaf ibn Barkhiya then why the minds get blocked when this attributes are related to prophet (peace be upon him)?

Hadhrat Sheikh Abd al-Haqq Muhaddith Dahlawi is unanimously accepted as a great ‘Aalim and a Mujaddid (Reviver of Religion) of his time.

Shaikh Abd al-Haqq Muhaddith Dahlawi states, “Allah Ta’ala has given the Holy Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) the strength and power to go anywhere he likes, he can go with his own body or only in soul. On the earth, in the sky, in the grave and the Holy Prophet’s (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) connection stays with his own shrine.” (Madarigun Naboowat – Volume 2 Part 4 Wasleh Hayaateh Ambiya)

Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (rahmat allahi ‘alaih) writes, “The possibility of arrival of Rasoolullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) in the Meelad assembly is not wrong because the bodily world is restricted to time and place, but the spiritual world is free from both. So the arrival of Rasoolullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is not far from being possible”. (Shamaime Imdaadiya, Page 50, Madani Qutub Khana, Multan)

A Hadith Shareef declares, “The one who sees me in his dream sees me as he would see me when he is awake.” This is why Imam Nawawi (rahmat allahi ‘alaih) said, “Seeing him in a dream is really seeing him.” As a matter of fact, it was declared, “Anyone who has seen me in his dream has seen me truly, for the devil cannot appear in my form,” in a Hadith Sharif reported in the book Kunuz ad-daqa’iq by al-Imam al-Manawi on the authority of al-Bukhari and Muslim, [and recorded in Sahi bukhari in interpretetion of dreams book 87#122, 123]. We would not see Rasoolullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) “truly” if we saw his likeness in a dream.

Concerning the questioning (of the dead person) in the grave, the third question that will be asked by the Angels of the grave is, “Ma kunta taqulu fi haqqi hazar rajul” (meaning : “What did you have to say about this person?” (i.e. the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)). When this question is asked the veil is removed from the dead person’s eyes so that he can see the Holy Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) who will be present (Haazir) in the grave. (Mishkaat Shareef, Bukhaari Kitaabul Janaaiz, Hadith 422)

From this Hadith we learn that the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is seen by the dead in person and not in some sort of mental thought, because the word “rajul” that is used in the question, in Arabic grammar refers to a real person made of flesh and bones.

So it is established that every person that dies sees the Holy Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) in his grave in person. Now, at any given time thousands of people around the world are buried and all these people see the Holy Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) at the same time and are asked the same question.

This is ample proof that the Holy Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) by the grace of Allah Ta’ala can present himself in many places at the same time. All the ‘Ulama of Ahl as-Sunna agree with this, and the following comment regarding this issue is the fatwa of Ahmad ibn Hajar al-Haitami (rahmat allahi alaih), which is written on the ninth page of the second volume of Fatawa al-Kubra:

Many of the youth don’t know why they were told not to send Blessings and Salutations on the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). This is because they were brainwashed by their local ‘aalim/ ameer/ relatives/ friends not to do it, and not to ask why they should not do it. Many of the youth live in areas away from major city centres where they have never been exposed to Salawat and Salaam, Mawlid etc. but have only been lied to and brainwashed by silly rumours initiated by those who are not scholarly enough to present any authoritative evidence in refutation of it. Many youth come from country towns to work and to study in tertiary institutions. So when they enter a mosque or a Jamaa’at Khana at the University or in the area that they are boarding, and if Salaam is recited, they rush out of the musjid as if a grave sin is being committed. Then, (like their elders) start to initiate silly rumours and theories as to why Blessings and Salutations should not be sent to the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).

May Allah Taala guide us on Siraatul Mustaqeem and instill in our hearts the true love for Taajidare Madina, Muhammadur Rasoolullah (sallalaahu alaihi wasallam). Aameen.

6. There is no restrictions of language, place, time and specific posture for sending blessings on prophet.

Referreing to the Ayat quoted in section 2 above, “Undoubtedly, Allah and his angels send blesseings on the prophet (Peace be upon him). o believers! you (too) send your blessings upon him and salute him with all respect” [Surah Al-Ahzab 33:56]

Sending blessings on our prophet(peace and blessings be upon him) is divine practice of Almighty Allah. Allah has subjected His worship and the sunnah of His beloved Prophet (peace be up on him) to bounds and binding but He has set His sunnah free from the same. That is why Allah has made His devotees free from restraint and binding whilst offering salat and salam. Greetings can be sent in any language. We can send our greetings to the Prophet (peace be up on him) in Arabic, English, Hindi, Persian, Punjabi, Urdu or in any other language. Salat and salam can be sent in the form of prose or verse, silently or loudly, collectively or individually, It can be sent in imam Bawsiri’s invocation or in the melody of imam Ahmad Raza Khan because it is sunnah of Allah, It is free from all restraints. In view of this, no one has the right to subject salat and salam to any condition of time, condition of place and condition of posture, i.e. of standing, sitting or lying down.

There is no specification of type, no qualification in their form and thus no condition can be added to it.

In Islamic terminology the concept of ‘Ebaadah, worship, is a broad based one encompassing all acts that are done to seek the pleasure of Almighty Allah. Through this verse it has already been established that sending salat and salam on to the Holy Prophet (peace be up on him) is considered a dhikr of Allah, and the dhikr of Allah can be done in any manner – standing, sitting or lying down. There is no exclusion in manner or exclusivity in type. Allah the Almighty states in the Holy Qur’an:

“Those who remember Allah while standing, sitting and lying on their sides” [Surah Al-‘Imran 3:191]

Further It is narrated by Tirmidhi that “Abu Hurayrah (radi allahu anhu) also reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “If people sit in an assembly in which they do not remember Allah nor invoke a blessing on their Prophet (peace be upon him), it will be a cause of grief for them (on the Day of Judgment)” [al-Jami‘-us-saheeh, b. of dua (supplication) ch.8 (5: 461 # 3380), and he graded it hasan(fair) and sahih (sound)].

Sending salat and salam upon the Holy Prophet (peace be up on him) is one of the azkar, remembrances of Allah. So according to the above it is permissible to send the blessings in any of the 3 ways and at any place. There is no specific Qur’anic verse or command which stipulates that sending blessings whilst standing is prohibited nor is there any contrary verse saying standing is preferable. Neither as per the hadith and verse there are any  restrictions on place, blessings can be sent at home, mosque or any general place of assembly. Further it is worth noting from the above mentioned references that blessings can be sent in a group(assembly). This comes under the law of generality, which applies to all of the remembrances of Allah and prophet as pointed above.

If somebody have got objection on standing/congregation let them prove sunnah way of Allah azzawajal showering blessings on prophet (Allah forbid) so we sunnis can follow sunnah of Allah azzawajal , or get one ayah or proof claiming that standing in respect for prophet is prohibited.

7. Conclusion:
– Sending blessings on prophet is permissible and blessed practice of Allah (AJ).
– Allah (AJ) send blessings on prophet along with group of angles, permitting us to recite as an individual/ group
– Allah (AJ) has raised status, remembrance and praise of prophet.
– We have been commanded to honor and respect prophet in the best way.
– We have been commanded by Allah even to call prophet very respectfully.
– Addressing of prophet is permissible even after his physical departure from our vision.
– Prophet is witness over entire ummah and nations.
– All good and bad deeds of ummah are presented to prophet.
– Prophet hears and replies to blessings and salutations.
– Blessings are presented to prophet before one finishes it.
– Prophet views actions of the ummah
– Prophet can make his presence if he likes, and can be present more than one place at a time.
– Standing out of respect/love/happiness for prophet/pious and honored is permissible.

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