Just as the importance of Sura al-Fatiha cannot be over emphasised as a Du’a, so the importance of tasliya (Salawat) in Islam cannot be over emphasised. Tasliya complements a Du’a. It is considered in Islam to be a meritorious act and is filled with rewards. Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, reveals in the Qur’an rewards for meritorious acts:
مَنْ جَاءَ بِالْحَسَنَةِ فَلَهُ عَشْرُ أَمْثَالِها وَ مَنْ جَاءَ بِالسَّيِّئَةِ فَلا يُجْزَى إِلاَّ مِثْلَهَا وَهُمْ لاَ يُظْلَمون
“Whoever brings a good deed will have attributed to his credit ten similar good deeds and whoever brings a bad deed will be awarded but the like thereof; and they will not be wronged.” (6:160).
We see tasliya upon Rasul Allah (S) a good act because Allah and His angels send the tasliya upon Rasul Allah (S) and the believers are asked to join in this magnificent chorus of complete tasliya upon Rasul Allah (S). Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, tells us in the Qur’an:
إِنَّ الَّلهَ وَ مَلائِكَته يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى الْنَّبي يَا أَيُّها الَّذينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمَا
“Undoubtedly Allah and His angels shower salawat upon the Nabi. O ye who believe! Shower the salawat upon him and salute him with a worthy salutation.” (33:56).
When Allah revealed this Ayat, Rasul Allah (S) explained the meaning of tasliya and instructed Muslims to send the Salawat as follows:
الْلَهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ كَما صلَّيْتَ عَلى إِبْراهِيمَ وَآلِ إِبْراهيمَ إِنَّكَ حَميدٌ مَجيدٌ
O Allah! Send your Salawat upon Muhammad and the progeny of Muhammad just as you had sent Salawat upon Ibrahim and upon the progeny of Ibrahim. Undoubtedly You are Praiseworthy and Glorious.1
With tasliya to Rasul Allah (S), we also recite the Salawat upon Nabi Ibrahim (‘a) and his progeny. We recite this many times, during the Salat al-Jumu’a, Salat al-Mayyit and also on other occasions.
In the Ad’iyyah handed down to us from our A’immah (‘a), all the Du’as contain tasliya, sometimes more than once. In various sources, we learn from the ‘ulama, that this virtuous deed is pleasing to Allah. The supplicant (one who is invoking the Du’a) is rewarded ten times more for this act and if Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, wishes, it completes the Du’a.
In the Ad’iyyah of our A’imma (‘a), we also find the desirable method to do the Du’a. Any Du’a should begin with the name of Allah confirming that He is the Compassionate and all-Merciful Allah. Then the Du’a should glorify and praise Allah.2It is then that we ask Allah to grant and to fulfill our desires.
The Du’a should confirm that the grantor of all things is only Allah. The supplicant then invokes tasliyah upon Rasul Allah (S). There may be tasliyah in the beginning of a Du’a, in the middle of the Du’a and also at the end of the Du’a.
Each time the tasliyah is recited, it is considered a meritorious act and seals our Du’a to Allah with the fragrance of His beloved, Rasul-Allah (S), and his progeny, the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a).
In the Qur’an, Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, in His Compassion and Mercy promises His slaves (the Believers):
وَإِذا سَأَلَكَ عِبادي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَريبٌ أُجيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذا دَعانِ فَلْيَسْتَجيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ
“And when My slaves ask you concerning Me, (tell them O Rasul), I am surely very near; I answer the prayer of the supplicant when he calls on Me; therefore let them too answer My call and believe in Me so that they may walk in the right way” (2:186).
Rasul Allah (S) is reported to have said:
“Du’a is a weapon for a believer, a pillar of the faith and a light for heaven and earth.”
And because of this, our A’imma have transmitted for the believers wonderful Ad’iyyah. We learn from their teachings several benefits derived from making Du’a to Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala:
(i) the best worship after Salat is asking in the form of Du’a from Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala.
(ii) the most beloved action pleasing to Allah is the Du’a from His believers while they are still in their earthly existence.
(iii) Du’a helps remove calamities and retribution;
Imam ‘Ali (‘a) reminds us in his wonderful Du’a al-Kumayl the following:
فَإِنَّكَ قَضَيْتَ عَلَى عِبادِكَ بِعِبادَتِكَ وَ أَمَرْتَهُمْ بِدُعَائِكَ وَ ضَمِنْتَ لَهُمُ الإِجَابَةِ
For surely, You (Ya Allah!) have ordained Your worship for Your bondsmen; and have commanded them to do the Du’a to You; and You have assured them (Ya Allah) for Your answer.
Du’a therefore strengthens one’s relationship with Allah, The strong bond of love with Allah becomes the spiritual source of comfort and peace. Thus, the believer does the shukr of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta ‘ala in times of happiness and shows sabr in times of adversity knowing full well that Allah has listened to his Du’a.