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Invoking Prayers for the Prophet

Thursday 01/04/2010

Invoking prayers and peace for the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), is one of his distinguishing characteristics that nobody but him could have. The prayers of Allah for His Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), means His praising him in the heavens, as authentically reported from Abu Al-‘Aaliyyah, may Allah have mercy on him, who said, "The prayers of Allah for His Prophet means Him praising him before the angels, while the prayers of the angels for him means supplication."

 
Peace, however, signifies seeking protection for him against faults. Thus, the expression  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention )” contains the instinct of supplicating to Allah The Almighty to bring about goodness for His Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), through praising him before the angels in the heavens and removing and protecting him from all faults.
 
The following are times and places where invoking prayers and peace for the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), is recommended:
 
1-    Tashahhud (the final sitting position in one's prayer): In Saheeh ibn Hibbaan, it was narrated that the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), once heard a man supplicating to Allah The Almighty without praising Him or invoking prayers for the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ). So, he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "That man hurried [in his supplication] and did not do it properly."Then, he called him and said:"When a person performs his prayers, let him start by praising Allah The Almighty and eulogizing Him, then praying for the Prophet, and then supplicating to Allah The Almighty for whatever he wants." [Ahmad, Abu Daawood and At-Tirmithi; At-Tirmithi, Al-Haakim and Ibn Hibbaan classified it as Saheeh (authentic)]
2-    Upon mentioning the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), or hearing or writing his name, and during the Athaan (call for prayer). This is because the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), said: "A loser, indeed, is the person who hears my name and does not pray for me." [Ahmad and At-Tirmithi]
3-    On Fridays, for the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), said: "Among the most excellent of your days is Friday. On it Aadam [Adam] was created, on it he died, on it the Final Trumpet will be blown, and on it the Shout will be made, so invoke more prayers for me on that day, for your prayers will be submitted to me.”People asked, “O Messenger of Allah, how can it be that our prayers will be submitted to you while your body has decayed?” He replied:“Allah the Exalted, has prohibited the earth from consuming the bodies of the prophets."[Ahmad, Abu Daawood, An-Nasaa'i, At-Tirmithi and Ibn Maajah]
4-    Upon entering the Masjid. In a Hadeeth, on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), said: "When a person enters the Masjid, let him invoke blessings upon the Prophet, and say: 'O Allah! Open for me the gates of Your mercy.' When he leaves, let him invoke blessings upon the Prophet and say: 'O Allah! Guard me against the accursed Satan.'" [Ibn Maajah and Al-Albaani - Saheeh]
5-    In the introduction of messages and after writing Al-Basmalah (i.e., ‘In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Ever Merciful’) and praising Allah The Almighty.
6-    After repeating the words of the Athaan (first call to prayer) and Iqaamah (final call to prayer). In his Saheeh, Muslim  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him narrated on the authority of Abdullaah ibn 'Amr, may Allah be pleased with him, that he heard the Messenger of Allah,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), saying: "When you hear the caller for Athaan [announcing the time of prayers], repeat the words he is saying, then pray for me. This is because the person who prays for me once, Allah The Almighty grants him back this prayer multiplied tenfold."
7-    Also, praying for the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), after the second Takbeerah (utterance of ‘Allahu Akbar’) in funeral prayers, and in Khutbahs (sermons) such as the Khutbah of Friday, the two ‘Eeds and for invoking rain.
 
Concerning the way of invoking prayers and peace for the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), ‘Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Abu Layla said that Ka‘b ibn ‘Ujrah, may Allah be pleased with him, met him, and said,
 
I would like to give you something: One day the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) came to us and we said to him, “We already know how to greet you [i.e., by saying: Assalaamu ‘Alaykum], but how should we pray for you?' He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Say: `Allahumma salli ‘ala Muhammad, wa ‘ala aali Muhammad, kama sallaita ‘ala aali Ibraaheem, innaka Hameedum Majeed. Allahumma baarik ‘ala Muhammad, wa ‘ala aali Muhammad, kama barakta ‘ala aali Ibraaheem, innaka Hameedum Majeed [O Allah, may Your prayers be for Muhammad and the household of Muhammad as You sent Your prayers on the household of Ibraaheem [Abraham]. You are Praised and Glorious. O Allah, bless Muhammad and the household of Muhammad as You blessed the household of Ibraaheem. You are Praised and Glorious]'[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
 
The perfect way to pray for the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), is with one of the Abrahamic expressions, such as the one mentioned above, though it is permissible to say, "O Allah! Send Your prayers upon Muhammad", or, "May the prayers of Allah be upon Muhammad" or something to that effect.
 
Concerning the merit of invoking prayers and peace for the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), there is a Hadeeth on the authority of ‘Abdullaah ibn 'Amr, may Allah be pleased with him, that he heard the Messenger of Allah,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), saying: "When you hear the caller for Athaan [announcing the time of prayers], repeat the words he is saying, then, pray for me. This is because the person who prays for me once, Allah The Almighty grants him back this prayer multiplied tenfold." [Muslim]
 
In another Hadeeth on the authority of Anas ibn Maalik, may Allah be pleased with him, the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), said: "When a person prays for me once, Allah The Almighty grants him back this prayer multiplied tenfold and forgives him ten misdeeds." [Ahmad and An-Nasaa'i]

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