Sending blessings upon the Prophet and his Companions

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

Allah has commanded us to send peace and blessings upon the Messenger of Allah whenever his name is mentioned in our presence by saying “peace and blessings be upon him” (sal Allahu alayhi wa salam) and similar supplications.

Allah said:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ ۚ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا

Verily, Allah sends blessing upon the Prophet and His angels do as well. O you who believe, send blessing upon him and ask for peace.

Surah Al-Ahzab 33:56

Allah will send blessings upon us ten times for every single time we send blessings upon the Prophet.

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

مَنْ صَلَّى عَلَيَّ وَاحِدَةً صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ عَشْرًا

Whoever sends blessings upon me once will have Allah send blessings upon him ten times.

Source: Sahih Muslim 408, Grade: Sahih

Our blessings are delivered to the Prophet by the angels and he will supplicate for us in return.

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

مَا مِنْ أَحَدٍ يُسَلِّمُ عَلَيَّ إِلَّا رَدَّ اللَّهُ عَلَيَّ رُوحِي حَتَّى أَرُدَّ عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامَ

There are none of you who send peace upon me except that Allah returns my spirit so that I can return his greeting of peace.

Source: Sunan Abu Dawud 2041, Grade: Sahih

The nearest of the people to the Prophet in the Hereafter will be those who invoked blessings for him the most.

Ibn Mas’ud reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

أَوْلَى النَّاسِ بِي يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ أَكْثَرُهُمْ عَلَيَّ صَلَاةً

The closest of the people to me on the Day of Resurrection are those who most often invoked blessings upon me.

Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi 484, Grade: Hasan

It is an obligation to send blessing upon the Prophet when it is prescribed in prayer and it is good etiquette to include it before asking Allah for anything.

Fadalah ibn Ubaid reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, heard a man supplicating in his prayer but he did not find him glorifying Allah the Exalted or invoking blessings upon the Prophet. The Messenger of Allah said:

عَجِلَ هَذَا

This man has rushed.

Then the Prophet called him over and he said to him:

إِذَا صَلَّى أَحَدُكُمْ فَلْيَبْدَأْ بِتَمْجِيدِ رَبِّهِ جَلَّ وَعَزَّ وَالثَّنَاءِ عَلَيْهِ ثُمَّ يُصَلِّي عَلَى النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ثُمَّ يَدْعُو بَعْدُ بِمَا شَاءَ

When one of you prays, let him begin by glorifying his Lord the Almighty with praises and then with supplications for the Prophet, and then you may supplicate for whatever you wish.

Source: Sunan Abu Dawud 1481, Grade: Sahih

Therefore, the general rule is to send blessings upon the Prophet whenever his name is mentioned and whenever we supplicate to Allah. However, it is not necessary or prescribed to do so in every instance. For example, it is not prescribed to send blessings when the Prophet’s name is mentioned during the call to prayer or during certain acts of the prayer such as the prostration.

Ibn Al-Qayyim writes:

والصلاة على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وإن كانت من أفضل الأعمال وأحبها إلى الله تعالى فلكل ذكر موطن يخصه لا يقوم غيره مقامه فيه قالوا ولهذا لا تشرع الصلاة عليه في الركوع ولا السجود ولا قيام الاعتدال من الركوع

Although sending blessings upon the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, is one of the most virtuous and beloved deeds to Allah the Exalted, every supplication has its rightful place and time not reserved for others. Scholars said: It is not prescribed to send blessings upon him when bowing or prostrating or standing after bowing.

Source: Jala Al-Afham 1/424

Some of the scholars said that it is an obligation to send blessings upon the Prophet at least once during each gathering and additional supplications are highly recommended but not required.

Ibn Kathir writes:

وَذَهَبَ آخَرُونَ إِلَى أَنَّهُ تَجِبُ الصَّلَاةُ فِي الْمَجْلِسِ مَرَّةً وَاحِدَةً ثُمَّ لَا تَجِبُ فِي بَقِيَّةِ ذَلِكَ الْمَجْلِسِ بَلْ تُسْتَحَبُّ

Other scholars said that it is obligatory to send blessings upon the Prophet one time in each gathering and thereafter it is not obligatory but rather recommended.

Source: Tafseer Ibn Kathir 33:56

There are times when we are discoursing to non-Muslims or new Muslims or Muslims without strong faith, so in this case we are only required to send blessings upon the Prophet at least once during our session. When discussing Islam with these audiences, it may be beneficial to refrain from supplicating for the Prophet every time so that our discourse does not become cumbersome to them and they become distracted from the content of our discussion.

Nevertheless, it will become sinful if we habitually refuse to send blessings upon the Prophet for no good reason.

Ali ibn Abu Talib reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

الْبَخِيلُ مَنْ ذُكِرْتُ عِنْدَهُ ثُمَّ لَمْ يُصَلِّ عَلَيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ

The miser is the one in whose presence I am mentioned and he does not supplicate on my behalf.

Source: Musnad Ahmad 1738, Grade: Sahih

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

رَغِمَ أَنْفُ رَجُلٍ ذُكِرْتُ عِنْدَهُ فَلَمْ يُصَلِّ عَلَيَّ

May the face be dusted of a man in whose presence I am mentioned but he does not supplicate for me.

Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi 3545, Grade: Hasan

Some scholars understood from these traditions that it is obligatory to send blessings upon the Prophet every time his name is mentioned, but other scholars understood these to refer specifically to those who habitually refuse to send blessings upon the Prophet for no good reason.

Ibn Hajar writes:

وَأَجَابُوا عَنِ الْأَحَادِيثِ بِأَنَّهَا خَرَجَتْ مَخْرَجَ الْمُبَالَغَةِ فِي تَأْكِيدِ ذَلِكَ وَطَلَبِهِ وَفِي حَقِّ مَنِ اعْتَادَ تَرْكَ الصَّلَاةِ عَلَيْهِ دَيْدَنًا

The scholars responded to those who use these traditions to indicate an obligation by saying that these traditions are rhetorical in confirming and emphasizing sending blessings upon the Prophet, and they are addressed to those who habitually abandon sending blessings upon him.

Source: Fath ul-Bari 11/169

This seems to be the correct opinion, because there are many traditions in which the companions would address the Prophet by his name without sending blessings upon him.

Ibn Al-Qayyim writes:

أنه من المعلوم الذي لا ريب فيه أن السلف الصالح الذين هم القدوة لم يكن أحدهم كلما ذكر النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يقرن الصلاة عليه باسمه وهذا في خطابهم للنبي أكثر من أن يذكر فإنهم كانوا يقولون يا رسول الله مقتصرين على ذلك

It is known beyond doubt that the righteous predecessors (salaf as-salih), who are our example, would not send blessings upon the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, every time his name is mentioned. This happened a number of times when they addressed him. They would say, “O Messenger of Allah,” and limit it to that.

Source: Jala Al-Afham 1/393

Therefore, it is not necessary to send blessings upon the Prophet every time his name is mentioned as long as it has been done once, but it is highly recommended. The bad habit of refusing to send blessings upon the Prophet is sinful and is a form of miserliness. Rather, we should strive to acquire the rewards of this practice by supplicating for the Prophet at all appropriate times.

Regarding supplications for the companions, it is recommended to supplicate for Allah to be pleased with them by saying “may Allah be pleased with them” (radi Allahu ‘anhum). Allah has informed us that He is pleased with the companions who pledged allegiance to the Prophet.

Allah said:

لَّقَدْ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إِذْ يُبَايِعُونَكَ تَحْتَ الشَّجَرَةِ فَعَلِمَ مَا فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ فَأَنزَلَ السَّكِينَةَ عَلَيْهِمْ وَأَثَابَهُمْ فَتْحًا قَرِيبًا

Certainly Allah was pleased with the believers when they pledged allegiance to you under the tree, and He knew what was in their hearts so He sent down tranquility upon them and rewarded them with an imminent victory.

Surah Al-Fath 48:18

And Allah said:

وَالسَّابِقُونَ الْأَوَّلُونَ مِنَ الْمُهَاجِرِينَ وَالْأَنصَارِ وَالَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوهُم بِإِحْسَانٍ رَّضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَضُوا عَنْهُ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي تَحْتَهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَدًا ۚ ذَٰلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ

The first forerunners among the emigrants and the supporters and those who followed them with good conduct, Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him. He has prepared for them gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever. That is the great success.

Surah At-Tawbah 9:100

When we ask Allah to be pleased with the companions, we are confirming that Allah is pleased with them and asking Him to further reward them with His pleasure.

Likewise, it is recommended supplicate for Allah to have mercy on the righteous Muslims by saying “may Allah have mercy on them” (rahimahum Allah).

An-Nawawi said:

يُسْتَحَبُّ التَّرَضِّي وَالتَّرَحُّمُ عَلَى الصَّحَابَةِ وَالتَّابِعِينَ فَمَنْ بَعْدَهُمْ مِنَ الْعُلَمَاءِ وَالْعُبَّادِ وَسَائِرِ الْأَخْيَارِ فَيُقَالُ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ أَوْ رَحِمَهُ اللَّهُ وَنَحْوُ ذَلِكَ

It is recommended to supplicate for Allah’s pleasure and mercy upon the companions, the followers, and those who succeeded them among the scholars, worshipers, and other virtuous people. So it is said: May Allah be pleased with them (radi Allahu ‘anhu) or may Allah have mercy on them (rahimahu Allah) and other similar statements.

Sources: Al-Majmu’ Sharh Al-Muhadhab

Supplicating for the companions and the righteous Muslims is highly recommended, but it is not an obligation. Muslims who do not supplicate for the companions or righteous Muslims when their names are mentioned are not sinful, but nonetheless supplicating for them is a very good habit we should practice.

We ask Allah to send peace and blessings upon the Messenger of Allah, and we ask Allah to send his mercy upon the companions and the righteous Muslims.

Success comes from Allah, and Allah knows best.