Is it contrary to the sunnah to say salawat after performing a prayer?

The Details of the Question

- The Prophet (pbuh) said, ‘Praise Allah first; say salawat for me after that and then pray as you wish.’ However, after performing a fard prayer, the muezzin says, ‘ala rasulina salawat’. Then, we praise, glorify and extol Allah. Is that ordering not wrong?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

No, the ordering mentioned above is not wrong and it is not contrary to the sunnah.   It is sunnah for a person to pray (say dua) after praising Allah and salawat but there is no drawback to praying without praising Allah and saying salawat.

It is sunnah to glorify Allah (tasbihat) after a prayer. Supplication (dua) is generally made after tasbihat.

Therefore, it is not contrary to the sunnah to say salawat before tasbihat. For, there are verses and hadiths about saying salawat for the Prophet (pbuh) directly.

However, it is sunnah for those who will say dua after tasbihat to say dua as they wish after praising Allah and saying salawat.

The narration mentioned in the question:

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) heard a person supplicating after prayer without praising Allah and blessings the Prophet. Thereupon, he said,

“That man made haste.” He then called him and said either to him or to another person,

 “If any of you prays, he should mention the exaltation of his Lord in the beginning and praise Him; he should then invoke blessings on the Prophet (pbuh). After that, he should supplicate Allah for anything he wishes.” (Abu Dawud, Witr 23; see Tirmidhi, Daawat 65; Nasai, Sahw 48)

Once, while the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was sitting in Masjid an-Nabawi with his Companions, a man arrived. According to another narration of the hadith, this person, whose name we do not know, performed a prayer alone and prayed as follows: "Allahummaghfir li warhamni: O Allah! Forgive me and have mercy on me."

However, prayer has its own manners and method like everything. It is necessary to show respect to God Almighty, from whom something will be asked, whose help will be requested, to praise Him as duly, and to send blessings to the Prophet, who will intercede in the presence of God Almighty.

Therefore, the Messenger of Allah said that this person made haste and wanted to use that opportunity to teach his Companions how to pray. He said the words mentioned above to that Companion whom he had summoned, or to his other Companions while he was sitting next to him.

A person who will pray to Allah after performing a prayer or at other times should say, "Al-Hamdu lillahi Rabbil-alamin was-salatu was-salamu ala sayyidina Muhammadin wa alihi wa sahbihi ajmain" or praise Allah and bless the Prophet (pbuh) with a similar statement.  

As a matter of fact, once, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) saw one of his Companions begin to pray by praising Allah and blessing His Messenger. He appreciated that Companion and said, "O the one who performed the prayer! Pray and your prayer will be answered." (Tirmidhi, Daawat 65)

Muslims learn life and way of living as well as prayer and worship from the Messenger of Allah and hence they try to do everything in accordance with their manners and method.

Accordingly:

- One should try to pray as the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) taught.

- One should start prayer (dua) by praising Allah first, and then blessing the Messenger of Allah.

- After that, he should say what he wants from Allah, and then finish the prayer by praising Allah again, for example, by saying "Amin wal-hamdu lillahi Rabbil-alamin".

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