Why did the Prophet order us to utter salawat for him?

Details of the Question

Why did the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) order us to utter salawat for him?
Why did he say, "May the nose of a person who does not utter salawat for me soil with dust!"?
Is his statement not a bit harsh?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

- Allah orders us to utter salawat for the Prophet (pbuh) before the Prophet himself. (al-Ahzab, 33/56)

To fulfill Allah’s commands is the duty of the Prophet (pbuh) before everyone else. 

- Salawat is an expression of the connection with the Prophet (pbuh) and love toward him.  

He ordered this salawat because he wanted his ummah to make progress in this spiritual way by establishing this connection.  

- As it is stated in the Quran, to obey the Prophet (pbuh) means to obey Allah. (see an-Nisa, 4/80)

A believer who establishes his connection with the Prophet (pbuh) through salawat and shows his love toward him strengthens his connection with Allah and his love toward Him too. Since salawat is an important sign of being a slave of Allah, the Prophet ordered salawat, which is a means of it.   

- “May the nose of a person who does not utter salawat for me soil with dust!" (Tirmidhi, Da'awat 110) The statement in the hadith above can be interpreted in two ways:  

Firstly, the Prophet used this expression, which is often used by Arabs, in the form of a warning in order to state the importance of salawat, which enables adherence to Allah and the Quran, and to warn people so that they will not miss this gain. That is, he used this expression to express the importance of the issue, not as a real damning.     

Secondly, the verb “soil” in the Arabic text is in the form of past tense. Such verbs are sometimes used as “an imperative in the form of giving information” in Arabic; in that case, they become a supplication or damning. Sometimes, it is regarded as giving information.

It is possible to interpret it in the form of giving information in the hadith.

In that case, the full meaning of the statement is as follows: “The nose of a person who does not utter salawat for me is soiled with dust.” That is a person who does not utter salawat for me loses so much that he beats his breast and regrets as if his nose has been soiled with dust.

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