Angel’s Salaat upon the believers is explained by Hafidh Ibn Jawzi in two different statements;
First -the Salaat of the Angels is their supplication on behalf
of the slaves of Allah as explained by Abu Aliya.
[See, Saheeh al-Bukharee, The Book of Tafseer]
Second -the Salaat of the Angels
is their seeking forgiveness.
[Zaad al-Maseer (6/398)]
Imam Raghib Asfahani
has combined both these statements and said,
“The Salaat of the Angels is
their supplication and seeking forgiveness.”
[al-Mufarridat fi Gharib al-Qur'aan]
From the foremost, whose supplication and intercession is accepted by Allah are the Angels. Such is because Angels are obedient slaves of their Lord and they supplicate only for those whom Allah likes that they intercede. Allah says in the Qur'aan, “They speak not until He (Allah) has spoken, and they act on His Command.” Allah says further, “…and they cannot intercede (i.e., supplicate on behalf of someone) except for him with whom He (Allah) is pleased.” [Soorah al-
Ambiya (21): 26]
Two fundamental conditions of Shifa’ah (intercession) are;
a) No one can intercede except with the Permission of Allah,
b) Nobody can intercede except on behalf of whom Allah permits
and is Pleased with, as Allah says in Soorah Saba (34): 23,
“Intercession with Him profits not, except for him whom He
Ibn Katheer (rahimahullah) writes, “Allah tells us that the angels in the heavens, those who are close to Him and others, are all servants who submit humbly to Allah. They do not intercede with Him except by His Permission for someone with whom He is pleased. They are not like the princes and ministers of their (the idolater’s) kings who intercede with them without their permission for both; those whom the kings like and those whom they hate…” [See, Tafseer Ibn Katheer (39): 1-4] Thus, “…verses (that mention this fundamental condition of intercession) assert Allah’s Greatness, Pride, and Grace, and that no one dares to intercede with Him on behalf of anyone else, except by His permission.” [See, Tafseer Ibn Katheer (21): 28]
Accordingly, in order to achieve the intercession of the creation, it is first required to please Allah by adhering to the requirements of Tawheed (Oneness of Allah) and not committing any form of Shirk. When Abu Hurayrah asked the Prophet , “Who will be the happiest of people to receive your intercession?” He said, “Whoever said, 'La ilaha illa Allah' sincerely with pure intention from his heart.” [Quoted from Kitab at-Tawheed by Muhammad ibn
Shaikhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) writes in Iqtida Sirat al-Mustaqeem explaining this hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah , ‘So, the more sincerely one recites this statement (i.e. La ilaha illAllah), the more deserving he would be of the intercession. However, one who puts his trust in some fellow creature (for intercession) looking forward to him and fearing him, would have no share in the
intercession. When one approaches someone for recommending the case of another, he does not take prior permission to do so. Rather, one does it in the belief that the person approached, being indebted to him, would consider favorable the recommendation. However, Allah is above everyone, being the Master and Ruler of everyone, hence, one cannotintercede with him without His prior leave. He, Himself, grants someone this privilege and accepts his intercession. This is akin to the process of dua (supplication), in that He prompts one to ask something and then grants the same. This Right is of Allah Alone. It is worth reflecting that the one taken by someone as his intercessor may decline to do so or be forbidden by Allah to do so or his request be turned down. The most exalted human beings are Prophet Muhammad and Prophet Ibraheem . Yet, Prophet Muhammad ceased to supplicate for his dear uncle Abu Talib, not withstanding his earlier statement that he would seek forgiveness for him unless forbidden from it. The Prophet offered funeral
prayer for some hypocrites and prayed for their forgiveness but he was forbidden to do so by Allah, “And never (O Muhammad) pray (funeral prayer) for any of them (hypocrites) who dies, nor stand at his grave. Certainly they disbelieved in Allah and His Messenger, and died while they were Fasiqoon (rebellious, -disobedient to Allah and His Messenger).” [Soorah Tawbah (9): 84]
“Whether you (O Muhammad) ask forgiveness for them (hypocrites) or ask not forgiveness for them... (And even) if you ask seventy times for their forgiveness... Allah will not forgive them, because they have disbelieved in Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad). And Allah guides not those people who are Fasiqoon (rebellious, disobedient to Allah).” [Soorah at-Tawbah (9): 80] After this revelation, the Prophet remarked, “Were I to know that they would be forgiven if I had asked more than seventy times for their forgiveness, I would have done so.” Subsequently, the following verse was revealed, “It is equal to them whether you (Muhammad) ask forgiveness or ask not forgiveness for them. Verily, Allah guides not the people who are the Fasiqoon (rebellious, disobedient to Allah).” [Soorah al-Munafiqun (63): 6]
Let us now turn our attention to Prophet Ibraheem's story. He had promised his father that he would ask forgiveness on his behalf. However, when Ibrahim realized that his father was Allah's enemy, he recanted his earlier stance, as the Qur'aan recounts, “It is not (proper) for the Prophet and those who believe to ask Allah's Forgiveness for the Mushrikoon (polytheist, idolaters, pagans, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah) even though they be of kin, after it has become clear to them that they are the dwellers of the Fire (because they died in a state of disbelief). And (Ibraheem's) invoking (of Allah) for his father's forgiveness was only because of a promise he had made to him (his father). But when it became clear to him (Ibraheem) that he (his father) is an enemy to Allah, he distanced
himself from him.” '
[Soorah Tawbah (9): 113-114] [end quote] So, no intercession will be of benefit to someone who commits Shirk or one who leads his life in disobedience to Allah while simply holding on to the false hope that he will be pardoned due to the intercession of Allah’s Messenger or someone else. One should always remember that intercession is an honor bestowed by Allah on His Messengers and pious slaves. When Allah Wills to forgive the sins of His slaves, He might make intercession of His pious slaves a means to forgive a
sinful person, thus forgiving His sinful slave and honoring His pious slave.
Texts of the Qur'aan and the Sunnah mention the characteristics of such fortunate people, for whom the Angels are permitted to intercede, seek forgiveness and ask Allah's blessings for them. It also cites those unfortunate people, whom the Angels invoke against, and ask Allah to cause their destruction and failure.
In order to encourage incorporating the good qualities that make one worthy of Angel's Salaat, and to warn against those destructive traits that cause one to deserve Angel's La'nah, we have collected a few Ahadeeth that speak on the subject.
in a state of purity
Allah's Messenger said, “Purify these bodies and Allah will purify you. There is no one who sleeps in a state of purity except that an Angel accompanies him for the night. He (the slave of Allah) does not turn his side (during his sleep) except that the Angel says, “O Allah, forgive your slave because he slept in a state of purity.” [Fath al-Baree. Al-Hafidh Ibn Hajr
(rahimahullah) has declared its chain of narrators as ‘good’ (Jayyid)] Moreover, when this person awakens from his sleep, the same Angel seeks forgiveness for him. Allah’s Messenger said, “An Angel accompanies him, who sleeps in a state of purity and he does not awaken from his sleep except that the Angel says, ‘O Allah forgive your slave (and he mentions his name) because he slept in a state of purity.’” [Silsilah Ahaadeeth as-Saheehah] These two Ahadeeth mention two merits for the one who sleeps in the state of purity,
An Angel accompanies him throughout the night; and what a great merit is it to receive the company of an Angel!
During the night, whenever the slave of Allah turns in bed,
the Angel seeks forgiveness for him. These are not the only two benefits of sleeping in a state of purity. The Prophet said, “There is no Muslim who sleeps in a state of purity while mentioning the remembrance of Allah and wakes up during the night and asks any blessing of this world or the Hereafter except that Allah grants his request.” [ Sunan Abu Dawood]
People who eagerly
Allah's Messenger said, “(When) One of you awaits the Salaat without breaking his ablution, he is in the state of prayer. The Angels supplicate for him, ‘O
Allah, forgive him. O Allah, have Mercy upon him.’” [Saheeh Muslim] Allahu Akbar! Such great reward for such a simple
and easy deed -The slave of Allah merely awaits the prayer and the rewards of performing prayers are recorded in his deeds, and the Angels seek forgiveness and blessings of Allah for him!! Fortunate people used to and still preserve this magnificent deed.
A splendid story in this regard is the one mentioned by Imam Ibnul-Mubarak (rahimahullah) from Ataa ibn Saaib (rahimahullah) that he said, “We visited Abu Abdur-Rahman Salma (whose name was Abdullah ibn Habib) and he was on the verge of death in the mosque. We suggested to him to move to his house, which would be more comfortable. To which he replied, “Such and such person has informed me that Allah's Messenger said, ‘Whoever amongst you stays in the mosque awaiting the prayer is in the state ofprayer.’
And in the narration of Imam Ibn Sad, the Messenger of Allah said, “and the Angels say, ‘O Allah, forgive him. O Allah, have Mercy on him.’” And then he (Abu Abdur-Rahman Salma) said, “So, I wantto die while I am in the mosque.” [Tabaqaat al-Kubra, 6/174-175]
in the first row
Imam Ibn Hibban (rahimahullah) relates from Baraa
, “The Messenger of Allah used to say, “Verily,
Allah and His Angels send Salaat upon (the people of)
the first row.” [Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawood]
The saying of Baraa , “The Messenger of Allah used to say” means that Allah's Messenger repeatedly mentioned this statement.
The saying of Allah's Messenger once is enough to establish the authenticity of any statement, but when the Messenger of Allah repeatedly mentions an issue, then how firm and potential would thematter be?
Frequent mentioning of the issue also indicates the keenness of Allah's Messenger for the people of his Ummah to achieve the great rewards of praying in the first row. Numerous ahadeeth can be found on the subject. From amongst them is the narration recorded in Saheeh al-Bukharee from Abu Hurayrah , “…If the people knew the reward for pronouncing the Adhan (call for prayer) and for standing in the first row (in the congregational prayer) and found no other way to get it except by drawing lots, they would do so…” [Saheeh al-Bukharee]
Imam Ahmad recorded the Hadeeth which mentions the Salaat of Angels upon the second row of congregation along with the first row. Allah's Messenger said, “Verily, Allah and His Angels send Salaat upon the first row.” They (the Sahabah) said, “O Messenger of Allah! (What about) the second row?” Allah's Messenger said, “Verily, Allah and His Angels send Salaat upon the (people of) the first row.” They said, “O Messenger of Allah! the second row?” The Messenger of Allah said, “and on the second
row.”[Saheeh at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb (1/269)]
Along with proving that Allah and His Angels send Salaat upon the second row, this Hadeeth also proves the excellence of the first row over the second row, for Allah's Messenger mentioned that Allah and His Angels send Salaat upon the first row twice.
The excellence of other leading rows is also mentioned in the Hadeeth recorded by Imam Abu Dawood from Baraa ibn Azib , who narrated that Allah's Messenger said, “Verily, Allah and His Angels send Salaat upon the first rows.” [Saheeh Sunan Abu Dawood, 1/130]
standon the right side
of the Imam in the congregation
The Messenger of Allah said, “Verily, Allah and His Angels send Salaat upon (the people) of right side of the rows.” [Hafidh Ibn Hajr has declared this Hadeeth as, hasan.
See, Fathul-Baree (2/213)]
The Sahabah were always eager to stand on the
right-hand side of the Prophet in congregational prayers. Baraa said, “When we prayed behind the Prophet, we cherished to be on his right side so that his face would turn towards us (at the end of the prayer)…” [Saheeh Muslim]
of congregational prayer
The Angels send Salaat upon those, who join the
lines and stand shoulder-to-shoulder and toe-to-toe
in congregational prayers while leaving no place in
between. Two Ahadeeth from many on the subject have
been quoted below, Aa'isha (radhi allahu anha) reports
from the Messenger of Allah , “Verily, Allah and His Angels send Salaat upon those who complete the rows, and whoever fills a gap (in a row), Allah will raise his status because of it.” [Saheeh
Sunan Ibn Majah]
Imam Ibn Khuzaymah relates from Baraa ibn Azib , “Allah's Messenger would walk from one corner of the row to the other and touch our chests and shoulders (in order to straighten our lines) and say, ‘Don't split (your rows) (or Allah may) split your hearts.’” [Saheeh at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb] Therefore, the Sahabah used to preserve their lines of congregation.
Imam Bukharee (rahimahullah) records from Anas Ibn Malik that Allah's Messenger said, “Straighten your rows, for I see you from behind my back.” Anas added, “Each one of us used to put his shoulder with the shoulder of his companion and his foot withthefootofhiscompanion.” [Saheehal-Bukharee]
People who perform
Angels of night and Angels of day gather at (the time
of) Fajr and Asr prayers. At the time of Fajr prayer, Angels of night ascend and Angels of day descend, and at the time of Asr prayer, the Angels of day ascend and
Angels of night descend (and) their Lord asks them, “In
what state did you leave my slaves?” They reply, “We descended and they were praying, and we left them while they were praying, so forgive them on the Day of Judgment.”[See, Musnad Ahmad]
People who keep
at the place
after concluding it
Abu Hurayrah reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “Anyone amongst you who sat in a place of worship waiting for the prayer is in prayer and his ablution is not broken, the angels invoke blessing upon him (in these words), “O Allah! Pardon him. O Allah! have mercy upon him.”[Saheeh Muslim]
Question: Is it necessary that one keeps seated in the place of one's Salaat in the mosque in order to receive the Angels’ Salaat, or one would still receive this merit if he were to move to another place in the mosque?
Hafidh Ibn Hajr writes explaining a similar Hadeeth in Fathul-Baree (2/136), “the intent of the saying of Allah's Messenger, 'at the place of Salaat' is the same place, where a person performs his Salaat. This has been said considering the general situation. However, if one moves to another place with the intention of awaiting the next prayer, then he will be eligible for the same reward.”
Question: Can women praying in their own houses also achieve the Salaat of Angels by sitting at the place of prayer?
Allamah Ibn Baz answered a similar question in the affirmative: Is reading the Qur'aan after Fajr prayer in one's home equal in reward to performing the same deed in the mosque?
Answer: “This is a greatly rewarded deed, but the words of the Hadeeth indicate that the reward is for those who perform the deed in the place of one’s prayer in the mosque. However, if someone due to some sickness or fear, performs the Fajr Salaat in the house, reads the Qur'aan or glorifies Allah while being seated in the place of prayer until sunrise and then performs two raka'ah of prayer Insha’Allah, he will achieve the rewards mentioned in the Hadeeth, because he has performed the prayer in the house due to reasons recognized by the Sharee'ah.
Similarly, if a woman performs the Fajr Salaat in the house, reads the Qur'aan or glorifies Allah while being seated in the place of prayer until sunrise and then performs two raka'ah of prayer, then she will also achieve the rewards mentioned in the hadeeth.” [Majmo
Fatawa wa Maqalat Mutanawwi li-Shaikh Ibn Baaz (11/403)]
People who complete the
of the Qur’aan
Imam Darmi (rahimahullah) relates from Sa'd , “If
the recitation of the Qur'aan is completed in the first part of the night then the Angels send Salaat upon the reciter until the end part of the night.
And if the recitation of the Qur'aan is completed in the last part of the night, then the Angels send Salaat upon the reciter until the evening.
So, perhaps, one of us had some part of the Qur'aanic recitation remaining, then he would delay it until the evening or morning.” [Sunan ad-Darmi, Imam Darmi has declared this
narration ‘hasan’ ]
People who send
upon the Prophet
The Messenger of Allah said, ‘There is no person
who sends blessings on me, except that the angels send blessings on him so long as he sends blessings on me. So, let the person do a little of that or a lot.”
[Saheeh al-Jamee (5/174)]
Allah’s Messenger has encouraged us to send more and more blessings upon him by mentioning it's immense virtues.
Imam Tirmidhee (rahimahullah) reported that Abi ibn Kab related, “O Messenger of Allah! I want to increase sending Salaat upon you. So (guide me as to), how much part of my Dua (supplication) should I dedicate for it (i.e., sending
Salaat upon you)?” He said, “As much as you like.” I said, “one-forth?” He said, “As much as you like, but if you increase, it will be better
for you.” I said, “Half?” He said, “As much as you like, but if you increase, it will be better
for you.” I said, “Two-thirds.” He said, “As much as you like, but if you increase, it will be better
for you.” I said, “Should I dedicated all of my supplication (for sending Salaat upon you)?” He said, “Then, all your worries will be taken care of and your sins will be forgiven.” [Saheeh Sunan at-Tirmidhee (2/299)]
Another narration recorded by Imam Ahmad from Abi ibn Ka'ab states, “A man said, ‘What is your opinion if I were to dedicate all of my supplication for sending Salaat upon you?” The Messenger of Allah said, “then, all your worries of the world and the Hereafter will betaken care of.” [at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb (2/501)]
People who spend
The Prophet said, “Every day two angels descend
from heaven and one of them says, “O Allah! Compensate every person who spends in Your Cause,” and the other (angel) says, “O Allah! Destroy
every miser.” [Saheeh Bukharee] Hafidh Ibn Hajr (rahimahullah) has mentioned an excellent point while explaining the Hadeeth. He says
that the Angel does not restrict the recompense of the spent money. The wisdom behind it is that the compensation could be in the form of anything, wealth, reward or something else.
There are many people, who spend for a good cause but leave the world before any compensation (of their money) reaches them in the form of wealth; and their share is allocated until the Hereafter in the form of reward or (for some people) their compensation is in the form of being saved from hardships.” [Fathul-
People who maintain
the Sunnah of Suhoor
Narrated Ibn Umar , “Allah's Messenger said, “Verily, Allah and His Angels send Salaat upon those who eat the Suhoor (the pre-dawn meal of fasting).”
[Saheeh at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb (1/519)]
Abu Sa'eed al-Khudree said that Allah's
Messenger said, “The Suhoor is a meal of blessings,
so do not leave it, even if one of you just takes a (gulp) of
water, since Allah sends Mercy, and His Angels seek
forgiveness for those who take the Suhoor.” [Reported by Ahmad
(3/12 and 44) and Ibn Abee Shaibah (3/8) and their isnads support each other]
This Hadeeth shows the Prophet’s keenness for his Ummah to receive the Mercy of Allah and His forgiveness, which is why he encouraged us to drink even a sip of water for Suhoor.
even though food is served before them
Ammarah relates that Allah's Messenger visited him at his house. A number of other companions also gathered there, who were served dates. One man
isolated himself. Allah's Messenger inquired, “What is the matter with him?”
The man replied, “I am fasting.”
So, the Prophet said, “There is no fasting person before whom
people eat except that Angels send Salaat upon him until they
leave.”[Musnad Ahmad (7/370)]
Shaikh Ahmad Abdur-Rahman al-Banna said while explaining the words of Allah's Messenger, “The Angels send Salaat upon him,” -“Angels send Salaat upon him because he practices patience even though food is served before him, and especially because (in this situation) his heart will be persuaded towards the food and fasting would become difficult for him.” [Buloogh al-Amani (9/217). Also, see Tuhfatul-Awadhi (2/67)]
their sick Muslim brethren
The Prophet said, “There is no man who visits a sick person in the evening, but seventy thousand angels go out with him, and pray for his forgiveness until the morning, and he will have provision in Paradise. And whoever goes to him in the morning, seventy thousand Angels go with him, and they pray for forgiveness for him until the evening, and he will
have provision in Paradise.” [Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawood] Allah's Messenger has encouraged his Ummah to visit the sick by mentioning many other virtues of this deed. For example, he said, “He, who visits a sick remains under the blessings of Allah until he returns, and if he sits (near the sick) then he has been drowned in it (i.e., in the blessing).” [Shaikh al-Albanee has declared this Hadeeth as Saheeh (authentic). See, Hamish Mishkat al-Masabih (1/497)]
Umm Salamah (radhi allahu anha) reported Allah's Messenger saying, “Whenever you visit the sick or the dead, supplicate for good because Angels say, 'Ameen,' to whatever you say…”
Imam an-Nawawi (rahimahullah) said, “This Hadeeth indicates that only good should be spoken at such a place. One should seek Allah's Forgiveness and Mercy (for the sick or the dead) and supplicate for leniency and compassion with them...” [Sharh Nawawi]
Two kinds of people were mentioned before the
Prophet ; an aabid (worshiper) and an aalim (knowledgeable). He said, “...Verily, Allah and His Angels and inhabitants of the heavens and the
earths, even the ant in its hole and even the fish send Salaat upon the preacher of good.” [Saheeh Sunan Tirmidhee] The meaning of, “the preacher of good” in this
Hadeeth signifies the knowledge of the religion and the knowledge, which relates to the success of the people. The Prophet only mentioned the preacher of good so that it becomes evident that only those preachers, who lead the people to good are worthy of such Salaat.” [See, Mirkat al-Mafateh (1/473)]
Angels says, ‘Ameen’ to the Dua of those who pray for their absent fellow Muslim
It is narrated from Abu Darda that the Prophet said, “The Dua of a person for his Muslim brother in his absence will be answered. At his head there is an angel, and every time he prays for him for something good, the angel who has been appointed to be with him, says, ‘Ameen, may you have likewise.’” [Saheeh Muslim]
In light of this Hadeeth, two kinds of people achieve the merit of the Angel's saying, ‘Ameen’. First are those absent Muslims for whom the supplication is performed because the Angel says, ‘Ameen’ for such a supplication, which means, ‘O Allah, accept this Dua for the absent Muslim.”
The second category of people are those who supplicate for the absent Muslims because the Angel says, “and for you too” after, 'Ameen,' meaning may Allah grant you the same.
Imam an-Nawawi (rahimahullah) writes in the explanation of this Hadeeth, “The excellence of supplicating for the absent Muslims is mentioned in this Hadeeth. This merit will be achieved even if one were to supplicate for a group of Muslims. Also, if one supplicates for the whole Muslim Ummah, he will have achieved the same advantage, as is known from the apparent meaning of the Hadeeth.
Qadhi Ayaz (rahimahullah) relates, “If the Salaf wanted to beseech Allah for something with regards to oneself, then they would supplicate to Allah with the same on behalf of their Muslim.
brethren because such a supplication is accepted and the Angel
supplicates for the supplicant.” [Sharh an-Nawawi]
Hafidh Dhahabi (rahimahullah) relates from Umm ad-Darda that Abu Darda had 380 Muslim friends, for whom he would supplicate in his prayer. His wife inquired about the issue and he replied, “Shouldn't I desire that the Angels supplicate for me.” [Siyar A’lam an-Nubula]
Angels seek forgiveness for believers who repent
In Soorah al-Ghafir, Allah tells us that the bearers of the Throne and the Angels who are around the Throne glorify their Lord and submit themselves to Him, and they pray for the forgiveness of believers especially those who repent. “Those (angels) who bear the Throne (of Allah) and those around it, glorify the praises of their Lord and believe in Him, and ask forgiveness for those
who believe (in the Oneness of Allah) (saying), “Our Lord! You comprehend all things in mercy and knowledge, so forgive those who repent and follow Your Way. and save them from the torment of the blazing Fire! Our Lord! And make them enter the And (Eden) Paradise (everlasting Gardens) which you have promised them, and to the righteous among their fathers, their wives, and their offspring! Verily, You are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise. And save them from (the punishment, because of what they did of) the sins, and whomsoever You save from (the punishment, because of what they did of the sins (i.e. excuse them) that Day, him verily, You have taken into mercy.’ And that is the supreme success.” [Soorah al-Ghafir (40): 7-9]