Greetings and Salutations on the Prophet (PBUH)

The Acceptability of Salat and Salam

The Acceptability of Salat and Salam
Man demonstrates his allegiance to Allah at the behest of his virtuous deeds. He reverently complies with Divine commands. However, man cannot positively say that Almighty Allah has accepted his deeds, since deficiencies in his deeds may occur on account of human frailty and imperfection. So all deeds inclusive of charity, alms, prayers, fasting, pilgrimage stand uncertain in the context of acceptance and acknowledgement. It is only hoped that they will (if Allah is Willing) be accepted.
Towards Him do (all) words of purity ascend; it is He who exalts each deed of righteousness.[1]
In contrast to this, salat and salam is accepted by Allah in any instance and is always definitely acknowledged. Even if a sinful person recites salat and salam, his act of sending the greetings to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) will be acknowledged by all means.
One may question as to why salat and salam sent by an inadequate and sinful person is acceptable. What wisdom lies behind it? A close examination of the meanings of salat and salam reveals they are sent to bestow blessings; to bestow nearness and to elevate the name and fame of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم). All the aforesaid benedictions have already been bestowed upon the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) by Allah through His divine Practice. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has the utmost nearness of Allah, with ascension and elevation bestowed in abundance. Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says in the Holy Qur’an:
Then he (Muhammad) approached and came closer and was at the distance of two bow-lengths or (even) nearer.[2]
At another place, Almighty Allah states the exaltation and greatness of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) in these words:
And We have exalted for you your remembrance.[3]
So all the benefits and rewards of salat are already bestowed to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم). When a person implores Allah to bestow the blessings upon the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم), Allah says, "I am already blessing My Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم), elevating his name and bestowing him nearness. However, O My devotee, as you have not demanded anything for your own self and sent greetings and salutations to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) without seeking reward, so your supplication is granted." This is regardless of the fact if he is a sinner. That is why salat and salam will always be definite and certain in acceptance.

Salutations and the Acceptance of other Worships

As salat and salam upon the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is always accepted by right, it in itself becomes a vehicle for the acceptance of other acts of worship. Man bears hardship while worshipping His Creator so he aspires that all his worships may be acceptable in the court of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى). The Mercy of Allah is such that He does not frustrate man’s intrinsic desire for the acceptance of his deeds. Allah has bestowed a means on man for the materialization of his intrinsic desire. In all His benevolence He has informed man that he should recite salat and salam before and after each worship and deed. As salat and salam is a positive and definite act, therefore, Allah will accept it with any worship thereafter attached.
It is not behooving on the part of Allah, that He may accept salat and salam and not accept the other prayers in between salat and salam. The noble Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is the beloved of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى). Thus Allah is pleased with anyone of His creation who sends salam upon him. His pleasure is such that salat and salam becomes the most effective, magnificent and certain method for making deeds positively acceptable.
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) emphasized his closest companion, Ubayy bin Ka‘b (رضي الله عنه) to recite salat and salam abundantly. Ubayy bin Ka‘b narrated:
I said, "O Allah’s Messenger, I invoke blessings upon you very frequently. How much of my supplication should I devote to you?” He said, "As much as you like." I said, "May it be a quarter?" He said, "As much as you like, but if you make an increase in that it would be better for you." I said, "May it be a half?" He said, "As much as you like, but in case you make an increase in it that would be better for you." I said, "May these be two thirds?" He said, "As much as you like but if you make an increase in it, it would be better." I said, "May I devote the whole of my supplication to you (that I make in my prayer)?" Thereupon he said, "In that case you would be free from care and your sins would be forgiven.[4]
This preference and privilege to salat and salam is due to the vein of love and allegiance whereas all the other acts are under obedience and love has a better degree than submission.

Salat and Salam and Love for the Prophet (صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم)

Finally salat and salam is a symbol of love and affection for the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم). We love him, therefore, we have a desire to send blessings and peace upon him. We have to seek to be near him, and hope through his nearness we receive the nearness of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى). Intense and overwhelming love too acts as a vehicle for the acceptance of worship. Man may appear humble and subservient in the eyes of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), spend days and nights in his remembrance but acceptance is still not guaranteed.

The most pious predecessors have always commented, "O Allah, we could not worship You as You deserved." If this was the state of affairs with the pious, what would be the fate of the less fortunate? It is the most difficult thing to proffer the worship behooving the Glorified Creator. But love is an efficacious force that revamps frail and faulty deeds. If the tree of subservience dries up but its roots of love remain intact, there is an ample chance that the tree may become green and its shoots may sprout some day. But if the roots of love are absent some day the tree will fall. Love is everything. If there is any deficiency in subservience, it can be compensated with love. Any deficiency in love cannot be compensated with subservience. Subservience without love is ostentation and hypocrisy. Such subservience is spurned on the face of the performer. A person came to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and asked:
When will the Hour be established, O Allah’s Messenger?
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) asked:
What have you prepared for it?
The man said:
I have not prepared for it much of prayers, fast or alms, but I love Allah and His Messenger.
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said:
You will be with those whom you love.[5]
In this hadith the Prophet’s Companion has confessed lapses in his deeds and deficiency of worship deeming them the significant factors for salvation in the Divine Court. But the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) made it clear that love compensates this deficiency of subservience and faithfulness. He should not worry about his lapses in his deeds and assured him that love of Allah and His beloved Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) will make him succeed.







1. Qur’an (Fatir) 35:10.
2. Qur’an (an-Najm) 53:8-9.
3. Qur’an (ash-Sharh) 94:4.
4. Tirmidhi has graded it hasan (fair) and saheeh (sound) in his al-Jami‘-us-saheeh, b. of sifat-ul-qiyamah (description of Doomsday) ch.23, (4: 637 # 2457).
5. Bukhari has narrated it in his as-Saheeh, b. of adab (good manners) ch.97 (8: 123-4 # 192). Tirmidhi has also narrated this hadīth in his Sunan, b. of zuhd (piety) ch.50 (4: 595 # 2385), with an addition of few words. He graded it hasan and saheeh. He reported that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said to the inquirer giving him a good news, "Everyone will be with those whom he loves (al-mar’o ma‘a man ahabba)." Bukhari also narrated these words in other narrations (# 190 & 191); Ahmad bin Hambal in his Musnad (3: 104, 200).

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