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The benefits of reciting shalawat for Prophet Muhammad

The benefits of reciting shalawat for Prophet Muhammad
We have most of the time recited shalawat and sent blessings upon Prophet Muhammad SAW:

وَالصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ رَسُوْلِ اللهِ

Shalawat and salam upon our master Muhammad SAW. <>

Allah SWT said:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيما

Undoubtedly Allah and His Angels send blessings on the Prophet. O' you who believe! Send upon Him Blessings and salute Him with all respect. (QS Al-Ahzab 33: 56)

Shalawat from Allah means rahmat (blessings). If the shalawat is from His angels it means doa (prayer). While salam is the protection from dangers and weaknesses.

Undoubtedly that reciting shalawat and salam is part of salutations (tahiyyah) so that when Allah commands us to recite shalawat upon Prophet Muhammad that means it is also the 'obligation' for Prophet Muhammad to pray for those reciting shalawat upon him. It is such a stipulation from the verse:

فَحَيُّواْ بِأَحْسَنَ مِنْهَا أَوْ رُدُّوهَا

(When you are greeted with a greeting) return the greeting or improve upon it. (QS. An Nisa’: 86)

The prayer from the Prophet is called as syafaat. All ulema have agreed that the Prophet's prayer would not be rejected by Allah. At this point, Allah will receive his syafaat to anybody reciting shalawat upon him.

There are many hadist describing the benefits of reciting shalawat upon Prophet Muhammad SAW, among others:

مَنْ صَلَّى عَلَيَّ فِي كِتَابٍ لَمْ تَزَلِ الْمَلَائِكَةُ تَسْنَغْفِرُ لَهُ مَا دَامَ اسْمِي فِي ذَلِكَ الْكِتَابِ

Whoever invokes shalawat upon me in a book, the angels will always ask for Allah's forgiveness to him as long as my name is still written in the book.

مَنْ سَرَّهُ أنْ يُلْقِى اللهَ وَهُوَ عَلَيْهِ رَاضٍ فَلْيُكْثِرْ مِنَ الصَّلَاةِ عَلَيَّ

Whoever wants to be happy as meeting with Allah and Allah is satisfied with him, please invoke shalawat upon me abundantly.

مَا أكْثَرَ مِنَ الصَّلَاةِ عَلَيَّ فِيْ حَيَاتِهِ أَمَرَ اللهُ جَمِيْعَ مَخْلُوْقَاتِهِ أنْ يَسْتَغْقِرُوا لَهُ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهِ

Whoever recites shalawat upon me during his lifetime, Allah will command all of His creatures to ask for forgiveness to him after his death.

مَا اجْتَمَعَ قَوْمٌ ثُمَّ تَقًرَّقُوْا مِنْ غَيْرِ ذِكْرِ اللهِ وَصَلَاةٍ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ إلَّا قَامُوْا عَنْ أنْتَنَ مِنْ حِيْفَةٍ

Those gathering (in a meeting) then going without praying to Allah and reciting shalawat upon the Prophet are like bringing anything that is worse than carcass.

Ulema have agreed it is permissible to add the word (lafadz) 'sayyidina' that means our master before the word muhammad. But there are different opinions among ulema in dealing with the additional word 'sayyidina' in shalawat whether the 'sayyidina' is considerably better (afdzol) or not.

Sheikh Ibrahim Al-Bajuri and Sheikh Ibnu Abdis Salam tend to say that adding the word 'sayyidina' is better, saying it is part of politeness and ethics to Rasulullah SAW. They are of the opinion that doing ethics and being polite are better than doing commands (muruatul adab afdzolu minal imtitsal), adding there are two hadist describing their importance.

As narrated that when Rasulullah commanded Abu Bakar to stand in his place as imam of subuh prayer, Abu Bakar did not obey and he said:

مَا كَانَ لِابْنِ أَبِيْ قُحَافَةَ أَنْ يَتَقَدَّمَ بَيْنَ يَدَيْ رَسُوْلِ اللهِ

It is not appropriate for Abu Quhafah (Abu Bakar) to stand up before Rasulullah SAW.

While the second as narrated that Ali Ibn Abi Tholib did not want to omit the name of Rasulullah SAW from the sheet of the treaty of Hudaibiya. Whereas he was commanded by Rasulullah. Ali said:

لَا أمْحُو إسْمَكَ أَبَدُا

I would never omit your name forever.

The two hadist are mentioned in the Shahih Bukhori and Muslim. The taqrir conducted by Rasulullah SAW upon the disobedience of Abu Bakar and Ali Ibn Abi Thalib for doing the ethics clearly indicates its supremacy.

KH Abd. Nashir Fattah
Rais Syuriah of the Nahdlatul Ulama Branch Board (PCNU) of Jombang
Reported by Sholehuddin SH as following a religious gathering on Qurratul Ain Bimuhimmatid Din at Baiturrahman Mosque, Jlopo Tebel Bareng and participated by board members of NU and Ansor  of Bareng subdistrict