In his book, Hayat-e-Qudsi, Hazrat Maulana Ghulam Rasul Sahib Rajekira states:
The importance and greatness of Durood Sharif is evident from the fact that God Almighty has declared it a part of this everlasting and eternal great form of worship that is the obligatory prayer [salat], which has been declared a point of distinction for every Muslim and the fulfilment of which has been declared as necessary for every believer as food is for the sustenance of life or medical treatment is for the cure of illness. Moreover, just as the word salat has been used for prayer in the Holy Quran and ahadith of the Holy Prophetsa, the same word has been selected for Durood Sharif. From this, it could be inferred that quite possibly the term salat for the daily prayer is based on the said part of the prayer, just as the names of some of the surahs of the Holy Quran are based on certain parts of the said chapters. Hence, Durood Sharif bearing the same name as the daily prayer indicates its importance and excellence with manifest glory.
The blessings of Durood
Durood Sharif is among the treasures of the most excellent good deeds. What greater blessing could there be than invoking Durood Sharif when God Almighty has declared that this action is also carried out by God Himself and His angels. Consequently, the believer who sends Durood Sharif imitates the action of God and His angels. However, it is a separate matter that the effect of Durood Sharif varies from person to person.
Since Durood Sharif is an attribute of the believers, it is also a characteristic of faith and a source of nearness to Allah the Almighty. Therefore, the Holy Prophetsa said, “Whoever sends durood on me once, Allah the Almighty will shower His mercy on him 10 times.” This good news is actually based on the following verse of the Holy Quran:
مَنۡ جَآءَ بِالۡحَسَنَةِ فَلَهٗ عَشۡرُ اَمۡثَالِهَا
[“Whoso does a good deed shall have ten times as much.” (Surah Al-An‘am, Ch.6: V.161)]
That is, the reward of a single good deed is at least 10 times more, but the scope of reward expands according to the expansion of one’s divine insight and noble intentions.
The essence of Durood Sharif
The meaning of sending durood on the Holy Prophetsa is evident from the words salat and salaam. The word salat, in view of the divine attributes of Al-Hameed [the Most Praise-worthy] and Al-Majeed [the Most Glorious], both of which have been placed in the supplication of Durood Sharif, means praising, extolling and praying for the majesty and glory of the Holy Prophetsa.
One meaning of the term salawat in the statement of God Almighty:
اُولٰٓئِكَ عَلَيۡهِمۡ صَلَوٰتٌ مِّنۡ رَّبِّهِمۡ
[“It is these on whom are blessings from their Lord”], is also “the most excellent praise” i.e. God Almighty also praises and regards them.
Likewise, the statement of the verse:
هُوَ الَّذِيۡ يُصَلِّيۡ عَلَيۡكُمۡ وَمَلٰٓئِكَتُهٗ لِيُخۡرِجَكُمۡ مِّنَ الظُّلُمٰتِ اِلَي النُّوۡرِ
[“He it is Who sends blessings on you, as do His angels, that He may bring you forth from all kinds of darkness into light”], shows that salat also means a mercy by which human beings are brought out of all kinds of darkness into the light.
In light of the said explanation, the meaning of invoking durood on the Holy Prophetsa would be that in compliance with the commandment of صَلُّوۡا عَلَيۡهِ وَسَلِّمُوۡا تَسۡلِيۡمًا[“You should invoke blessings on him and salute him with the salutation of peace”], all the believers should send blessings, salutations and praise on the Holy Prophetsa in face of the criticism and slander of the opponents and disbelievers about him. The disbelievers and the enemies want to cast a veil of obscurity and darkness with their evil propaganda so that people may not convert to Islam after realising the truthfulness of the Holy Prophetsa and witnessing the real and magnificent glory of his prophethood. Therefore, Allah the Almighty has commanded that where the opponents want to hide the true nature of the [prophethood] of the Holy Prophetsa by casting a veil of darkness over his truthfulness, you, the believers, should remove all the veils of darkness by refuting their objections and correcting their erroneous views, and letting the world see the real picture and the divine light of his truthfulness.
Consequently, on the one hand, with this salat and salaam of the believers, they will come out of the darkness created by their opponents, and on the other, the researchers and the seekers of truth will be enlightened by becoming aware of the real and magnificent glory of the Holy Prophetsa and accepting his truthfulness.
The four types of “salat” and “salaam”
Hence, the salat and salaam of the believers can be divided into four types:
1. They [the believers] should refute and emphatically reject the dark and misleading propaganda of the enemies and the opponents of the Holy Prophetsa and make it clear that he is not “muzammam” [despised] but “muhammad” [highly praised], and he is not a liar nor a fabricator but a true Prophet of God. It is mentioned in a hadith that the companions of the Imam Mahdi would mention the Mahdi frequently in every gathering. This also means that since the opponents of the Mahdi would spread false propaganda on a wide scale, the companions of the Mahdi would refute it in his defence and the accounts of the Mahdi would be frequently mentioned for the purpose of tabligh [preaching].
2. By becoming the true heirs of his teachings and his great moral excellences, [the believers should] show the world with pure examples and high morals that the character of the Holy Prophetsa was not that which his opponents and enemies present, but in fact, his example and character is that which the holy congregation of the believers is manifesting with their pure examples and good deeds owing to the holy teachings of the Holy Prophetsa. Consequently, the manifest truth of the Holy Prophetsa which will be demonstrated through the pure examples of the believers will bring the opponents out of the darkness of doubts.
3. By inviting every nation of the world towards the propagation of the holy teachings of the Holy Prophetsa and the tabligh of Islam, [the believers] should lift the veil of darkness and ignorance from the face of the people by informing them of his attributes and qualities. The light of the truthfulness of the Holy Prophetsa should be manifested at all times and his true glory should be expressed in all places.
4. [The believers] should make supplications to Allah the Almighty with great earnestness and humility and full devotion and sincerity, for the fulfilment of the purpose and objectives of the Holy Prophetsa so that all the veils of darkness may be lifted and every human being may become a manifestation of the great example of the Holy Prophetsa and show the world the quwwat-e-qudsiya [holy power] of the Holy Prophetsa. Consequently, […] Prophet Adam’sas descendants, who deviated from the holy example of Prophet Muhammadsa and fell into the abyss of a hellish life, may again be considered worthy of being submitted to by the angels as in the case of Prophet Adamas, by following the example of the Holy Prophetsa.
Hence, this salat and salaam, is of four kinds. If the believers follow it, it grants them the status of ansar [helpers] of the Holy Prophetsa. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, in spite of being far by time and place, such a believer who presents his Durood Sharif based on the aforesaid facts of salat and salaam, becomes a true and perfect helper of the Holy Prophetsa and attains the status of a remarkably special ansari [helper] among the group of ansar [helpers].
(Translated by Al Hakam from the original Urdu, published in Hayat-e-Qudsi, pp. 601-604)