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How Does Allah Pray for the Prophet?

14 August, 2023
Q As-salaam `alaykum. I have a question that perplexes my mind: In surat Al-Ahzab (verse 56), Allah says that He, Most High, yusalli (prays) for the Prophet. How does Allah pray for the Prophet?


Wa`alykum As-Salamu Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

In this fatwa:

Sending blessings upon the Prophet is made clear in the following points:

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  • When we say that Allah sends His prayers on the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), it means that He blesses the Prophet.
  • When we say that angels send prayers on the Prophet, it means that they pray to Allah for His blessings for His Prophet.
  • When we, the believers, send prayers on the Prophet, it means we should ask Allah to bestow His blessings on Prophet Muhammad.

ِِAnswering your question on sending blessings upon the Prophet, Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, Former President of the Fiqh Council of North America, states:

The Glorious Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) are the references of every Muslim for the realization of the rules of Islam.

We can understand the Quran according to the principles of the Arabic language without affectation or controversy. We can also understand the Sunnah by reference to the trustworthy transmitters of Hadith (collected sayings of the Prophet).

Therefore, we can explain the Quranic verse your referred to in your question according to the rules of the Arabic language as illustrated by the prominent Muslim scholars.

The word “salah” literally means “to come close and near”. It is used in the Quran for prayers as well as for blessings. Through our salah or prayers, we try to come closer to Allah with submission and surrender. Allah also draws near to His Prophets and the Believers through His blessings.

In the Quran, it is also mentioned that Allah sends “salah” on the Prophet (Al-Ahzab 33: 56) as well as on the believers (Al-Ahzab 33: 43).

When Allah comes closer to His Prophets (peace and blessings be upon them all), and to other believers, it means that He comes closer to them with His blessings, love and favor.

Allah says in the Quran,

{Lo! Allah and His angels shower blessings on the Prophet. O you who believe! Ask blessings on him and salute him with a worthy salutation.} (Al-Ahzab 33: 56)

{He it is who blesses you, and His angels (bless you), that He may bring you forth from darkness unto light; and He is Merciful to the believers.} (Al-Ahzab 33: 43)

Thus, when say that Allah sends His salah on the Prophet, it means that He blesses the Prophet. When say that angels send salah, it means that they pray to Allah for His blessings for His Prophet.

When we, the believers, send prayers on the Prophet, it means the same thing that we should ask Allah to bestow His blessings on Prophet Muhammad.

Allah sent and continues to send His blessings on the Prophet and the believers. His blessings are countless and they come in numerous ways.

We should pray to Allah to send more and more blessings on Prophet Muhammad. The Prophet Muhammad himself has instructed us that when we send blessings unto him, we should say,

Allahumma salle `ala Muhammad wa `ala ali Muhammad kama sallaita `ala Ibrahim wa `ala `ali Ibrahim. Innaka hameedun Majeed.

This and a number of other similar versions of as-salah`ala al-nabi are mentioned in many authentic Hadiths.

In our prayers, we should use only those authentic versions and should not make any changes from our side.

Allah told us that we should send salah on Prophet Muhammad. The Prophet then told us that the best way to do that is to request Allah to send His blessings upon him.

Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) wanted to include his Aal also in this blessing. The word Aal has various meanings. It could mean his family as well as his followers.

Allah Almighty knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.