Sahih Muslim – Vol.1 – Book IV – Chapter CLXV – P.223

(803) Abdullah b Zaid – he who was shown the call (for prayer in a dream) – narrated it on the authority of Mas’ud al-Ansari who said:  We were sitting in the company of Sa’d b Ubada when the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, came to us.  Bashir b Sa’d said:  Allah has commanded us to bless you1, Messenger of Allah! But how should we bless you? He (the narrator) said:  The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, kept quiet (and we were so much perturbed over his silence) that we wished we had not asked him.  The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, then said:  (For blessing me) say:  “O Allah, bless Muhammad and the members2 of his household as Thou didst bless the members of Ibrahim’s3 household.  Grant favours to Muhammad and the members of his household as Thou didst grant favours to the members of the household of Ibrahim in the world.  Thou art indeed Praiseworthy and Glorious.” and salutation as you know.

1This refers to the verse of the Quran:  “Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [ Allah to confer] blessing upon him and ask [ Allah to grant him] peace.” (33:56)

The blessings of Allah upon the Holy Prophet are too numerous to be counted.  He has been elevated to the highest position amongst the Prophets.  He has been sent as a Mercy for the worlds and has been made as the final dispenser of the Will of Allah.  The angels too bless the Holy Prophet, for he has been able to show by his words and deeds that the human beings, in spite of the freedom of will, can lead a life of perfect submission to the Almighty and this helps in creating an atmosphere of spiritual piety in the world, an atmosphere which is congenial to the angels.  The Muslims have been commanded to bless the Holy Prophet as a token of love and gratitude for that august personality who showed them the right path, the path of God-consciousness virtue, and religious piety.

The word Salat, when it is appended with the prepostion ‘ala’ conveys three meanings:  to incline towards one with love and affection, to magnify one, or to supplicate for one.  When this word is used for Allah, it would be used in the first two meanings and when it is used for angels and human beings it would cover the three shades of meanings.

The reciting of Darud has been made essential in the prayer for various reasons. The two obvious reasons are: The prayer has been called the highest ascent (mi’raj) of a believer and this has been made known to the Muslims by Muhammad, peace be upon him. It has, therefore, been made obligatory for the believers to bless the Holy Prophet in the best state of communion with Allah as an acknowledgement of their gratitude to him. Secondly, it strikes at the very root of shirk.

The Prophet Muhammad is the most eminent personality amongst those noble beings who have been directly deputed by Allah to guide people to the path of righteousness and who received revelations from Him. The exhortation to bless him implies that with all unusual eminence and greatness of Muhammad and his nearness to Allah, he needs blessings of the Master; therefore, he cannot, in spite of his most eminent position amongst the apostles, be attributed with godhood.

2(آل‎ Al). This word has been translated as members of the household but in Arabic, especially in the context of the Quran and Sunnah, it gives a wide range of meanings. It means all the devoted members of the household and all those persons who are related to another person not by ties of blood but by ties of love and companionship. Thus all the sincere followers are included in the al of Muhammad, peace be upon him.

In the present context of darud, آل al implies the pious and noble family of Muhammad, i.e. his wives, his daughters, and other members of his household who believed in him as a prophet and shared the hardships of life along with him, and all of his Companions and followers who sincerely obeyed his command and tried to live by the ideals prescribed by him.

3Different interpretations have been offered as to why the Muslims have been exhorted to supplicate for blessings on Muhammad, peace be upon him, like those with which Hadrat Ibrahim, peace be upon him, was blessed by Allah. The most valid explanation is that Hadrat to Muhammad and the members of his household as Thou didst grant favours to the members of the household of Ibrahim in the world. Thou art indeed Praiseworthy and Glorious; and salutation as you know.

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