“The Salutation of Al-Mashish” [salatu-l mashishiyyah] is a sublime Sufic benediction upon the beloved Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, composed by the venerable pole [al-qutb], Mawlay ‘Abdu-s Salam ibn Mashish al-Hasani al-Idrisi, may Allah be pleased with him.
He was a disciple of the venerable succour [al-ghawth], Sidi Abu Madyan Shu’ayb ibn al-Husayn al-Ansari, may Allah sanctify his secret. His inheritor was the luminous spiritual guide [al-imam] and famed Sufi master [al-shaikh], Abu-l Hasan ‘Ali al-Shadhili, may Allah illuminate his resting abode.
The contemporary Shadhili master Shaikh Nooruddeen Durkee describes Salatu-l Mashishiyya as, “… a metaphysical paraphrase of a widely known prayer, in which the believer calls on God to bless the Prophet as if to thank him for having received Islam through him.”
This benediction is the only surviving work of ibn Mashish. Yet, it is interesting to note that many notables have written deep commentaries upon it. The Turkish scholar, Isma’il Selim Ecirli, who translated one such commentary by the Ottoman Sufi and poet, Isma’il Haqqi Bursawi, writes in his introduction:
Ibn Mashish’s prayer (salat) is his only written legacy. This prayer has won enormous fame in the Muslim world and became the subject of numerous commentaries throughout the centuries. This sublime prayer (salat) constitutes the backbone of Shadhili rituals and is recited to this day in the Darqawiyya, Fasiyya, ‘Alawiyya and Yashrutiyya branches of the Shadhiliyya order. However this interest in the prayer of Ibn Mashish was not solely confined to the Shadhiliyya order. The Qadiri, Khalwati and Jalwati orders also widely recited this prayer, and used it as a wird.”
– Ecirli, I S 2004. Isma’il Haqqi Bursawi’s Commentary on Al-Salat Al-Mashishiyya: A Translation with an Introduction and Notes. MA thesis, International Islamic University (Malaysia).
Shaikh Muhammad Sadiq Alawi notes in his tri-lingual work, “The Key to Arriving at the Door of the Messenger”, about this benediction:
Imam Yusuf al-Nabahani mentions that in the recitation of this salutation are secrets and lights the reality of which are only known to Allah. By reciting this regularly one receives Divine Help and Lordly Openings. The recitor will receive truthfulness and sincerity, expansion of breast, ease of affairs, protection from Allah from every difficulty, problem and illness – both inward and outward.
– Alawi, M S. The Key to Arriving at the Door of the Messenger. Damascus: Dar al-Hawi, 2006.
Our Shaikhuna, Taika Shu’aib al-Kirkari al-Siddiqi, writes in in the upcoming hajj guide, “Sacred Pilgrimage and Visitation”, about this benediction:
The recitation of this sublime benediction brings much spiritual benefit. Our master, Sahibu-l Khalwa Abdu-l Qadir b. Imamu-l ‘Arus Sayyid Muhammad (may Allah be pleased with them both) frequently recited it and accrued much blessings.
– Shu’aib, T. Sacred Pilgrimage and Visitation. Unpublished.
Success is from Allah!
The Salutation of Al-Mashish
By the pole of the age & prophetic scion, our master & guide,
Muḥammad ‘Abdu-s Salām ibn Mashīsh al-Ḥasanī al-Idrīsī
In the name of Allah, the Universally Merciful, the Singularly Compassionate
O Allah bestow Your blessings upon him from whom burst open the secrets, from whom stream forth the lights, in whom rose up the realities, upon whom descended the Adamic sciences by which all creatures are made powerless, and blessings upon him before whom all understanding is diminished. None of us totally comprehend him – whether in the past or the future.
The Gardens of the Spiritual Kingdom blossom ornately with the resplendence of his beauty and the lakes of the World of Dominion overflow with the outpouring of his light. There is nothing that is not connected to him, because if there were no intercessor, everything to be interceded for would vanish, as it is said. So bless him with a prayer that is worthy of You, from You, as befits his stature.
O Allah indeed he is Your All-Encompassing Secret that leads through You to You and he is Your Supreme Veil raised before You, between Your Hands. O Allah include me among his descendents, confirm me through his account, and let me know him with a deep and intimate knowledge that keeps me safe from the wells of ignorance so that I may drink from the fountains of excellence.
Carry me on his path to Your Presence, encompassed by Your Victory, and strike through me at the false so that I may destroy it. Plunge me into the seas of Oneness, pull me out of the morass of metaphorical Unity, and drown me in the Essence of the Ocean of Unicity until I neither see, nor hear, nor find, nor sense, except through it. O Allah make the Supreme Veil the life of my spirit, his soul the secret of my reality, and his reality the conflux of my worlds through the realization of the First Truth.
O Beginninglessly Eternal! O Endlessly Everlasting! O Formlessly Manifest! O Apparently Hidden! Hear my call as You heard the call of Your servant, Zachary – grant me victory through You, for You; support me through You, for You; join me to You; come between myself and anything other than You
ALLĀĀĀH ALLĀĀĀH ALLĀĀĀH
[Hold each ĀĀĀ for twelve slow counts]
“Indeed He, Who ordained the Qur’an for you, will return you to the station of Ultimate Destiny. [25:85]”
“O Lord grant us from Your Presence Mercy & endow us, whatever our outward condition, with sure Guidance! [18:10]”
“Indeed Allah and His angels shower blessings upon the Prophet. O you who believe, shower blessings on him and greet him abundantly. [33:56]”
May the Sublime blessings of Allah, His Peace, Greetings, Mercy and Grace be upon our liege-lord Muhammad – Your Servant, Prophet and Messenger, the unlettered Prophet – and upon his family and companions. Upon him be peace multiplied by all even and odd numbers, and multiplied also by the inconceivable number of the perfect and blessed words of our Lord.
“Glorified be your Lord, the Lord of Glory and Mercy, beyond all which they attribute. And peace be upon the Messengers. And praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. [37:180-183]”