Ascribing to the Prophet the Fulfillment of Needs and the Removal of Harm

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Im having doubts about a durood known as “Durood Narriyah.”

The Arabic wording is like this:

للَّهُمَّ صَلِّ صَلاةً كَامِلَةً وَسَلِّمْ سَلَاماً تَامّاً
عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ الَّذِي تَنْحَلُّ بِهِ الْعُقَدُ
وَتَنْفَرِجُ بِهِ الْكُرَبُ وَتُقْضَى بِهِ الْحَوَائِجُ
وَتُنَالُ بِهِ الرَّغَائِبُ وَحُسْنُ الْخَوَاتِمِ
وَيُسْتَسْقَى الْغَمَامُ بِوَجْهِهِ الْكَرِيمِ
وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ فِي كُلِّ لَمْحَةٍ وَنَفَسٍ
بِعَدَدِ كُلِّ مَعْلُومٍ لَكَ

The English translation is like this:

“O Allah! Bestow complete blessings and perfect peace on our master Muhammad by whom all our difficulties are removed, all calamities and agonies prevented; all needs fulfilled; all our cherished desires obtained; and a good end to life; and send us rain-showering clouds by means of his noble countenance, and on his family and companions in every moment and every breath, as many times as is in Your Knowledge.” 

Does the durood contain shirk, as its saying that Rasulullah (saw) removes difficulties etc..? Or is the translation just bad?

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

The translation of this supplication is accurate, and its content is unobjectionable.

What Muslims Believe

It is the belief of all Muslims that Allah is the creator and sustainer of all things. From the perspective of pure divine oneness (tawhid), efficacy belongs only to Allah and never to creation. This is the reality indicated in the Qur’anic verse, “You did not slay them, but God slew them; and when you threw, it was not you that threw, but God threw,” (8:17) for it ascribes actions to creation but negates such an ascription at the same time. This is because while humans possess agency and acquire their actions, they do not create them. Allah does.

From this understanding, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the cited supplication. While we affirm that in reality Allah is the one who removes hardships, calamities, agonies, and fulfills our needs, it is unsound from an Islamic perspective to deem the ascription of these aspects to others as being “shirk”. Does medicine not remove the hardship of sickness? Or water the agony of thirst? Or food the need for satiation?

Undoubtedly, and we are more than aware as Muslims that it is not in reality the medicine, water, or food that intrinsically gives rise to these effects, but Allah who does. However, Allah has in his infinite wisdom created normative relationships between things and the effects they seemingly produce. Thus, no matter how many times you touch fire, you will get burnt because Allah has willed and created a relationship between fire and burning. This is His sunna in the world.

The Prophet: A Means by Which All Good is Sought

Likewise, Allah has made certain people a means for the lifting of the hardships and agonies of others, and the fulfillers of their needs. The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) is at the forefront of such people as established in countless traditions, such as:

1. The narration regarding the supreme intercession (shafa`ah al-udhma) that describes people on the Day of Judgment as being in a state of ”gloom and agony” until they ”approach Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace) and say, ‘O Muhammad! You are the Messenger of Allah, the seal of the messengers… intercede for us to your Lord. Do you not see what we are experiencing?” [Bukhari]

Here, the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) is sought by people as a means for the lifting of perhaps one of the greatest agonies they are facing.

2. The narration where `Ali (Allah be well pleased with him) was suffering from ophthalmia, an inflammation of the eyes, and the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) ”spat into his eyes and he was cured.” [Bukhari, Muslim] Here, the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) removed a physical hardship that `Ali was facing.

3. The narration where Ibn `Umar (Allah be well pleased with him) recites the verses describing the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) as ”A fair-skinned one by whose face rainclouds are sought.” [Bukhari] The Companions of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) would seek him out to attain rainfall and overcome famine.

4. The narration where the people “rushed in the direction of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace)” after he had performed ablution because they did not have any water to satiate their thirst with.

Upon informing the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) of their need, he “placed his hand in the container, and water began to flow from his fingers like a spring.” Here, the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) fulfilled the need people had of requiring water to drink and make ablution from.

5. The narration of the young man who came to the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) to offer his pledge of loyalty and “grasped the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) by the two sides of his waist and said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, I seek from you protection from the fire.'” When he was told by others around him to let go, he responded, “By the One Who has sent him, I shall not let go of him until he grants me protection from the fire!” [Bayhaqi, Shu`ab al-Iman]

There are countless other such narrations that establish the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) as a means by which Allah lifts the hardships of people, fulfills their needs, and grants them good. This is why the Companions and the righteous Muslims who followed them set their gaze on the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) as their means to worldly and next-worldly success.

It is completely within Allah’s power to accomplish His will in any manner He wills. In the same manner that food fulfills our hunger, the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) has been made the means for the fulfillment of many of our needs. There is no shirk in this, because ultimately we know it is Allah who is in reality running the show and no one else.

Having a Good Opinion of Scholars

Finally, it should be noted that often times such supplications have been transmitted to us by righteous scholars in the past. In this case, it is the Abdul Wahhab al-Tazi, a great scholar from Morocco who is counted amongst the spiritual masters of his time. It would be wise for us not to consider the words of such scholars whose knowledge and righteousness was attested to by numerous people as lacking even basic understanding of our religion: tawhid.

It is one thing to not understand certain statements; it is another thing to consider it shirk. The former is understandable while the latter is unacceptable. It would be from having a good opinion (husn al-dhann) of a fellow Muslim to simply consider the intent behind his utterance as sincere and sound even if one cannot fully grasp such an intent.

If you continue to have doubts, I would advise you to simply not read the mentioned supplication whilst maintaining a positive opinion of its author. Rather, suffice with what your heart connects to and feels at ease with. There are many ways to send blessings on the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace). May Allah increase you and us in love for him.