These Ahadith have all been considered as Saheeh (sound and authentic) and have been recorded by Imams Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood, Tirmizi, Nasai, Darimi, Ibn Hibban. The gist of the narrations mentioned above is that the Prophet (S.A) taught the Sahabahs (and all believers) the manner of sending ‘Salah and Salaam’ upon him, after they were ordered to do so by Allah in verse 56 of Sura Ahzab. This way of sending greetings upon the Prophet (S.A) and asking Allah to send mercy and blessings upon him is the established method of implementing and establishing the law/order of Allah which has been given in the verse.
The beloved Prophet of Allah (S.A) taught all believers to say the Tahiyat in all their Salaah and while doing so, they were instructed to send Salaams upon him by saying, ‘As Salaamu Alaika Ayuhan Nabiyu Wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuhu’, which means ‘Peace and salutations be upon you O Prophet, and May Allah’s Mercy and His blessings be upon you’.
When the believers do this, they will be implementing the law of the Quran which tells them to send ‘salutations/greetings’ upon the Prophet (S.A). The companions understood that this was the way of sending Salaams, hence, when they spoke to the Prophet (S.A) they said, ‘O Prophet of Allah, as for ‘Salaam’ we already know how to do this’ (as mentioned in the tradition of Kaab bin Ujrah). The Prophet (S.A) also knew very well that this was the way they had to send salaams upon him as ordered by Allah. Hence, while speaking to them (the companions) regarding this, he said, ‘As for Salaams, you already know this’ (as mentioned in the tradition of Abu Masood Al Ansari R.A).
The blessed traditions also clarified the practice that must be adopted by the believers when they wanted to send ‘Salah’ upon the Prophet (S.A). Like all other laws of the Holy Quran, the Prophet (S.A) also made it known to all believers as to how they should practice this law of sending ‘Salah’ upon him. In the case of Salaah, Zakaat, Hajj etc, he did not leave the believers to adopt their individual practices to implement these injunctions. Instead, he practically demonstrated to them, and also taught them the details regarding how they must implement the orders of Allah. So too, when the command was given in the Holy Quran to the believers, ordering them to send ‘Salah’ and ‘Salaam’ upon the Prophet (S.A), the companions immediately went to the Prophet (S.A) in order to know the details regarding the performance of this act of worship (Ibadah). In responding to them, the noble Prophet (S.A) beautifully explained the manner of executing and fulfilling the law which Allah has placed upon them. He told them that the verse asked them to beg Allah to send His Mercy and blessings upon him by reciting the words, ‘Allahumma salli ala Muhammad…’. When they practice this, they would be fulfilling the command of Allah regarding sending Salah upon him.
It must be noted that in the matter of explaining the verses of the Holy Quran and demonstrating the manner in which the laws/commands of Allah must be fulfilled, the Prophet (S.A) was very accurate and detailed. His teachings to the believers were all in accordance to what Allah wanted and was pleased with. It is for this reason the believers were commanded in the Holy Quran, in many passages ‘to obey the Prophet’, ‘to follow the Prophet’ and ‘to accept whatever the Prophet (S.A) gives them’.
The teachings of the Prophet (S.A) regarding ‘Salah and Salaam’ are very clear to all believers. None is ignorant of this. The manner of practicing these, as established in the authentic traditions is the true way which has been taught by the Prophet (S.A). There is no other way that was taught by the Prophet (S.A) regarding this. It is for this reason, the Sahabahs (companions), Tabieen (2nd generation of Muslims), Tab’ut Tabieen (3rd generation of Muslims) and those after them, strictly adhered to the teachings of the Prophet (S.A) and did not invent/innovate any new system of sending ‘Salah and Salaam’ upon the Prophet (S.A). They all followed the blessed teachings of the Prophet (S.A).
All believers must understand that guidance lies only in the teachings of the Prophet (S.A) as it came from Allah. Acceptance of one’s deeds can only be achieved when these are in conformity with the teachings of the Prophet (S.A). An action/deed/practice can only be considered as being ‘Islamic’ when it is in accordance to the teachings of the Prophet (S.A).
As such, when changes are made in Islamic practices, and when new inventions/innovations come about, these would not be called Islamic, neither can these form part of the guidance which Allah has sent in Islam. Over the ages, some people have innovated beliefs and practices connected to the concept of ‘Salah and Salaam’ which are all in opposition to the blessed teachings of the Prophet (S.A). These must be avoided by Muslims and must not be considered as part of Islam.
Based on the command (by Allah) to send ‘Salah’ (blessings) upon the Prophet (S.A), believers should make it a practice in their daily lives to do this. Sending ‘Salah’ upon the Prophet (S.A), (also referred to as sending Darood (benediction)) is extremely virtuous, and brings about a great amount of blessings to the sender. In this regard, the Prophet (S.A) is reported to have said, ‘Allah will send ten blessings (mercies) on a person who sends one ‘Salah’ (Darood) upon me’. (Recorded in Sahih Muslim from the narration of Abu Hurairah (R.A).
In the tradition recorded by Imam Nasaa’i, it goes on to state that the Prophet (S.A) said, (about the one who sends Salah (Darood) one time), ‘the person’s stages in the hereafter will be raised ten times, ten rewards will be added to his record of deeds, and ten sins shall be erased from his record of sins’.
In another tradition, Aamir bin Rabi’ah narrates from his father that the Prophet (S.A) said, ‘Whoever sends Salah (Darood) upon me, the angels continue to send ‘Salah’ (they ask Allah to bless the person and forgive him) as long as he sends ‘Salah’ upon me. Let the servant then, do little of it or much of it’. (Ibn Majah)
Abdullah bin Masood (R.A) narrates that the Prophet (S.A) said, ‘The dearest and closest person to me on the day of judgment is the one who sends the most ‘Salah’ (Darood) upon me’. (Tirmizi who says it is a good hadith)
It is evident in the traditions that Allah has appointed angels on the earth who convey the salaams (greetings to the Prophet S.A). In this regard, it is stated that the Prophet (S.A) said, ‘Certainly Allah has Angels who travel on the earth who convey to me the ‘salaams’ from my Ummah’. (Ahmad, Nasai – Hadith graded as sound – Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.14 pg. 211 Maktaba Rasheediya Queta Pakistan)
There are many other traditions that highlight the great rewards and blessings for sending ‘Salah’ (Darood) upon the Prophet (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). All believers should therefore make it a daily practice in their lives to send ‘Salah’ (Darood) upon the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam)
Based on the rulings established from the above command of Allah in which He said, ‘O you who believe! Send ‘Salah’ upon the Prophet and send Salaams in abundance’, the great scholars (commentators of the Holy Quran and the jurists of the Shariah) have stated that:
1) Sending ‘Salah’ upon the Prophet (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is Farz (compulsory) in one’s lifetime. This can be achieved by doing it at least one time in one’s life. (Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.14 pg. 206)
2) It is wajib (essential) upon a person to send Salah (recite the words of Darood) upon the Prophet (S.A) when he hears his blessed name. About this, the Prophet (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘Disgraced is that person in front of whom my name is mentioned and he does not send ‘Salah’ (Darood) upon me’. (Tirmizi – Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.14 pg. 206)
3) If the Prophet’s name is mentioned repeatedly in one sitting (gathering), then reciting it once will discharge the obligation. But it will be Mustahab (commendable) to recite it every time the Prophet’s name is mentioned (in the gathering). (Ma’ariful Quran vol.7 pg. 233)
4) When the blessed name of the Prophet (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is mentioned, then one should send both ‘Salah’ and ‘Salaam’ upon the Prophet (S.A). He should not suffice only with ‘Salah’. Hence, one should say a Darood like ‘Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam’.