Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch
What should one reflect on when reading prayers and benedictions (Salawat) on the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace)?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate
Our scholars often repeat the importance of sending prayers on the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace). “It is one of the greatest ways to draw nearer to Allah Most High,” they say.
Allah Most High says, “Indeed, Allah sends blessings upon the Prophet, and His angels pray for him. O believers! Invoke Allah’s blessings upon him, and salute him with worthy greetings of peace.” [Qur’an; 33:56]
In the above verse, not only does Allah Most High command us to send prayers upon the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace), He tells us that He and His Angels do so.
Presence of Heart
When sending prayers on the Prophet, just as when doing any act of worship, the heart’s focus is most important. For this reason, our scholars encourage us to focus on certain things.
Specifically, regarding sending prayers on the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace), they encourage envisioning that you are before His blessed resting place directly address Him and that He is returning your greeting.
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “No one sends a greeting of Salaam to me except that Allah returns me my soul so I can return the greeting.” [Abu Dawud]
He also said, “Of the best days of yours is the day of Jumu’a… So send abundant prayers upon me therein, for indeed, your prayers are presented to me.” They said, “O Messenger of Allah! How are they presented to you after you have decomposed (in the grave).” He replied, “Indeed Allah Exalted and Majestic has prohibited the Earth from consuming the bodies of the Prophets…” [Ahmad]
Envisioning the Messenger
Another encouraged method is to envision the Messenger (may Allah bless him and give him peace) himself. This can be done by reflecting on His detailed description. One can also reflect on examples of His miraculous character within his biography.
Virtues of Sending Prayers on the Prophet
One of the significant evidences for the profound importance of sending prayers to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) is the vast amount of books written throughout the centuries on the rewards and virtues of this noble deed.
Even though the mention of one or two narrations regarding its virtues is in no way sufficient to show its importance, we will nonetheless mention some. And we pray to Allah Most High that He open upon our hearts its subtle realities and make us of those who send abundant prayers and those closest to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace)
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever sends one prayer upon me, Allah sends upon them ten.” [Muslim]
When quoting this narration, our teachers mention that if Allah Most High were to grant you one of the ten, it is sufficient for your success in this life and the Next; so what do you think about the one who sends 100 a day? Or the one who send 1,000? 10,000? 100,000?
Imam al-Tabarani narrates on the authority of Habban ibn Munqidh (Allah be pleased with him) that a man said, “O Messenger of Allah! What do you think if I appoint one-third of my allotted time of worship to send prayers upon you? He said, “Do so if you wish.” The man then said, “How about two-thirds?” He said, “That is good as well.” The man replied, “Then how about all my time?” The Messenger replied, “In that case, Allah will suffice you all that concerns you of your worldly and next worldly affairs.” [Tabarani; Bayhaqi]
Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
3574 – حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى بْنُ عُثْمَانَ بْنِ صَالِحٍ، ثنا عَمْرُو بْنُ الرَّبِيعِ بْنِ طَارِقٍ، حَدَّثَنَا رِشْدِينُ بْنُ سَعْدٍ، عَنْ قُرَّةَ بْنِ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ حَيْوِيلَ، عَنِ ابْنِ شِهَابٍ، عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ يَحْيَى بْنِ حَبَّانَ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ جَدِّهِ حَبَّانَ بْنِ مُنْقِذٍ أَنَّ رَجُلًا قَالَ: يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ أَجْعَلُ ثُلُثَ صَلَاتِي عَلَيْكَ؟، قَالَ: «نَعَمْ إِنْ شِئْتَ» ، قَالَ: الثُّلُثَيْنِ؟، قَالَ: «نَعَمْ» ، قَالَ: فَصَلَاتِي كُلَّهَا؟ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «إِذَنْ §يَكْفِيكَ اللهُ مَا أَهَمَّكَ مِنْ أَمْرِ دُنْيَاكَ وَآخِرَتِكَ»
ص35 – المعجم الكبير للطبراني – حبان بن منقذ الأنصاري
ص84 – مسند أحمد مخرجا – حديث أوس بن أبي أوس الثقفي وهو أوس بن حذيفة
2041 – حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَوْفٍ، حَدَّثَنَا الْمُقْرِئُ، حَدَّثَنَا حَيْوَةُ، عَنْ أَبِي صَخْرٍ حُمَيْدِ بْنِ زِيَادٍ، عَنْ يَزِيدَ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ قُسَيْطٍ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: «§مَا مِنْ أَحَدٍ يُسَلِّمُ عَلَيَّ إِلَّا رَدَّ اللَّهُ عَلَيَّ رُوحِي حَتَّى أَرُدَّ عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامَ»
ص218 – سنن أبي داود – باب زيارة القبور
Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York, where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and several texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.