Prophet Muhammad




What's New

Total Site Contents



Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam

By: Imam Ahmad Raza Khan
Rahmatullahi ‘alayh

Some Preliminary Observations
By: Siddiq Osman Noormuhammad


Allah, The Glorified and The Exalted, exhorts us in the Holy Qur’an:

Truly, Allah and His angels shower blessings on the Prophet. O you who believe! Ask blessings on him and salute him with a worthy salutation.  (Qur’an 33:56)

Muslims are very fond of reciting this memorable verse from the Holy Qur’an. It is recited every Friday in the Friday khutba in all the masajid all over the world. 

In this verse, Allah Ta‘ala issues two Commands to the mu’minin (believers): to send salawaat (blessings) on the Holy Prophet Muhammad (ص) and to send salaams (salutations) on him.

Allahumma salli wa sallim ‘alayh
May Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him

The benefits of the recitation of salawaat and salaams have been explained in many Hadith. One such Hadith is:

Hadrat ‘Abdallah ibn Mas‘ud (ر) reports that the Holy Prophet (ص ) said: The person who asks blessings upon me abundantly will be nearest to me on the Day of Judgement. (Tirmidhi)

To fulfill these Qur’anic and Prophetic exhortations, all Muslims recite at least 100 times salawaat (blessings) on the Holy Prophet Muhammad (ص) a day. And the awliya (sufi saints), the salihin (pious) and the ‘ulama (learned scholars) have compiled many books of salawaat (blessings) and salaam (salutations) on the Holy Prophet Muhammad (ص ). The most well-known Salaam in Arabic is by Imam al-Barzanji, in Turkish by Sulayman Celebi Efendi, and in Urdu by Imam Ahmad Raza Khan. In this short introductory article, we have space enough for only a few glances at the spiritually enriching Salaam of Imam Ahmad Raza Khan (1856-1921), may we continue to benefit from his barakaat (blessings), Amin.

This Salaam is recited in standing ovation to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (ص) by muhibbin (beloved followers) of the Holy Prophet (ص ). All stand and the first couplet is recited in congregation. 

Mustafa jaanay rahmat pay lakhon salaam
Sham-ay bazmay hidayat pay lakhon salaam

Millions of salutations on Mustafa, essence of mercy
Millions of salutations on the brightest light of guidances from Imam Ahmad Raza Khan (in Urdu), followed by a few couplets from Imam al-Barzanji (in Arabic) and end with a few couplets from ‘Allama Akbar Warthi (in Urdu). Just imagine the crescendo if one were to know Turkish as well to round it off with a few couplets from Sulayman Celebi Efendi!

The Salaam by Imam Ahmad Raza Khan has 171 couplets. It is spontaneous and overflowing as if inspired (with ilham), and brings out the best of both the ‘aalim (religious scholar) and the murshid al-kaamil (total spiritual master) in the great Imam. He has composed all types of Muslim religious poetry in Urdu (and some in Farsi) like hamd, na‘at (ghazal and qasida), manqabat, shajarah, sharh and tawassul, all contained in his kitab titled Hadaiq Bakhshish (The Gardens of Gifts) but A‘la Hazrat as he is affectionately called, will for ever be remembered for his most memorable “Salaam” on the Holy Prophet (ص ). Pick any book on Muslim religious poetry in Urdu and you will surely find at least a few verses of this Salaam in it.

It is so spiritually captivating that you will see tears run down the cheeks of muhibbin (beloved disciples) as they render it in their melodious voices. It shows the depth of the love of the Imam for our Beloved Holy Prophet Muhammad (ص). It is a complete integrated whole but for purposes of understanding, it can be said to be composed of:

    1. Sifat (the most noble attributes) of the Holy Prophet (ص ) in general (Couplets 1 – 33).
    2. Sifat of his physical appearance (Couplets 34-81).
    3. Sifat of his life and times (Couplets 82– 109).
    4. Sifat of the Ahl al-Bayt (his Blessed Family) and the Sahaba (his Noble Companions), may Allah be pleased with them (Couplets 110– 149).
    5. Sifat of the awliya (sufi saints) and the salihin (the pious) (Couplets 150 – 171).

To provide an appreciation of this rare treasure, I have given a transliteration of 40 selected Couplets (in the order in which they appear in the Salaam) and a translation (in straight prose).

Professor G.D. Qureshi has of course rendered all Muslims the most memorable service of providing a poetic translation of the whole Salaam.  May Allah Ta‘ala amply reward him and enroll all of us among those who write on the Holy Prophet (ص ) and follow his teachings, Amin.

This Salaam is unique in that the Imam has praised the miraculous powers of Muhammad al-‘Arabi (ص) , as well as the miraculous powers of each of  his physical features: for example, his ears, his vision, his blessed mouth, his blessed tongue, his speech and khutubaat (sermons), his smile, the Seal of Prophethood (between his shoulders), his arms and his fingers. The miraculous power of his fingers is borne out in the following Hadith:

Narrated Hadrat Jabir bin ‘Abdullah (ر ): “I was with the Holy Prophet (ص ) and the time for the ‘Asr prayer became due. We had no water with us except a little which was put in a vessel and was brought to the Prophet (ص ). He put his hand into it and spread out his fingers and then said, “Come along! Hurry up! All those who want to perform ablution. The blessing is from Allah”. I saw the water gushing out from his fingers. So the people performed the ablution and drank, and I tried to drink more of that water (beyond my thirst and capacity), for I knew that it was a blessing.” The sub-narrator said: I asked Jabir (ر ), “How many persons were you there?” He replied, “We were one thousand four hundred men.” (Bukhari)

The Imam captures this incident in his own inimitable style:

Nur kay chashme lehraaen dharya bahain
Ungliyon key karaamat pay lakhon salaam.

Fountains of spritual light, like rivers flowing
Millions of salutations on the miracle of his fingers.

Along with the Holy Prophet (ص ), the Imam gives a standing ovation to his Family and Companions (ر ), as well as the sufi saints and the pious.

As we go through the Salaam, trying each time to understand a bit more of it, we find that Imam Ahmad Raza Khan is truly rooted in Shari‘a (sacred Muslim law), is a master of Tariqa (Spiritual Path leading to Allah) and is full of haqiqi ma‘rifa (knowledge of spiritual realities). May Muslims continue to gain thawab (spiritual reward) by reciting his “Salaam” to the Holy Prophet (ص ) and achieve maghfira (forgiveness from Allah). Amin.



Imam Ahmad Raza Khan, Hadaiq Bakhshish (The Gardens of Gifts), Chishti Kutub Khana, Faisalabad, n.d.

Professor G.D. Qureshi, Salam of Imam Ahmad Raza Khan, in Urdu, with poetic translation, The World Islamic Mission, U.K, 1401/1981.

Note: This article together with the transliteration and translation of 40 selected verses of the Salaam was first published in Toronto in the Souvenir Issue of Milad un-Nabi (ص) in 1414/1993, published by the International Milaad-un-Nabi Conference 1993, p. 27-34.

Related web-page:

Salaam by Imam Ahmad Raza Khan

Siddiq Osman Noormuhammad
Updated: 12 Rabi‘ Awwal 1428 / 31 March 2007