Does it amount to shirk to say ‘as-salaamu ‘alaika ayyuha n-nabiyyu’ (Peace be on you, O Prophet!) during salat?


Someone wrote to Huzooraa asking whether reciting tashahud during Salat and saying:

اَلسَّلَامُ عَلَیْکَ أَیُّھَا النَّبِیُّ

“Peace be on you, O Prophet!”, was committing shirk because the words are addressed to a living being.

Huzooraa, in his letter dated 6 June 2018, gave the following reply:

“It is proven by authentic ahadith that this prayer, which is recited in tashahud, was taught to the Companionsra by the Holy Prophetsa himself and he said that when one offers this prayer, this supplication will reach every righteous servant of Allah in the Heavens and the Earth. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Azan)

“In other words, the Holy Prophetsa has himself clarified that this prayer of ours reaches the living, and those who have passed away also receive the blessings of this prayer.

“Therefore, one should not develop any kind of superstition, assuming that the second person pronoun or the vocative particle etc. used in such prayers may be considered shirk because the recipient of those prayers has passed away.

“There is no shirk in this because just as Allah the Exalted has made the air a means of conveying the voice of one person to another in this world, similarly He has made angels the means of conveying our prayers to the deceased in the spiritual world. Therefore, when we go to cemeteries, the supplication that we recite there also begins with:

اَلسَّلَامُ عَلَیْکُمْ یَا أَھْلَ الْقُبُورِ

“‘Peace be upon you, O dwellers of the graves!’, which does not mean at all that we are seeing these people or that they are physically present before us.

“Regarding this matter, the Promised Messiahas was asked whether the deceased hear the call of:

اَلسَّلَامُ عَلَیْکُمْ یَا أَھْلَ الْقُبُورِ

Upon this, the Promised Messiahas said:

‘Look! It is not as if they respond to the salutation with “Wa alaikumus-salam” [And peace be on you too]; rather, Allah the Exalted conveys the salutation (which is a supplication) to them. Air is a means by which we hear a voice, but it is not the means by which you communicate with the deceased; rather, Allah the Exalted makes the angels the means of conveying “Assalamo alaikum”. The case with Durood Sharif is the same. Angels convey those salutations to the Holy Prophetsa.’ (Al Badr, 16 March 1904)

“Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira explains this matter as follows:

‘In times when feelings of immense love or immense grief occur, one calls those who are not physically present. This does not mean that they are physically present, rather it is an expression of love.’ (Al Hakam, 10 February 1904)”

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