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Sallallahu 'Alaihi Wa Sallam

An Appreciation by Siddiq Osman Noormuhammad


When the Muslims visit the Holy Prophet Sall'Allahu 'alaihi wa Sallam in Madina, they greet him with salaams at his tomb, (popularly referred to as "Rawda" or garden of paradise) in Masjid Nabawi. These salaams are given in Azkaar (Supplications to Allah) of Imam Muhyuddin Abu Zakaria bin Sharaf an-Nawawi Rahmatullahi 'alaih (631-676 A.H).

Assalamu 'alaika Yaa Rasul'Allah
Assalamu 'alaika Yaa Kheerata'llahi min khalqihi
Assalamu 'alaika Yaa Habib'Allah
Assalamu 'alaika Yaa Sayyida'l Mursaleen wa Khaatama'n Nabiyyeen
Assalamu 'alaika wa 'alaa aalika wa as'haabika
Wa ahli baytika wa 'alan Nabiyyeen-a wa saairi's saaliheen
Ash-hadu annaka ballaghta'r Risalah
Wa addayta'l amaanah wa nasahta'l ummah
Fajazaak'Allahu 'annaa afdhala maa jazaa Rasulan 'an ummatihi

Salaams on you, O Messenger of Allah.
Salaams on you, O Allah's choicest one in all his creation.
Salaams on you, O the beloved of Allah.
Salaams on you, O the leader of all the Messengers and the last of the Prophets.
Salaams on you and on your family and your companions
and your household and on all the prophets and on all well-known pious people.
I bear witness that you completed your duties as the Messenger of Allah,
fulfilled your trusts, and sincerely advised your community.
May Allah reward you on our behalf better than
the reward that any Messenger received on behalf of his community.

Imam an-Nawawi Rahmatullahi 'alaih reports in Manasik (Muslim Ceremonies And Rituals) that Imam u'l 'Utbi Rahmatullahi 'alaih narrated that one day while he was sitting before the tomb of the beloved Prophet Sall'Allahu 'alaihi wa Sallam, a bedouin came, offered salaams to the Holy Prophet and recited this verse from Surah an-Nisaa:

Wa Law Annahum Idh-dhalamoo Anfusahum Jaa'uka
Fastaghfarullaha Wastaghfara Lahum u'r Rasulu
Lawajadullaha Tawwaaban Rahima.

And had they, when they were unjust to themselves
come to you and asked forgiveness of Allah
and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them,
they would have found Allah Forgiving, Merciful. (4:64)

Then, he requested the blessed Prophet Sall'Allahu 'alaihi wa Sallam to intercede for him with Allah and recited these two verses of a qasida (hymn).

Yaa Khaira Man Dufinat Bilqaai A'dhumahu
Fa Taaba Min Teebihinnalqaa'u Wa'l Akamu

'l Fidaau Liqabrin Anta Saakinuhu
Feehi'l 'Afaafu Wa Feehi'l Joodu Wa'l Karamu

O the best person ever laid to rest! When his blessed body touched the earth
His perfumed bones made the earth and the surrounding forest fragrant

May my soul be sacrificed for the tomb you reside in
In it there is purity, generosity, munificence

Having recited these two verses, the bedouin left. Imam u'l-'Utbi then saw the Holy Prophet Sall'Allahu 'alaihi wa Sallam in a dream who told him to give the bedouin the glad tidings that Allah Ta'ala had forgiven him! Sub'hanAllah!

Muslims intending to go for Hajj, Umra and Ziyara inevitably learn the dua (invocation) and salaams they will recite while on pilgimage from a kitab (book) they have handy, that has been especially compiled for that purpose. We find that in most such kutub (books), the main features of the dua to be recited at the Rawda of Rasul'Allah Sall'Allahu 'alaihi wa Sallam are salaams on him, followed by verse number 64 from Surah an-Nisaa, then a request to the blessed Prophet to intercede with Allah, and the two verses from the qasida (hymn) quoted earlier. If this brought forgiveness for the bedouin in the time of Imam u'l 'Utbi as narrated by Imam an-Nawawi himself, why can't it bring forgiveness for the rest, so burns the eternal hope in the heart of every Muslim!

To gain special blessings, the saalik (traveller on the spiritual path) might be guided to recite the very first salaat from Lataaif i'l 'Arshiyyah (Mercies from Allah's Throne) of Sayyidina al-Imam al-Habib 'Ali bin Muhammad al-Habshi (1259-1333 A.H) of Hadhramaut who composed it on the occasion of his ziyara (visit) to the Holy Prophet, Sall'Allahu 'alaihi wa Sallam. It begins:

Bismi'llah i'r Rahman i'r Raheem
Allahumma Salli wa Sallim wa Baarik 'alaa Sayyidina Muhammad
Awwali mutalaqqi li-faydhika'l awwal.

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
O Allah! Shower Your Blessings, Salutations and Favours
on Sayyidina Muhammad who is the first person
to receive the first blessing from You

While at the blessed Rawda of the beloved Prophet Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam, seize the opportunity to recite the qasida of Sayyidina al-Imam al-Habib 'Abdallah bin 'Alawi al-Haddad Rady Allahu 'Anhu that is engraved in the hujra (room) of Rasulullah Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam where he used to live with Sayyidatna 'Aisha Rady Allahu 'Anha. It is the same hujra where he rests in eternal peace now and above it is the qubba (green dome). From the outside can be discerned the sixteenth couplet of this qasida which reads:

Nabiyyun azeemun khuluquhu'l khuluqul-ladhee
Lahu 'azzam ar-Rahmanu fee Sayyid i'l Kutbi

A great Prophet whose character was the character
Which the Most Beneficent has exalted in the Master of Books.

Here, Sayyidina al-Imam al-Habib 'Abdallah bin 'Alawi al-Haddad Rady Allahu 'Anhu is referring to this verse of the Qur'an Kareem in praise of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.

Wa Innaka La'alaa Khuluqin 'Azeem

Assuredly, you are of a most excellent character (68:4)

The blessed Prophet Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam and Mawlana al-Haddad Rady Allahu 'Anhu obviously have a very special relationship of mutual love for Mawlana al-Haddad's qasida to be selected to adorn the hujra. This qasida is in his Diwan (Collected Hymns) titled Ad-Durru'l Mandhoom Li Dhawi'l 'Uqool wa'l Fuhoom (Poetic Pearls for Discerning and Understanding Minds). It has been reproduced by Imam as-Sayyid Muhammad bin 'Alawi al-Maliki of Makkah in Shifaa-u'l Fuaad bi Ziyaarati Khayri'l 'Ibaad (The Cure Of The Heart Arising From The Visit To The Best Servant of Allah). He has captioned it: "Al-Qasida al-Haddadiyyah al-Daakhiliyyah Lil-Hujratin Nabawiyyah Ash-Sharifah" ("The Eulogy by Mawlana al-Haddad Engraved Inside The Blessed Room Of The Prophet"). And he has provided an explanation (sharh) of its spiritual and historic significance. It has 41 verses all of which rhyme in the letter "Ba", praising the Holy Prophet Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam. Each verse contains the teachings of one or more verses of the Holy Qur'an Karem or the blessed Hadith Shareef.

The last 14 of its 41 verses contain salawaat and salaams. So we are not surprised to find that Dr. Mostafa al-Badawi has given these verses in his Ziyarah Sayyidi'l Kawnayn Sallallahu 'alaihi wa aalihi wa Sallam (Visit To The Leader Of Both The Worlds) among other salawaat and salaams to be recited by the pilgrim when he visits the blessed Prophet Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam. So let us take the opportunity to benefit from the transliteration and translation of these 14 verses.

'Alayka Salaatu'llahi yaa khayra man talaa
Kitaaban Muneeran ja'a bi'l-Fardhi wa'nnadbi

'Alayka Salaatu
'llahi yaa khaira muhtadin
Wa Haadin bi Nuri'llahi fi'sh-sharqi wa'l gharbi

'Alayka Salaatu
'llahi yaa khaira man da'a
Ila'llahi ba'da'rrifqi bi'ssumri wa'l qudhbi

'Alayka Salaatu
'llahi yaa sayyidan saraa
Ila'llahi hatta marra bissab'i wa'l hujbi

Wa qaama bi "aw adnaa" fanaaheeka rif'atan
Wa majdan samaa hattaa anaafa 'ala'sh-shuhbi

'Alayka Salamu
'llahi maa saara mukhlisun
Ilayka yaqool: Allahu wa'l Mustafa Hasbi

'Alayka Salamu
'llahi maa as'harassaba
Faharraka arwaha'l muhibbeena lilqurbi

'Alayka Salamu
'llahi maa baariqun saraa
Wa maa gannati'l atyaaru fee 'azab-i'l-qudhbi

'Alayka Salamu
'llahi maa harraka'l hidaa
Qulooban ilaa maghnaaka bi'sh-shawqi wa'l hubbi

'Alayka Salamu
'llahi 'addannabaati warrimaali
Wa 'addal qatri fee haalat i's sakbi

'Alayka Salamu
'llahi anta malaazunaa
Lada'l yusri wa'l i'saari wa'ssahli wa'ssa'bi

'Alayka Salamu
'llahi anta habibuna
Wa Sayyiduna wazzukhru yaa khaira man Nubbi

'Alayka Salamu
'llahi anta Imamuna
Wa Matbu'una wa'l kanzu wa'l gauthu fi'l khatbi

Wa Salla 'alaikAllahu da
'ban wa sarmadan
Wa Sallama Yaa Mukhtaru wa'l aali wa'ssahbi

Allah's blessings be on you O the best one to have recited
The shining Book which came with the obligatory and the voluntary

Allah's blessings be on you O the best of the rightly guided
Guiding with the Light of Allah in the east and the west

Allah's blessings be on you O the best inviter to Allah with kindness
Then, (against those in battle) with spears and swords

Allah's blessings be on you O master who travelled by night
To Allah until he passed the seven heavens and all the veils

And your position of (a distance of two bow lengths) "or even less"
Is enough exaltation and a gallery so high as to vie with the stars

Allah's salutations be on you as long as a sincere person
Says to you: "Allah and Mustafa are sufficient for me"

Allah's salutations be on you as long as dawn breaks
And you quicken the souls of loving disciples with nearness

Allah's salutations be on you as long as lightening flashes
And birds chirp on branches of trees

Allah's salutations be on you as long as camel drivers
Move hearts (of people in their caravan) to your wealth with yearning and love

Allah's salutations be on you as many times as the number of plants
And grains of sand and the number of rain drops in a downpour

Allah's salutations be on you; you are our only helper
In prosperity and poverty, in ease and difficulty

Allah's salutations be on you, you are our beloved
And our master, our treasure, O the best of the Prophets

Allah's salutations be on you, you are our leader
And our master, and treasure and helper in problems

And blessings on you from Allah for ever and ever
And salutations O chosen one, and on your family and companions

At this time, tears are flowing down your cheeks in loving agony for the beloved of Allah, Muhammad u'r Rasulullah Sall'Allahu 'alaihi wa Sallam. This is a manifestation of the baraka (blessing) of your Shaykh.

Sallu ala'r-Rasul
Allahumma Salli wa Sallim 'alaih.

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