What exactly is tazeem and is there any basis for three days and forty days functions?
No, there is no basis in the Shariah for three days and forty days functions.
‘Tazeem’ literally means to show respect and reverence to someone. Based on this meaning and understanding, one would say that it is essential to show ‘tazeem’ (respect) to the Prophet (S.A.S.), as this is from the teachings of the Holy Quran.
However, many people misuse the word ‘Tazeem’ for ‘Qiyaam’ (standing for the Prophet) and while saying that it is essential to show ‘tazeem’ to the Prophet (S.A.S.) they emphasize on the act of standing for the Prophet (S.A.S.) in functions etc. This misunderstanding is so grave among such people that they condemn Muslims who do not stand (do Qiyaam) in functions etc. as having no love, respect and reverence for the Prophet (S.A.S.). This is a grave error which they must correct, since their understanding is opposing to the teachings of Islam.
As for the act of showing respect (tazeem), love and honouring the Prophet (S.A.S.), these are clear instructions which Allah has given in the Holy Quran.
In addition, the believers have been ordered in the Quran to ask Allah to send blessings upon the Prophet (S.A.S.) and that they should send greetings and salutions upon him.
The verse (33:56) of the Holy Quran states, ‘Allah and his angels send salaah, on the Prophet. O you who believe! Send Salaah, upon him and greet him (send salaams) with salutation’. (Sura Al Ahzaab (33) verse 56).
Here is this verse, the words salaah and salaam have been used. The word ‘salaat’ in the Arabic language has been used for several meanings. Like that of mercy, supplication, praise and commend.
According to the commentators (Mufasireen), of the holy Quran, when the word ‘Salaat’ is connected to Allah it has the meaning of praise, mercy and blessings. As such, the words, ‘Allah sends Salaat upon the Prophet’ means that Allah sends his mercy and blessing upon him. In this regard, Imam Bukhari has quoted the statement of Abul A’aliyah ( A.R.) who states ‘Allah’s Salaat upon the Prophet’ is that he praises him in front the angels’. The great companion, Abdullah bin Abbas (R.A.) has stated ‘Allah’s sending Salaat’ means that Allah blesses him. Imam Tirmizi has quoted from Sufyan Thawri from many scholars that ‘Allah’s Salaat upon the Prophet’ is that He sends his mercies upon him (Tafseer Ibn Katheer Vol.3 Pg.506)
The commentators have further stated that the ‘angel’s Salaah upon the Prophet (S.A.S.)’ is their making supplication for him and asking Allah to forgive him. (Tafseer Ibn Katheer from the statement of Abul A’aliyah and Sufyaan Thawri Vol.3 Pg.509)
In this manner, the commentators of the Holy Quran have also stated that the command to the believers that they must send salaah upon the Prophet ( S.A.S.) means that they should invoke Allah’s blessings upon him and they must continue to ask Allah to bless him. (Ma’ariful Quran Vol.7 Pg.221).
As can be seen, the Arabic words used in the above verse is that of salaah and salaam.
Hence, the act of asking Allah to bless the Prophet (S.A.S.) and sending greetings to him is normally referred to as Salaah and Salaam.
Here another misunderstanding has come about with respect to this term. Some Muslims have taken the words ‘Salaat and Salaam’ to refer to the act of (Qiyaam) standing for the Prophet ( S.A.S.). This misunderstanding on the part of some, leads them to falsely accuse other Muslims who do not stand in functions, saying that they do not send Salaah and Salaam upon the Prophet (S.A.S.). This is also a grave error which must be corrected since it is against the teachings of Islam.
The correct understanding of ‘Salaah’ as mentioned in the verse is that the believers must ask Allah to bless the Prophet ( S.A.S.) and ‘Salaam’ means that they must send the greetings of salaams to him. As such, the words which are normally uttered ‘Allahumma Salli ala Muhammad …….. are words of ‘Salaat’, which have been taught to the Ummah by the Prophet ( S.A.S.) himself.
In this regard, the authentic tradition has been recorded by Imam Bukhari which states that Kaab bin Ujrah (R.A.) reports that the Prophet of Allah ( S.A.S.) was asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah, as for Salaam upon you, we know how to do it. But how is Salaat upon you’? the Prophet (S.A.S.) said, ‘Say, Allahumma Salli ala Muhammad Wa ala aale Muhaamad Kamaa Sallaita ala aale Ibraheema Innaka hammedum Majeed.
Allahumma Barik ala Muhammad Wa ala aale Muhammad Kama barakta ala aale Ibraheema Innaka hameedum Majeed. (Bukhari, Tafseer Ibn Katheer Vol.3 Pg.507).
The above hadith quoted by Imam Bukhari shows that when the verse of Sura Ahzaab was revealed commanding the believers to send Salaat and Salaam to the Prophet (S.A.S.), the companions of the Prophet (S.A.S.) wanted to know the manner in which they should send salaat upon him. As such, they asked to explain the method of doing it.
As for Salaams, (greetings) they already knew about it since they were taught to send greetings in their tashahud.
This understanding of the hadith has been clearly highlighted in another tradition recorded by Imam Tirmizi. The hadith states that Abdur Rahman bin Abi Laila narrates from Kaab bin Ujrah (R.A.) who states, ‘When the verse, ‘Certainly Allah and His angels send blessings (salaat) upon the Prophet. O you who believe send blessings (salaat) upon, him and greet him with salaams (greetings),’ we (the companions) said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, we know how to send greetings/ salutations (salaams) upon you, but how should we send (blessings) salaat upon you’? the Prophet (S.A.S) said, ‘Say, Allahumma salli ala Muhammad wa ala aale Muhammad kama salaita ala Ibraheema wa ala aale Ibraheema innaka hameedum Majeed.
Wa baarik ala Muhammad wa ala aale Muhammad kama barakta ala Ibraheema wa ala aale Ibraheema innaka hameedum Majeed’. Having quoted this, Hafiz Ibn Katheer, states, ‘The meaning of the statement, ‘we know how to send greetings to you’ means that they knew how to salute him since they were taught the tashahud’. (Tafseer ibn Katheer vol.3 pg.507).
Similar tradition have been narrated by different compilers of hadith with almost the same meaning. Imam Bukhari has narrated another narration from Abu Saeed Al Khudri with similar words of asking Allah to send blessings upon the Prophet ( S.A.S.).
Imam Ahmad has narrated a similar tradition from Abu Humaid As Sa’idi (R.A.), Imam Muslim has narrated a similar hadith from Abu Mas’ud Al Ansari ( R.A.). Abu Dawood, Imam Tirmizi, Nasai, Ibn Jareer, Ibn Khuzaima, Ibn Habban, Hakim have all narrated such traditions.
All the above traditions clearly show that the Prophet (S.A.S.) taught the sahabahs (companions) and by extension the entire Ummah the manner of sending ‘Salaat and Salaam’ upon him. It is therefore impermissible for any Muslim to invent a new method in this regard and then classify it as the way of sending ‘Salaat and Salaam’ to the Prophet ( S.A.S.).
As for the act of standing for the Prophet (S.A.S.) (Qiyam) which is erroneonly called ‘Tazeem’, there is no source in the shariah that supports this and as such, we do not find this custom among the sahabahs, Tabieen, Tabut Tabieen and all others from the early centuries of Islam.
Instead, we find that the Prophet (S.A.S.) has himself condemned this act of standing for him. In this regard Imam Tirmizi has mentioned the following traditios.
1)’The chapter of the dislike for the standing for a person’. Imam Tirmizi says from Abdullah ibn Abdur Rahman from Affan from Hammad ibn Salamah from Humaid from Anas, he said: ‘There was no person more beloved to us than the messenger of Allah (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). However, whenever we saw him we did not stand because we knew of his dislike for this’.
This is an undisputed sound and authentic tradition among the great scholars of hadith from the sahabahs, tabieen and tabut tabieen. There is absolutely no one from among the accepted, famous and renowned muhaddithin (traditionalists) who have mentioned that this hadith is weak or unsound. As such there is a unanimous agreement among the scholars that the above hadith is sound, good and authentic.
The point which is established from this hadith is that Anas is saying that the Rasool (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was the most beloved of all people to the sahabas. The extent of their love as proven from authentic traditions is that they would do anything for him. History shows that the sahabas sacrificed their lives for him, they gave their wealth for his cause, they turned against their dear and beloved ones for the sake of his companionship. They were sad when he was sad and they were happy when he was happy.
The like of this love, which they had for the Rasool, cannot be found in the world today among the Muslims. However with all this love, (they had for him which would have prompted them to stand), they respected his wishes very much (which is a great indication of their love for him) and did not stand. Not only did he stop them from standing, but also the hadith says, ” He disliked it “.
The fact, which is established here is that the sahaba’s not standing for the Rasool, was an expression of their undying love for him, an action that was taught to the sahabas by the Rasool (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) himself.
After understanding that this hadith is sound and authentic, it will be a great form of injustice and fabrication to dismiss it as being weak. If anyone says it is weak, they must provide sufficient reliable and authentic information to prove it for certainly there is no differing opinions among the scholars of hadith with respect to its soundness and authenticity.
2) ‘The Chapter of the dislike of standing for a person’. Imam Tirmizi says from Mahmood ibn Ghailan from Qabisa from Sufyan from Habib ibn As Shaheed from Abu Mijlaz. He said: Muawiyyah came out and Abdullah ibn Zubair and Ibn Safwan stood up upon seeing him. He said to them: ‘Be seated’ for I heard the messenger of Allah (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) saying:
‘Whosoever, is happy that people should stand for him, then let him take a place in the fire of hell’.
The above tradition has been mentioned by both Imam Tirmizi and Abu Dawood and has been considered as good, sound and authentic by both of them along with the other scholars of hadith. No one from among the authentic, reliable and famous scholars of hadith has considered it to be weak or has even differed in their opinions regarding its soundness.
This tradition shows clearly that the sahabas practiced whatever they learnt from the Rasool (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). As such in the above tradition, when the people stood out of respect) for Hazrat Muawiyyah, he immediately ordered them to sit He then explained why he did not want them to stand for him by saying, ‘I have heard the messenger of Allah (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him saying, ‘Whosoever is happy that people should stand for him, then let him prepare his destination in the fire of hell’.
It is understood from this hadith that the prophet (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not encourage people to stand up for each other. It is for this reason he used such a harsh statement.
3) ‘The Chapter of a man standing up for another man’. Abu Dawood reports from Abu Bakr ibn Abi Shaiba from Abdullah ibn Numair from Misar from Abu Anbas from Abu Adabas from Misar from Abu Adbas from Abi Marzook from Abi Ghalib from Abu Umamah he said: The messenger of Allah (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came out to us leaning on a staff and we stood up for him .He said: ‘Do not stand as the none Arabs do, exhalting and showing greatness to one another’.
This hadith has been narrated by Imam Abu Dawood and is a sound and authentic tradition. There are no differences among the scholars of hadith regarding its soundness.
It is established in this hadith that the sahabas wanted to show their love and respect for the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and as such, they stood up. However as soon as they stood up for him he said to them” Do not stand”
For those who are aware of the Arabic Language they would see that the Prophet said, ‘Laa Taqoomoo’, which is the negative imperative tense, meaning that he is commanding them be saying. ‘Do not stand’. Further in the hadith, he explains to them that this act of standing for each other in order to show your respect or to show greatness to someone is a non Arab practice which should not be adopted by Muslims .It is for this reason, he said “Do not stand” as the non Arabs do, exhalting and showing greatness to each other.
It is clearly understood from this hadith that the sahabas once stood for the rasool (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) out of respect, but he stopped it and commanded them by saying, “Do not stand”. As such, full respect, love and obedience to the Rasool (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) would be achieved by being obedient to his command, which he gave to the sahabas.
The result of this statement along with the hadith narrated by Annas is that the sahabas never stood for the messenger of Allah (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) out of respect, love or obedience. Since they were all prohibited by the Rasool (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) himself from doing so. This therefore brings about the Ijma (unanimous agreement) of the sahabas of not standing for the Rasool (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
It is thus very unfortunate that during his lifetime, while he was alive, he prohibited his followers from standing for him, and now that he has gone back to Allah, people are neglecting his wishes and have considered his prohibition as being permitted.
On this topic of standing, there are instances where standing for a person is evident in certain traditions. In order that these traditions be not misconstrued or misunderstood or be used to justify the prohibited standing, we will give a small explanation of those instances.
I) It is evident in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim that the prophet (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to stand up for his daughter Fatima when she used to enter his house, and she used to stand up for him when he entered her house. So this is permissible and desirable. This is because it is standing up for the guest to meet him and honour him, due to the saying of the prophet (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): “Whoever believes in Allah and the last day, then let him honour his guest”.
It is evident from Sahih Al Bukhari and Sahih Al Muslim that once the Prophet (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) sent for the leader of the Ansaar, Saad (may Allah be pleased with him). Saad (may Allah be pleased with him) was injured and was coming to the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) on a donkey. Upon his arrival, the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to the Ansaars, “Stand up for your chief”. Upon this the Ansaars stood for him.
Some people have used this to prove that standing out of respect, to honour someone is evident from this hadith. A deeper look into this incident will however reveal that this is not the case. The reason is that it is evident in the other tradition that the Prophet (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Stand for your chief, then help him down “. So the reason for mentioning this statement was that Saad was injured and the Messenger (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) requested him to judge between the Jews, so he came riding on a donkey and when Saad arrived the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to the Ansaar: “Stand up for your chief then help him down. “So they stood up for him, then they helped him down.
This standing was desirable due to the support of Saad, the chief of the Ansaar (may Allah be pleased with him) who was injured upon falling from his donkey, but the messenger (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon hi m) and the rest of the companions did not stand up for him.
3) It is reported that when the companion Kaab bin Malik entered the masjid while the companions were seated only Talha stood up quickly for him to inform him of the acceptance of his repentance (after he had not participated in the Jihad). This standing is permissible when delivering good news to a sad man. The good news that Kaab bin Malik received was of the acceptance of his repentance from Allah the most high.
4) The standing up for the one arriving from travel in order to hug him. We note that all these narrations have come with the wordings “for the chief” and “Talha stood up for him “, and “he stood up for his daughter Fatima”, so they prove the permissibility of standing up in contrast with the narrations prohibiting standing up, there is a difference between standing up for someone to support or honour him and between standing up for the glorification of someone else.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Waseem Khan