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TAWASSUL (MEDIATION) IN SUNNI ISLAM PT. 4

FATWA OF SHAYKH SUHAYL AL-ZABIBI

The following fatwa on tawassul was given by Shaykh Abu Sulayman Suhayl al-Zabibi the Imam of the Mosque of Najjarin in Damascus. It is reproduced in full in the 1992 Waqf Ikhlas reprint of Sayyid Ahmad Zayni Dahlan’s section of his history of Islam already cited.

Text of fatwa:

“In the Name of Allah the Merciful the Beneficent, and Blessings and Peace upon our Master Muhammad and upon his Excellent and Pure Family and all those who follow them with excellence until the Day of Judgment.

“To proceed, you have sent us a letter in which you ask the fatwa concerning belief in tawassul through the Prophets and Messengers, Blessings and Salutations be upon them, and the text of your question is: Is the person who believes in this (tawassul) a mushrik (one who worships other than Allah together with Him) or a kafir (disbeliever), and is his worship — such as salat, zakat, hajj, and sawm — sound or void (sahiha am fasida)? And you have asked for an exposition from the Glorious Book because it is the first source of legislation, and from the True Sunna because it holds the second rank in the derivation of proofs after the Noble Qur’an, and from the Consensus (ijma`) and the sayings of the pious early generations, may Allah be well pleased with them, because they are closer than us to the full understanding of Allah’s Book and the Sunna of His Messenger.

“This is the answer which I give while asking Allah’s help and His power and might:

Belief (i`tiqad) in tawassul through the Prophets and Messengers, Blessings and Peace be upon them, and through the Righteous Friends of Allah (al-awliya’ al-salihin) upon whose goodness, righteousness, uprightness, and friendship with Allah there is general agreement, is true belief, not disbelief, and I consider it permissible, not forbidden; and

The person seeking such as the above as a means to Allah in order that his need be fulfilled is a believer and one who declares the oneness of Allah, not one who worships other than Allah together with Him, and all his acts of worship are sound.

“Among the proofs for this from Qur’an: Allah the Blessed and the Exalted said: “O ye who believe, fear Allah and seek ye the means to Him” (5:35) in surat al-Ma’ida verse 35 juz’ 6. Some of the scholars of Islam have derived from this verse a proof for the legality of seeking help and a means to Allah through the righteous ones among His servants, and of considering them a means between Allah the Almighty and His servants for the fulfillment of needs provided that the person making tawassul believes that the effective doer (al-fa“al) is Allah and none other. If one thinks otherwise, he has committed disbelief, may Allah the Exalted protect us!

“Also among the proofs from Qur’an for tawassul is the saying of Allah the the Blessed and the Exalted: “Had they but come to thee when they had wronged themselves, and asked Allah forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah Oft-Returning, Merciful” from sura al-Nisa’ verse 64 juz’ 5. Ibn Kathir said in explanation of this verse:  Allah the Exalted advises those who disobey and those who sin, when they commit their mistakes and disobedience, to come to Allah’s Messenger and seek Allah’s forgiveness in his presence and ask him (the Prophet) to forgive them. If they do this, Allah relents towards them, grants them mercy, and forgives them; whence He said: “They would have found Allah Oft-Returning, Merciful.”

“Ibn Kathir continues: A large number of the scholars, among whom  is Shaykh Abu Mansur al-Sabbagh in his book al-Shamil, have mentioned the well-known account related by al-`Utbi who said: As I was sitting by the grave of the Prophet, a Bedouin Arab came and said: Peace be upon you, O Messenger of Allah! I heard that Allah said: “If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come unto thee and asked Allah’s forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah indeed Oft-returning, Most Merciful,” so I have come to you asking forgiveness for my sin, seeking your intercession with my Lord (mustashfi`an bika ila rabbi). Then he began to recite poetry:

O best of those whose bones are buried in the deep earth,

And from whose fragrance the depth and the height

have become sweet,

May my life be the ransom for a grave which thou inhabit,

And in which are found purity, bounty, and munificence!

“Then he left, and I dozed and saw the Prophet in my sleep. He said to me: O `Utbi, run after the Bedouin and give him glad tidings that Allah has forgiven him. This is the end of Ibn Kathir’s discourse.

“Here now is the proof from the noble hadith. The following hadith was extracted by the following masters of hadith among the Imams: Ibn Khuzayma in his Sahih (the rank of which approximates that of Sahih Muslim), al-Nasa’i in his book `Amal al-yawm wa al-layla, al-Tirmidhi in his Jami` and he said of it hasan sahih gharib, that is, with respect to the fact that only Abu Ja`far `Umayr ibn Yazid al-Khutami al-Madani al-Basri narrates it, and he is thiqa (trustworthy) according to Nasa’i and Ibn Ma`in, therefore the fact that it is gharib does not jeopardize its rank of sahih. Ibn Majah also narrated it and confirmed Abu Ishaq [Ibn Rahawayh] who declared it sahih, and so did al-Hakim in his Mustadrak who said: “It is sound according to the criterion of Bukhari and Muslim,” and Dhahabi confirmed him.

“From `Uthman ibn Hunayf: He was with the Prophet at the time a blind man came to him complaining of his lack of eyesight, etc. This is a sound hadith in which the Prophet explicitly orders those who have a certain need to make tawassul and call him in his absence — both in his life and after his death.  This is precisely what the Companions understood from him, as his order to any given person in the Community is directed to all the Community in every time as long as there is no proof that it is specific to an individual. What then if there is proof to the contrary — i.e. that it is not specific to an individual? Tabarani related in his Mu`jam al-kabir and Mu`jam al-saghir that a man in need used to try to visit `Uthman ibn `Affan frequently, etc. Tabarani said the hadith was sound and Bayhaqi narrated it in Dala’il al-nubuwwa with a good chain.”

Abu Sulayman Suhayl al-Zabibi

Imam of Masjid al-Najjarin

(Damascus, Syria)

FATWA OF MUSTAFA IBN AHMAD IBN AL-HASAN

AL-SHATTI AL-HANBALI AL-ATHARI AL-DIMASHQI (1856-1929 C.E.)

From the 1994 Waqf Ikhlas offset reprint of  al-Shatti’s al-Nuqul al-shar`iyya fi al-radd `ala al-wahhabiyya (The Legal Proof-Texts Concerning the Reply to the Wahhabi Sect)

Allah said:

  1. Fa istaghathahu al-ladhi min shi`atihi(28:15) “The man of his [Musa’s] own people appealed to him [P: asked him for help] against his foe.”[40]
  2. Wa law annahum idh zalamu anfusahum ja’uka fa istaghfarullah…(4:64) “If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come unto thee [Muhammad] and asked Allah’s forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them [P: and asked forgiveness of the  Messenger], they would have found Allah indeed Oft-returning, Most Merciful.”

If a Wahhabi says: “This is specific to him (the Prophet) being alive,” we say there is unanimity and the clearest evidences about the Prophet being alive in his honored grave.[41]

The rule of this noble verse is applicable now and any time Allah wills. This is why you see that all scholars recommend reading this verse when visiting his honored grave.[42] This fact cannot be hidden from anybody who has studied the sayings of the scholars in this respect. There is no need to detail it again. Anyone who claims a contrary interpretation has to bring evidence to that effect. And how will he get such evidence when many other verses teach the believers to seek shelter with the Prophet?

Among such verses are: al-nabiyyu awla bil mu’minina min anfusihim (33:6) “The Prophet is closer to the believers than their own selves, and his wives are (as) their mothers,” and  wa ma arsalnaka illa rahmatan lil `alamin (21:107) “We did not send you except as a Mercy to the worlds. This is exactly what was understood by the father of humanity, Adam, from the juxtaposition of the name of the Prophet to Almighty Allah’s name. Adam understood that the Prophet is the intermediary and the means to Him, so he sought intercession through him to his Lord in order to be forgiven; and he was forgiven as has been established.[43]

As for the verses and ahadith which have been put forward by the Wahhabis such as the following: ud`uni astajib lakum (40:60) “Call on [P: pray unto] me; I will answer [P: hear] your prayer”; fa firru ila Allah (51:50) “Therefore flee unto Allah”; wa in yamsask Allahu bi durrin fa la kashifa lahu illa hu (6:17, 10:107) “If Allah touch thee with affliction, none can remove it [P: relieve therefrom] but He”, “If Allah do touch thee with hurt, there is none can remove it but He”; wa nahnu aqrabu ilayhi min habl al-warid (50:16) “For We are nearer to him than his jugular vein”; Hadith: idha ista`anta fa ista`in billah “If you ask for help, then ask help from Allah” etc; these verses do not support the Wahhabis’ claim that it is prohibited to use the means of Prophets and the pious. This is very clear. Those who agree among Muslims about the permissibility and recommendability of seeking the Prophets and pious ones as means never meant to suppose any effective power as originating in them. They never believed such a belief at all! Rather, all Muslims believe that Allah Almighty is the doer of His own free deliberation, and He alone is the giver and taker of existence, of benefit, and harm. This is one of the basic beliefs in Islam. The scholars never considered seeking the means of Prophets and the pious ones as consisting in mimman ittakhadha min dunillahi andadan or “taking equals other than Allah” as the Wahhabis have claimed.

How dare they use for evidence to support their school of thought verses like: wa la ya’murukum an tattakhidhu al-mala’ikata wal-nabiyyina arbaban (3:80) “[P:] And He commanded you not that ye should take the angels and the Prophets for lords” and the like! This is a clear manipulation of the meaning of the verse and a use of something out of its proper place. If you mention the specious argument of those who forbid using an intermediary, namely that they see the common people often requesting from the pious ones, whether living or dead, what should properly be requested only from Allah Almighty: that is open to question in our opinion and not a proven fact as Ibn Taymiyya overtly misrepresents it in many of his books and treatises! For he discusses something to that effect in relation to the hadith of the blind man when he begins with the words: “Concerning this [tawassul] there is the hadith of the blind man…” This is a summation of his opposition to the issue at hand: “And they find that the common people say to the saint (wali): Do such-and-such for me, and these words that they use suggest an influence on their part which properly belongs only to Allah Almighty.”

I answer that these confusing expressions must be interpreted figuratively, and the proof for their having to be taken figuratively is that they originate in the mouth of a pure monotheist (muwahhid). Therefore, if the common person is asked of the soundness of his belief in what he is saying, he will answer that Allah alone is the Most Effective Doer (al-Fa`al) without partner; and that he asks of those great ones who are honored by Allah and brought near Him because they mean by that to use them as their intermediaries to reach their goal which is Allah Almighty. The reason that they have recourse to the pious ones is that the latter have been placed high by Allah Himself and He is the One who holds them in such consideration and they obtain what they desire from Him, as He Himself has said.

We concede that it is good to recommend to the common people that they observe the path of good manners towards Allah Almighty in masking their requests; indeed it is a part of ordering the good and forbidding the reprehensible. However, it is not correct for us to forbid them from seeking means and using help in absolute terms. How can that be done when Allah Almighty said: “The man of his (Musa’s) own people appealed to him against his foe” (28:15)?

REPUDIATION OF THOSE WHO COMPARE TAWASSUL AND ASKING INTERCESSION TO THE CHRISTIAN WORSHIP OF JESUS AND THE SAINTS, AND OF THOSE WHO LIMIT THE QUANTITY OF PERMISSIBLE SALAWAT ON THE PROPHET IN ANY WAY OR FORM

As for the specious comparison by some “Salafis” of Muslims making tawassul through the Prophet to the Christian worship of Jesus, or Muslims making tawassul through awliya to the Christian worship of saints, we ask Allah to reform those who make such comparisons and stray so widely from the right path in their views as to forget, by ignorance or design, that Muslims are strict monotheists who worship Allah alone and use the blessings of particular acts, times, places, and persons to benefit them, not as objects of worship. If they persist in not seeing the difference between taking one as an object of worship on the one hand, and using one as a means to obtain blessings on the other, we ask Allah for protection from such misguidance, for persistence in making analogies between the doctrines of Muslims and Christians in disregard of their fundamental disparity is a characteristic of the enemies of Islam.

One deviant sect in particular among these enemies of tawassul are the bukhala’ or misers who wish to curtail sending “too much blessings and peace” on the Prophet on the pretense that it would foster worship of the Prophet. They claim — and what a detestable claim — that “praising him too much would be like ascribing a partner to Allah.” Subhan Allah! The Prophet explicitly declared their status in the hadith when he said: “The miser (bakhil) is he before whom my name is mentioned and he does not invoke blessings and peace upon me.”[44]

Allah said:

“Verily, Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet. O believers! Invoke blessings upon him, and utmost greetings.” (33:56)

The bukhala’ have declared their opposition to Allah Himself, since Allah Himself is sending his salat on the Prophet. If Allah does something, can anyone compete with Him in that? If not, and if He gives the order nevertheless to do the same, then how can that same thing ever be “too much”? Even one salat of Allah on His Prophet is more than all the salawat jinn and mankind can ever make, even if they made it forever. For that reason, our salat on the Prophet can never be enough, nor does it consist of anything at all on our part, but is only our asking more salat from Allah on himAllahuma salli `ala Muhammad, i.e. “O Allah, we beg You to send Your salat on Your Prophet.”

It is beyond us how anyone can dare say that there is too much praise for the Prophet when his very name is the Praised One. The scholars have even said that Allah has cut the name of the Prophet from His Own Name, as we shall explain insha Allah in the section on the Prophet’s Names. Suffice it to say here that the names of Muhammad, Ahmad, and Mahmud: “Praised One, Most Praised, and Praiseworthy,” were never given to any one person before or after him; and Allah said, as read by al-Baydawi in his Commentary:[45]

Allah suffices as witness

(that) Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah!

(48:28-29)

What differentiates the Muslims from the Jews? The Jews say la ilaha illallah but they never like to say Musa rasulullah. They are stingy in love for their Prophet. Christians similarly refuse to say `Isa rasulullah although for other reasons. Both groups refuse to say Muhammadun rasulullah and that is where we differ. You cannot be Muslim without the latter, even if you are a believer in God. This makes the second part of the shahada a requirement for entering Islam, and thus belief in the Prophet is a means for salvation from error and punishment. Allah never accepts anyone to come to Him saying “I love You directly”: instead they must obey the order “If you indeed love Allah, then follow me, and Allah will love you” (3:31). Therefore love of Allah can only proceed from love of the Prophet and its sign is to praise him and invoke blessings upon him often, as he requested in the hadith akthiru al-salat `alayya (“Send much blessings upon me”) which we cite below.

The scholars have explained that Allah’s salawat or sending of blessings stands for rahma — mercy– while the believers’ salawat or invocation of blessings stands for du`a — supplication.[46] This verse on the salawat of Allah and His angels is absolute in sense and unrestricted with respect to quantity and time. In other words Allah and His angels send blessings, peace, mercy, honor, gifts, and salutations upon the Prophet at all times and with boundless abundance. Allah orders the believers to invoke blessings upon him similarly, that is: incessantly, as far as they are able.

Furthermore, since the best remembrance is la ilaha illallah, a Muslim does not remember Allah except he also remembers the Prophet since he says directly after it: muhammadun rasulullah. This is established by Allah’s saying: “Remember Me and I shall remember you” (2:152) as elucidated by the hadith: “Whoever invokes blessings upon me once, Allah sends ten blessings upon him.”[47] In this connection al-hafiz Sakhawi said:

Just as in the testimony of faith (shahada) Allah has placed His Messenger’s blessed name next to His own sacred name and has said that he who obeys the Prophet obeys Him and he who loves the Prophet loves Him, in the same manner He has related our invoking blessings upon the Prophet to His own blessings upon us. Therefore just as Allah said about His remembrance: “Remember Me and I will remember you,” likewise is His assurance: “Allah sends ten blessings on the one who invokes a single blessing on the Holy Prophet,” as it is established in the sound hadith.[48]

Sakhawi mentions on the same page al-Qadi Abu Bakr ibn al-`Arabi’s similar explanation of the verse: “Whoso brings a good deed shall have ten the like of it” (6:160) as referring to the good deed of invoking blessings on the Prophet, in the light of the aforementioned hadith.

Anyone who dares claim that there is a limitation in quantity, quality, timeliness, or in any other aspect of invoking blessings and peace upon the Prophet has erred and strayed from the Qur’an, the Sunna, and the Religion of Islam. Be warned, Muslims who love your Prophet — and every Muslim loves his Prophet — about the dissemination of such false advice in your midst, which typifies the logic of those who cannot differentiate between worship and respect and are remiss in both, and typifies the hatred of non-Muslims for the central symbol of the Religion of Muslims — Blessings and Peace upon him. Diminishing one’s praise of the Prophet on the pretense that “it would foster his worship” is to imitate Iblis, who refused to prostrate to Adam on the claim that he only worships Allah.

Such are those who desire to extinguish Allah’s light, but Allah will perfect His light in spite of them. None but non-Muslims cringe at the enthusiasm of the believers in invoking blessings on their Prophet. Such enthusiasm proceeds directly from the Prophet’s own joy when he received news from Heaven of the immense mercy granted his Community for invoking blessings upon him:

Sahl ibn Sa`d narrates: Allah’s Messenger came out and met Abu Talha. The latter rose and went to him saying: “My father and mother be sacrificed for you, Messenger of Allah! I see joy and delight in your countenance?” The Prophet said: “Yes, for Gabriel has just come to me saying: O Muhammad, whoever among your Community invokes blessings upon you once, Allah records for Him ten meritorious deeds, erases from his register ten evil deeds, and raises him ten degrees because of it.” al-Sakhawi said: “Our shaykh (Ibn Hajar) graded it hasan without doubt.”[49]

Another extremely important reason why one must incessantly invoke blessings on the Prophet is that it is established in the hadith that “the du`a or invocation of the believer is suspended between heaven and earth as long as the invocation of blessings and peace upon your Prophet does not accompany it.” Tirmidhi narrates this hadith from `Umar in the section of his Sunan entitled Sifat al-salat `ala al-nabi, and al-Qadi Abu Bakr ibn al-`Arabi comments it thus:

The chain of men who narrate this is sound and both Malik and Muslim have cited it though not Bukhari. Such an utterance on the part of `Umar can only be a Prophetic legislation because it is not subject to opinion. It is strengthened by Muslim’s narration of the Prophet’s words: “If you hear the mu’adhdhin, repeat his words after him then invoke blessings upon me… then ask Allah to grant me al-wasila…”[50]

It is established that invoking blessings on the Prophet is especially meritorious on Friday according to the following hadith:

“Invoke blessings upon me abundantly on Friday because it is a day that is (particularly) witnessed and the angels witness it (abundantly). As soon as a person invokes blessings on me his invocation is shown to me until he ends it.” Abu al-Darda’ said: “Even after (your) death?” The Prophet replied: “Verily, Allah has forbidden the earth to consume the bodies of Prophets.”[51]

The Prophet explicitly confirmed that the believer gains by invoking blessings and peace upon him without restriction, even if one ceases all other forms of du`a. This is established in the hadith:

Ubayy ibn Ka`b said: “After one third of the night the Prophet used to get up. One such time he said: O People! Remember Allah! The rajifa [first blow of the Trumpet] is upon us! The radifa [second blow of the Trumpet][52] follows it. Death has come.” Ubayy said: ya rasulallah inni ukthiru al-salata `alayka fa kam aj`al laka min salati “O Messenger of Allah, I make much salawat upon you as a habit. How much of my prayer should I devote to you?” The Prophet said: “As much as you like.” Ubayy said: “A quarter?” The Prophet said: “As you like, but if you add to that it will be better for you.” Ubayy then mentioned a third, then a half, then two thirds, and always the Prophet answered: “As you like, but if you add to that it will be better for you.” Finally Ubayy said: ya rasulallah inni uridu an aj`ala salati kullaha lak “O Messenger of Allah, I want to devote my entire prayer (i.e. du`a) to you.” Whereupon the Prophet said: “Then you will be freed from care and your sins will be forgiven.” (Another version has: “Then Allah will suffice you in the matter of your worldly life and your hereafter.”)[53]

The scholars of Islam have contributed many commentaries on this important hadith, of which we cite the following from Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Hajar al-Haytami’s Fatawa hadithiyya and from the hafiz al-Sakhawi’s al-Qawl al-badi`:

(Haytami:) It is understood from the wording of these narrations that the meaning of the word salat in the expression: “I shall devote my salat to you” is du`a’ — invocation… Then the meaning is: “There is a time in which I make du`a on behalf of myself: how much of that should I devote to you?” If this is established firmly, then consider what the Shaykh al-Islam al-hafiz Ibn Hajar said as reported from him by his student al-hafiz al-Sakhawi who particularly commended this saying of his: “This hadith constitutes a tremendous principle of the Religion for whoever makes du`a after his recitation and says: O Allah, grant our Master Allah’s Messenger the reward of this worship.”[54]

(Sakhawi:) Salat in this hadith means invocation (du`a’) and habitual devotion (wird) in the following sense: “There is a time in which I make du`a on behalf of myself: how much of that should I devote to you?” The Prophet did not consider that he should place a limit for him in this respect in order not to close the gate of superabundance for him. Accordingly he persisted in giving Ubayy the choice at the same time as he stressed for him surplus in invocation until Ubayy said: “I shall devote my entire prayer to you.” That is: I shall invoke blessings upon you instead of asking anything for myself. Whereupon the Prophet said: “Then you will be freed from care,” that is: do not worry either for your Religion or for your worldly need, because invoking blessings on me includes both remembrance of Allah and rendering honor to the Prophet; and the sense of this is an indication to Ubayy that he is actually invoking for himself, as confirmed by the Prophet’s report on behalf of his Lord: “Whoever is occupied from beseeching Me because of remembering Me, I shall grant him the best of what I grant those who beseech.”[55] Know then that if you make most of your worship consist in invoking blessings upon your Prophet, Allah will suffice you in the matter of your worldly life and your hereafter.[56]

However, according to the party of the bukhala’ — the mean and miserly — to follow the Prophet’s advice in this matter “would foster his worship”! How far is this “Salafi” opinion from the Qur’an and the Sunna! In 1,400 years of sending salawat on the Prophet far more abundantly than in our age, we have never witnessed what they claim; how then do they want us to fear its occurrence now? Have they forgotten that the Prophet specifically said: “Those closest to me in the hereafter are those who invoked blessings upon me the most (in dunya)”[57] and “No people sit at length without mentioning Allah and invoking blessings on His Prophet except they will incur dissatisfaction from Allah (or: dissatisfaction on the Day of Rising): if He likes He will punish them and if He likes He will forgive them”[58]? Rather, they are intent on hindering Muslims from expressing love for their Prophet through invoking blessings upon him, celebrating his birth, reading his life story, and encouraging each other towards knowing him and loving him more than their own parents and children. This is the great characteristic of this Community which its enemies wish to eradicate: we know our Prophet; we keep his status high; we prefer his Sunna to all other lifestyles; and we cherish his love among us more dearly than our own lives and properties.

The following is a list of the principal benefits obtained by invoking blessings on the Prophet as compiled by the hafiz al-Sakhawi in his book devoted to the topic, entitled al-Qawl al-badi` fi al-salat `ala al-habib al-shafi` (The Radiant Discourse Concerning the Invocation of Blessings on the Beloved Intercessor):

Among the rewards of one who performs salat upon Allah’s Messenger are the following:

The salat — blessing — of Allah, His angels, and His Prophet on that person;

the expiation of his faults;

the purification of his works;

the exaltation of his rank;

the forgiveness of his sins;

the asking of forgiveness for him by his own salat;

the recording of rewards the like of Mount Uhud for him and his repayment in superabundant measure;

the comfort of his world and his hereafter if he devotes his entire salat to invoking blessings upon him;

the obliteration of more faults than that effected by the manumission of a slave;

his deliverance from affliction because of it;

the witnessing of the Prophet himself to it;

the guarantee of the Prophet’s intercession for him;

Allah’s pleasure, mercy, and safety from His anger;

admission under the shade of the Throne for him;

preponderance of his good deeds in the Balance;

his admission to drink from the Prophet’s Pond;

his safety from thirst and deliverance from the Fire;

his ability to cross the Bridge swiftly;

the sight of his seat in Paradise before he dies;

numerous wives in Paradise;

the preponderance of his salat over more than twenty military conquests;

its equivalency to giving alms to the needy;

its being zakat and purification for him;

his wealth will increase because of its blessing;

more than one hundred of his needs will be fulfilled through it;

it constitutes worship;

it is the most beloved of all deeds to Allah;

it beautifies meetings;

it cancels out poverty and material duress;

it lets him expect and find goodness everywhere;

it makes him the most deserving of goodness;

he benefits from it as well as his children and theirs, as well as those to whom its reward is gifted in the register of his good deeds;

it brings him near to Allah and to His Prophet;

it is a light that helps him against his enemies;

it cleans his heart of hypocrisy and rust;

it commands the love of people and the sight of the Prophet in dreams;

it forbids slander (ghiba) against him;

In sum, it is among the most blessed, most meritorious, most useful of deeds in Religion and in the life of the world, and carries desirable rewards other than all this for those who are clever and eager to acquire the deeds which constitute treasures for them, and harvest the most flourishing and glowing of hopes. They do this by focusing on the deed that includes all these tremendous merits, noble qualities, manifold and all-encompassing benefits which are not found together in any other. Nor do they characterize any other human action or speech except this: sallahu `alayhi wa sallama tasliman kathiran — may Allah bless him and greet him abundantly.[59]

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