Sunday, December 9, 2012

Saying the Salawat in 1st Tashahhud

The Correct View – Saying the Salawat in 1st Tasyahhud

بسم الله  و الحمد لله و الصلاة و السلام على رسول الله و على آله و صحبه و من اتبعه ، أما بعد

The General Overview to this issue:

When we perform a solat of more than 2 units of raka‘ah in congregation (jama‘ah), usually we notice that the imam does not sit long in his sitting for the First Tasyahhud. In fact, it is a common perception that one should not prolong the sitting of the First Tasyahhud. Not only that, some even hold the opinion that it is a detestable act or Makrooh to make the sitting of the First Tasyahhud long.


Briefly we can conclude that these opinions suggest, whether one is praying as an imam (leader), makmum (follower) or munfarid (prays individually), he/she should:

  1. Say the Tasyahhud without the Salutations/Prayers (Salawat) upon Rasulullah – i.e. when he/she has completed saying: “أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله و أشهد أن محمدا رسول الله”, he/she immediately say the takbier “Allaahu akbar” and rise for the 3rd Raka‘ah.
  2. Or when he/she comes to the abovementioned phrase, he/she adds an abbreviated “Salawat” by saying: “اللهم صل على محمد” or “اللهم صل على محمد و على آل محمد” immediately say the takbier “Allaahu akbar” and then rise to continue with the solat/prayer.

The correct view and attitude:

These opinions have their basis, as will be explained, yet, to put into action the command of Rasulullah:

صـلوا كما رأيـتـمونـي أصلـي

Pray as you have seen me performed the prayer[1] as well as to fulfill the obligation that Allah has ordered us with, if we hope to be loved and pardoned by Allah as He clearly said:

قل إن كنتم تحبون الله فاتبعوني يحببكم الله و بغفر لكم ذنوبكم

“Say (O Muhammad), if you sincerely and truly love Allah, then follow me, for (by following me) Allah will surely love you and pardon you of your sins.[2] We will have to re-evaluate these opinions and to act upon the most righteous of opinions based on the teachings of Rasulullah

Allah also says:

فلا و ربك لا يؤمنون حتى يحكموك فيما شجر بينهم ثم لا يجدوا في أنفسهم حرجا مما قضيت و يسلموا تسليما

 “By your Lord (O Muhammad)! They are not believers until they make you the judge for whatever disputes they have among them and then they do not find any reluctance in submitting to your judgment and they accept it wholeheartedly.[3]

The verse above reminds us that our iman, faith or belief, is not complete in Allah’s Sight, until we take Rasulullah as our reference and willingly accept all his teachings and guidance wholeheartedly without any reluctance or dissatisfaction.

Allah also says:

 يا أيها الذين أمنوا أطيعوا الله و أطيعوا الرسول و أولي الأمر منكم فإن تنازعتم في شيء فردوه إلى الله و الرسول  إن كنتم تؤمنون بالله و اليوم الآخر ذلك خير و أحسن تأويلا

“O you who believe, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and your leaders (political and religious) from amongst you (the believers). Then, if you are in dispute over a matter, refer (to gain guidance and resolve the disputes) to (the Book of) Allah and the (Sunnah of the) Messenger, if you truly believe in Allah and the Hereafter. That is the best (for you) and will bring about the best outcome..[4]

It is crystal clear that Allah made it an obligation upon us to obey our scholars. However, our obedience to them is to be confined within the limits of our obedience to Allah and His Messenger, because Allah did not repeat the word “obey” but instead “and your leaders” and Allah made it very clear , if you are in dispute” and it is not to go beyond our obedience to Allah and the Messenger. Thus, we are not to obey them whenever they contradict, whether deliberately[5] or unintentionally, the Book of Allah and the teachings of the Messenger. This has been the very teaching and methodology of our Salafussolih or the Pious Predecessors. 

al-Imam Muhammad bin Idries asy-Syafi‘ie (wafat: 204H), the Defender and Helper of as-Sunnah said:

أَجْمَعَ المسلِمون عَلى أَنَّ مَن اسْتَبانَ لَهُ سُنَّة عَنْ رسول الله؛ لَمْ يَحِلْ لَه أَنْ يَدَعَها لِقَوْلِ أَحَدٍ

The Muslims (scholars) are in concensus stating that whoever becomes clear to him a Sunnah of Rasulullah ; it is not permissible (forbidden - haram) for him to neglect the Sunnah for the sake of following any other opinion.[6]

Indeed, we discover that scholars have different opinions in this matter, that is, how long should one sit for his First Tasyahhud. Undoubtedly, the strongest evidence and most righteous justification in describing Sifat Solat Nabi or the manner the Prophet performed his prayer, for us to follow, are as to be mentioned below:

The Clarification:

al-Ustadz Sayyid Sabiq said in his beneficial book titled Fiqh as-Sunnah:

 “التشهد الأول...استحباب التخفيف فيه...و يستحب التخفيف فيه فعن ابن مسعود:  - 17- About the First Tasyahhud/Tahiyat …Mustahab/Recommended to shorten (not to prolong)…and it is recommended to shorten it, as from Ibn Mas‘ud:” [7]

asy-Syeikh al-Albaniy, commenting on  al-Ustadz Sayyid Sabiqon this, he said:

“As for the First at-Tasyahhud/ at-Tasyahhud al-Awal…his conclusion is to shorten it: < Imam Ibnul Qayyim said: “It has never been narrated that  Rasulullah made salutations of prayers (Salawat) on himself and on his family in the First Tasyahhud ….and those who opined that  it (i.e. the prayer/salawat) is recommended (in the First Tasyahhud) merely understood it from a general deduction (a conclusion from the generality of the Messenger’s command to say the prayer/salawat after Tasyahhud, taking it in general, applicable to the Final as well as the First Tasyahhud) and…mutlaq (unconditionally not restricted or limited to the Final Tahiyat/Tasyahhud), whereby it should be clear by now, that it is restricted only to the Final Tasyahhud Akhir…>

My comment:

There is no legal evidence that is strong enough to support this (this claim of Ibn al-Qayyim’s), that is, to limit or restrict the generality and unconditional meaning (of his instruction) only to the Final Tasyahhud. Hence it remains in it’s generality and unconditional meaning (i.e. the Prophet commanded us to say the salutation in general, thus emcompassing and including both the Final and the First Tasyahhud). The most reliable proof for those who refuse to accept its generality, is the hadeets of  Ibn Mas‘ud[8] which is mentioned in this book (Fiqh as-Sunnah), which is however, not authentic due to it’s Isnad for having an Inqita (a break in the chain of narration), as mentioned by the author (Ustadz Sayyid Sabiq). Ibn al-Qayyim sufficiently clarified the evidences of both parties [those who recommended the prayers (salawat) and those who said it as detestable in the First Tasyahhud], the strength and weaknesses of their arguments and proofs in his very beneficial book <جلاء الأفهام في الصلاة على خير الأنام>, so do refer to it, for indeed it will be clear to you, that the most righteous opinion is the one that we chose (even though  Ibn al-Qayyim himself supported and chose otherwise - translator).

Then I found a proof that disqualifies Ibn al-Qayyim’s unconditional conclusion, which he said: < It has never been narrated that  Rasulullah sent prayers (Salawat) on himself and on his family in the First Tasyahhud ….>, that is ‘A-isyah description of the Prophet’s Night Prayer – his Qiyamullayl/Tahajjud: {Usually we will prepare for Rasulullah his siwak stick and water for his purification, and as Allah wills, he would wake up, brush his teeth with the siwak stick and perform wudu’, then he would perform his Solat (Tahajjud and Witir) 9 units of Raka‘ah, without sitting (for Tahiyat/Tasyahhud) except at the end of the 8th Raka‘ah (he would sit for his First Tasyahhud), he supplicates to Allah (say the Tahiyat/Tasyahhud) and say the prayer/salawat upon His Prophet, then he would rise without giving salam to perform his 9th Raka‘ah, and finally he would sit (for his Final Tasyahhud/Tahiyat Akhir), praise his Lord, sending prayers/Salawat uopn His Prophet and make doa, then he would give salam, loud enough for us to hear him.} the hadeets.[9]

In it (the hadeets), is the clear proof that he did say the Prayer/ Salawat upon himself in the First Tasyahhud/Tahiyat as he did for his Final Tasyahhud/Tahiyat Akhir…it is also not appropriate to restrict this exclusively to the Night Prayer/Tahajjud only, because what he  taught or acted upon in a prayer, it is applicable as his teaching in all other prayers, regardless of the status/type of Solat, obligatory (fard) or superogatory/voluntary (sunnat) and whoever claims that there is a difference between them, then the one who makes such claim must produce a valid proof for that[10].”[11]   

            As we have known of the great scholar, Ibn al-Qayyim’s (wafat: 751H) opinion, there is “no Prayer/Salawat in the First Tasyahhud/Tahiyat” by means of the generality of what is to be understood as only limited to the Final Tasyahhud/Tahiyat Akhir and “there is no proof” to do it in the First Tasyahhud, which is clear to us now that there is a proof from the Prophet’s own action himself, he said the prayer/Salawat in the First Tasyahhud, yet some scholars hold the same opinion like Ibn Qayyim’s, i.e. not to say the Prayer/ Salawat  in the First Tasyahhud based on the weak hadeets, which is said to be from Ibn Mas‘ud.

Next, we re-evaluate the explanation of  al-Imam an-Nawawi in his famous book, al-Majmu‘one of the most important resources for the Fiqh of Madzhab asy-Syafi‘iyah.

al-Imam an-Nawawi (wafat: 676H) said:

“Far‘un (a subsidiary topic): The Prominent Scholars of our Madzhab said: It is disliked or detestable to add, in the First Tasyahhud, anything other than the Tasyahhud itself (translator: i.e. no Prayer/Salawat) and the addition of (adding it with) the Prayer/Salawat upon the Prophet or his family and followers, if we take it that it is still recommended, yet it is disliked or detestable to supplicate (do the doa -  the supplications prior to giving salam to end the prayer) or to prolong the sitting with any other dzikir, yet if a person does all these, his prayer is still valid and he does not have to perform the Sujuud of Forgetfulness (sujud sahwi), regardless whether he prolonged the sitting deliberately or out of forgetfulness, all these have been narrated by asy-Syeikh Abu Hamid from the very words (nas) of al-Imam asy-Syafi‘ie and his disciples (the students of asy-Syafi‘ie) were in concensus upon them. The basis for these is the hadeets of Abi ‘Ubaidah (the son of) Ibn Mas‘ud from his father (i.e Ibn Mas‘ud; the Sahabi @ Companion of the Prophet):

أن النبي كان في الركعتين الأوليين كأنه على الرَضْف قالوا حتى تقوم

{The Prophet when he would be in the Second Raka‘ah (First Tasyahhud/Tahiyat Awal) he would sit like one who sits on heated stones, such that he would quickly rise (for the Third Raka‘ah)} Narrated by Abu Dawud and at-Tirmidzi as well as an-Nasa-i. at-Tirmidzi said: It is a Hasan hadeets, however the truth is it is not (it is a weak hadeets), due to the fact that  Abu ‘Ubaidah did not hear any hadeets directly from his father (Ibn Mas‘ud) and never even met him, an agreed upon matter (by the Scholars of Hadeets and Narrations), thus it is a Munqati‘ hadeets (a broken chain/sanad narration) (a weak hadeets).”[12]

Muwaffaq ad-Dien, Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi (wafat 620H) also gave a similar explanation in al-Mughnie: 2/223-224, with reference to the view of some much earlier scholars, he said : “Faslun (a new topic): It is not recommended to add anything more than the Tasyahhud (in the First Tasyahhud) and not to lengthen this sitting. This is the opinion of an-Nakha‘ie, ats-Tsauriy dan Is-haq (bin Rahaweh/Rahouyah). Whereas asy-Sya‘biy held the view that it is permissible to say the Prayer/Salawat upon the Prophet in it (the First Tasyahhud). This is also the opinon of asy-Syafi‘ie…”[13] then he cited the very same hadeets an-Nawawi mentioned.

In conclusion, after this clarification, it has become clear to us, we inherit the teachings of our beloved Prophet and scholars, ‘ulama in matters of ibadah, our  solat, not according to our desires or whims without proofs and proper justification. Hence, the correct and most rigtheous is to say the Prayer/Salawat in the First Tasyahhud just like in the Final one, no difference, because

i.                    The Prophet himself set the example, sending Prayer/Salawat in the First Tasyahhud
ii.                  The basis for making the First Tasyahhud and it’s sitting shortened, justifying there should be no Prayer/Salawat, is a very weak hadeets, not a justified basis.

WalLahu a‘lam bis Sowab.

والحمد لله الذي بنعمته تتم الصالحات

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[1] Sahih narrated by al-Bukhariy, Muslim dan Ahmad and it is given in “Irwa’ al Ghaliel” hadeets no: 213.

[2] Al-Qur’an: Surah Ali-‘Imran: 3: 31

[3] Al-Qur’an: Surah an-Nisa’: 4: 65

[4] Al-Qur’an: Surah an-Nisa’: 4: 59

[5] This only applies to evil scholars, especially “so called scholars” and some contemporary scholars, not our pious predecessors; the 4 Imams and their likes.

[6] Ibnul Qayyim: 2/ 361, al-Filaniy pg: 68. A similar statement with a slightly different wording is in asy-Syafi‘ie’s ar-Risalah: no: 1171.

[7] Fiqh as-Sunnah: 1/160 (Arabic edition)

[8] To be mentioned later

[9] NB Abu ‘Awanah in his Sahih (2/324) it is also in Sahih Muslim (2/170), with a different wording.

[10] eg Solat Kusuf/Khusuf (Solar/Lunar Eclipse prayer) has 2 times ruku‘ in each raka‘ah, based on it’s specific proof (hadeets), different from other prayers.

[11] Tamam al-Minnah fie ta‘lieq ‘ala Fiqh as-Sunnah: 224-225

[12] Al-Majmu‘ syarh al-Muhadzdzab: 3:424

[13] al-Mughnie: 2/223-224
 
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