The religion of Islam, i.e. finding peace through submission and worship of Allah SWT is one that has been with mankind since Prophet Adam, peace be upon Him. The blessing of the ummah to which we belong is that we were blessed with the seal of the Prophets SAWS and hence we belong to the best of all prophets, Prophet Muhammad SAWS.
As Muslims, we can’t fully appreciate the magnitude of this blessing. We have given reminders in the past of how blessed we are to have been part of the Ummah of the Prophet Muhammad SAWS but no reminder can do justice to this blessing.
Allah SWT helps us understand the magnitude of this blessing by speaking of Himself sending blessings on the Prophet SAWS. The imam reminded us of this in Sura Al-Ahzab, ayat 56 in which it is translated to say:
Surely, Allah and His angels send blessings to the Prophet. O you who believe, do pray Allah to bless him, and send your Salām (prayer for his being in peace) to him in abundance.
Dear brothers and sisters, as you can hear from this translation, both Allah SWT and the Angels send blessings on the Prophet SAWS. And so, by performing the same action, we are in the unique position of not following a sunnah of the Prophet SAWS but actually we are following the actions of Allah SWT Himself. Just this point is enough for us to stop and ponder on the significance of this act.
Before we speak of how this is done, lets take a moment in today’s reminder to remind ourselves on the virtues of this blessed act of sending Salaam on the Prophet SAWS.
The imam listed some of these today and they are as follows.
- By sending salaam upon the Prophet SAWS, you are directly copying something that Allah SWT does and thus you reap the rewards of this from Allah SWT.
- By doing this, you are also indirectly remembering Allah SWT and therefore is a form of dhikr, i.e. remembrance of Allah SWT.
- Each and every salaam that is sent upon the Prophet SAWS is answered and replied by Him.
- Various hadiths mention that this act is associated with being generous, having imaan, having sins forgiven and having duas accepted.
Dear brothers and sisters, the rewards of this act are immense and we should aim to make this a cornerstone of our day, alongside our prayers, our remembrance of Allah SWT and our recitation of the Quran.
And so this reminder concludes with how for those of us who are new to this and want to incorporate this into our lives.
- The imam mentioned the 9th ayat of Sura Al-Fath which is translated to say:
so that you[people] may believe in God and His Messenger, support Him, honour Him, and praise Him morning and evening.
Dear brothers and sisters, from this we can conclude that our salaams on the Prophet SAWS should be something we do both at the start and then at the end of the day. One possible way to incorporate this is to make sure we do this as part of our post-salah supplications during Fajr and Isha as a bare minimum.
- One of the sunnah acts of the day of Jummuah is to send blessings on the Prophet SAWS and so we should take the opportunity when we are travelling to the masjid or leaving the masjid to do so. Even if we arrive here and we are waiting for the imam to begin the khutba, we can achieve this as it helps us switch off from the world we leave behind outside the masjid every Friday.
- We can choose to recite the salaam on the Prophet SAWS that we recite in our salah or we can choose to learn a smaller version of this for our frequent recitations of salaam. Whatever version you choose, as with all habits you try to form, make it something you can easily sustain for a long period of time as this is the key to any habit forming. Once you’ve established the habit, you can build upon it in the future but begin today in whatever form you can manage, no matter how small.
Dear brothers and sisters, we are blessed with this ability. Let us start today by making the most of it so that we are of those people who, according to hadith, on the Day of Judgement will be closest to our Prophet SAWS due to this act that we perform.