Shortest acceptable form of Tahiyyaat and Tashahhud
Fatwa No: 322516

Question

Assalaamu alaykum. I wanted to ask, I have been pronouncing the tahiyyat and tashahhud in a specific way for years, but then a while back, I discovered a different pronunciation on this site. I asked someone I know about my tahiyyat, and he said that it was fine, but I thought that maybe I should ask people who are more knowledgeable about such things. I have known about the pronunciation on this website and elsewhere for a while but thought that perhaps my pronunciation was fine. Now, however, I am worried. My tahiyyat pronunciation (and words) are: Ittahiyatu lilah, issalawatu wittabiyat, issalam aleyk ayuhannabi warahmatullah wabarakatooh issalam aleyk wa aleyna wa ala ibadillah issaliheen. And I pronounce the Tashahud as: Ashhadu alla ilaha ilalaah, wa ashhadu ana muhammadan rasululaah. Please do not link me to another question as I need to know whether there is a problem with this specific pronunciation and it is not accepted.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger. 

The way in which you recite the Tahiyyaat and Tashahhud is fine and sufficient, by the will of Allaah, according to the opinion of many scholars.

An-Nawawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote:

The shortest acceptable version of the Tahiyyaat is that which was cited by (Imaam) Ash-Shaafiʻi and most of the Shaafiʻi scholars. It is to say: 'At-Tahiyyaatu lillaah; salaamun ʻalayka ayyuha an-nabiyy wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh; salaamun ʻalayna wa ʻala ibaadillaah as-saaliheen, ashhadu alla ilaaha illa Allaah, wa anna Muhammadan rasooluh.' ... Ibn Surayj  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said that the shortest acceptable version is: 'At-Tahiyyaatu lillaah; salaamun ʻalayka ayyuha an-nabiyy; salaamun ʻala ibaadillaah as-saaliheen; ashhadu alla ilaaha illa Allaah, wa anna Muhammadan rasooluh.'” [Ar-Rawdhah]

In the future, try to add the word ʻabdoohu (His slave) and say: ‘...wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan ʻabdoohu wa rasooluh.’ (...and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and messenger.) This addition is authentically reported in the hadeeth that was narrated by ʻAbdullaah ibn Masʻood  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him which is the most authentic hadeeth reported about the Tashahhud. It should be noted though that the Tashahhud without the word ʻabdoohu is sufficient, as has been stated by the Shaafiʻi scholar Ar-Ramli  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him. He wrote, “In fact, saying: 'wa anna Muhammadan rasooluhu' is sufficient; as I do not know of anyone who stated that the word ʻabdoohu is an essential part of the Tashahhud...” [Haashiyat Ar-Ramli ʻala Asna Al-Mataalib]

Allaah knows best.

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