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Using the "Harf-e-Nidaa" When Reciting Salawat and Salaam

The "Harf-e-Nidaa" means - to use the pronoun for addressing the second person - who is present (ie. using the word "YA" which means "OH!" when addressing the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) eg. "Ya Nabi! Ya Rasool!")

Some people say that one cannot use the term "Ya Nabi" or "Ya Rasool" when addressing the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) during the recital of the Salaam as this amounts to Shirk. They say this because they believe that the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) cannot hear and is not present so one should not call to him as if he can hear and is present. Others, say that it is permissible to say so only out of love for the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) but not with the belief in mind that he can hear you.

If the "Harf-e-Nidaa" was not permissible then why is it present in the Salaah that we read five times a day, when every worshipper salutes the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), "Ayyuhannabiyyu" (Oh Prophet!) ?

Some individuals state that, one does not have the intention of calling to the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) in the "Attahiyaat", rather one is merely repeating the story of Me’raj. This opinion is without basis. The religion of Islam has never commanded us to recite any Dhikr, without pondering on its meaning. Therefore, when we are reciting the "Attahiyaat", we should not possess this belief, rather we should believe that we are directly addressing the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and sending Salaams to him, upon oneself and upon all the pious of the Ummat.

In the famous book of Jurisprudence, "Durr ul-Mukhtar", it is explained: "The 'Tashahud' (Du’a read in the sitting position of Namaaz) must be read in the present and not as the repetition of an event such as took place during the Me’raj when the 'Tashahud' was revealed. In fact, one must know and read 'Tashahud' and recite Allah's Praises then make present (Haazir) the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and say 'Assalamu alaika ayyahannabiyu ...', then the Salaam upon the present congregation and the pious peoples, and then the testament of the Oneness of Allah and the Messengership of the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam). This then constitutes the 'Tashahud'."

Allah Ta'ala orders us not to call upon the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) in the same way as we call upon each other: "Make not the summoning of the Messenger among yourselves, like one calls the other among you." (Surah al-Furqan: 63) When we call upon the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) it must be with utmost respect and not like how we call each other. This Ayah is sufficient evidence, because besides making it permissible, Allah Ta'ala also shows us the etiquette when calling Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).

Imam Bukhari (alaihir rahmah) in his "Kitaabul Adaabul Mufrad", Imam Ibnus Sinni (alaihir rahmah) and Imam ibn Bashkool (alaihir rahmah) have recorded that Sayyiduna Abdullah Ibn 'Umar (radi Allahu anhuma) once suffered from a cramp. Someone advised him to remember the person whom he loved the most. The great companion then proclaimed loudly, "YA MUHAMMADAH". It is recorded that he was immediately relieved.