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Sallallahu 'Alaihi Wa Sallam

An Appreciation by Siddiq Osman Noormuhammad


There are numerous other salaams in the Urdu language, almost all of which have the "Yaa Nabi Salaam Alayka" response. One such salaam is in Shajjarah Shareef Silsila Qadiriyya 'Aaliyyah (The Noble Family Tree in the Highly-Placed Qadiriyyah Chain of Shaykhs) whose opening couplets are:

Bakht ka chamke sitaara
Haazri ka ho ishaara
Dekh kar roza pyaara
Phir kahay khadim tumhaara

When the star of fortune shines
And the sign to be present before you is received
Seeing your beloved "Rawda"
Your servant exclaims

Yaa Nabi Salaam 'alaika

We notice that the mashaaikh (spiritual masters) refer to the tomb of the beloved Prophet as "Rawda" (garden of paradise). The theme of "Rawda" recurs in many salaams, as for example in these couplets in Khatme Gauthiyyah (Zikr To Commemorate The Anniversary Of Gauth u'l A'zam Shaykh 'Abdul Qadir Jilani Rady Allahu 'Anhu).

Haafiza apne haath utha kar
Sab ke haq may ye dua kar
Sab parhen rawda pe jaa kar
Salawaatullah 'alaika

O Hafiz raise your hands
And pray for one and all
That they may visit the "Rawda" to pray
"Allah's blessings be on you".

Wherever they are, Muslims yearn to be together with HabibAllah Muhammad u'r Rasulullah Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam. This burning desire is expressed in many salaams as in this couplet in the salaam in Naghma-e-Habib (Hymns on the Beloved), compiled by Janab Muhammad Shafi' Khatib Okadvi Saheb.

Dhoor ho jaae ye dhooree
Hasil ho jaae huzoori
Dhekh loon wo shakl noori
Dhil ki hasraten ho poori

May this separation vanish
As your presence is obtained
May I behold your shining face
And my heart's desire be fulfilled.

Another approach that the 'ulama (learned scholars) have taken is to request those going for pilgrimage to Makkah and for ziyara (visit) of the noble Prophet Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam in Madina to give him their salaams. In these opening verses of the salaam by Mawlana Abdul Aleem Siddiqi Rahmatullahi 'alaih in his kitab Zikr-e-Habib (Rememberance of the Beloved Prophet), he requests the morning breeze to deliver his salaams!

Baade Saba Nabi say mera salaam kehna
Sardaar Hashmi say mera salaam kehna
Shah-e-'Arab say mera salaam kehna
Ummi laqab say mera salaam kehna
'Aali nasab say jaakar mera salaam kehna

O breeze of the morning give my salaams to the Prophet
Give my salaams to the Hashmi leader
Give my salaams to the King of the Arabs
Give my salaams to the one whose title is Ummi
Give my salaams to the one with the best ancestry.

All the verses in the above quintet end in the phrase "say mera salaam kehna" ("give my salaams to"). Such a phrase is referred to as the "redif". We notice then that the words that come just before the "redif" rhyme. For example, the words "Nabi" and "Hashmi" rhyme, and "Arab", "laqab", and "nasab" rhyme"!

Salaams have also been composed in Urdu's sister languages, for example in the Cutchi dialect of the Sindhi language by Janab Noormuhammad Hajji Abdulrahim Laving Saheb (popularly known as "Mithoo Master") of Mombasa, Kenya. Some of its verses are:

Aun ayaan bhandho Khudhajjo
Ne putar Adam Hawa jo
Ne khaadim ayan aun aanjo
Yaa Rasul munja salaam ain

Kar Khuda tu ero rasto
Aun gina Makke jo rasto
Aay Madino dhil may wasto
Yaa Rasul munjaa salaam ain

I am Allah's creation
And the son of Adam and Hawa
And your servant O Messenger of Allah
My salaams on you

O Allah make such a way for me
That I take the road to Makkah
Madina abides in my heart
O Messenger of Allah my salaams on you.

Yaa Nabi Salaam 'Alaika

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