Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Excellence of Durood

There are two ways in which one school is usually differentiated from the other:

·         By School Uniform
·         By School Mandates
A school uniform helps a school to identify its students; thus it is a mark of identification of its students. While school mandates are the guidelines which would help to groom a student. A student wearing an untidy uniform at school premises might get punished and would earn a bad name for himself, but a student who disobeys school mandates is removed or rusticated from his school as his behaviour could harm other students and also earn a bad name for the school. 

***It is important for a student to follow the school mandates with perfection so that he is loved by the authorities and can become a good ambassador of his school.
When we relate this with Islam there are again two ways a Muslim can be differentiated from other fellow Muslims:
·         By his Prayers
·         By his willingness to obey the Quranic Mandates 

A Muslim who prays regularly is identified as a devout Muslim. Thus it is a mark of identification of his devotion. Let us see what Quran says regarding our prayers:
  •    “Aur Maine jinnon aur aadmiyon ko issi gharaz se paida kiya ki wo Meri ibadat karein.” – (Surah-e-Adh Dhariyat, ayah 55)
  •  “(I have not created the jinns and men but to worship Me)”
The objective behind the creation of Jinn and Men is to worship Allah (SWT). When we worship Him we are united with Him and fulfill the objective of our existence. Again He further says in the following ayah:
  •   “Aur jo shakhs (ibadat main) koshish karta hai to bas apne hi waaste koshish karta hai (kyunke) usmain to shak hi nahin ke Khuda saare jahan ki ibadaton se beniyaaz hai” – (Surah-e-Ankabut, ayah 6) 

  •  “(And whoever strives hard (in prayers), he strives only for his own soul; most surely Allah is Self-sufficient, above (prayers of) the worlds.)
The above ayah says that Allah (SWT) is above all the prayers of the worlds. He is self-sufficient and hence independent of our prayers. Our prayers are for our own good. If we pray regularly we ourselves would be benefited. And if we don’t pray the loss is our own. But when we reflect back on the first ayah that says Allah (SWT) has created Jinn and men to worship Him we are forced to contemplate that there must be a specific prayer which if offered would unite us with Him and fulfill His objective of creating us. 

***Before we proceed with identifying such a prayer let us stop here and try to focus on a few Quranic Mandates that would help us groom ourselves and make us a good ambassador of the religion and be loved by Allah (SWT).
For this let us see the following ayahs from Surah-e-Fateha; this Surah is mandatory to be recited in the beginning of every namaz. 
  • “Humain seedha raasta dikha, un logo ka raasta jin per Tu ne inaam farmaya…” – (Surah-e-Fateha Ayah 6-7)  

  •  (“Show us the straightway, the way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace...”)

Invariably every Muslim recites the above lines and thus prays to be guided on the straight path which is treaded by the selected few who are bestowed by Allah (SWT)’s limitless Grace. If we follow the path shown by them we would be groomed to be a good ambassador of our religion and be worthy of Allah (SWT)’s limitless Grace. 

Sa’labi in his tafseer quotes a tradition from Abu Hureira which says that the ‘straight path’ mentioned in the above ayah of Surah-e-Fateha is the path taken by Mohammed (SAW) and the children of Mohammed (SAW). (Ref: Sa’labi in his Tafseer, Waki ibn-e-Jarrah in his commentary). 

Thus the Quranic Mandate to become a good Muslim is to follow the path taken by the holy Prophet (SAW) and his holy Progeny (pbut).

Again the importance of above mandate can be best understood by contemplating on the following ayah from Surah-e-Shura:
  •  “Ae Rasool (SAW) tum kehdo ke main apni tableegh-e-risalat ka apne karabatdaron ki mohabbat ke siwa tumse koi sila nahin maangta”(Surah-e-Shura, ayah 23) 
  •   “(‘Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it but love for my near relatives’)”
In the above ayah Allah (SWT) instructs the holy Prophet (SAW) to ask the Ummah to love his near relatives in lieu of the hard-work which he undertook during his Prophethood of 23 years. 

The near relatives mentioned in the above ayah refer to Ali (A.S) & Fatema (A.S) and their children. (Ref: Sa’labi, Suyuti, Baidhavi, Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmed ibn Hambal, Allama Zamkhashri Vol 3, P 68).

The reward of the Prophethood is the love of Ahl-ul-bait. It can be hence further inferred that if someone is not giving heed to the above ayah he is risking his faith and dishonoring the Prophethood. And he may not remain in Islam; that is why the holy Prophet (SAW) has said that:
  •         In the love for my Ahl-ul-bait lies the foundation of Islam(Ref: Selections from Kanz-ul-Ummal, P 94).
***Thus the Quranic Mandate to remain in Islam and be a true ambassador of the religion is to love the Ahl-ul-bait. By loving them and getting inspired by their lives and teachings we remain on the straight path.

Let us shift our focus back on prayers now. We will see the following ayah on namaz, which is mandatory for any Muslim to offer 5 times a day:
  • “To un namaziyon ki tabahi hai jo apni namaz se ghafil rehte hain jo dikhane ke waaste karte hain aur roz marra ki ma’mooli cheezein bhi aariyat nahin dete.” – (Surah-e-Ma’un, 4-7) 
  •  “(So woe to the praying ones, Who are unmindful of their prayers, Who do (good) to be seen,   And withhold the necessaries of life.)”
 Though it is the highest form of prayer Allah (SWT) disapproves those who display their namaz in such a manner that it becomes a showoff

Thus Allah (SWT) likes that ‘namaz’ which is subtle and offered only for the purpose of pleasing Him and Him alone.
Keeping this in mind let us see the following ayah now:
  • “Iss main shak nahin ke Khuda aur uske farishte paighambar (aur unki aal) per durood bhejte hai to ae imaandaro tum bhi durood bhejte raho aur baraabar salaam karte raho”. – (Surah-e-Ahzaab, ayah 56) 

  •  “(Surely Allah and His angels bless the Prophet; O you who believe! call for (Divine) blessings on him and salute him with a (becoming) salutation.)”
 The ayah says that Allah (SWT) and His angels bless the holy Prophet (SAW) by way of sending ‘durood’ on him. Allah (SWT) further orders the ‘believers’ to send durood and salams to the holy Prophet (SAW) in return. While we ponder upon the above ayah we can infer that to send ‘durood’ and salutations on the holy Prophet (SAW) is the work of believers as the ayah has been addressed to them; whoever does so qualifies to be a Momin; he becomes a true believer. Thus the way offering namaz is the identification of a Muslim, offering durood is the identification of a ‘Momin’.

Again, while offering namaz we need to be subtle without showoff, but durood is offered a loud in public. Allah (SWT) has not kept any restrictions in the way we offer durood. In fact it is the only form of prayer where Allah (SWT) joins us in offering durood while for other prayers He is above them.

When this verse was revealed, someone asked the Holy Prophet (SAW) as to how i.e. in what words should the believers recite ‘Salawat’ or ‘Durood’ to him. He said:

“O Lord! Bestow Thy Mercy and Grace upon Mohammed and the Progeny of Mohammed as Thous didst bestow Thy mercy and blessings upon Ibrahim and the progeny of Ibrahim, verily Thou art the Most praised and the Most Glorious One.”

So whenever durood is sent on the holy Prophet (SAW) it includes his holy Progeny (pbut) as well. That is why the following ayah says that:
  •  “Aur Hum ne un ka zikr khair baad ke aane walon main baaqi rakkha ke har taraf se Aal-e-Yaseen per salaam hi salaam hai” – (Surah-e-Sa’afat, ayah 129-130)
  •  “(And We perpetuated to them (praise) among the later generations. Peace be unto the Aal-e-Yaseen.)”
Allah (SWT) sends His salams to “Aal-e-Yaseen” appreciating their good deeds and He promises that their deeds would be perpetuated among the later generations. So when we praise their good deeds we are obeying Allah’s Wish and thus take a step further in grooming ourselves.

Ibn-e-Abi Haatim and Ibn-e-Marduiya have quoted a tradition from the authority of  Ibn-e-Abbas that Aal-e-Yaseen in the above ayah refers to Aal-e-Mohammed (SAW) (Ref: Durr-e-Mansoor, vol 5, P 286)

Fakhruddin Razi writes that the Ahl-ul-bait are at par with the Holy Prophet (SAW) in five things:
  •    Firstly in salutation, for Allah said, “Peace be unto thee, O Prophet”, and He also said “Peace be unto the Aal-e-Yaseen”.
  • Secondly in invoking the blessings of Allah during prayers, after each ‘tashahud’.
  •   Thirdly in their purity, for the Almighty said unto the Prophet “Ta Ha” (Surah 20) and He revealed the verse of Purification (33:33) for the Ahl-ul-bait.
  •   Fourthly in the Sadaqa being forbidden.
  •  Fifthly in love, for Allah says that we should follow the Prophet and he would make Allah love us. He also said, “Say, I ask of you no reward except that you love my kindred.”  
 - (Ref: Stairway to Heaven, Yousuf.N.Lalljee, December 1975, Bombay Edition, Page 38)

The above mentioned ayahs are not the only occasions when Allah (SWT) has sent His salutations on Ahl-ul-bait. He again sends His Mercy and Blessings in the following ayah:
  • Ae Ahl-ul-bait (Nabuwwat) tum per Khuda ki rehmat wa Usski barkatein (naazil ho).” – (Surah-e-Hud, ayah 73) 

  • “(The Mercy of Allah and His Blessings are on you, O Ahl-ul-bait)”
 Whenever the holy Prophet (SAW) visited Mawla Ali (A.S)’s house, he would hold the door and say ‘Assalam-alaykum Ya Ahl-ul-bait”. (Ref: Durr-e-Mansoor, Mulla Jalaluddin Suyuti, Vol 5, Page 198-199)

By showering His Mercy, His Blessings and His Grace on the Ahl-ul-bait on various occasions in Quran and also ordering the believers to send their salutations on the holy Prophet (SAW) and his Progeny (pbut), Allah (SWT) has shown us the importance of this Mandate. Shafei has further confirmed the above Quranic Mandate in the following words which showcases the importance of loving Ahl-ul-bait and sending durood on them: 

  • “O Ahl-ul-Bait of Allah’s Messenger, your love is a duty imposed upon us in the Holy Quran. It is enough among your great privileges that whoever does not bless you, his prayer is void.”  -  (Ref: Ibn-e-Hajar’s Sawaiq-e-Mohriqa, P 88, Nabahani’s Sharaf-ul-Mo’abbad; Imam Abu Bakr Shahabuddeen’s Rishfat-us-Saadi)
***On one hand Allah (SWT) says that He has created Jinn and Men to worship Him; on the other He says that He is above all our prayers; then again He joins us in sending ‘durood’ on the holy Prophet (SAW) and his holy Progeny (pbut). If we contemplate on this Act of Allah (SWT) we can infer that Allah (SWT) has created Jinn and Men to send salutations and durood on the holy Prophet (SAW) and his holy Progeny (pbut). Namaz remains void and incomplete without the mention of durood at the end.  It is a right given to them by the Almighty Allah for the sacrifices and hardships they have borne in propagating Islam. When we look at the lives of Imams from the household of the holy Prophet (SAW) we would understand this better. Their lives where full of atrocities and all the 11 Imams (except the 12th Imam Mehdi (A.S), who is in occultation), were brutally martyred. They have been created as a role model for the Ummah and ‘durood’ on the holy Prophet (SAW) and his pious Progeny (pbut) is a protocol which we need to follow to remain in the good books of Allah (SWT).

At the end of the first section we did infer that if we follow the Quranic Mandate of loving them and following them we would be groomed to be a good ambassador of Islam and Allah (SWT) would also love us. The love and attitude of people of other religions towards us is the measure of how good an ambassador of our religion we have become, but how do we measure Allah’s love for us? Let us try to find the answer from Quran again:
  •   “Wohi to hai jo Khud tum per durood (rehmat) bhejta hai aur usske farishte bhi taake tumko kufr ki tarikiyon se nikaal kar (imaan) ki roshni main le jaaye aur Khuda to imaandaron per bada maherbaan hai.” – (Surah-e-Ahzab, ayah 43) 

  • “(He it is Who sends His blessings on you, and (so do) His angels, that He may bring you forth out of utter darkness into the light; and He is Merciful to the believers (Momineen))”
Before contemplating on the above ayah, let us go back to the ayah 56 from Surah-e-Ahzaab, in which Allah (SWT) and His angels send their durood and salutations on the holy Prophet (SAW). We have already seen that Allah (SWT) further addresses the believers in that ayah and also orders them to do so. 

Now let us contemplate on the above ayah. Here, again Allah (SWT) and His angels send their durood (blessings) on the ‘believers’ to bring them into the light of guidance from the darkness of ignorance. The ayah further says that Allah (SWT) is Merciful to the believers. There is a difference in both forms of durood. The durood by Allah (SWT) and His angels on the Holy Prophet (SAW) and his Progeny (pbut) is their Right while the durood (blessings) of Allah (SWT) and His angels on the believers is Allah’s Mercy on the believers. When a believer completes the right of durood on the Ahl-ul-bait, Allah (SWT) and His angels send their blessings on him, they purify him and thus he becomes worthy of Allah’s Love

The magnitude of purification a believer attains can be best measured by the following words of our beloved Prophet (SAW):

  •  “Whoever dies for the love of Aal-e-Mohammed shall be a martyr; and behold, whoever dies for the love of Aal-e-Mohammed shall die as one whose sins have been forgiven.”
 He has further added that:

“And behold that whoever die for the love of Aal-e-Mohammed, Allah shall make his grave the visiting place of the Angels of mercy”(Ref: Zamakhshari in his Tafseer, Imam Sa’labi in Tafseer-e-Kabeer)

***By contemplating on various ayahs we have understood the importance of following the Quranic Mandate of ‘durood’ and love of Ahl-ul-bait in our lives. Every act which is important has various benefits attached to it. Let us see the benefits we get while we fulfill the act of durood
In Aasare Haideri, Page 348-349 (Tafseer on Quran by 11th Imam Hasan Askari (A.S)) the following sermon of the holy Prophet (SAW) is mentioned addressing his Ummah on the importance of recitation of durood in their lives: 

     "O the Ummah of Mohammed Beware! When there are sorrows and hardships you too keep mentioning “Mohammed wa Aale Mohammed” so that Allah the Almighty for this discourse would let your angels be helped & gain victory over the satans at the door of your trouble and with each one of you there is an angel to your right who keeps recording your good deeds and there is an angel to your left who records your evil deeds. And with each one from Iblees’s side also there are two satans who try to take him astray by creating unrest in his heart, he should take the name of Allah and recite “La haul wa la kuwwata illa billa hil aliyeel azeem wa sallalaho ala Mohammediw wa aalehitayabeen” By this the two satans get rebuked and return to Iblees laeen and complain that we are fed up regarding this person’s matter so help us through a few more satans. Then he, the rejected one (mardood), helps them to the extent that through such an exchange a thousand helpers are dispatched and they get together and come towards this slave of Allah and when they plan to act he recites the name of Allah and sends durood on “Mohammed wa Aale Mohammed” and because of this those evil ones cannot find a way and they are unable to overpower him.”

Then our holy Prophet (SAW) says that “if you desire to always keep Iblees suffering from sore eyes and wounds then keep yourselves engrossed in obedience of Allah and in mentioning His name and send durood on “Mohammed wa Aale Mohammed and if you ignore this then you will be a prisoner of Iblees and a few of his notorious deciples shall always ride your back.”  

In Mishkaat a tradition is recorded from the authority of Hazrat Anas, as per him the holy Prophet (SAW) has shown the importance of reciting durood in following manner:

  • “He who reads a single Durood upon me, Almighty Allah blesses him ten times, ten of his sins are forgiven, and he is increased ten times in stages.”
In Sahih-e-Tirmizi from the authority of Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Ma’sud the following hadith of the holy Prophet (SAW) is mentioned:

  • “On the Day of Qayamat, the closest to me from among the people will be those who have read the most amount of Durood Shareef.”
In Sahih-e-Bukhari the importance of durood is mentioned as below:

  • “When a prayer is made to Allah (SWT) it is never accepted unless praise of Allah Ta’ala and durood on the holy Prophet (SAW) is first of all recited.”
***Let Allah (SWT) always guide us to fulfill the rights of sending durood on the holy Prophet (SAW) and his pious Progeny (pbut) and bless us with His limitless Grace in both the worlds for this act of ours. I would like to pray for all of us with the following prayer from Sahifa-e-Kamila and end my article:

"O Allah, O He who singled out Muhammad (SAW) and his Household for honour,
          showed favour toward them with Messengerhood, specified them for the mediation,
          appointed them the heirs to the prophets, sealed with them the executors and the Imams,
          taught them the knowledge of what has been and what remains to be,
          and made the hearts of the people incline toward them!"

" Bless Muhammad (SAW) and his Household, the pure, and act toward us with that of which Thou art worthy in religion, in this world, and in the next world!
          Thou art powerful over everything. Aamin"