الحمد لله، الحمد لله الذي أمر عباده بالصلاة على رسوله الكريم والإكثارَ من التسليم، نحمده تعالى ونستعينه، ونشكره تعالى ونستغفره ونستغيثه، نعوذ بالله من شرور أنفسنا ومن سيئات أعمالنا، من يهد الله فهو المهتد ومن يضلل فلن تجد له وليا مرشدا، ونشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له، له الملك و له الحمد، يحيي ويميت، بيده الخير، وهو على كل شيء قدير،  ونشهد أن سيدنا و مولانا محمداً عبده ورسوله، وحبيبه وصفيه، بلغ الرسالة وأدى الأمانة ونصح الأمة، النبي الأمي الذي أرسله الله بالهدى والدين الحق، بشيرا ونذيرا بين يدي الساعة، صلى الله عليه وسلم وعلى آله وأصحابه ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين.

أما بعد! فيا عباد الله اتقوا الله حق تقاته ولا تموتن إلا وأنتم مسلمون. يأيها الذين ءامنوا اتقوا الله وقولوا قولا سديدا يصلح لكم أعمالكم ويغفر لكم ذنوبكم. ومن يطع الله ورسوله فقد فاز فوزا عظيما. اتقوا الله فيما أمر وانتهوا عما نها عنه وزجر.

 

In the course of this month, we have been recounting the blessings of the Messenger of Allah, and have mentioned how he is without a doubt the single greatest blessing that the human race has ever been given. Everything good that comes our way comes to us on his account. He was the bearer of the Final Message, the light and guidance without which we would all have remained lost and in the dark, but more than that, he was the primary cause of existence, the reason our Lord created creation. In the Shifa of Qadi Iyad it mentions that when Allah created Adam, the father of all mankind, He addressed him, saying,

ولولاه ما خلقتك

 

“If it had not been for him, I would not have created you.” None of us, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, would have even been here, would have walked this world and sampled its delights, were it not for him. In one sense, everything we are and everything we have we owe to him. He is the wasila, the means, the conduit, as we remind ourselves in the dua we make at the end of every adhan, so how can we possibly repay him? How can we possibly show him our appreciation? The answer is the salaat ala-n-nabiy, the prayer on the Prophet, calling down peace and blessings upon him, the divinely-ordained method for showing him love and respect. Allah says,

 

إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا

 

the translation of which is, “Allah and His angels call down blessings on the Prophet. O You who believe, call down blessings on him and ask for complete peace and safety for him.” Allah’s salaat on His Prophet never ends, it is unceasing. It is His praise of him to the highest assembly. Abu’l-‘Aliya said, “The prayer of Allah is His praise of the Prophet to the angels. The prayer of the angels is supplication.” The ‘alimun khabir, the one who knows every nuance and every detail of this existence, everything hidden and everything manifest, is unceasing in His praise of our noble Messenger, so how can we hold back from doing the same? It is the very least we can do, for his sake and for our own. For it is those few words that open the door to our Lord’s forgiveness. This is one of the lessons we learn from the story of Adam, for when he rebelled, he received Words from His Lord, Allah says,

 

فَتَلَقَّى آَدَمُ مِنْ رَبِّهِ كَلِمَاتٍ فَتَابَ عَلَيْهِ

 

the translation of which is, “Adam received Words from His Lord and He turned to him [and forgave him].” These Words, according to some of the mufassirin were praise and tawassul of the Prophet. Whatever good is in store for us lies suspended between the heavens and the earth until these words are uttered. They are their key. To please Allah is to say them, to displease Allah is to withhold them. Indeed, like the shahada, they are an obligation on this umma at least once in a person’s lifetime. Qadi Iyad said, “The Imams and the ‘ulama’ are agreed upon their obligatory nature.” And like the shahada, one should not stop at one but say them as frequently as possible. These salawat should be safeguarded just as we safeguard the obligatory prayers. Indeed, one of the tafsirs of Allah’s Words,

 

حَافِظُوا عَلَى الصَّلَوَاتِ وَالصَّلَاةِ الْوُسْطَى

 

the translation of which is, “Safeguard the salat – especially the middle one,” is that they refer to the prayer on the Prophet, since the only instance in the Quran when ya ayyuha-l-ladhina aamanu appears in the wusta/ the middle of an aya and not at the beginning is this one. Safeguard these words, remain constant in them, and you will know our Lord’s mercy. The Prophet said,

 

الصلاة على النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أمحق للذنوب من الماء البارد للنار

 

“The prayer on the Prophet wipes out wrong actions more swiftly than cold water puts out fire.” Safeguard these words and you will receive the intercession. The Prophet said,

 

من قال: اللهم صل على محمد وأنزله المنزل المقرب عندك يوم القيامة وجبت له شفاعتي

 

“Whoever says, ‘O Allah, bless Muhammad and place him near You on the Day of Rising,’ will definitely have my intercession.” Safeguard these words and you will be spared most of the horrors of the Day of Qiyama. The Prophet said,

 

إن أنجاكم يوم القيامة من أهوالها ومواطنها أكثركم علي صلاةً

 

“Those who are saved the most from the terrors of the Day of Rising and its places will be those who did the most prayers on me.” Safeguard these words and you will cross the Sirat in safety. The Prophet said,

 

رأيت رجلاً من أمتي يزحف على الصراط ويحبو أحياناً ويتعلق أحياناً فجاءته صلاته علي فأقامته على قدميه وأنقذته

 

“I saw a man from my umma advancing across the bridge. On occasion he would crawl and he would slip and hang on. Then his prayer upon me came, set him upright upon his feet and saved him.” Safeguard these words and you will be in the Gardens of Delight in the company of the best of creation. Neglect them, forget to say them and you will lose your connection to the Messenger of Allah and forget the way there. The Prophet said,

 

من نسي الصلاة علي نسي طريق الجنة

 

“Whoever forgets to pray on me, forgets the path to the Garden.” So do not forget, and use every opportunity available to you, especially in this month of Rabi’ al-Awwal, the month in which our Prophet was born, to call down blessings upon him, his family and his Companions.

 

أقول قولي هذا وأستغفر الله لي ولكم ولسائر المسلمين من كل ذنب فاستغفروه إنه هو الغفور الرَّحيم.

 

الحمد لله الحمد لله رب العالمين، وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له وأشهد أن محمداً عبده ورسوله، صلى الله وسلم وبارك عليه وعلى آله وصحبه، والتابعين وتابعي التابعين ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين.

أما بعد! فيأيها الذين ءامنوا اتقوا الله ما استطعتم واسمعوا وأطيعوا وأنفقوا خيرا لأنفسكم. يا عباد الله أوصيكم وإياي بتقوى الله وطاعته وأحذركم وإياي عن معصيته ومخالفته.

 

Just like dhikr of Allah, salawat on the Prophet can be done in many forms and in many situations. It can be done silently or out loud, alone or in a group. It can be done using forms that have been passed down to us from the Prophet and salaf and can be done with our own words or the words of our shuyukh and awliya. These salawat are recommended in every situation, but there are certain occasions when they are especially emphasised, and even obligatory.

One example of this is when the Messenger is mentioned in your presence. The Prophet said,

 

إن جبريل أتاني فقال يا محمد من سُمِّيتَ بين يديه فلم يصلِّ عليك فمات فدخل النار، فأبعده الله،

 

“Jibril came and said to me, ‘Muhammad, whenever you are mentioned by name in front of a person and he does not bless you and then subsequently dies, he will enter the Fire. Allah will put him far away.’” F

Another example is in the course of the fard prayers, although the vast majority of the ulama consider it to be sunna in this instance and not fard. Nonetheless, not doing the prayer on the Prophet robs that prayer of much good and lessens its value and worth, as Abu Ja‘far indicated when he said, “If I were to offer a prayer in which I did not bless the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, or the people of his house, I would think that it was incomplete.”

Another example is dua. It is the key to their acceptance. Any dua that neglects to include it, whether at the beginning or in the middle or at the end will go unanswered. Umar ibn al-Khattab said,

 

الدعاء والصلاة معلق بين السماء والأرض، فلا يصعد إلى الله منه شيء حتى يصلي على النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم

 

“Supplication and prayer are suspended between the heaven and the earth and none of it rises to Allah until you pray on the Prophet.”

And then there are gatherings. Any time Muslims come together, whether it be for knowledge, food, prayer, work or dhikr, they must say salawat on their Prophet. If they neglect to do so, then no good will come from their meeting and it will be a cause of their downfall and not their success. The Prophet said,

 

ما جلس قوم مجلساً ثم تفرقوا على غير صلاة على النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم إلا تفرقوا على أنتن من ريح الجيفة

 

“A people do not sit in a gathering and then part without saying the prayer on the Prophet but that they part on something fouler than the smell of a corpse.” This gathering for the Jumua is one such gathering – if you want to have access to its tremendous rewards, you must not neglect to say your prayer upon him. And say it with meaning, with presence, not just as a series of sounds slipping lazily off the tongue without understanding, or an automatic formula that you repeat without consideration. Remember, each and every one of your prayers on him reaches him. Remember, he is amongst us and hears us when we address him and give him our salaams. Allah says,

وَاعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ فِيكُمْ رَسُوَلَ اللهِ

 

the translation of which is, “Know that among you is the Messenger of Allah.”

 

اللهم صل على سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه وسلم، السلام عليك أيها النبي ورحمة الله وبركاته

 

We ask Allah to bless and protect our noble Messenger and His family and Companions, and strengthen our connection to him through our salawat on him. We ask that He make us constant in our salawat and make those salawat intercede for us and be the means for us being raised up in his company and the company of those who love him.

 

إِنَّ اللهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ، يَا أَيُهَا الذِينَ آمَنُواْ صَلُّواْ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُواْ تَسْلِيماً.

اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ وَبَارِكْ عَلَيْهِ وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ  أَجْمَعِينَ. وَارْضَ اللَّهُمَّ عَنِ الْخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِينَ أَبِي بَكْرٍ وَعُمَرَ وَعُثْمَانَ وَعَلِيٍّ، وعن أم المومنين عائشة التي أمرنا الله في سورة النور أن ندافع عنها، وَعَنْ سَائِرِ الصَّحَابَةِ أَجْمَعِينَ، خُصُوصاً اِلأَنْصَارَ مِنْهُمْ وَالمُهَاجِرِينَ، وَعَنِ التَّابِعِينَ وَتَابِعِي التَّابِعِينَ وَمَنْ تَبِعَهُمْ بِإِحْسَانٍ إِلَى يَوْمِ الدِّينِ.

اللَّهُمَّ اهْدِ وُلَاةَ أُمُورِ المُسْلِمِينَ لِمَا يُرْضِيكَ وَلِاتِّبَاعِ سُنَّةِ نَبِيِّكَ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، وَثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَهُمْ عَلَى الصِّرَاطِ المُسْتَقِيمِ، وَأَصْلِحْهُمْ يَا رَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَ.

اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَى شَيْخِنَا، وَعَلَى أَمِيرِنَا، وَعَلَى جَمِيعِ أُمَرَاءِ وَزُعَمَاءِ المُسْلِمِينَ.

اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَى المُسْلِمِينَ فِي هَذِهِ المَدِينَةِ، وَوَفِّقْهُمْ لِمَا تُحِبُّهُ وَتَرْضَاهُ يَا أَكْرَمَ الأَكْرَمِينَ.

اللَّهُمَّ أَعِزَّ الإِسْلَامَ وَالمُسِْلمِينَ، وَاخْذُلِ الْكُفْرَ وَالْكَافِرِينَ، وَانْصُرِ المُجَاهِدِينَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ. وَاجْعَلْ كَلِمََتَكَ هِيَ العُلْيَا وَكَلِمَةَ الْكُفْرِ هِيَ السُّفْلَى.

رَبَّنَا ءَاتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقَِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ.

إِنَّ اللهَ يَامُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى، وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ، يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَّكَّرُونَ، وَلَذِكْرُ اللهِ أَكْبَرُ وَاللهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ. وَقُومُواْ إِلَى صَلاتِكُمْ يَرْحَمُكُمُ اللهُ.