Saturday, 23 February 2013

5. Sending blessings on the Prophet (SAW) as mediation for the acceptance of prayer

Sending blessings on the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is highly cherished by Allah. The popularity and propriety of this act can be gauged from the fact that even if the person who is performing it happens to be a confirmed liar and a dyed-in-the-wool sinner, his act is not rejected. When he sends salutations on the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم), it is not only appreciated by Allah but is also given proper recognition.
One may ask what is the justification for accepting salutations on the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) from a person who is generally known as a blackguard and a sinner. The answer is that this act carries a variety of meanings, some of which are given below.
For example, to send mercy, to confer nearness on someone, to mention someone at a highly audible pitch of voice and to give blessing. Now if we reflect on these meanings, we come to realize that none of these blessings were denied to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم); he already possessed all of them. Allah’s blessings are being showered on him all the time and it is a continuous act. These blessings were showered on him at the beginning of time and will continue to visit him till the end of time, and there is no possibility whatsoever of the termination of this process. As far as nearness is concerned, the night of ascension is the most authentic witness to this phenomenon when all the distances between Allah and His beloved evaporated into thin air:
So when the distance between them was of two bow-lengths or even less than that.[19]
When this is the state of union during a single night, who could compute the grades of nearness which are being conferred on him without break or interruption. The height and glory of his stature is also unmatched. So the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) already embodies the entire spectrum of meanings associated with sending blessings on him. Therefore, when man sends his blessings on the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم), he is in fact saying: O Allah, send blessings on Your beloved. Allah says: O my servant, I am already sending blessings on him, conferring My mercy on him, glorifying him and drawing continuously closer to him. You need not stress it, it is already in process. Since you have not asked anything for yourself, you have not prayed for wealth and children, you have not prayed for recuperation from illness, and there is no personal motive behind your prayer but you have only expressed blessings for My beloved and implored Me to send these blessings on him, so I grant your prayer.
Since the process is going on even before the prayer, therefore, even if the person who is sending blessings on him happens to be a sinner, his prayer is accepted. This is the reason that this act is absolutely acceptable and, therefore, totally immune to any form of rejection or disinclination.

How to turn presumptuous worship into absolutely acceptable worship

All forms of worship are tentatively acceptable as they are based on the presumption that they will be accepted by Allah. Since an act of worship involves rigorous preparation and conformity to a set of conditions and prerequisites for which he has to spare time and sacrifice his personal comforts, therefore, it is his natural wish that his worship should be accepted and his labour should not go waste but Allah has His own way. It is stated:
To Him ascend pure words and He exalts righteous deed.[20]
Therefore, driven by his physical nature, man explores excuses and pretexts which may elevate his deeds to the level of divine acceptability and they may be acknowledged by Allah in spite of his weakness, flaws and lapses. Divine mercy has not left his natural desire in the lurch but, as an expression of His infinite mercy, He Himself has shown him the way that can transform his tentative acts of worship into an absolutely acceptable reality. And the way is that at the start and conclusion of each act, he should send blessings on the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم). Since this act is absolutely acceptable, therefore, whenever it is submitted to Allah, it will surely be acknowledged by Him, and it is beyond divine mercy that it should accept his blessings on the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and reject his acts that lie between the two salutations. Therefore, the most effective way to make one’s acts absolutely acceptable is to start and conclude them by sending blessings on the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم).

Sending blessings on the holy Prophet (SAW) as the last act in the universe

Almighty Allah says in the Holy Qur’ān:
All that is on earth will pass away, and there will abide forever the Person of Your Lord, Master of glory and honour.[21]
Every soul shall taste of death.[22]
When everything is reduced to extinction, only the Person of the Lord shall remain and there will be no one to praise and glorify Him, but the act of sending blessings on the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) will continue uninterruptedly as it is endorsed by Allah Himself:
Surely Allah and His angels invoke blessings on the Holy Prophet (and they will continue to do so).[23]
Each living being has to die. Each creature in this universe has to taste death. Allah Alone is eternally Existent. Since invoking blessings on the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is also a divine act, and since Allah is immune to extinction, His Act also is eternally surviving. That is why the word yusallūna has been used by the Qur’ān which includes both the present and the future and, therefore, is translated as “eternal”. The present never ends and each existing moment is the present and each moment that is to come is the future. Thus Allah’s invocation of blessings on the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is a continuous act and will continue forever. It has never been interrupted in the past nor will it be interrupted in the future. Therefore, it is conclusively established by the Qur’ān that sending blessings on the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is the last act in the universe and only this act has permanence on account of its divine orientation. And when we adopt it as a form of intermediation, our prayer will surely be granted.

[19]. Qur’ān (an-Najm) 53:9.
[20]. Qur’ān (Fātir) 35:10.
[21]. Qur’ān (ar-Rahmān) 55:26-7.
[22]. Qur’ān (Āl-i-‘Imrān) 3:185.
[23]. Qur’ān (al-Ahzāb) 33:56.


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