126367: The bid‘ah (innovation) of encouraging billions of salawaat upon the Messenger of Allah on the occasion of the Mawlid (Prophet’s Birthday)


I would like to know how acceptable the following way of sending blessings (salawaat) upon the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is. It is a way of participating in sending blessings upon the Prophet: “Each person gives to his friends and acquaintances a specific number of times that he is to send blessings upon the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), then he puts the number of friends and acquaintances and family members that he has gathered together here, so that we can collect the numbers of participants on this page. For example, a student goes and knocks on the doors of every house in his neighbourhood, and asks each family to send blessings upon the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) one thousand times or more, and he says to them: I will come back to you in a week’s time so that you can give me the number you reached. Some of them do one thousand, and some of them do more. In this way he managed to collect approximately one and a half million salawaat upon the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). Another person distributed it to the students in his school, telling each one to send blessings upon the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) five hundred times; by this means he collected three million. And you can write about this matter in discussion boards you participate in, and collect a number of blessings upon the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) from everyone who joins you, and send the number to us here, in a brief e-mail. May Allah bless you all.

Praise be to Allah.

Anyone who knows the Sunnah and its rulings, and has been blessed with its light and smelled the fragrance of sharee‘ah and following the Sunnah will realise that actions such as that mentioned in the question are innovations and misguidance. It is not by such means that the Muslim shows his love for the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him); otherwise, what did Abu Bakr and the Sahaabah do of such actions? What did Sa‘eed ibn al-Musayyab and the Taabi'een do of such things? What did the four imams and other leading scholars do of such things? None of them ever did any such thing, or even came near it. 

Yes, Allah, may He be exalted, has instructed us to send blessings upon His Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), and our Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) also encouraged us to do that, but none of those who truly loved him and sought that great reward for themselves did this, or even came close to it. 

Wasting time in making a schedule and distributing it in school or to different houses or on Internet discussion boards – there is no benefit in any of that, and it is a waste of time. In fact it is misguidance from the true religion and is foolishness. 

If they truly knew what it means to follow the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), they could have put all that effort into doing something which is actually useful, such as telling people about the teachings of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) one how to interact with one’s wife, or how to do wudoo’ and how to pray, or encouraging them to give up riba and to stop staying away from prayer in congregation, and even to stop neglecting prayer altogether, or warning women against flaunting their beauty and going out uncovered, and other things that could have a far-reaching effect in conveying the message of Islam to many groups who are unaware of this guidance and who have gone astray from the right path. But how could the innovator be guided to do these noble actions when he mocks those who truly follow the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and regards as ignorant those who show their love of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) in the proper manner as prescribed in Islam. 

For more information on the ruling on sending blessings on the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), please see the answer to question no. 101856 

For more information on the meaning of sending blessings and greetings of peace upon him, please see the answer to question no. 69944 

These people are committing several innovations, or are committing a multifaceted innovation, such as the following: 

1.     They have connected this salawat to the occasion of the Mawlid (Prophet’s birthday), which is an innovated festival. 

We have previously discussed at length what is wrong with this innovation, in the answers to questions no. 10070, 13810 and 70317 

2.     They have stipulated a specific target number, and have shared that out among themselves and other people, which has not been ordained by Allah, may He be exalted. The Muslim may send blessings upon the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) ten times, as mentioned in the hadeeth quoted in the question – even though there is some difference of opinion as to how sound it is – and he may do more than that, as it is up to him. But he has no right take a dhikr for which a particular number of times has been stipulated and make it unlimited, or to take a dhikr for which no particular number of times has been stipulated, and stipulate a number of times for it based on his own speculation. 

Those people deserve the words of ‘Abdullah ibn Mas‘ood (may Allah be pleased with him), that he addressed to their predecessors in innovation: “Count your bad deeds, for I promise you that nothing of your good deeds will be lost.”

Narrated by ad-Daarimi in the Introduction to his Sunan, 304. See also the answer to question no. 11938 

3.     Sending blessings upon the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is not one of the adhkaar that is to be recited collectively; rather it is a private dhikr between the individual and his Lord. 

Ibn al-Qayyim said: 

Although sending blessings upon the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is one of the best of deeds and one of the most beloved to Allah, may He be exalted, each dhikr has its appropriate time and place, and no other can replace it. They said: Hence it is not prescribed to send blessings upon him when bowing or prostrating, or when rising from bowing.

Jala’ al-fhaam fi Fadl as-Salaah ‘ala Muhammad al-Anaam sall Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, 1/424 

For further discussion on these two points, please see the answers to questions no. 88102, 82559, 22457 and 21902

What the one who invented this way of sending blessings upon the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) must do is repent from this innovation and refrain from calling people to participate in it. What the one who knows that this is an innovation must do is tell people not to participate in it or to call others to do so, and not to be deceived by the words of the people who promote it. 

It is not expected that any wise person would tell them not to send blessings upon the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) in response to the divine command and in the fulfilment of the Prophet’s encouragement to do so. But one cannot draw closer to Allah by means of these innovated kinds of dhikr and so on. 

In the answers to which we have referred you will find a detailed discussion of this matter, so please read them carefully. We hope that Allah will make them beneficial and that He will guide the misguided Muslims to follow the Sunnah of His Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). 

And Allah knows best.

Islam Q&A
Create Comments