Ruling on adding ‘Sayyidinaa’ to the tashahhud – Shaykh Muhammad Amaan al Jaami (rahimahullaah)

The Thirteenth and Fourteenth Pillar:

“Allaahumma Salli ‘alaa Muhammadin wa ‘alaa Muhammadin kamaa Salayta ‘alaa ibraaheema wa ‘alaa Aali ibraaheema Innaka Hameedun Majeed” [O Allaah, send your praises upon Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as you sent praises upon Ibraaheem and the family of Ibraaheem. Verily, You are Most-Praiseworthy, Most Glorified]

This version of the tashahhud is well known. There are other forms of it as well.You may memorize whichever wording of the tashahhud that you like. However, choose one that is agreed upon. And if you hear someone using a tashahhud that varies from this one, do not condemn him.Tha same could be said about sending Salaat on the Prophet (Sallallaahu alaihi wa Sallam) if you have memorized the version mentioned here by the author. There are other ways of saying it as well. And we have stated many times that there exists many ways of doing it. Perhaps all of these ways (of sending salaat on the Prophet) have been gathered together by the great Scholar Ibn Al-Qavvim in his book which is unique in its subject: Jalaa-ul-Afhaam fis-Salaati ‘alaa Khair-il-Anaam.”

The Salaat mentioned here (i.e. above) is known as the Abrahamic Salaat. The most comprehensive form of it is the one that has been agreed upon, which is:

“Allaahumma Salli ‘alaa Muhammadin wa ‘alaa Aali Muhammad kamaa salaita ‘alaa Ibraaheema wa ‘alaa Aali Ibraaheem. Innaka Hameedun Majeed. Wa Baarik Muhammadin wa ‘alaa Aali Muhammad kamaa baarakta ‘alaa Ibraaheema wa ‘alaa Aali Ibraaheem. Innaka Hameedun Majeed.”

This manner of saying it is agreed upon. And there are many other ways. However you should take note that none of the versions of the Abrahamic Salaat that have been recorded by Ibn Al-Qayyim in his afore-mentioned book contain an mention of the word “Sayyidinaa” our master) such as: “Allaahumma Salli ‘alaa Sayyidinaa Muhammad.”

Many of our sensitive Muslim brothers, if you don’t say “Sayyidinaa” when sending Salaat and just say “Allaahumma Salli ‘alaa Muhammad” , will perhaps think bad thoughts about you and say: “This person doesn’t have any respect for Allaah’s Messenger!”

In fact, this very thing actually did happen, for one time a Moroccan man on Hajj told me: “0 Shaikh! I have attended your lessons from the first class till now while traveling. But I notice about you that when you send Salaat on the Prophet (Sallallaahu alaihi wa Sallam), you say ‘ Allaahumma Salli ‘alaa Muhammad’ and I never heard you once say: ‘ Allaahumma Salli ‘alaa Sayyidinaa Muhammad.’ Why is this O Shaikh?”

He asked a good question and I clarified the matter to him, thus reducing the irritation found in him since he would become very annoyed whenever he would hear someone send Salaat on the Prophet and not say: “Allaahumma Salli Sayyidinaa Muhammad.”

The Muslim common-folk do not make any distinction in matters. Perhaps they think that someone who leaves out the word “Sayyidinaa” does not respect the Prophet and does not love him in the manner that he deserves.

The reply: This is ignorance. It may even be called compound ignorance. Compound ignorance is when someone is ignorant and he doesn’t know that he is ignorant. If you don’t know that you don’t know something then this is ignorance on top of ignorance. So what is it that someone with ignorance attached to him knows? Nothing!

The point is that Muhammad, the Messenger of Allaah (Sallallaahu alaihi wa Sallam) is our leader (Sayyid). He is the leader of all of mankind – all of the descendants of Aadam. This is what I worship Allaah with. We must believe this, in accordance with what he has informed us: “I am the Sayyid (leader) of mankind on the Day of Judgement. I am the Sayyid (leader) of the children of Aadam, and I do not say this to boast” We are obligated to believe that he is the Sayyid (leader) of all of mankind.

But in spite of this, when he (Sallallaahu alaihi wa Sallam) taught the Companions how to send Salaat on him and when he dictated the Abrahamic Salaat to them during the revelation of the ayah:

“Verily Allaah and His Angels send Salaat (praises) on the Prophet. O you who believe, send your praises (Salaat) and greetings (Salaam) on him” [Surah Al-Ahzaab: 56]

When this ayah was revealed, the Companions asked: “0 Messenger of Allaah(Sallallaahu alaihi wa Sallam), you have already taught us how to send greetings (of Salaam) upon you, but we have been ordered to (also) send praises (Salaat) upon you, so how do we send Salaat on you?”

It is possible that this sort of questioning occurred in several different gatherings based on the fact that there are numerous manners of sending Salaat on the Prophet (Sallallaahu alaihi wa Sallam). The Prophet (Sallallaahu alaihi wa Sallam) taught his Companions to say it like this: “Allaahumma Salli ‘alaa Muhammad.” This does not mean that he (Sallallaahu alaihi wa Sallam) revoked his status of leadership and that he was no longer a Sayyid.

You have noted that at times the Prophet (Sallallaahu alaihi wa Sallam) would condemn people in certain circumstances who would make statements that were understood to contain exaggeration and extremism with regard to himself. He (Sallallaahu alaihi wa Sallam) would condemn the one who said: “You are our Sayyid (leader), son of our Sayyid. And you are the best among us, son of the best among us” even though he really is the Sayyid (leader) of mankind.

However, he did this because he feared that this man was being afflicted with extremism. Going to extremes with regard to the righteous people is one of the main causes of others being worshipped besides Allaah. So in order to protect the sanctuary of Tawheed, he told him no. He forbade him from (saying) that, saying: “I am only a slave, so say: ‘The slave and messenger of Alhall.'” This was even in spite of his prior statement in which he announced that he was the Sayyid (leader) of the children of Aadam. However, there is no contradiction between this statement and that statement since each situation warrants its own statement depending on its circumstances.

The situation in which the Prophet condemned the man was a situation that warranted such a condemnation and warning, whereas the situation in which he (Sallallaahu alaihi wa Sallam) announced he was the Sayyid (of mankind) was due to the fact that he was talking about his (Sallallaahu alaihi wa Sallam) intercession. So he was clarifying its reality the reality that he is the Sayyid (leader) of all of mankind.

The point we are trying to make here is: Sending Salaat on the Prophet should be done by using one of the versions that have been reported in the texts. You should not add the phrase Sayyidina (our leader) to it even though the Prophet is our Sayyid. I hope that this point is understood. Furthermore, after making this point clear, I would like to reiterate that we must believe and affirm, in accordance with his report, that the Prophet (Sallallaahu alaihi wa Sallam) is our Sayyid (leader). However, when sending Salaat upon him, we should not say: “Allaahumma Salli ‘alaa Sayyidinaa.” Rather we should just say: “Allaahumma Salli ‘alaa Muhammad” since this would be following his example, implementing his teachings, and carrying out his instructions.

This statement stuns some people, which is why I must say again that the scholars have unanimously agreed that it is not permissible for a Muslim who wants to worship Allaah through words of supplication that have been reported in the texts to add, subtract, change or replace any of those words.

The scholars of Hadeeth, with their intricate memory and understanding of the texts, use as evidence one single report, which others perhaps are not aware of the basis of proof found in it. This report is about the time when the Prophet taught one of his Companions the supplication one should make when going to bed. The supplication contains the following words:

“Aamantu bi-Kitaabik aladhee anzalta wa Nabee’ik aladhee arsalta.”
I believe in Your Book that You revealed and in Your Prophet that You sent.

This Companion began to repeat this supplication in order to memorize it, but then on one occasion, said: “…wa Rasoolik aladhee arsalta” , i.e. “…in Your Messenger that You sent.”

What did he do? He replaced the word “Nabee” (Prophet) with the word “Rasool” (Messenger). This Companion then narrated that: “The Prophet (Sallallaahu alaihi wa Sallam), tapped my chest and said: “No, say: Wa Nabee’ik aladhee arsalta.”

This is clear proof that it is not proper for a person who wishes to follow Allaah’s Messenger (Sallallaahu alaihi wa Sallam) and abide by his teachings to add, subtract, change or replace (these supplications) based on his own accord. The “Messenger” and “Prophet” are two valid titles for Prophet Muhammad. However, we cannot change the supplication from the manner in which it was reported since that is the way the Prophet (Sallallaahu alaihi wa Sallam) stated it.

The Prophet (Sallallaahu alaihi wa Sallam) does not speak from his own desire. So these were revealed to the Prophet (Sallallaahu alaihi wa Sallam) through revelation from Allaah. Meaning: The legislation of these words of remembrance that are to be said at the time of sleeping came down from the heavrns. So if something was revealed to the Prophet(Sallallaahu alaihi wa Sallam) and he conveyed it to his, Companions in the same manner in which it was sent down, it would not be proper for the Companions to change that. And we should follow their example, and Allaah knows best.

Taken from the Book “An Explanation of ‘The Conditions, Pillars and Requirements of Prayer” Published by al-ibaanah – Explained by Shaykh Muhammad Amaan al Jaami (rahimahullaah) . You are encouraged to buy this Beautiful Book.

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