Salawat Upon The Prophet ﷺ
Next, after greeting and paying respect to the Lord of the worlds, you now move on to paying your respect to the best of creation ﷺ.
You are continuing your assault on Shayṭān by stating the name of the person who irks him the most: his chief enemy, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ.
After sending ṣalāh, you will go on to making duʿā’. The adab (propriety) of duʿā’ is that you first praise Allah (ʿazza wa jall), and then send ṣalawāt upon His beloved ﷺ, before asking Allah (ʿazza wa jall) for your own needs. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “When one of you makes duʿā’, he should start with praising Allah and glorifying his Lord, and should then invoke ṣalāh on the Prophet ﷺ. He should then make duʿā’ for whatever he wishes” (Abū Dāwūd). Hence, the ṣalawāt follow the tashahhud which includes the praises of Allah.
Take time out to ponder on the meaning of this beautiful Prophetic utterance, often referred to as al-ṣalāh al-ibrāhīmiyyah:
اَللّٰهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَىٰ مُحَمَّدٍ وَّعَلَىٰ اٰلِ مُحَمَّدٍ ، كَمَا صَلَّيْتَ عَلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيْمَ وَعَلَىٰ اٰلِ إِبْرَاهِيْمَ ، إِنَّكَ حَمِيْدٌ مَّجِيْدٌ ، اَللّٰهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَىٰ مُحَمَّدٍ وَّعَلَىٰ اٰلِ مُحَمَّدٍ ، كَمَا بَارَكْتَ عَلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيْمَ وَعَلَىٰ اٰلِ إِبْرَاهِيْمَ ، إِنَّكَ حَمِيْدٌ مَّجِيْدٌ
O Allah, honour and have mercy upon Muḥammad and the family of Muḥammad as You have honoured and had mercy upon Ibrāhīm and the family of Ibrāhīm: indeed, You are the Most Praiseworthy, the Most Glorious. O Allah, bless Muḥammad and the family of Muḥammad as You have blessed Ibrāhīm and the family of Ibrāhīm: indeed, You are the Most Praiseworthy, the Most Glorious (Bukhārī).
اَللّٰهُمَّ صَلِّ [O Allah, honour and have mercy]: O Allah, have mercy upon Muḥammad and praise him in the lofty assembly. The ‘lofty assembly’ refers to the elite angels who are close to Allah (ʿazza wa jall).
Ṣalāh also means ‘honour him’ i.e. honour him in this world by elevating his mention, granting victory to his dīn and preserving his sharīʿah; honour him in the hereafter by rewarding him abundantly, accepting his intercession on behalf of his ummah and granting him the loftiest station of glory (maqām maḥmūd).
وَعَلَىٰ اٰلِ مُحَمَّدٍ [And upon the family of Muḥammad ﷺ]: This phrase could be a reference to: 1) His family 2) His followers. By invoking ṣalāh on his followers, you are honouring the Messenger ﷺ by honouring those who are dear to him.
بَارِكْ [Bless]: Bārik is derived from barakah, and linguistically has two meanings: (1) to be firm and continuous and (2) to grow and increase. Thus, it is similar to stating, “O Allah continue to bless and honour Muḥammad ﷺ and his followers. Increase him and his followers in every form of good. Bless him in the mission that he came with and make his legacy universal.”
حَمِيْدٌ [The Most Praiseworthy]: Allah (ʿazza wa jall) is worthy of all praise in His Essence, His Attributes and His Actions. He also praises His praiseworthy slaves. One of His greatest blessings is that He allowed His creation to praise Him.
مَجِيْدٌ [The Most Glorious]: His glory and greatness know no ends. He is the Most Generous and bestows endless favours. He is Noble and Exalted. The glory of Allah (ʿazza wa jall) refers to His beautiful actions combined with nobility.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Allah has angels who travel around the earth conveying to me the salām of my ummah.” (Nasā’ī).
Why do the ṣalawāt end with these two specific names?
In asking Allah (ʿazza wa jall) to bestow ‘ṣalawāt’ on His beloved ﷺ, you ask Him to praise him, honour him, and elevate his mention. Thus, it is befitting that you ask ‘alḤamīd’ (The Most Praiseworthy) and ‘al-Majīd’ (The Most Glorious) – the real and ultimate source of praise and glory – to increase the Messenger ﷺ in praise and glory.
Why do we send ṣalawāt upon the Messenger ﷺ ?
Along with complying with Allah’s command, sending ṣalawāt on the Messenger ﷺ is a manifestation of our love, reverence and obedience to him. He was sent as a mercy for mankind, and he always remembered us and worried about us.
On one occasion he lifted his hands and while weeping, invoked, “O Allah! My ummah, my ummah!” Allah sent Jibrīl down with the glad tidings, “Muḥammad, surely we will please you in regards to your ummah and we will not cause you grief ” (Muslim).
In every ṣalāh, he would ask Allah (ʿazza wa jall) to forgive us (Ibn Ḥibbān). He missed us and yearned to see us. He once said, “I wish to see my brothers!” The Companions (radiy Allāhu ʿanhum) asked, “O Messenger of Allah, are we not your brothers?” He replied, “You are my Companions, but my brothers are those who have not yet come in the world. I will welcome them at the Ḥawḍ (blessed fountain)” (Nasā’ī).
Unlike the other Messengers who had their exclusive duʿā’ accepted in this world, the Messenger ﷺ reserved his duʿā’ for the Day of Judgement where he will intercede on our behalf (Bukhārī).
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Whoever sends ṣalāh upon me once, Allah will send ṣalāh upon him tenfold, erase ten sins from him, and will raise him ten degrees in status.” (Nasā’ī).
Before the end of the ṣalāh, Allah (ʿazza wa jall) gives us another opportunity to make duʿā’. This is one of the best times for duʿā’ and is likely to be accepted. The Prophet ﷺ was asked, “Which duʿā’ is most likely to be responded to?” He replied, “During the last part of the night and at the end of the obligatory prayers” (Tirmidhī).
Thus, even if you have forgotten to make duʿā’ in your sajdah, you can ask now. Through His mercy, Allah (ʿazza wa jall) has blessed you with two opportunities during ṣalāh to make duʿā’.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said that after the tashahhud, “He should choose any supplication which he likes, and then ask Allah with it” (Abū Dāwūd).
During your duʿā’, it is best to utter any of the following adhkār, or to utter any other duʿās from the Qur’ān and Sunnah; you may also ask with words similar to them. Imām al-Ghazālī (raḥimahullāh) said, “At the end of your ṣalāh, supplicate with the duʿās transmitted from the Prophet ﷺ with humility, fear, earnest pleading and the conviction that it will be answered. Also include your parents and the believers in your duʿā’.” (See our publication ‘I Am Near’ for a collection of duʿās.)
Whoever performs the five daily prayers, has thanked Allah; and whoever supplicates for his parents at the end of the five daily prayers, has thanked his parents.” – Sufyān b. ʿUyaynah (raḥimahullāh)
Try to memorise and supplicate (especially in your nafl prayers) with the following adhkār of the Prophet ﷺ:
اَللّٰهُمَّ إِنِّيْ ظَلَمْتُ نَفْسِيْ ظُلْمًا كَثِيْرًا ، وَّلَا يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوْبَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ ، فَاغْفِرْ لِيْ مَغْفِرَةً مِّنْ عِنْدِكَ ، وَارْحَمْنِيْ إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْغَفُوْرُ الرَّحِيْمُ
O Allah, I have wronged myself greatly and no one forgives sins except You; grant me forgiveness from You and have mercy upon me. You are the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful (Bukhārī).
In this duʿā’, you are acknowledging that only He (ʿazza wa jall) can forgive. You are simultaneously humbling yourself, admitting your shortcomings and asking Him (ʿazza wa jall) through His Blessed Names.
اَللّٰهُمَّ إِنِّيْ أَعُوْذُ بِكَ مِنْ عَذَابِ جَهَنَّمَ ، وَمِنْ عَذَابِ الْقَبْرِ ، وَمِنْ فِتْنَةِ الْمَحْيَا وَالْمَمَاتِ، وَمِنْ شَرِّ فِتْنَةِ الْمَسِيْحِ الدَّجَّالِ
O Allah, I seek Your protection from the punishment of the fire, from the punishment of the grave, from the trials of life and death, and from the evil of the trial of al-Masīḥ al-Dajjāl (Muslim).
اَللّٰهُمَّ إِنِّيْ أَعُوْذُ بِكَ مِنْ عَذَابِ الْقَبْرِ ، وَأَعُوْذُ بِكَ مِنْ فِتْنَةِ الْمَسِيْحِ الدَّجَّالِ ، وَأَعُوْذُ بِكَ مِنْ فِتْنَةِ الْمَحْيَا وَفِتْنَةِ الْمَمَاتِ ، اَللّٰهُمَّ إِنِّيْ أَعُوْذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْمَأْثَمِ وَالْمَغْرَمِ
O Allah, I seek Your protection from the punishment of the grave, and I seek Your protection from the trial of the al-Masīḥ al-Dajjāl, and I seek Your protection from the trials of life and death. O Allah, I seek Your protection from sin and debt (Bukhārī).
اَللّٰهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِيْ مَا قَدَّمْتُ وَمَا أَخَّرْتُ ، وَمَا أَسْرَرْتُ وَمَا أعْلَنْتُ ، وَمَا أَسْرَفْتُ وَمَا أَنْتَ أَعْلَمُ بِهِ مِنِّيْ ، أَنْتَ الْمُقَدِّمُ ، وَأَنْتَ الْمُؤَخِّرُ ، لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ
O Allah, forgive me for what I have done in the past and for what I am yet to do, for what I have done privately and for what I have done publicly, for my excesses and for that which You know more than me. You are the One who brings forward and the One who puts behind, and there is no god worthy of worship except You (Muslim).
اَللّٰهُمَّ أَعِنِّيْ عَلَىٰ ذِكْرِكَ ، وَشُكْرِكَ ، وَحُسْنِ عِبَادَتِكَ
O Allah, help me to remember You, be grateful to You and worship You in an excellent manner (Abū Dāwūd).
اَللّٰهُمَّ إِنِّيْ أَعُوْذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْبُخْلِ، وَأَعُوْذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْجُبْنِ ، وَأَعُوْذُ بِكَ مِنْ أَنْ أُرَدَّ إِلَىٰ أَرْذَلِ الْعُمُرِ ، وَأَعُوْذُ بِكَ مِنْ فِتْنَةِ الدُّنْيَا وَعَذَابِ الْقَبْرِ
O Allah, I seek Your protection from miserliness, I seek Your protection from cowardice and I seek Your protection from being sent back to a miserable old age. I seek Your protection from the trials of the world and the punishment of the grave (Nasā’ī).
اَللّٰهُمَّ إِنِّيْ أَسْألُكَ الْجَنَّةَ ، وَأَعُوْذُ بِكَ مِنَ النَّارِ
O Allah, I beg You for Paradise and I seek Your protection from Hell-fire (Abū Dawūd).
اَللّٰهُمَّ بِعِلْمِكَ الْغَيْبَ ، وَقُدْرَتِكَ عَلَى الْخَلْقِ ، أَحْيِـنِـيْ مَا عَلِمْتَ الْحَـيَاةَ خَيْرًا لِّيْ ، وَتَوَفَّنِيْ إِذَا عَلِمْتَ الْوَفَاةَ خَيْرًا لِّيْ ، اَللّٰهُمَّ وَأَسْأَلُكَ خَشْيَتَكَ فِي الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ ، وَأَسْأَلُكَ كَلِمَةَ الْحَقِّ فِي الرِّضَا وَالْغَضَبِ ، وَأَسْأَلُكَ الْقَصْدَ فِي الْفَقْرِ وَالْغِنَىٰ ، وَأَسْأَلُكَ نَعِيْمًا لَّا يَنْفَدُ ، وَأَسْأَلُكَ قُرَّةَ عَيْنٍ لَّا تَنْقَطِعُ ، وَأَسْأَلُكَ الرِّضَا بَعْدَ الْقَضَاءِ ، وَأَسْأَلُكَ بَرْدَ الْعَيْشِ بَعْدَ الْمَوْتِ ، وَأَسْأَلُكَ لَذَّةَ النَّظَرِ إِلَىٰ وَجْهِكَ ، وَالشَّوْقَ إِلَىٰ لِقَائِكَ ، فِيْ غَيْرِ ضَرَّاءَ مُضِرَّةٍ ، وَلَا فِتْنَةٍ مُّضِلَّةٍ ، اَللّٰهُمَّ زَيِّنَّا بِزِيْنَةِ الْإِيْمَانِ ، وَاجْعَلْنَا هُدَاةً مُّهْتَدِيْنَ
O Allah, with Your knowledge of the unseen and Your absolute power over the creation, let me live in this world as long as You know my living is good for me; and give me death when You know death is better for me. O Allah, I ask You for Your fear in secret and in public. I ask You for the word of truth in times of joy and anger. I ask You for moderation in poverty and wealth. I ask You for endless blessings and perpetual delights. I ask You to make me pleased with destiny; a cool, comfortable life after death; the pleasure of gazing at Your face, and the longing to meet You, without any painful ordeals and tribulations that misguide. O Allah, adorn us with the beauty of faith, and make us those who guide others and are guided themselves (Nasā’ī).
اَللّٰهُمَّ إِنِّيْ أَسْأَلُكَ بِأَنَّ لَكَ الْحَمْدَ لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ الْمَنَّانُ ، بَدِيْعُ السَّمٰـوٰتِ وَالْأَرْضِ، يَا ذَا الْجَلاَلِ وَالْإِكْرَامِ ، يَا حَيُّ يَا قَيُّوْمُ
O Allah, I beg You as all praise only belongs to You. There is no god worthy of worship except You, the Giver of all good, the Originator of the heavens and the earth. O Lord of Majesty and Honour, O the Ever Living, O the One who sustains and protects all that exists.
Anas (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) narrated that he was sitting with the Messenger of Allah ﷺ whilst a man was praying. The man went on to supplicate [with the above]. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “He has certainly invoked Allah by His Greatest Name. When He is supplicated by it, He responds; and when asked by it, He gives” (Abū Dāwūd).
اَللّٰهُمَّ إِنِّيْ أَسْأَلُكَ بِأَنِّيْ أَشْهَدُ أَنَّكَ أَنْتَ اللّٰهُ لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ ، الْأَحَدُ الصَّمَدُ الَّذِيْ لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُوْلَدْ ، وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَّهُ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ
O Allah, I ask You as I bear witness that You are Allah, there is no god worthy of worship except You, the One, the Self-Sufficient Master, the One who has not given birth and was not born, and to whom no one is equal.
Buraydah al-Aslamī (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) said that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ heard a man supplicating [with the above]. He ﷺ remarked, By the One in whose Hand is my life, he has certainly asked Allah with His Greatest Name: when He is supplicated by it, He responds; and when asked by it, He gives” (Tirmidhī).