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THE TRUTH ABOUT THE STORY OF TASHAHHUD?

All praise be to Allah.

There are a lot of discussions about the story of the Tashahhud, about its background and about how it came about. There is a long narration circulating on the internet about it and it says in that narration (which is a dialog between prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him) and Jibreel alaihi salam) when he was travelling in the company of Jibreel (alai hi salam) on his way to Sidrat al-Muntaha (the most remote lote tree), during the Mi‘raj (his miraculous ascent to heaven). At some place, Jibreel (peace be upon him) stopped and the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to him: Is it here that a close friend leaves his friend? Jibreel (peace be upon him) said: Each of us has a known position, O Messenger of Allah. If you go forward you will be fine but if I go forward I will be burned. And Jibreel (peace be upon him) became like a worn-out saddle cloth out of fear of Allah. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) went on to Sidrat al-Muntaha and drew close to it, then the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “At-tahiyyatu Lillahi wa’s-salawatu wa’t-tayyibat (All compliments, prayers and pure words are due to Allah).” The Lord of Glory replied: “Al-salamu ‘alayka ayyuha’n-Nabiyyu wa rahmat-Allahi wa barakatuhu (Peace be upon you, O Prophet, and the mercy of Allah and His blessings).” The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) replied: “As-salamu ‘alayna wa ‘ala ‘ibad-Illah is-saliheen (Peace be upon us, and on the righteous slaves of Allah).” Jibreel (peace be upon him) - or it was said: the angels who are close to Allah - said: “Ash-hadu an la ilaha ill-Allah wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan rasoo-Allah (I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah).”

The question is if this narration is true. The story of the origin of tashahhud and that it happened during the ascent of Prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him) to heaven i.e. Miraj is something for which there is no evidence in authentic sources of Islam.

It was narrated that Ibn Mas‘ood (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) taught me the Tashahhud, holding my hand between his hands, just as he would teach me a Surah from the Quran: ‘At-tahiyyatu Lillahi wa’s-salawatu wa’t-tayyibat, as-salamu ‘alayka ayyuha’n-Nabiyyu wa rahmat-Allahi wa barakatuhu. As-salamu ‘alayna wa ‘ala ‘ibad-Illah is-saliheen. Ash-hadu an la ilaha ill-Allah wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasooluhu (All compliments, prayers and pure words are due to Allah. Peace be upon you, O Prophet, and the mercy of Allah and His blessings. Peace be upon us, and on the righteous slaves of Allah. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger).’

This was narrated by the jama‘ah. According to another version, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “When one of you sits during the prayer, let him say: al-tahiyyatu Lillahi…” … and when he came to the words, “wa ‘ala ‘ibad-Illah al-saaliheen”, he said: “If you do that, you will have greeted with salam every righteous slave of Allah in heaven and on earth.” And at the end he said: “Then let him choose whatever he wants to ask for.”

Ahmad narrated from Abu ‘Ubaydah, from his father ‘Abd-Allah ibn Mas‘ood (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) taught him the tashahhud and instructed him to teach it to the people: “Al-tahiyyatu Lillahi…” and he quoted it.

The hadeeth (narration) of Ibn Mas‘ood (may Allah be pleased with him) is the soundest hadeeth about the tashahhud, and is to be acted upon according to most of the scholars among the Sahabah (Companions) and Tabi‘een (Successors).

Thus from above discussion, we come to the conclusion that it is not permissible to circulate or believe upon the things that have no basis or evidence from the authentic sources and are not proven. No one should propagate them until after checking whether they are proven and sound.

It was narrated that Hafs ibn ‘Asim said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “It is sufficient lying for a man to speak of everything that he hears.” Narrated by Muslim, 5.

And Allah knows best.

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