In the name of Allah Most Gracious and Most Merciful
Translation of Khutba : Masjid Otsuka: Friday, April 27 2018
All praise is due to Allah Who sent down the Qur’an with which He guided us to the straight path. I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, having no partners, and Muhammad is His servant and Messenger.
O Servants of Allah! As to what follows, I urge you and myself to be aware that you are asked to obey Allah the Most Exalted. Praising His righteous servants, the Almighty quotes them as saying in the Qur’an in Surah Al-Furqan:,
“…And make us an example for the righteous.” “Those will be awarded the Chamber for what they patiently endured, and they will be received therein with greetings and [words of] peace.” (S.25 V.74–75).
O Believers! Tashahhud (the testimony of faith for sitting in prayer) has a great status in Islam and its virtues are numerous. For this reason, the Prophet SAW ensured to teach it to his companions, may Allah be pleased with them, just as he SAW taught them the verses of the holy Qur’an. On this account, it was narrated that Abdullah Ibn Masood, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “Allah’s Messenger SAW taught me the Tashahhud as he taught me a Sura from the Qur’an, holding my hand between his hands. (Tashahhud was): all the best compliments, the prayers and the good things are due to Allah. Peace and Allah’s Mercy and Blessings be on you, O Prophet! Peace be on us and on the pious servants of Allah. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and I also bear witness that Muhammad is Allah’s servant and His Apostle.” Truly, the Prophet SAW has been sent to guide people to the right path and teach them good manners and wisdom. Allah the Almighty says in the Qur’an in Surah Al Imran:
“…Reciting to them His verses and purifying them and teaching them the Book and wisdom. …” (S.3 V.164)
So, let us advice each other on the meanings of Tashahhud in prayer.
Dear Muslims! A worshiper begins Tashahhud as he sits in the presence of Allah the Almighty after the two Rakaas in the prayer. Humbly submitted to Him, the worshiper says, “All compliments are due to Allah.” That is to say: all the great greetings are due to Allah as befitting His Glory and Supreme Status. Indeed, all the Tahiyyat (compliments) were combined so as to comprise all the meanings of greetings. So, for Him, the Most Exalted, greatness, eternity, dominion and pride as well as all kinds of glorifying and reverence. Allah the Almighty says in the Qur’an in Surah Al-Baqara: “…His Kursi (dominion) extends over the heavens and the earth, and their preservation tires Him not. And He is the Most High, the Most Great.” (S.2 V.255)
The Tashahhud begins with the Tahiyya because greetings are normally the opening of any kind of speech. After the Tahiyya, the worshiper praises Allah testifying that all the “prayers”are due for Him. The meaning of “prayers” here is all acts of worship, including the obligatory ones as well as the Nawafil (voluntary extra righteous deeds), acts of obedience, supplications and all deeds that the believer performs seeking to draw closer to their Lord. So doing, the believer is adhering to Allah’s orders.Allah says in the Qur’an in Surah Al-Anaam:
“Say,‘Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the worlds.’”(S.6 V.162)
Next in the Tashahhud, the worshiper testifies that to Allah is due all the “good things”, both words and deeds. Indeed, Allah the Most Exalted is good and, thus, only the good words and acts are raised to Him. Allah the Almighty says in the Qur’an in Surah Fatir:
“…To Him ascends good speech, and righteous work raises it. …” (S.35 V.10)
Moreover, only the righteous of deeds are accepted by Allah the Almighty. On this account, the Messenger of Allah SAW said, “Verily, Allah the Almighty is good and accepts only that which is good.”
O Worshipers! In Tashahhud the Muslim further confers peace and blessings on the Prophet Muhammad SAW, saying, “Peace be on you, O Prophet!” Saying so, the believer addresses the Prophet SAW with peace while recalling his guidance and wisdom for our Prophet Muhammad SAW is the Messenger of mercy and peace. He taught us to send greetings to him and to invoke Allah to confer mercy and blessings upon him. So we say, “Peace and Allah’s Mercy and Blessings be on you, O Prophet!” In this supplication, Allah’s mercy means His favour while Allah’s blessings means His abundant bounties, beseeching the Almighty to increase the Prophet SAW from all that which is good. Furthermore, the prophet Muhammad SAW has also taught us to invoke peace upon ourselves and other righteous people in the Tashahhud. Thus, we say, “Peace be on us and on the pious servants of Allah.” This is because “If he says so, then it will be for all the pious servants of Allah in the Heavens and the Earth or between the heaven and earth.” That is to say, they will be blessed with all that is good. In another narration of the Hadith, the Prophet SAW said, “So, when you have said this, then you have surely sent the greetings to every good (pious) worshipper of Allah, whether he be in the Heaven or on the Earth.” This means whether from the angels, humans or Jinn. Therefore, whoever seeks to attain such greetings of peace that the worshipers send should strive to be from amongst the righteous believers who observe their prayers. On a related note, amongst the other merits of Tashahhud is that it teaches the Muslim the correct way to implore to their Lord the Most Exalted. So, one begins with praising Allah the Almighty, followed by invoking Allah’s peace and blessings upon His Messenger SAW and then invoke Allah to confer the same on him and all the believers. In this regard, the Prophet SAW said “When one of you performs prayer (and wants to supplicate), then let him begin by expressing gratitude to Allah and praising Him. Then, let him invoke Allah for the Prophet SAW, then let him supplicate after that, whatever he wishes.” Allah the Almighty also taught us how to supplicate through the story of His Prophet Noah pbuh who implored to Him saying in the Qur’an in Surah Noah:
“My Lord, forgive me and my parents and whoever enters my house a believer and the believing men and believing women. …” (S.71 V.28)
Amongst the other things that worshiper can learn from reciting the Tashahhud supplication in each prayer is to invoke their Lord to confer peace upon themselves and then on other righteous believers. Indeed, this is one core message of Islam which came to spread peace, mercy, love and goodness amongst all the people of the world. An illustration of this can be seen in the following Hadith: the Messenger of Allah SAW said, “Shall I inform you about a matter which if you do it, then you will love one another? Spread the (greeting of) peace amongst each other.” With this in mind, let us supplicate to Allah the Almighty to teach us that which is beneficial to us and make us benefit from what He taught us.
O Worshipers! Undoubtedly, the Tashahhud statement begins with the best of words, being praising Allah the Almighty. In like manner, it ends with the best of endings, being the two testimonies: that there is no deity save Allah and that Muhammad SAW is the Messenger of Allah. The virtues and rewards of the two testimonies are great, for they are amongst the causes of the believer being admitted to Allah’s Paradise and protected from the Hellfire. In this regard, the Prophet SAW said “Whoever testifies sincerely that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad is His Apostle, Allah will save him from the Hell-fire.” More to the point, there are certain etiquettes that are recommended to be followed upon saying the Tashahhud. Amongst those acts is to raise the forefinger. In this regard, it was narrated that Nafei said, “When Abdullah Ibn Omar, may Allah be pleased with him, sat during prayer, he put his hands on his knees, pointed with his finger and cast a full glance towards it, then he reported that the Messenger of Allah SAW said, ‘It has a more terrible effect upon Satan that even that of iron (i.e. raising the forefinger during attesting the oneness of Allah).’” Furthermore, to attain extra virtues and complete rewards, the worshiper should end his/her last Tashahhud in the prayer with the Ibrahimi Salat.
O Worshipers! Then before saying the Taslim (uttering the salutation), the worshiper is recommended to supplicate to Allah. Amongst the greatest Duaa is to seek refuge with Allah the Almighty from four things that the Messenger of Allah SAW used to seek refuge from after saying Tashahhud. The prophet SAW used to say, “O Allah, I seek refuge with You from the torment of the Hellfire and I seek refuge with You from the punishment of the grave, and I seek refuge with You from the affliction of the Dajjal (antichrist), and I seek refuge with You from the trial of life and death.” Next, the worshiper may ask Allah, the Most Exalted, to grant him whatever he wishes from all that is good in this world and the Hereafter. The Prophet SAW said, “Then he may choose any supplication which pleases him and offer it.” After that the worshiper ends their prayer with Taslim. That is said, please bear in mind that you are instructed to invoke peace and blessings on the Prophet SAW. Allah, the Most Sublime, says in the Qur’an in Surah Al-Ahzab:
“Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [Allah to confer] blessing upon him and ask [Allah to grant him] peace.” (S.33 V.56)
May the peace and the blessings of Allah be upon prophet Muhammad SAW, his family and all of his Companions. May Allah be pleased with the Rightly Guided Caliphs: Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali, and all those who will follow them in righteousness until the Day of Judgment.
O Allah! Accept our prayers and all our ibada.
O Allah! Guide us to the right path and make us of those on whom You bestows Your mercy.
O Allah! Accept all of our good deeds and forgive us for our sins.
O Allah! Please Bless us for our Dawah work here in Japan.
O Allah! Give shifa to all those who are sick.
O Allah! Grant safety and security to everyone here in Japan as well as all over the world. Aamin ya Rabbil Aalamin.