Book Review: Salat & Salam

Salat & Salam

Title: Salat & Salam: In Praise of Allah’s Most Beloved: A Manual of Blessings & Peace upon Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)
Compiled and Translated: Shaykh Abdur-Rahman ibn Yusuf
Publisher: White Thread Press (2007)

This book is a collection of invocations asking Allah to bless and send peace upon the Prophet (peace be upon him). The book is based on the works of Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sakhawi, Shaykh Ashraf ‘Ali Thanawi, Shaykh Yusuf ibn Sulayman Motala, and Makhdum Muhammad Sindhi. Their biographies are found at the back of the book.

The concept of invoking blessing and peace upon the Prophet (peace be upon him) stems of the Qur’anic command in Surat al-Ahzab, verse 33:

Indeed Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet: O you who believe! Send blessings on him, and salute him with all respect.

To follow this command holds great merit, as back cover of the book states:

The Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever sends one blessing upon me, Allah will send ten blessings upon him” (Muslim). Abu Muhammad al-Marjani says, “Your invoking blessings upon him is in reality praying for yourself since the benefits of it are returning to you.”

The sending of blessings and peace, however, go beyond the rewards of it; rather it is an expression of love for the Prophet and an expression of gratitude for his favours upon us. We are guided by his works, sayings and actions, he has lit the path to Allah and to eternal salvation and felicity.

The invocations in this book are summarized by Shaykh Abdur-Rahman ibn Yusuf in his introduction:

Part one consists of a collection of fifty invocations for blessings and peace upon the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), of which the first forty were compiled from the hadiths by Hakim al-Umma Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanawi in his Zad al-Sa’id (Provision for the Fortunate). The first twenty-five of these mainly consist of the different versions of the Salat Ibrahimiyya. These are followed by fifteen invocations for mercy (salam), mainly consisting of the different versions of tashahhud related in the hadiths.

An additional ten invocations have been added to the forty to complete this part. They have been specially selected for their richness, profundity and excellence from ‘Allama Makhdum Muhammad Hashim Sindhi’s Dhari’at al-Wusul ila Janab al-Rasul (The Means of Reaching the Presence of the Messenger, peace be upon him), which is essentially a compilation of various blessings from earlier books on the subject, and Sakhawi’s Al-Qawl al-Badi, to which reference has also been provided after every narration.

Part two of the manual consists of brief invocations featuring the Ninety-Nine Names of Allah Most High, coupled with the attributes of His beloved Messenger (peace be upon him). They were compiled and composed by our beloved Shaykh Mawlana Yusuf ibn Sulayman Motala, the rector and Shaykh al-Hadith of Darul Uloom Bury, UK.

Shaykh Abdur-Rahman ibn Yusuf also includes a small paragraph regarding when to recite these invocations in his introduction:

There is no fixed time to read this manual. The prayers can be read, for example, before or after Fajr or Maghrib prayers, before reading the Quran, or before beseeching Allah for any need. There are many virtues mentioned in the hadiths regarding sending blessings on Friday nights in particular (that is, the night between Thursday and Friday).

Therefore, in accordance with the practice of many scholars, fifteen minutes or so could be set aside for these invocations on Thursday following the Isha prayer. This manual is also an ideal companion for one’s journey to the city of the Prophet (peace be upon him), Madina al-Munawwara.

As is characteristic with all books by White Thread Press, this book is well printed, bound and presented. It’s size is 4.5″ x 5.5″, just like the Prayers for Forgiveness, making both of them easily accessible from a large coat pocket. The Arabic is legible and vowelled. The translations are provided on the opposite side of the page for easy reference. Transliterations are found at the back of the book, along with a section titled ‘Excellence of Invoking Blessings’, in which short lessons are transmitted regarding the virtues of invoking blessings. This book is available in both soft and hardcover and consists of 112 pages.

This is a great litany and can easily be started as a weekly routine, on Thursday or Friday, and progress to a daily activity. May Allah give us all the propensity reach our lofty goals. I pray that Allah bless and increase the ranks of all those who assisted in producing the work, and all those who have transmitted the formulations to reach our generation. May Allah assist us in fulfilling his command by sending regular blessings on the Prophet (peace be upon him), and make us all attain the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) nearness on the Day of Judgement due to our abundant invoking of blessings and peace. Ameen.

More information can be found here, including the table of contents and an excerpt:

Shaykh Abdur-Rahman ibn Yusuf has recorded a recitation of the invocations which can be heard here:

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