The noble action of the recitation of the Salawaat and Salaam, be it in whatever language, and in the manner of standing with utmost reverence, is not confined to the Ahle Sunnah from amongst the Indo-Pak region only, but can be traced to almost every country from Africa to the remote regions of the far North and spreading across from Asia to the heart of America.
None of the authentic Kitaab written by the righteous scholars of the Ahle Sunnah, who are in the majority, have ever condemned this practise of the recitation and the standing and indeed no objection can be found either in the Glorious Qur’aan or the Ahadith. However, there are still a minority group who severely condemn this practise and have labelled this very practise as Shirk, Bid’at and Haraam.
A book of this nature was very much needed and, Alhamdulillah, Brother Ismail Ebrahim, a university student, has researched this topic extensively using a number of authentic Kitaabs, and has answered every objection and misconception, thus proving the permissibility of standing and reciting the Salawaat and Salaam. I have also had the privilege of reading through the manuscript and have found all the sources to be exact.
May Almighty Allah, through the Wasila of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), grant Brother Ismail His special Favours and assist him in upholding the pristine teachings of the Ahle Sunnah Wa Jamaat at a time when false ideologies are misleading the Ummah from the Straight Path. Aameen.
It is also my fervent Du’a that the youth read this book with the light of Imaan and the objectivity that it deserves so that the practise of standing and reciting the Salawaat and Salaam continues to grow and the love of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) becomes a foundation of their beliefs. Aameen.
Moulana Abdun Nabi Hamidi
Chairman: Sunni Ulama Council (Tvl.)
This publication is intended to settle any controversy surrounding the issue of reciting Salawat (Durood) and Salaam [Blessings and Salutations] upon the Holy Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) :
Words such as Shirk and Bid'a have been attributed to this blessed practice by those who are ignorant of the blessings of reciting Salawat and Salaam and of the true meanings of the words Shirk and Bid'a, thereby leaving certain sectors in the community in a state of utter confusion. These students of the 14th Islamic Century, in their haste to pronounce this noble act as a bid'a, have even ignored the opinion of their own spiritual luminaries, who practised and advocated this noble act.
The permissibility of reciting Salawat and Salaam is one of the many beliefs which distinguishes the Ahl us-Sunnah Wa 'l Jamaa'a from the other sects of Baatil (Deviation).
It is our intention to remove the stigma of Bid'a and Shirk attributed to this noble practice by presenting documented proof from the Qur'aan, Sunnah and the great Islamic scholars of the Hijaaz (Arabia), Misr (Egypt), Shaam (Syria) and Indo-Pak subcontinent.
We have systematically categorized the baseless arguments that have arisen over the years into separate chapters. We, thereafter, answered each argument thereby proving once and for all the permissibility of reciting Salawat and Salaam from Qur'aan, Hadith and by citing examples from books written by the scholars of Deoband.
You are therefore urged to read this book with an open mind and decide for yourself.
It is completely within the Shari'ah (Islamic Law) to recite Salutations and Blessings upon Allah's Messenger (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) as is evident in the following Qur'aanic ayat : "Undoubtedly, Allah and His Angels send blessings on the Prophet (the Communicator of Unseen News), O you who believe ! Send upon him blessings and salute him fully well in abundance" (Surah al-Ahzab, Verse 56)
Almighty Allah in the Holy Qur'aan has enjoined the performance of many things by us such as Salaah, Fasting, Hajj etc. and has praised His Prophets and described their good qualities. He created Hadhrat Adam ('alaihis salaam) and directed the Angels to do Sajda (prostration) to him. However, he does not say in any of His directions, "I (Allah) am doing it, therefore you should do likewise". This honour was exclusively conferred upon our Beloved Nabi Hadhrat Muhammad (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam). Here, in the above verse, Almighty Allah at the very outset attributed Salawat (recital of blessings) on our Beloved Nabi Hadhrat Muhammad (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam), first to Himself (Sunnat-i-Ilaahi), then to His Angels (Sunnat-i-Malaa'ika), and after this enjoined on the Muslims (Sunnat-i-Mu'mineen) to do the same, by saying, "Undoubtedly, Allah and His Angels send blessings on the Prophet (the Communicator of Unseen News), O you who believe ! Send upon him blessings and salute him fully well in abundance". There cannot be a greater honour for the Believers than this, who have been favoured with a share in this Divine performance with Almighty Allah and His Angels.
It is stated in the commentary of the Qur'aan, Tafseer-i-Rooh al-Bayaan, "Some 'Ulama are of the opinion that the meaning of Allah's blessing is, to raise Hadhrat Muhammad Mustapha (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) to Maqaam-i-Mahmood (Glorious Station), the place from where he will intercede to Almighty Allah on behalf of his Ummat; the Angels' blessing means their prayer for enhancing the position of Hadhrat Muhammad Mustapha (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) and beseeching forgiveness for his followers. Blessings on the path of the believers means to obey, love and eulogize him." Tafseer-i-Rooh al-Bayaan further states that the honour and reverance shown to Hadhrat Muhammad (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) is of a much greater degree than shown to Hadhrat Adam ('alaihis salaam) to whom only Angels were made to bow down (in honour). For in honouring Hadhrat Muhammad Mustapha (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) Almighty Allah has also attributed it to Himself, whereas in the case of Hadhrat Adam ('alaihis salaam) Almighty Allah asked only the Angels to show honour.
Having established and expounded on the injunction of the Holy Qur'aan we quote a few Ahaadith of the Holy Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) pertaining to Salawat and Salaam.
Imam Tibraani (rahmat allahi 'alaih) has recorded this Hadith narrated by Hadhrat Abu Darda (radi allahu 'anhu) :
The Holy Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) said : "Increase your recitation of DUROOD on me on Friday because on this day Angels present themselves to me. There is no servant of Allah who recites SALUTATIONS upon me, except that his voice reaches me from wherever he is". The Companions asked even after your departure ? "He replied, Yes after my departure too, because Allah has made it Haraam upon the earth to consume the bodies of the Prophets". (Jila-ul Ifhaam, by Ibn Qayyim)
“On Fridays recite the Salawat for me repeatedly ! The Salawat will be conveyed to me." (Ibn Habbaan, Ibn Maaja, Abu Dawood)
When it was asked whether it would be conveyed to him after his Wisaal also, the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) answered, "Soil does not rot Prophets' bodies. Whenever a Muslim says the Salawat for me, an Angel informs me of it and says, 'So-and-so's son, so-and-so of your Ummah sent his Salaam and prayed for you.'"
Sahl ibn Sa`d (radi allahu 'anhu) narrates: Allah's Messenger (sallallahu 'alaihi wasalam) came out and met Abu Talha. The latter rose and went to him saying: "My father and mother be sacrificed for you, O Messenger of Allah! I see joy and delight in your countenance?" The Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) said: "Yes, for Gabriel has just come to me saying: O Muhammad, whoever among your Community invokes blessings upon you once, Allah records for Him ten meritorious deeds, erases from his register ten evil deeds, and raises him ten degrees because of it." (al-Sakhawi, al-Qawl al-badi` p. 107., al-Sakhawi said: "Our shaykh (Ibn Hajar) graded it hasan without doubt.")
"Invoke blessings upon me abundantly on Friday because it is a day that is (particularly) witnessed and the Angels witness it (abundantly). As soon as a person invokes blessings on me his invocation is shown to me until he ends it." Abu al-Darda' (radi allahu 'anhu) said: "Even after (your) death?" The Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) replied: "Verily, Allah has forbidden the earth to consume the bodies of Prophets." (Related by Ibn Majah with a sound chain through Abu al-Darda'. Also related with a sound chain from Aws ibn Aws al-Thaqafi by Ahmad, Ibn Abi Shayba, Abu Dawud, al-Nasa`i, Ibn Majah, al-Darimi, Ibn Khuzayma, Ibn Hibban, al-Hakim (sahih, confirmed by Dhahabi), Tabarani in his Kabir, and Bayhaqi in many places, some with the initial addition of the following: "The best of your days is Friday, for in it Adam was created, and in it his soul was taken back, and in it is the blowing of the Horn, and in it is the universal Seizure, therefore invoke blessings upon me abundantly on Friday," etc. The first part (concerning the order to invoke more Salat on Friday and the disclosure of this invocation to the Prophet) is related by Bayhaqi in Shu`ab al-Iman through Abi Umama, Anas, and Abu Mas`ud al-Ansari, and by al-Hakim in his Mustadrak from the latter. Shafi`i in his Musnad relates the first part only ("Invoke blessings upon me abundantly on Friday") mursal from Safwan ibn Salim.)
The Holy Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) says in a Hadith, "Definitely there are many Angels of Allah that sojourn the earth and bring the Salaam of my Ummat to me". (Narrated by Nisai and Ibn Habban)
Hadhrat 'Abd ar-Rahman bin 'Auf (radi allahu 'anhu) says that one day the Holy Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) came and entered a date garden. There he performed a very long prostration. Hadhrat 'Abd ar-Rahman (radi allahu 'anhu) feared that Allah had sent death to him. He drew close to him and began to look at him. The Holy Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) raised his holy head from the prostration and asked what had happened to him, then he disclosed his fear to him. At this, the Holy Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) said Hadhrat Jibra'il ('alaihis salaam) asked whether he should not give him glad tidings that Allah said that He would send blessings to the person who recited the Holy Qur'an on him and peace and security to the person who bade Salutations to him. (Ahmad)
These are just a few Ahaadith. It is established beyond any doubt that the recitation of Salawat and Salaam has its origin in the Qur'aan and Hadith.
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 Shari’ah. 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. No scholar of Ahl us-Sunna for over 1400 years has ever objected to it with a view to it being a bad Bid'a (innovation).
Qiyaam is of three kinds :
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)
Similarly, the origin of Qiyaam-e-Muhabbat is from the following Hadith:
Hadhrat Aisha Siddiqa (radi allahu 'anha) has narrated :
“I have never encountered anyone that had emulated the Holy Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) in manner, likeness and speech [and with another chain of narrators : I have never seen anyone even come near her with the above qualities] more than Fathima (radi allahu 'anha), may Allah honour her face. When she came in to visit him (the Prophet) he got up to (welcome) her, took her by the hand, kissed her and made her sit where he was sitting; and when he went in to visit her, she got up to (welcome) him, took him by the hand, kissed him, and made him sit where she was sitting”. (Sunan Abu Dawood; Ash’atul Lama’aat)
Similarly the origin of Qiyaam-e-'Azmat is derived from the following narration :
Narrated Abu Sa 'id al-Khudri (radi allahu 'anhu) : The people of (Banu) Quraiza agreed to accept the verdict of Sa'd bin Mu'adh. So the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) sent for Sa'ad, and the latter came (riding) a donkey and when he approached the Mosque, the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) said to the Ansar, "Get up for your chief or for the best among you !" (Sahih Bukhaari, Vol 5, Chapter 29, 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."
Imam Nawawi (rahmat allahi 'alaih) holds the same view (in his commentary of this Hadith) and he even quotes the opinion of Qadi 'Iyad (rahmat allahi 'alaih). (See Sharh Sahih Muslim and al-Tarkhis for Imam Nawawi's view on Qiyaam)
Also commenting on this Hadith Hadhrat Shaikh 'Abdul Haq Muhaddith Dehlawi (rahmat allahi 'alaih) writes, "A great number of eminent 'Ulama have taken this Hadith as proof in support of Qiyaam in Meelad." (Ash atul Lama'aat) [For an opinion on the authenticity of Hadhrat Shaikh 'Abd al-Haqq Muhaddith (rahmat allahi 'alaih) we refer to Moulvi Ashraf 'Ali Thanwi who says, "Shah 'Abd al-Haqq Sahib used to have the blessed vision of the Holy Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) daily" and " ... Shaikh ('Abd al-Haqq) has a vast knowledge of Hadith"]
The Qiyaam during Mawlid an-Nabi (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) 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).
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)
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 , 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 Honour To The Prophet, Declaring His High Rank, And Revering Him Vol.2 p.200 [#1528])
Narrated 'Abd Allah ibn 'Umar (radi allahu 'anhu): Ibn 'Umar (radi allahu 'anhu) was sent with a detachment by the Apostle of Allah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam). The people wheeled round in flight. He said : I was one of those who wheeled round in flight. When we stopped we said : What should we do? We have run away from the battlefield and deserve Allah's wrath. Then we said: Let us enter Medina, stay there, and go there while no one sees us. So we entered the city and thought : If we present ourselves before Allah's Apostle, and if there is a change of repentance for us, we shall stay; if there is something else, we shall go away. So we sat down (waiting) for the Apostle of Allah before the dawn prayer. When he came out, WE STOOD UP TO HIM and said : We are the ones who have fled. He turned to us and said : No, you are the ones who return to fight after wheeling away. We then approached and kissed his hand, and he said : I am the main body of the Muslims. (Abu Dawud, Book 14 [Jihad], Number 2641) This Hadith is also found in al-Abhari; in the book of al-hafiz Ibn Muqri on standing up and kissing the hand out of respect; in the Adab al- Mufrad of Imam Bukhaari (Chapter on kissing the Hand and Chapter on Kissing the Foot), in Ibn Maja (Adab), in Bayhaqi's Dala'il an-Nubuwwa, and in the Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal)
Jabir (radi allahu 'anhu) said: "`Umar ibn al-Khattab GOT UP and kissed the hand of Allah's Messenger." Ibn al-Muqri' narrates it in al-Rukhsa (p. 71 #11) and although its chain contains `Ubayd Allah ibn Sa`id who is weak, Ibn Hajar included it among Ibn al-Muqri's good narrations (min jayyidiha) on the subject (Fath al-Bari 11:66). Tabari narrates it mursal [missing the Companion-link] through al-Suddi in his Tafsir in commenting on verse 5:101: "Do not ask of things which once shown to you would hurt you" with the wording: "`Umar ibn al-Khattab GOT UP and kissed the foot of Allah's Messenger and said: O Messenger of Allah, we are pleased with Allah as our Lord, with Islam as our religion, and with Muhammad as our Prophet, and with the Qur'an as our Book. Forgive, and Allah will forgive you (fa`fu `afallahu `anka). And he did not cease until the Prophet softened."
It is mentioned in Hisn-al-Haseen, on the basis of several Ahaadith, "When any man enters a masjid he should say, 'With Allah's name. And Salutations be on His Rasool (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam)'"
Allama Sakhawi (rahmat allahi 'alaih) has narrated from the Hadith of Hadhrat Ali (radi allahu 'anhu), "Whenever you enter the masjid, recite Durood for Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam)" - and has also quoted a Hadith narrated by Hadhrat Fathima (radi allahu 'anha), the daughter of Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) who said, "Whenever Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) entered the masjid he recited first Durood and Salaam for Hadhrat Muhammad (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) (i.e. upon Himself) … "
Those that are antagonistic to Qiyaam and also claim to follow the Sunnah are therefore according to this Hadith advised to recite Durood and Salaam when entering the Masjid. Adherence to this Sunnah would mean that the antagonists would be hypocritically sending Salawat and Salaam to the Holy Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) whilst standing. Non-adherence of this Sunnah makes their claim of being the ardent followers of Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) without substance !
Those that masquerade as the "true upholders" of the Sunnah, by claiming to follow the footsteps of the Sahaaba-e-Kiraam and continuously misquoting the Ahaadith of the Blessed Companions of Rasoolullah (sallalahu 'alaihi wasallam) should take cognisance of the following Hadith:
Once Hadhrath Ka'ab (radi allahu 'anhu) said to Hadhrath Abu Huraira (radi allahu 'anhu), "I am telling you two things which you should not forget. One, whenever you enter a musjid recite Salawat for the Holy Prophet (sallalahu 'alaihi wasallam), and then this Du'aa, 'O Allah forgive me my sins and open for me the doors of Thy Mercy !'"
If the antagonist is adamant in his objection to the performance of Qiyaam (while reciting Salawat) and maintains that the only posture permitted to recite Salawat is the posture of Jalsa (in Salaah when reciting "Attahiyyaat") then the only option open to him is to sit at the entrance of the masjid recite the Salawat, and thereafter enter ! Seeing that we have not observed anyone entering the masjid in such a manner, it is therefore deduced that persons entering the masjid are either reciting the Salawat whilst in Qiyaam, or ommitting this directive of Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam). If this great practice is intentionally ommitted, then they are guilty of not adhering to the advice of the Sahaaba-e-Kiraam.
Evidence from the 'Ulama of the Ahl as-Sunnah
Imam Nawawi (rahmat allahi 'alaih) says :
al-Shaykh Abu Muhammad told us - Abu Taher al-Khashaw'i told us - Abu Muhammad al-Akfani told us - Al-hafiz Abu Bakr al-Khatib al-Baghdadi told us by permission not hearing : - Al-Husayn ibn 'Ali al-Jawhari told us - 'Amr ibn al-'Abbas al-Khazzaz related to us - Abu Bakr al-Sawli told us - Ishaq ibn Ibrahim al-Qazzaz told us - Ishaq al-Shahidi related to us:
I would see Yahya al-Qattan - may Allah the Exalted have mercy on him - pray the mid-afternoon prayer, then sit with his back against the base of the minaret of his mosque. Then Ali ibn al-Madini, al-Shadhakuni, 'Amr ibn 'Ali, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Yahya ibn Ma'in, and others would stand before him and ask him questions about Hadith standing on their feet until it was time for the sunset prayer. He would not say to a single one of them. "Sit" nor would they sit, out of awe and reverence.
Imam Nawawi (rahmat allahi 'alaih) said, the Hafiz Abu Musa al-Ashbahani (rahmat allahi 'alaih) recited :
Qiyami wa al-'aziz ilyaka haqqun
I swear by the All-Powerful that my standing for you (O Prophet) is right and true
Wa tarku al-haqqi ma la yastaqimu
And to leave truth and right is to embrace error
Fa hal ahadun lahu 'aqlun wa lubbun wa ma'rifa yaraka fa la yaqumu ?
I ask: can anyone possessed of a mind and a heart and knowledge, upon seeing you, not stand up?
(see Sharh Sahih Muslim and al-Tarkhis by Imam Nawawi)
It must be noted that Hafiz Abu Musa (rahmat allahi 'alaih) made Wisaal in 581, more than five centuries after the time of the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam), and yet stands for him in the present tense and mentions "seeing him": this seeing of the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) by the pious Believers both in a sleeping and a wakeful state is an attested fact in the Shari’a which has been mentioned by the scholars, among them al-Haytami (rahmat allahi 'alaih) in his Fatawa Hadithiyya (see Chapter 6.5 for the fatwa)
Musa ibn Dawud al-Dubbi (d. 217) (radi allahu 'anhu) said: "I was with Sufyan ibn `Uyayna (d. 198) when Husayn ibn `Ali al-Ju`fi (d. 203) came, whereupon Sufyan STOOD UP and kissed his hand." Narrated with sound chains by Ibn Sa`d in his Tabaqat (6:397 "Husayn al-Ju`fi") and Ibn al-I`rabi in al-Qubal. Also al-Mizzi in al-Tahdhib (6:452) and al-Dhahabi in the Syar (9:398).
Allama Ibn Hajar Makki (rahmat allahi 'alaih) says, "To stand at the mention of the Prophet's (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) Birth (Mawlid) is something the Ahl as-Sunnah Wa 'l Jamaa'a have all agreed upon, as being a commendable action. And the Holy Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) says, 'My followers do not agree upon misguidance and the Hand of Allah is upon the (majority) group; and he who deviates, deviates towards the Fire (of Hell). (Tirmidhi)'" (Mawlidatil Kabeer, Page 85)
Allama Ibn Hajar (rahmat allahi 'alaih) states at another place, "It is proven from the 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'd ibn Mu'adh."
With this Hadith with referance of Imam Nawawi, Imam Baghwi and Allama Khattabi (may Allah be pleased with all of them) state, "To stand for one's leader, or just ruler, or teacher, is a beloved action." The acceptance of the repentance of Ka'ab ibn Maalik (radi allahu 'anhu) is related by himself, "I departed to present myself at the Holy Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam), and when I entered the Prophet's Mosque I saw him sitting with the Companions around him, whereupon Talha ibn 'Ubaidullah, on seeing me, STOOD UP, and shook hands with me and congratulated me upon my repentance!" (Mawlidatil-Kabeer, Page 93)
Sheikh-ud-Dalaa'il Mawlana Sheikh Abd al-Haqq Muhaddith Allahabaadi (rahmat allahi 'alaih) has written a researched book called, Ad Durrul Munazzam Fi Bayaanil Hukmil Mawlidin Nabi-yil-A'zam (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam). This book has been authenticated by Hajee Imdadullah Muhaajir Makki (rahmat allahi 'alaih) the mentor of many of the Deobandis. The Scholars of Deoband like Muhammad Rahmatullah Muhaajir Makki, Sayyid Hamzah, Abdullah Ansari (son in law of Qasim Nanotwi) and Muhammad Jameel-ur-Rahmaan Khan have also authenticated this book as is evident from the laudatory notes included in the book.
In the fourth chapter of this book the author has recorded in detail incidents which manifested themselves at the time when the Holy Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) was born. These include, "a cluster of stars concentrated over the roof of his house at the time of the birth of the Holy Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam); Angels hoisted flags on holy Baitul Laah and in the east and in the west; the whole atmosphere was filled with the voices of Angels and houries reciting Salutations to him in the STANDING POSITION and congratulating each other and rejoicing with abandon; animals also congratulated each other at the birth of the holy Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam), the Ka'batul Laah bowed in a manner of saluting, and the falsehood vanished and the light of truth spread light in all directions."(Pages 54, 72, 91; Mawaahib-e-Ladunniyah by Imam Qasatalani Page 57; Mauladul Uroos by Imam Ibn Jawzi Pages 3, 7, 26; Shawaahidun Nubuwwah Page 55; As-Seeratul Halbiyah by Allamah Ali Bin Burhaan Page 94; Khasaa'is-e-Kubra by Imam Suyuti Volume 1, Page 45; Zurqaani Volume 1 , Page 112,116)
Angels do exactly as they are commanded. This is testified to by the Holy Qur'aan: "Wa Yaf'aloona Ma Yu'maroon". Whatever the Angels did then was at Allah's command.
Haji Imdaadullah Muhaajir Makki (rahmat allahi 'alaih), a great scholar and spiritual guide of the scholars of Deoband, (namely, Moulvi Ashraf 'Ali Thanwi, Moulvi Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi and Moulvi Qaasim Nanotwi) stated the following as recorded by Moulvi Ashraf 'Ali Thanwi himself, "To reject such a practice is to be denied a great deal of good. If one stands for respect when the sacred name of the Holy Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) is mentioned in a Mawlid Shareef, what harm is there ? When someone (an ordinary person) appears we stand up for him, so if we stand up for our Master to show respect, what wrong is there ?" (Imdaadul Mushtaaq, Page 88 [Imdaadul Mushtaaq was authored by Ashraf 'Ali Thanwi, the ideologue of the scholars of Deoband. It is a biography of his spiritual guide, Haji Imdaadullah Muhaajir Makki (rahmat allahi 'alaih)])
Haji Imdaadullah (rahmat allahi 'alaih) further states,"The way of this servant (himself) is this: I present myself in the gathering of Meelad regarding it as a means of blessing I even commemorate it and I gain great pleasure and peace by STANDING." (Faisla Haft Mas'ala, Page 5)
What the scholars of Deoband have to say?
Moulvi Ashraf Ali Thanwi, the leader of the Deobandi group, says that the 'Ulama have unanimously agreed that the practise of standing out of respect is allowed and substantiates by saying that whenever the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) visited Fatima (radi allahu 'anha) she stood respectfully and whenever Fatima (radi allahu 'anha) visited the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) he stood up respectfully for her. (Al-Ifaadatul Yaumiya)
Moulvi Asfraf 'Ali Thanwi has written a long story about Moulvi Qaasim Nanotwi and Hakim Abdus Salaam: "Hakim Abdus Salaam had a desire to meet Mawlana Nanotwi who was at the time sitting with many people. When Hakim Abdus Salaam arrived, everybody STOOD UP to pay respect to him". (Arwahe Salaasa, Story Number 215, Islami Academy, Lahore)
The purpose of this chapter is to answer the baseless arguments that are raised with regard to the practice of respectfully standing whilst reciting Salawat and Salaam.
Had the objectioners been Nasara, Yahood or Mushrikeen it would have been understandable that their objections of the veneration of Huzoor-i-Aqdas (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) is due to ignorance and a lack of Imaan. Alas, we have a situation of pseudo-scholars who are so spineless as to misinterpret the Hadith of the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) in order to try to snatch away the honour and esteem which Allah has bestowed upon him.
The following discussion on the subject of standing out of respect is taken from Imam Nawawi's (rahmat allahi 'alaih) al-Tarkhis, as well as his Sharh Sahih Muslim (Commentary of Sahih Muslim), and Sharh Shamaa'il Tirmidhi (Commentary of Tirmidhi Shareef) by Moulvi Zakariyya Khandhalawi.
MOULVI ZAKARIYYA'S COMMENTARY :
This Hadith is indicative of the high degree of humbleness of Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam). Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) did not like (the people to stand for him), although he is the possessor of high glory and is the master of both the worlds. Therefore, the Sahaba sometimes did not stand due to love, because Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) disliked it, as is required in this narration (of Hadhrat Anas) and sometimes they would stand due to the demand of love.
It is stated in "Abu Dawood" that, "Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) used to talk to us in the masjid. When Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) stood, we would stand up and we would remain standing till Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam entered the home". (Sharh Shamaa'il-i-Tirmidhi, page 342, Maktaba Rahmania, Lahore)
[Moulvi Zakariyya explains the reason for not standing],
"Qadi 'Iyad (rahmatullahi 'alaih) says that, 'Qiyaam is prohibited whereby somebody well known is sitting and the rest of the people are standing. Therefore, in the Hadith of prohibition (of Qiyaam), it is also said, 'Do not stand as the Ajamees (non-arabs/foreigners) stand for their chiefs'".
[Moulvi Zakariyya writes further] : "Imam Nawawi says that it is Mustahab to stand for 'Ulama, respectful and noble people". (Sharh Shamaa'il-i-Tirmidhi, Page 342)
IMAM NAWAWI'S (RAHMAT ALLAHI 'ALAIH) COMMENTARY:
Most people in disfavour of standing are fond of quoting this Hadith. It is answered in many ways,
IMAM NAWAWI'S (RAHMAT ALLAHI 'ALAIH) COMMENTARY:
The answer is in two beautiful ways:
Our comments: The emphasis of this Hadith is in the words, "in the manner of the foreigners who aggrandize (flatter) each other". If the directive of the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) was to forbid standing (Qiyaam), the words "Do not get up !" would have sufficed. There would have been no reason to qualify the statement with the words, "... in the manner of the foreigners who aggrandize (flatter) each other". The disbelieving foreigners (especially the Persians) would stand up for their undeserving kings and leaders in order to flatter their ego. It is this that the above Hadith condemns.
IMAM NAWAWI'S (RAHMAT ALLAHI 'ALAIH) COMMENTARY:
The same is true of all gestures that are similar to these, and we consider this to muster the general agreement of scholars, as opposed to giving up one's food and drink other things related to one's personal lot: to give those up is a most desirable thing, one of the marks of the righteous and among the manners of saints and gnostics, concerning which this verse was revealed: "They prefer others above themselves though poverty become their lot" (59:9).
The difference between the two types of sacrifice is that the right, in the person's nearness, belongs to Allah the Exalted, and to transfer it is not permissible, as opposed to food and the like where the right belongs to the person, although in some cases it belongs to Allah even then...
Our Comments : This Hadith has nothing to do with standing out of respect (Qiyaam). Below is the Hadith in question that is often quoted : Sa'id bin Abi al-Hasan said : When Abu Bakrah came to us to give some evidence, a man got up from his place, but he refused to sit in it saying: The Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) forbade this, ... (Sunan Abu Dawood, Pg 1349, Volume 3, # 4809). As it is seen this Hadith has nothing to do with the subject matter. It is concerned with giving your seat to another person.
The words 'Ya' and 'Ayyu' are for addressing. The one who is addressing is called Munadee and the addressee is called Munadaa. If the Munadaa has the quality of hearing then the addressing would be 'Real', like calling a person who is present: Ya Zaid !, and if the Munadaa cannot hear then the addressing will be metaphorical, like : Oh sky! Oh earth! Oh mountain!
In the book Sharh Jami, which is a set book for the Maulvi Degree, it is written : Munadaa means to address or call the attention for real, like: Oh Zaid! or metaphorically, like Oh Sky! Oh Earth! Because the person or the thing is established which can be addressed then the word of address is affixed to it. By this general law of Arabic grammar is known that it is not necessary for the addressed to hear, to permit the addresser to use the word 'Ya'.
So it is seen that we are allowed to address even inanimate things. Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) on the other hand, is alive, and hears the Salaam and so it is obvious that he can be addressed using the Nida'.
Some individuals say that it is Shirk (attributing partners to Allahu Ta'aala) to use words like Ya Nabi ! and Ya Rasool! They say this because they believe that the Prophet (sallallu 'alaihi wasallam) cannot hear and is not present so one should not call to him as if he can hear and is present. (This is answered in this chapter and next)
Others, 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 that we read five times a day, when every worshipper salutes the Holy Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam), "Ayyuhannabiyyu" (Oh Prophet !) ?
Some individuals state that, one does not have the intention of calling to the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam) in the "Attahiyaat", rather one is merely repeating the story of M'iraj. This opinion is without basis. The religion of Islam has never commanded us to recite any Dhikr, without pondering on its meaning. Therefore, when we are reciting the "Attahiyaat", we should not possess this belief, rather we should believe that we are directly addressing the Holy Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam) and sending Salaams to him, upon oneself and upon all the pious of the Ummat.
Moreover, in the famous book of Jurisprudence, Durr ul-Mukhtar, Volume 1, Page 228, is explained:
"The 'Tashahud' (Du’a read in the sitting position of Namaaz) 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'."
Words of similar effect are also found in the books of Jurisprudence, Fatawa Alamgeeri (also see Chapter on Haazir and Naazir for testimonies of the 'Ulama regarding the Attahiyyaat).
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-Furqan, 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).
Imam Bukhari (radi allahu 'anhu) in his Kitaabul Adaabul Mufrad, Imam Ibnus Sinni and Imam ibn Bashkool (radi allahu 'anhuma) have recorded that, Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn 'Umar (radi allahu 'anhu) once suffered from a cramp. Someone advised him to remember the person whom he loved the most. The great companion then proclaimed loudly, "YA MUHAMMADAH". It is recorded that he was immediately relieved.
Imaam Nawawi (rahmat allahi 'alaih) in his commentary of the Sahih Muslim, including in his book, Kitaabul Azkaar, records that some individuals were sitting in the company of Hadhrat Abdullah ibn Abbas (radi allahu 'anhu), when suddenly one of them suffered from cramps. The great companion advised the man to remember the person whom he loved the most. The man proclaimed, "YA MUHAMMADAH". He was immediately cured. There are in fact many Ashaab who narrate incidents of similar import.
Substantiating this, Allama Shahaab Khafaaji Misri (radi allahu 'anhu) states in his Naseem-ur Riyaaz, a commentary of the Shifa by Imaam Qadhi 'Iyad (radi allahu 'anhu), that it is indeed an established practice of the people of Madina Shareef to proclaim, "YA MUHAMMADAH" in times of difficulty and anxiety.
A blind man came to the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) and said: "Invoke Allah for me that he help me." He replied: "If you wish I will delay this, and it would be better for you, and if you wish I will invoke Allah the Exalted (for you)." He said: "Then invoke Him." The Prophet said to him: idhhab fa tawadda', wa salli rak`atayn thumma qul -- "Go and make an ablution, pray two rak`at, then say: "O Allah, I am asking you (as'aluka) and turning to you (atawajjahu ilayka) with your Prophet Muhammad (bi nabiyyika Muhammad), the Prophet of mercy; O MUHAMMAD (YA MUHAMMAD), I am turning with you to my Lord regarding my present need / I am asking my Lord with your intercession concerning the return of my sight (inni atawajjahu bika ila rabbi fi hajati hadhih -- another version has: inni astashfi`u bika `ala rabbi fi raddi basari) so that He will fulfill my need; O Allah, allow him to intercede (with You) for me (allahumma shaffi`hu fiyya)."
It is related by Ahmad (4:138 #17246-17247), Tirmidhi (hasan sahih gharib -- Da`awat Ch. 119), Ibn Majah (Book of Iqamat al-salat wa al-sunnat, Ch. on Salat al-hajat #1385), Nasa'i (`Amal al-yawm wa al-laylat p. 417-418 #658-660), al-Hakim (1:313, 1:526), Tabarani in al-Kabir, and rigorously authenticated as sound (sahih) by nearly fifteen Hadith masters including Ibn Hajar, Dhahabi and Shawkani. Even the non-conformist, Ibn Taymiyya relates it.
The above invocation was also used after the Prophet's (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) lifetime, as is proven by the sound (sahih) Hadith authenticated by Bayhaqi, Abu Nu`aym in the Ma`rifa, Mundhiri (Targhib 1:473-474), Haythami, and Tabarani in the Kabir (9:17-18) and the Saghir (1:184/201-202) on the authority of `Uthman ibn Hunayf's nephew Abu Imama ibn Sahl ibn Hunayf: A man would come to `Uthman ibn `Affan for a certain need, but the latter would not pay him any attention nor look into his need, upon which he complained of his condition to `Uthman ibn Hunayf who told him: "Go and make ablution, then go to the mosque and pray two rak`at, then say (this Du’a)," and he mentioned the invocation of the blind man, "then go (to `Uthman again)." The man went, did as he was told, then came to `Uthman's door, upon which the door-attendant came, took him by the hand, and brought him to `Uthman who sat him with him on top of the carpet, and said: "Tell me what your need is." After this the man went out, met `Uthman ibn Hunayf again, and said to him: "May Allah reward you! Previously he would not look into my need nor pay any attention to me, until you spoke to him." He replied: "I did not speak to him, but I saw the Prophet when a blind man came to him complaining of his failing eyesight," and he mentioned to him the substance of the previous narration.
It is written in the book Hisn-ul-Hasin, Rasoolullah (sallallhu 'alaihi wasallam) declared, "Any person who has lost his animal should say, 'O Allah's slaves ! Help me ! And may Allah Ta'ala help you !'”
Shah Wali-Allah Muhaddith Dahlawi (rahmat allahi 'alaih) in Atyabun Naghm Fi Madahi Sayyidil Arab wal Ajam, Page 22 addresses the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) as "O, the best of all creations, the blessing of Allah be on you,..."
It was the practise of the Shah Wali-Allah (rahmat allahi 'alaih) to emulate and remember daily, the practises of Shaikh Muhammad Ghawth Gawalyary (rahmat allahi 'alaih) after seeking permission from his teachers Mawlana Abu Taahir Madani and Shaikh Muhammad Sa'eed Lahori (rahmat allahi 'alaih). In this (practise) is recorded the following : “Call on Ali whose life is an open miracle. When you invoke him, he will help dispense all your difficulties." (Al Intibah Fi Salaasil Awliya Allah, Page 138)
Hadhrat Mawlana Shah Abd al-Azeez Muhaddith Dahlawi (rahmat allahi 'alaih) says that if one knows that although all help comes from Allah, to call upon another for help is allowed. He says that Awliya and Prophets also sought help in this way. Thus if one asks for help from another, he is infact, asking for help from Allah. (Tafseer Azeezi, Page 10)
Imam Allama Khairudeen Ramli (rahmat allaih 'alaih) states in Fatawa Khayria, "People who proclaim, Ya Abdul Qaadir (are merely emulating) a call. What therefore, is the reason for it not to be permissible".
It is recorded in the Fatawa of Hadhrat Shahaab Ramli Ansari (rahmat allahi 'alaih), whether it was permissible for the people to invoke the names of Prophets, Saints and 'Ulama in times of difficulty as they normally did. The great scholar replied, "Undoubtedly, it is permissible to seek the assistance of great Prophets, Saints and 'Ulama. They do, in fact, assist after they have departed from this world."
Ibn Khateer (rahmat allahi 'alaih) in his book Al bidayah wa al-Nihaaya states that during the Yamama expedition the call of the Muslims was "Ya Muhammada". Hadhrat Hajee Imdaadullah Muhaajir (rahmat allahi 'alaih) says, "O Muhammad Mustapha (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam)! I have a complaint,....."(Naala-Imdaa Ghareeb, Page 26)
What the 'Ulama of Deoband have to say
Moulvi Qaasim Nanotwi, founder of Darul Uloom Deoband, says, "Help me! Oh kindness of Ahmed, for besides thee, There is none helper for Qasim, the helpless!” (Qasaid Qasimi Deobandi, Page 8) Moulvi Ashraf 'Ali Thanawi in an Arabic quartet says, “O intercessor of the servants (of Allah)! help me, you (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) are my last hope. Besides you there is none to listen to my complaints, O my Master, listen to my complaints, I am encompassed by difficulties ..." (Nasharut Teeb, Page 232)
In Munaajaat-e-Maqbool Qurbat indallahi wa Salawaatir Rasool, Page 230, he again says, “O Messenger of Allah help me, for I am in great loss, ..."
This Chapter is divided into six sections :
It is not the belief of the Ahl as-Sunnah wa 'l Jamaa'a that Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) is "omnipresent". Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) is "Haazir" and "Naazir."
"Omnipresent" is not the meaning of the words "Haazir and Naazir". The word "omnipresent", according to the Oxford dictionary means : "present everywhere". When the words "Haazir" and "Naazir" are used for Almighty Allah they mean : "Knower" and "Seeir" and do not mean "present everywhere". (See details in Fatawa Shaami, Vol.3, Page337).
The meaning of the word "Haazir" in the Arabic dictionary is, "one who can be seen with the naked eye." (for reference refer to "Sarrah", Page 170; "Mukhtaarus Sihaah", Page 159; "Mufradaat Imam Raaghib", Page 372).
The meaning of the word "Naazir" is, "blackness of the eyeball in which the pupil of the eye is". Sometimes, the eye itself is called Naazirah (reference "Mukhtaarus Sihaah", Page 691)
Hence, the words “Haazir” and “Naazir” according to its literal meaning are not suitable for Almighty Allah. Whenever it is used for Allah it is used with Ta'weel (re-interpretation), as explained above. [NB : The Urdu to English or modern Arabic dictionaries are not based on Qur'aanic Arabic and therefore can not be used for this subject matter]. The words "Haazir" and "Naazir" in its literal meaning is never used for Allah Ta'ala. Therefore, in the 99 Names of Allah, one would not find these words. No where in the Qur'aan, Ahaadith and books of Jurist Imams have these words been used for Allah.
Since the words "Haazir" and "Naazir" do not mean "omnipresent", nor are their literal meanings suitable and applicable to Allah, the 'Ulama have used the words "Haazir" and "Naazir" for Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam). Hadhrat Sheikh 'Abd al-Haq Muhaddith Dahlawi (rahmat allahi 'alaih) writes, "Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) is Haazir-o-Naazir on the deeds of his Ummah". (Haashiya Akhbarul Akhyaar, Page 155)
The concept of "Haazir" and "Naazir" is summed up in the following passage by Hadhrat Sayed Ahmad Sa'eed Qazmi (rahmat allahi 'alaih) : "When the word Haazir-o-Naazir is used for Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam), it does not mean that the physical body of Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) is everywhere and that he is present in front of everybody. This in fact means that as the soul exists in every part of the body, similarly, the light filled reality of the soul of both the worlds (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) exists in every atom of the worlds. Based on that, Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) arrives with his spirituality and lightfulness in many places at one time. Many times, the pious observe the beauty of Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) in a state of wakefulness with their physical eyes". (Taskeenul Khawatir fi Mas'alatil Haazir wan Naazir. Page 13, Maktabah-e-Haamdya, Lahore)
"Truly, a light has come to you from Allah and an illuminated book" (Surah al-Maidah, Verse 15) The Qur'aanic verse clearly mentions two things which have been given by Allah to mankind :
(1) A Light (Noor), and
(2) An Illuminted Book (kitabum mubeen)
The first and foremost gift of Allah is the "Light" (Noor) of the final Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam). The second gift is the "illuminated book", namely the Holy Qur'aan. Both have come to us from Allah but mark the order in which they are mentioned. The "Light" (Noor) precedes and the "Book" (Kitab) follows. In the order of precedence we notice that Allah has mentioned His Beloved Messenger first.
The Holy Qur'aan is a "guidance for mankind" but it will be effectively understood only by those people, who accept the Last Messenger of Allah as "Light" (Noor). In other words, those people who do not accept the concept of Prophetic light and arrogantly insist on the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) to be only an ordinary man, will not understand the Holy Qur'aan in it's deeper dimension and therefore will regard it as an "ordinary book". Rasoolullah's (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) existence is in two forms:
(1) Bashariyyat (Manhood) / Jismaniyyat (Physical Existence)
(2) Roohaniyyat (Spiritual Existence)
It is his Roohaniyyat that is the "Noor" that is described above. This "Noor" which is the essence of Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) was created from the Noor of Allah Ta'ala. And from Rasoolullah's (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) "Noor", everything else was created. Rasoolullah's (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) "Noor" is still part of his attributes.
It is this spiritual dimension of Rasoolullah's (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) attributes that enables Him to be spiritually present and seeing (Haazir and Naazir). That is : because creation was created from the Noor of the Holy Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) he is (in a spiritual sense) present in everything and at everyplace.
Hadhrat Sheikh Abd al-Haqq Muhaddith Dahlawi (rahmat allahi 'alaih) the Mujaddid (Reviver) has written,"In Attahiyat, the reason for reciting 'Ayyohannabi' is that Haqqiqat-e-Muhammadi (Reality [light] of the Holy Prophet [sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam]) is present in every little thing. Therefore, it is present in the people praying Salaat, and those performing the Salaat should be fully aware of this fact and should not pay attention to anything except for the Holy Prophet's (sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam) presence (haaziri)". (Madarijun Nabuwat Vol. 1 part 4 - Zikreh Fazaaileh Nabi)
Shah Wali-Allah ad-Dahlawi (rahmat allahi 'alaih) in his book Fuyoozul Haramain, Page 28, writes, "Certainly all the blooming flowers are filled with the spirit of the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) and the blessed spirit blows through them like a wind".
Hujjat al-Islam, Imam Ghazaali (rahmat allahi 'alaih), referring to the position of Tashahudd (sitting), during Salaah and reciting "At -Tahiyyaatu", says that on reciting the words "Ayyuhannabi" (Oh Prophet !) the reciter must behold the Holy Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) as Haazir (Present). He says, "And believe in your hearts that the Holy Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) is present (haazir) and then say Assalaamu 'Alaika Ayyuhannabi" (Ihya ul Uloom, Vol. 1, Section 3)
There is also agreement of this point from the leading Scholars of Deoband:
Moulvi Qaasim Nanotwi explains the meaning of the verse, "An Nabi Yu Awla Bil Mu'minina Min Anfusihim..." by saying, "Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) has such nearness with his Ummah that even their souls do not have, because in this verse the word 'Awla' is in the meaning of 'Aqrab' (nearest)."(Tahzeerun Naas, Page 14, Darul Isha'at, Karachi)
According to the explanation of Moulvi Nanotwi, the meaning of the verse will be, "The Nabi (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) is nearer to the Believers than their own lives". 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. (Marginal note in the Qur’aan)
Moulvi Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi says, "The disciple must accept that the soul of his Shaikh (Spiritual head) is not imprisoned in one particular place. Wherever the disciple is, far or near, the Shaikh's spirituality is not far. If this is accepted, then the disciple should always remember his Shaikh and keep a cordial link with him and thereby derive benefits at all times … " (Imdaadul Sulook, Page 10)
Allah Ta'ala says in the Holy Qur'aan :
"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, Verse 143)
“Undoubtedly, We sent towards you a Messenger who is a witness over you, … “ (Surah Muzammil, Verse 15)
“ And the day when We shall raise a witness in every community from amongst themselves that they may give evidence against them and (O beloved !) We shall bring you as a witness against all those.” (Surah Nahl, Verse 89)
"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, Verse 41)
The Almighty Allah ascribes to His beloved Nabi Muhammad Mustapha (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) the attribute of "Shaahid" (Witness). The qualifications of a witness in Shari'ah demands that the witness be present (Haazir), sees (Naazir) and hears before he is able to testify. Allah Ta'aala having created Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) with numerous attributes and repeatedly addresses His beloved by this term (Shaahid) in the Holy Qur'aan. Every attribute ascribed to a Nabi of Allah in the Holy Qur'aan is an active attribute, i.e. that the Nabi has (presently) that power bestowed upon him by Allah Ta'aala. From the above verses it is clear that on the Day of Judgement the Holy Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) shall be a witness not only over his own Ummah, but shall testify before Almighty on behalf of the peoples of other Prophets. Now this testimony or evidence can only be given by the person who is an eye-witness to all events and incidents under scrutiny on the Day of Judgement.
Rasulullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) is the Shaahid of the Ambiya ('alaihmus salaam). This entails the period from Hadhrat Adam ('alaihis salaam) to Hadhrat Isa ('alaihis salaam) and this attribute is unceasingly active till the Day of Qiyaamah and beyond. This is the 'Ijma (Concensus) of the Ahl us-Sunnah pertaining to the term Shaahid. The doyen of the 'Ulama of Deoband, Shah Abdul Azeez Sahib (rahmat allahi 'alaih) in Tafseer-e-Azeezi, Page 636 says that the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) by the light of his Prophethood knows the entire conditions of man - what religion he belongs to, to what degree he has reached in religion, what is the reality of his Imaan, what are his hindrances and progress. In short, the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) knows your deeds and actions - the good and the bad. Thus, within the law, the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) has been granted the right to be a witness of the world and it is of utmost importance.
Sayyidina 'Umar (radi allahu 'anhu), states, "In one Friday sermon, the Holy Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) informed us about everything which has happened or will happen from the very beginning of time until the Hereafter when some will inhabit Paradise while the others Hell." (Bukhaari Shareef)
Mu'adh (radi allahu 'anhu) reports that the Holy Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) said, "I saw Allah the Almighty. Allah put His Hand (of power) at my back and I felt it's coolness in my chest. The very moment, everything became known to me and I recognized everything." (Tirmidhi Shareef, Mishkaat)
The Hadith Shareef mentioned in Tirmidhi Shareef says,"I know everything which is in the Heavens and the Earth, from the East to the West."
The Holy Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said, "Allah has shrunk the earth for me so I could see its Easts and Wests." (Mishkaat)
Muslim reports that the Apostle of Allah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) said, "Allah has spread the entire universe in front of me and I have seen its Easts and Wests and my Ummah is expected to measure the length and breadth of the universe in the near future. I have been granted two measures, black and white."
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)
Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) says, "One night my Ummah was presented before me at my hujrah and I know each of them as clearly as any one knows his colleague."(Ref : Anba al-Mustafa, Page 19, ref : Tibrani)
It is the firm belief of the Ahl as-Sunnah wa 'l Jamaa'a 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.
Imam Tibraani (rahmat allahi 'alaih) has recorded this Hadith narrated by Hadhrat Abu Darda (radi allahu 'anhu) : The Holy Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) said : "Increase your recitation of Durood on me on Friday because on this day Angels present themselves to me. There is no servant of Allah who recites Salutations upon me, except that his voice reaches me from wherever he is". The Companions asked even after your departure ? "He replied, Yes after my departure too, because Allah has made it Haraam upon the earth to consume the bodies of the Prophets". (Jila-ul Ifhaam, by Ibn Qayyim)
Imaam Abu Hanifa (radi 'allahu 'anhu) writes that Haaris ibn La'man and Haarisa bin Na'man (radi allahu 'anhuma) have said that, "Once I went to the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam). The Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) asked me a question, 'Oh Haaris, in what state did you pass the day ?' I replied, 'As a true Muslim.' Then the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) asked me the state of my Faith. I replied, 'I see the Throne of Allah and the people of Paradise helping each other and the people of Hell lamenting in Hell. I see in front of me Eight Heavens and Seven Hells as clear as idol worshippers see their idols. I can recognise each individual just like a grinder can recognise wheat from barley that is, who is to go to Paradise and who is to be found in Hell. In front of me people are like fish and ants. Shall I stay silent or continue to speak ?'" The Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) told him to stop and say no more. [Fiqah Akbar, Page 132 by Imam Abu Hanifa (radi allahu anhu)]
The above narration illustrates the sight of a Sahaabi (Blessed Companion of the Prophet). He could see the Throne of Allah, the Heavens, the Hells and their inmates!
It is recorded that Hadhrat 'Umar (radi allahu 'anhu) who was delivering a Khutba in Madina was able to see Hadhrat Sari’ah (radi allahu 'anhu) and the rest of the Muslim army who were in Persia. Hadhrat 'Umar (radi allahu 'anhu) called out a warning to Hadhrat Sari’ah (radi allahu anhu), who heard the calling of Hadhrath'Umar (radi allahu 'anhu). (Mishkaat Shareef - Babul Karaamat). This narration illustrates two points. Firstly, the Sahaabi was able to see what was happening hundreds of miles away. Secondly, the other Sahaabi was able to hear his call from hundreds of miles away.
The Hadith Shareef which states, "Beware the stare of the Mu'min for he sees with the Light of Allah." (Mishkaat Shareef) tells us that the Mu'mineen (Spiritually elevated personalities) have been bestowed with Divine sight by Allah ta'aala. Allama Manawi (rahmat allahi 'alaih), explaining this Hadith states :
When the pious persons are diverted from human connection, they are adjoined with the superior assemblage (Angels); then they hear and see everything just like being present, whereupon it is evident that Almighty Allah has granted (this Bounty to) His favourites, ...
The following Hadith-e-Qudsi illustrates the point further, "My bondsman attains to My nearness through offering voluntary prayers to the extent that I make him My beloved. And then I become his hearing with which he hears, and I become his sight with which he sees, and I become his tongue with which he speaks, and I grant him whatever he asks of Me." (Bukhaari Shareef) [Also quoted in Fazaa'il-e-'Amaal by Moulvi Zakariyyah and Kamaalat-e-Ashrafiyya by Ashraf 'Ali Thanawi]
By way of explaining this Hadith-i-Qudsi, Imam Fakhruddeen Raazi (rahmat allahi 'alaih) says that eminence of a bondsman who becomes Allah's beloved is such that he sees and hears everything near or far and has sway over things, since according to Allah's command Allah's exclusive powers become such a bondsman's attributes.
This is the state of the Sahaaba, Mu'mineen and the Awliya (Saints). It is obvious that the status and powers of Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) are much more superior than that of the Sahaaba, Mu'mineen and the Awliya (Saints). So, if the above can be accomplished by His blessed Companions we are sure that it can be accomplished by Him. Addressing the Sahaaba (radi allahu 'anhuma) Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) proclaimed, "What I see you cannot see, and what I hear you cannot hear." (Tirmidhi Shareef)
The Holy Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said, "I saw Prophet Moosa in the valley of Azraq, while passing from Makka to Madina. He was reciting 'Talbiah' in a loud voice. On another occasion I saw Prophet Yunus wearing a long woolen overcoat and riding a red camel." (Ibn Majah, pp 20, 208)
In another Hadith the Holy Prophet (sallallhu 'alaihi wasallam) is described witnessing the Paradise and the Hell (Muslim Shareef, Volume 2, Page 180)
Jabir bin Samura (radi allahu 'anhu) reported Allah's Messenger (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) as saying, "I know the stone in Makkah which used to pay me Salutations before my advent as a Prophet and I know that even now." (Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Fada'il, Hadith 5654). The Holy Prophet (sallallhu 'alaihi wasallam) whilst in Madina, was able to see and hear the stone in Makkah paying him Salutations. The stone is an inanimate object. Yet, Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) pays attention to even the stone's Salaam. We belong to His ummah. It is obvious that He recognises our Salaam !
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)
Al-'arifu bi 'llah Sayyid Muhammad 'Uthman al-Mirghani al-Makki al-Hanafi (rahmat allahi 'alaih) (d. Mecca, 1268 A.H./1852) said on page 14 of his work Akrab at-turuki ila 'l-haqq, "Think of Rasoolullah's (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) presence facing you, his seeing and hearing you! Even if you are far away, Allahu Ta'ala makes your voice be heard and displays you. Here, being near or distant is the same.”
In his work Ar-rawd an-nadir 'Allama 'Abd ar-Ra'uf al- Manawi (rahmat allahi 'alaih) wrote, "After pure souls depart this life and are promoted to their places, nothing is a curtain before them. They see, or learn from Angels, everything. This is so mysterious that only few people are informed with it. While blessed souls are such, how the most superior of them is, i.e. Rasoolullah, should be pondered and understood well!'"
All this proves that it is within the capability of Prophets ('alaihimus salaam) to see and hear afar.
This chapter deals with the (physical) arrival of the blessed souls of Prophets and Awliya at particular places.
It must first be noted that this physical presence is a temporary presence. It is the appearance of the blessed soul of the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) wherever he wants to be and for how long he wants to be. The physical presence is limited by time, place, etc. Therefore, it cannot be labelled with the word "Omnipresence", because only Allah Ta'ala is continuously Present without time and space. This means that Allah Ta'ala has always been present, is always present and will always be present everywhere whereas the presence of the soul of a Nabi or Wali was absent, then it became present, and will be absent again (physically) from a particular place.
You have already read in the first part of this chapter that Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) is spiritually Haazir and Naazir. However, besides being Haazir and Naazir, Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) can make his blessed soul (physically) present in a particular place.
There are some mislead individuals who feel it appropriate to believe that Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) has been restricted to his Blessed Grave till the day of Qiyaamah and that it is out of his reach to travel wherever he pleases and to make himself present wherever he pleases. Let the following be an eye-opener for such narrow minded persons :
We will firstly, like to quote an example of the arrival of the soul of a leader of the Deobandi group (after his demise) at Darul 'Uloom Deoband.
Qari Tayab Sahib, Rector of Darul 'Uloom Deoband narrates that in that period when Moulvi Rafi'uddeen was Principal of the Madressa, controversy existed between senior teachers of the Darul 'Uloom. At a later stage a senior teacher of the Madressa, Moulvi Mahmood Hassan also got involved in the controversy and the controversy extended. Now listen to the incident after this as explained by Qari Tayab. He writes :
"During that period one day, very early in the morning after Fajr Namaaz, Moulana Rafi'uddeen Sahib called Moulana Mahmoodul Hassan Sahib in his room. Moulana came and opened the door and entered. Moulana Rafi'uddeen Sahib firstly said, 'See this woollen cloak of mine.' Moulana saw the cloak and it was moist and very wet. He said, 'The incident is this : that MOULANA NANOTWI HAD COME TO ME IN HIS ORIGINAL BODY, due to which I was sweating very much and my cloak became wet and he said this: tell Mahmood Hassan not to get involved in this dispute.' Thus I have called you to convey this message. Moulana Mahmood Hassan Sahib said, 'I am repenting on your hands that after this, I will have nothing to do with this dispute.'" (Arwaha-e-Salasa, Page 242)
The leader of the Deobandi group, Moulvi Ashraf Ali Thanwi, in his footnote while corroborating writes : This incident was a parable of the soul and it could be in two forms. Firstly, that it was like a body but resembling external body. Secondly, it could have been that the soul itself, changing in elements produced an external body." (Arwaha-e-Salasa, Page 243)
It is recorded that at the time of the call to prayer (Adhan) the Shaitaan runs thirty six miles away and returns in an instant after the completion of the Adhan (Mishkaat - Chapter Adhan). We ask these mislead individuals to please explain to us, 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 !
Besides Shaitaan, 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 at many different places !" (Tafseer Kabir Khazeen and Ruh-ul-Bayaan)
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.
The above events relate to an Angel and it's abilities, but men of Allah (Awliya Allah) are also imbued 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.
It is written in the book Wahhabiyya: "Tayy al-masaafa, that is, traversing long distances in a moment, is a Karaama (miracle) bestowed upon Awliya'. It is Waajib to believe in this." This fact is also written in An-Nasafi, Al-fiqh al-Akbar, As-siwaad al-a'zam, Wasiyyatu Abi Yusuf, Mawaaqif and Maqaasid and commentaries on them [and in Radd al-muhtaar].
It is written also at the end of the chapter about Thubat an-nasab in Ibn 'Abidin's (rahmat allahi 'alaih) work that some Awliya' travelled long distances in a short time. As matter of fact, this became the subjects of mas'alas (matters) in books of Fiqh in the Shafi'i and Hanafi Madhhabs. Ibn Hajar al-Haitami (rahmat allahi 'alaih) wrote in his Fatawa, "The number of those who said that if a Wali (saint) goes to a very distant place in the West [in a short time] after he has performed the evening Salaat and if the sun has not set there yet, he need not perform the evening Salaat for the second time at that place, are many." Shams ad-din Muhammad ar-Ramli (rahmat allahi 'alaih) said that he should perform it.
It is written in the Sahihain of al-Bukhaari and Muslim, "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."
It is thus seen 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 the Wisaal of the other Prophets.
It was declared in the Hadith shareef quoted in the book Mishkaat, Section on the Mi'raj, Chapter one, on the authority of Muslim, "Near the Ka'ba, the disbelievers of the Quraish asked me how the Bait al-Muqaddas was. I had not looked at it carefully. I became very stressful. Allah Ta'ala showed me. I saw myself among Prophets. Moosa ('alaihis salaam) was performing Salaah standing up. He was thin, his hair was not untidy or drooping. He was like a brave young man of the Shan'a tribe [of Yemen]. 'Isa ('alaihis salaam) looked like Urwah ibn Mas'ood as-Saqafi." The Salaah includes bowing (ruku) and prostration (sajda). And this shows that they performed Salaah corporally, with their bodies.
This Hadith proves that Prophets are alive in Allah's audience. Their bodies have become ethereal like their souls. They are neither dense nor solid. They become visible in material and spiritual worlds. It is for this reason that Prophets can be seen in soul and body. Imam al-Baihaki (rahmat allahi 'alaih) wrote in his book I'tiqad, "Prophets' souls are given back to their bodies after they are put into their graves. We cannot see them. They become invisible like Angels. Only the distinguished to whom Allah Ta'ala has bestowed it as a Karaama (miracle) can see them." Imam Suyuti (rahmat allahi 'alaih) said so, also. Also, Imam Nawawi, Imam Abu 'l-Hasan 'Ali as-Subki and Imam Muhammad al-Qurtubi (may Allah be pleased with all of them) relate the same from their masters. Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, a Hanbali 'alim wrote exactly the same in his Kitab ar-rooh. Ibn Hajar al-Haitami, Shams ad-din Muhammad ar-Ramli and Qadi Muhammad Zakariyya; the Hanafi scholars Akmal ad-din Muhammad al-Barbarti and ash-Sharnblaali Hasan; the Maliki scholars 'Abdullah ibn Abi Jamra and his disciple Muhammad ibn al-Haji; and Ibrahim al-Laqani in the book Jawharat at-tawhid, and many other 'Ulama narrated the same.
Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah in his Kitab ar-Rooh writes, "What we have written here is compatible with the Tafseers by some Mufassirs of the fifth Ayat of Surah an-Nazi'at, for example, interpretation of al Baidawi : 'The soul of a Wali goes to the world of Angels when he departs from the body. Then he goes to wander in Paradise's gardens. He keeps a relation with his body, too, and influences it.'"
It is reported [in the Sahihain] of al-Bukaari and Muslim that Prophets performed Hajj after they died.
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)
In the book Ashatul lama'at he says that the issue of the lives of the Prophets in their graves after their momentary Wisaal is agreed unanimously and no one differs from it. This is genuine, physical, worldly life and not just the spiritual, metaphorical life.
Imam Jalaaludeen Suyuti (rahmat allahi 'alaih), in his book, Amba-ul-azkia fi hayatil-ambiya, after reviewing a number of Traditions and authenticated references concludes the issue of the life of the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) after his momentary Wisaal as follows, "Indeed the Prophet is alive with his body and soul, and exercises his powers at his disposal, and every part of the world is in his access, and he is in the very original form as he was before his momentary Wisaal without any changes."
Shah Wali-Allah ad-Dahlawi (rahmat allahi 'alaih), one of the great 'Ulama of India, wrote in his work Hujjatullahi 'l-baligha (vol. 1, p. 35), "When a human being passes away, no relation is left between his soul and the world of matter. The souls return to their origin, become like Angels, and, like them, give inspiration and help to men. They help in the dissemination and strengthening of Allahu Ta'ala's religion. They rush to help those who work for this path. It has been witnessed that they come to help in groups."
Ibn al-Kharrat in al-'Aqiba, Ibn al-Qayyim in al-Rooh, al-Qurtubi in al-Tadhkira, Ibn Abi al- Dunya in al-Quboor, al-Suyuti in Shar al-Sudoor, and others relate from many of the Salaf that the souls of the Believers in Barzakh are free to come and go anywhere they please. This is all the more possible for our Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam).
Imam Jalaaluddeen as-Suyuti (rahmat allahi 'alaih) says, "To keep watch of his own followers' work and to pray for their forgiveness; to pray for their abstention from bad deeds; to come and go in all parts of the world to give auspiciousness; if one pious person dies from his followers then to come and attend his Janazah (funeral), all this is done by the Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam)" (Intibahul Azkiyya)
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)
Firslty, we quote a Deobandi 'Aalim for his opinion on the matter.
Sheikh Anwar Shah Kashmiri Deobandi writes, "According to me, it is possible to see Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) in the awakened state. As it is reported from Imam Suyuti that he saw Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) twenty-two times and he asked Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) regarding some Ahadith. He amended those Ahadith after Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) rectified them". (Faizul Baari, Volume 1, Page 304, Cairo)
Concerning the transmitted proof for the possibility of seeing the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) while one is awake, it is established by the authentic Hadith narrated from him by Imam Ahmad (rahmat allahi 'alaih) in his Musnad and others with a chain of sound narrators as stated by al-Haithami (rahamat allahi 'alaih) in Majma' al-Zawa'id, that a certain man Salman al-Farisi (radi allahu 'anhu) had seen in al-Quds was actually Hadhrat 'Isa ('alaihis salaam). If 'Isa ('alaihis salaam) can be seen in full physicality after leaving this material world, then the more so can our Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) !
The following is quoted from Ibn Hajar al-Haitami's (rahmat allahi 'alaih) Fatawa Hadithiyya :
Question: “Is it possible to meet the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) while awake in our time?”
Answer: “Yes, it is possible. It has been asserted as part of the miracles of Saints (Karaamat al-Awliya') by Ghazaali, al-Barizi, al-Taj al-Subki, and al-Yafi'i (may Allah be pleased with all of them) among the Shafi'is, and by al-Qurtubi and Ibn Abi Jamra (may Allah be pleased with them) among the Malikis. It has been narrated that one of the Awliya' was sitting in the assembly of a Jurist (faqih) while the latter related a Hadith, whereupon the Wali said: "This Hadith is false." The Jurist said: "How do you know that?" The Wali replied: "There is the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) standing right next to you, and he is saying: 'I never said this.'" When he (the Wali) said this, the sight of the Faqih was unveiled and he could see the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam)!”
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. We would not see Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) "truly" if we saw his likeness in a dream.
It is written in the book Mizan-ul-kubra that Abul-Hassan Ali Shadhili (rahmat allahi 'alaih) said, "Every moment the blessed face of our Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) is present before my eyes."
As for the claim that Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) cannot make himself Haazir (Present) in many places simultaneously we ask you to carefully read the following :
Moulvi Ashraf 'Ali Thanwi writes, "Muhammad al-Hazrami Majzoob was a possessor of amazing qualities and miracles. Once, he performed Jummah and gave Khutbah in 30 cities at the same time. He could be present in many cities in the same night". (Jamalul Awliya, Page 188, Maktaba Islamia, Lahore)
So it is seen that Moulvi Ashraf 'Ali Thanwi makes reference to the above incident thereby accepting the fact that it is possible to be present in many place at the same time. Muhammad al-Hazrami was the servant of Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam). So one can imagine what is the status of the blessed soul of Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) if his servant could achieve all this.
Khwaja Azeezul Hassan has written a book by the name of Ashraful Sawaneh in three volumes on the occurrences of Ashraf Ali Thanawi's life which has been published by Khangah Imdadiya Thana Bhoon District Muzaffarnagar. He has copied a very peculiar incident of Thanawi Sahib in his book. He writes :
“After a long period of time a merchant narrated personally to me of his incident that, though as seen, Hadhrat (Ashraf Ali Thanawi) is sitting here yet who knows where he is at this very moment. Because, once despite Hadhrat being in Thana Bhoon I saw him in Alighar where there was an exhibition and was in heavy flames. I also had a shop in that exhibition. On the day when it was going to catch on fire, that very day against my usual habits there was a feeling of fear in my heart from the time of Asr. The effect of which was that despite it being a busy period for business I took all the fittings and merchandise of my shop before time and began packing them into boxes. After Maghrib when there was chaos and confusion of the fire breaking up, then as usual being alone and the boxes being rather heavy I became alarmed that Oh God ! How am I to take these boxes out from the shop. Meanwhile what I saw was suddenly Hadhrat appeared and going to each and every box and said me to quickly pick them up. Accordingly he lifted on one side and I on the other side. In a short while each and every box was placed outside. The other merchants lost heavily from this fire, but with God's blessings all my goods were saved.
On hearing this incident I (meaning the author of the book) asked him that you did not question Hadhrat as to how he is here ? At that moment I was not in my right frame of mind to ask, and was engrossed in my own problems." (Ashrafus Sawaneh, Volume 3, Page 71)
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:
Question : "Does a person, when he commends his soul, see Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam)? It is said that, when he (Rasoolullah) is seen, he (the person) is asked what he (the person) would say about this person (ie. Rasoolullah). 'This person' is used for the person who is at his presence. Many people die at the same time. Since the words 'this person' are used for all of them (dead people), it is understood that he (Rasoollullah) is seen at many places at the same time. How can this happen?"
Answer: "It is true that Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) is seen by everybody who is about to die, and he (the dead person) is asked, 'What did you have to say about this person?' This shows the Supremacy of Allahu Ta'ala's Power. The word 'this' is used for pointing to the person who is at his presence (i.e. Rasoolullah). This word is the answer to the person who does not believe that Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) can be seen in various ways at various places at the same moment. In fact, this can be believed through intellect, also: adh-dhat ash-Sharif (honorable person) of his becomes like a mirror, and everybody sees the image of his own beauty or ugliness in this mirror. There takes place no change in the beauty of the mirror. The life in grave and that in the Hereafter do not resemble to worldly life. Each person has a single figure in the world. It has been witnessed many times that Awliya' have taken various figures in this world, also. It is famous that Kadeeb al-ban Hasan al-Musuli and others have been seen as such."
Imam Mullah 'Ali Qari states that, Imam Ghazaali (rahmat allahi 'alaih) has said,"When you go into a mosque then say Salaam to the Holy Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) because the Holy Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) is present (Haazir) in mosques." (Naseemu Riaz Sharah Shifa in the end of third Vol)
Now, consider how many mosques there are throughout the world and the Holy Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) is present in all of them!
Qadhi 'Iyad (rahmat allahi 'alaih), the eminent scholar of the Ahl as-Sunnah, in his book Shifa, writes, "Whenever there is nobody present in the home and you enter the home recite, 'Assalaamu 'Alaika Ayyuhannabi Warahmatullah Wa Barakatahoo'". Meaning, "Peace be upon you 'Oh' Holy Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) of Allah and Allah's mercy and blessings be upon you." (Shifa Shareef)
Substantiating the above, the great Islamic scholar, Mulla 'Ali Qari (rahmat allahi 'alaih) in his Sharh Shifa writes, "The reason is that the Holy Prophet's (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) soul is HAAZIR (present) in every Muslim home".
Sayyid Ahmad al-Hamawi (rahmat allahi 'alaih), noted in his book, Nafakhaat al-qurb wa 'l-ittisaal bi-ithbaati 't-tasarrufi li awliyaa'i'llaahi ta'aalaa wa 'l-karaamati ba'd al-intiqaal that the Ruhaniyya (spirituality) of Awliya (saints) was more powerful than their Jismanniyah (physical existence), and they therefore could be seen in different places at the same moment. He quoted the following Hadith Shareef as a document for his words : "There are people who will enter Paradise through every gate. Each gate will call them to itself," upon which Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq (radi allahu 'anhu) asked, "Will there be anyone to enter through all the eight gates, Oh Rasoolullah?" and Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) answered, "I hope you will be one of them."
One can appear in different places at the same moment when his soul aquires the power of having connection with his original position in 'aalam ul-amr. Since the soul's interest in the world decreases when a man dies, his soul becomes more powerful. It becomes easier for him to appear in different places at the same moment.
Some people quote the Hadith Shareef in which the Holy Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) said, "Those who visit my grave and recite Durood I can hear them and those who recite Durood from far away their Durood is brought to me".
Using this Hadith as a basis of proof they say that the Holy Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) does not hear the voice from far away but the Durood is brought to him and if he could hear the Durood of the person far away then what would be the need for the Durood to be brought to him ?
Answer: Where in this Hadith does it say that he (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) does not hear the Durood from far away? The real meaning of this Hadith is this, that we hear the Durood of the close by and not only do we hear the Durood of the one far away but we make it approach us and be heard.
"We hear the Durood of the loved ones and make sure that those who are not the loved ones, their Durood still reaches us".
Imam Tibraani (rahmat allahi 'alaih) has recorded this Hadith narrated by Hadhrat Abu Darda (radi allahu 'anhu) :
The Holy Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) said: "Increase your recitation of Durood on me on Friday because on this day Angels present themselves to me. There is no servant of Allah who recites Salutations upon me, except that HIS VOICE REACHES ME from wherever he is". The Companions asked even after your departure ? "He replied, Yes after my departure too, because Allah has made it Haraam upon the earth to consume the bodies of the Prophets". (Jila-ul Ifhaam, by Ibn Qayyim)
It was declared in a Hadith, "When a person greets me, Allahu Ta'ala sends my soul to my body and I hear his greeting." Some people quoting this Hadith say that the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) is not alive since his soul returns to his body only when he is greeted.
Answer: The 'Ulama have given various answers to people who use this Hadith to try to imply that the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) 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-anbiya' 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 (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) permanently, and the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) is alive permanently, not intermittently as some ignorant people have suggested.
Another explanation of this Hadith is that Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) is in the ecstacy of seeing Jamaal-Allah (Allah's beauty) and forgetful of his bodily senses. Such situations are not scarce in this world, either. One does not hear what people say to one when one is in a deep thought of worldly or heavenly affairs. Can someone who is in ecstacy of contemplating Jamaal of Allah hear any sound ?
The above explanations are very much confirmed even if the Hadith is taken literally, since there are always people at prayer (Salaah) in the world during the entire twenty-four hour cycle, and sending Salawat on the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) is part of Salaah, therefore people are constantly and permanently invoking blessings and greetings on the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) without stop in the world. This shows that the Hadith of the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) 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.
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Some people say that it is wrong to send Salaam to the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) in the form of a Na'at (Verses in Praise of the Prophet ).
Answer: Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) had amongst his Ashaab, poets who used to refute the slanders of the enemies and eulogize (praise) Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) liked the poetry of Hassan ibn Thabit (radi allahu'anhu) the most. He offered the Mimbar to Hassan (radi allahu 'anhu), who would censure the enemies and praise Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) on the Mimbar. Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) on hearing the poetry of Hassan (radi allahu 'anhu) prayed, "Allahumma ayyidhu bi rooh hil Qudus !" (meaning : Oh Allah let the holy ghost (Jibra'il) be his helper (in recitation) !) (Mishkaat)
Furthermore, when Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) made Hijra and entered Madina, the people sang out,
tala`a al-badru `alayna min thaniyyat al-wada`
wajaba al-shukru `alayna ma da`a lillahi da`
'Ulama from time immemorial have been writing and reciting Na'at and Qasa'id in Praise of Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) in a variety of languages. Moulvi Ashraf 'Ali Thanwi, Moulvi Qaasim Nanotwi and many other scholars of Deoband have done so also.
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Another false and baseless accusation is that those that practise Qiyaam claim that it is Fardh to practice Qiyaam.
Answer : No one has ever said that the act of Qiyaam is Fardh. A'la Hadhrat, Imam-i-Ahl as-Sunnat, Mawlana Ahmad Raza Khan (rahmat allahi 'alaih) writes, "Qiyaam is consistently practised by famous Imams. None of them refuted or denied this. Therefore, it is Mustahab (recommended)". (Iqaamatul Qiyaamah, Page 19, Noori Qutub Khana)
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Some people say that it is wrong to send Salawat and Salaam because those who read Salaam, put a chair in the gathering and say that the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) is sitting on the chair whilst the Salaam is being read.
Answer: The curse of Allah is on those liars ! No true Muslim has ever done such a thing. Certain groups in the community go out of their way to spread confusion and falsehood amongst the people and more specifically, the youth. They have concocted such silly rumours (which are only indicative of their minds and hearts) in order to instill suspicion and hatred in the hearts of some of the youth against those who practice Salawat and Salaam (Salaami). Such rumours are started because these people are unable to provide any proof from the Shari'ah that forbids Salaami. So what happens is that, when they are questioned as to the permissibility of reading Salaami etc., (by the youth) they can not provide any evidence, so they make up such evil rumours.
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 Ta’ala guide us on Siraatul Mustaqeem and instill in our hearts the true love for Taajidare Madina, Muhammadur Rasoolullah (sallalaahu alaihi wasallam). Aameen.