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Salawat is the symbol of love, friendship and devotion to the family of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.)

By: Hojjat al-Islam Muhsin Qaraati
Allahumma salli ala Muhammad wa ali Muhammad. O Allah! Send blessings on Muhammad and his progeny.
After bearing witness to tawhid and the risalah, we invoke blessings for Muhammad and his progeny (a).
Salawat is the symbol of love {muhabbah}, friendship {muwaddah} and devotion to the family of the Holy Prophet of Islam (S), which the Quran regards as the reward for the apostleship of the Prophet (S).[93][427]
Salawat is the polish for mans rusty soul[94][428] and it wipes away hypocrisy {nifaq}.[95][429] Salawat is a factor in wiping away sins,[96][430] a means for opening the gates of heaven,[97][431] the reason behind the angels supplication for man and asking for the forgiveness of his sins,[98][432] and a means of proximity to the Prophet (S) on the Day of Resurrection and the obtainment of his intercession {shafaah}.[99][433]
The one who has blissful fate is he whose last statement in the world is salawat.
God initially sends blessings {salawat} to the Prophet (S) and then orders us to send salawat:

Indeed Allah and His angels bless the Prophet. O you who have faith! Invoke blessings on him and invoke Peace upon him in a worthy manner.
From this verse and the following traditions, we have obtained these points below regarding salawat:
1. Salawat is a verbal gesture of respect, but what is more important is the practical obedience required as is indicated by the phrase, sallimu taslima.
2. The salawat of God and the angels is permanentyusallun in the present perfect tense.
3. The salawat of God is nobility {kiramah}; the salawat of the angels is mercy {rahmah}; and the salawat of the people is supplication {dua}.
4. It is recorded in the traditions: In addressing Hadrat Musa (a), God said, Send salawat upon Muhammad and his progeny as I and the angels do send salawat upon him.
5. The Messenger of Allah (S) said: To remember God is a form of worship and to remember me is also a form of worship, and the same is true with respect to my successor Ali ibn Abi Talib.
6. It is recorded in the traditions: For the acceptance of your supplication, send salawat first before supplicating. Not only the sending of salawat upon hearing the name of the Prophet (S) but also writing it after his name has reward. The Prophet (S) said: The angels are praying for the forgiveness of anyone who would send salawat to me in his book so long as my name exists in that book.

The manner of sending salawat
In the main books of the Ahl as-Sunnah, it is narrated that at the time of sending salawat, the progeny of Muhammad (S) should definitely be mentioned along with his name otherwise ones salawat is incomplete {abtar} and defective.
In the Tafsir Durr al-Manthur, it is narrated from the Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Sunan Tirmidhi, Sunan Nisai, Sunan Abu Dawud, and Sunan Ibn Majah, which are among the most important Sunni books, that someone asked the Prophet (S): We know how to greet you {salam}, but how should we send blessings to you? The Prophet (S) said: You say,

ٰ ٰ
O Allah! Send blessings on Muhammad and the progeny of Muhammad as You have sent blessings on Ibrahim and the progeny of Ibrahim. You are the Praiseworthy and Holy.
Imam ash-Shafii, the imam of the Shafii school of Sunni jurisprudence, expresses this issue in the following poem:
ٱ ٰ

O members of the Household {Ahl al-Bayt} of the Messenger of Allah! Loving you is an obligation, which God has revealed in the Quran.
On the greatness and loftiness of your station, it is enough that anyone who does not invoke blessings on you (in invoking blessings on the Prophet (S)), it is as if he has not invoked blessings at all.
Yes, remembering Muhammads progeny in every prayer indicates that after the Prophet (S) we have to refer to his Ahl al-Bayt (S) and not to others. And if it is not really so, mentioning the names of persons whose path is not necessary to tread, especially in every prayer, would be an act of extremism.
A certain person was clinging steadfastly to the Kabah and sending salawat but not including the progeny of Muhammad (S). Imam as-Sadiq said: This is an act of injustice against us.
The Prophet of God (S) said: Those who would deprive my progeny of salawat cannot smell the fragrance of paradise on the Day of Resurrection.[100][443] Similarly, assemblies where the Name of God as well as that of the Prophet (S) and his progeny are not mentioned will be a source of regret on the Day of Resurrection.[101][444]
It is interesting enough that it is thus recorded in the traditions: When the name of one of the prophets of God is mentioned, send blessings first to Muhammad and his progeny, and then invoke blessings and salutation on that prophet.
The Messenger of Allah (S) said: The real miser is he who hears my name but does not send salawat to me. He is the most unkind and unfaithful among people.

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