TAHIYYAH – تحيات
Salutations. Greetings. Du'âs. An ascribing eternity and dominion to Allah.
Giving salâm and offering du'âs of khayr.
“اَلتَّحِيَّاتُ لِلّٰهِ 1 . Briefly, its meaning is this: for example, a master craftsman makes a wonderful machine with his profound knowledge and miraculous intelligence, and everyone who sees that wonderous machine applauds and congratulates the craftsman, and through praise and favours, offers him material and ma’nawî gifts and tahiyyahs. That machine too, by displaying the craftsman's wondrously subtle art, and skill and knowledge, and working perfectly in exactly the way he wanted, applauds him through the language of its being, greets him and offers him ma’nawî tahiyyahs and gifts.
In exactly the same way, all the species of living beings in the universe, together with all their individual members, are in every respect miraculous, wonderful machines, like conscious beings, men, and jinn and malâikah’s verbal language, through the language of their beings and lives applauded by tahiyyas and say اَلتَّحِيَّاتُ لِلّٰهِ by greeting to their craftsman, As-Sâni’ Zuljalâl, Who makes Himself known through the profound and subtle manifestations of His all-comprehending ‘Ilm, which sees the relationship of everything with everything else, and knows all the things necessary for the life of each and conveys them to it at the right time. They offer the price of their lives directly to their Creator like performing ‘ubûdiyyah, Who knows all creatures together with all their states, this is why On the night of the Mi’raj, in the name of all living creatures, Muhammad ‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm said اَلتَّحِيَّاتُ لِلّٰهِ instead of the salâm in the presence of Al-Wâjib Al-Wujûd, and offered the tahiyyas, gifts, and ma’nawî salâms of all those species of living beings.
Yes, just as with its order and balance, an ordinary regular machine undoubtedly shows a painstaking, skilful craftsman; so each of the numberless living machines which fill the universe displays a thousand and one miracles of ‘Ilm. Whatever the comparison between the light of the sun and the feeble glow of the fire-fly, that is the comparison of the former and the brilliance with which, through the manifestations of ‘ilm, the living beings testify to the necessary existence of their eternal Maker and Craftsman, and His Ma’bûdiyyah.” The Rays (610-611 )
بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
[This is two answers to two questions about two points concerning اَلتَّحِيَّاتُ اَلْمُبَارَكَاتُ اَلصَّلَوَاتُ اَلطَّيِّبَاتُ لِلّٰهِ to the end thereof which is in the tashahhud of the salâh. Postponed to another time is the explanation of the other haqiqahs for the tashahhud, here in this Sixth Ray only two subtle points out of hundreds will be explained in a brief form.]
First Question: Although the blessed words of the tashahhud are a conversation of Janâb-i Haqq and His Rasûl (asm) on the night of Mi’raj what is the hikmah for them being recited in the salâh?
The Answer: Each mu’min’s salâh is a sort of Mi’raj of his. The words which are worthy for that hudhur are the words that are spoken at the great Mi’raj of Muhammad (‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm). That sacred conversation is recalled by performing dhikr of them. Through this recollection, the meanings of those blessed words raise from the particularity to the universality and those sacred and comprehensive meanings are or can take a form in the mind. Through taking that form in the mind, their value and nûr become elevated and expand.
For example, instead of salâm that night to Janâb-i Haqq, Ar-Rasûl Al-Akram ‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm said: اَلتَّحِيَّاتُ لِلّٰهِ2 . That is, "O my Rabb! All the tasbîhât of life which living beings display through their lives and the fitrî gifts they offer to their Sâni’ are Yours alone. Through forming them in my mind and through my îmân, I too offer all of them to You."
Yes, with the word اَلتَّحِيَّاتُ Ar-Rasûl Al-Akram ‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm intends and offers to Allah all the living creatures’ ‘ibâdah of their fitrah. Also, through the word اَلْمُبَارَكَاتُ3 which is the summary of tahîyyah, he represents the fitrî blessedness, barakah and ‘ubûdiyyah of creatures, which are the source of barakah, and cause one to exclaim: “Congratulations and Bârakallah4 ”, and called mubârak, and the essences of life and living beings, especially seeds, grains and eggs. He says it with this extensive meaning.
Through the word اَلصَّلَوَاتُ 5 , which is a summary of al-mubarakât, he forms the ‘ibâdah peculiar to all the beings with rûhs in his mind, who are the essences of living beings, and offers to the Ilahî Court with their extensive meaning.
Also, with the word اَلطَّيِّبَاتُ6 the summary of as-salawât, through intending the luminous and elevated ‘ibâdah of perfected human beings and the malâikah al-muqarrabîn7 , who are the essences of beings with rûhs, he especially endows and offers them to Al-Ma’bûd.
Janâb-i Haqq saying that night 8 اَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ يَا اَيُّهَا النَّبِىُّ indicates commandingly that in the future, each of the hundreds of millions of people saying 9 اَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ يَا اَيُّهَا النَّبِىُّ every day at least ten times. And that Ilahî salâm gives that word an extensive nûr and elevated meaning. In the same way, Ar-Rasûl Al-Akram ‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm replying to that salâm: اَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْنَا وَعَلَى عِبَادِ اللّٰهِ الصَّالِحِينَ 10 expresses and recollects that he requested from his Khâliq hopefully and beseechingly that in the future his great ummah and the sâlih members of it would manifest Islam, which represents Ilahî salâm, and that all his ummah would say: اَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ وَ عَلَيْكَ السَّلاَمُ 11 which, between mu’mins, is a general shiâ’r of Islam.
Hazrat Jabrâil ‘Alayhissalâm, who took part in the conversation, saying that night by the command of Allah: اَشْهَدُ اَنْ لاَ اِلهَ اِلاَّ اللّٰهُ وَ اَشْهَدُ اَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَسُولُ اللّٰهِ 12 tells of the glad tidings that all the ummah will testify in that way until the qiyâmah. Through recalling this sacred conversation, the meanings of the words shine and broaden.
A strange state of rûh that assisted in the unfolding of the above haqiqah: One time while in a dark exile, on a dark night and in a ghaflah with darkness, the present state of the huge universe seemed to my imagination as lifeless, without rûh, dead, empty, desolate, terrific corpse. The past, too, entirely imagined to be lifeless, empty, dead and terrific. That boundless place and limitless time took the form of a dark wilderness. I had refuged in salâh to be saved from that state. When I said: اَلتَّحِيَّاتُ in the tashahhud, suddenly the universe revived, took a living and luminous form and came to life. It became a shining mirror of Al-Hayy Who is Qayyûm. Through ‘ilm al-yaqîn rather haqq al-yaqîn, I saw and knew that with all its living parts, they continually offer the tahîyyahs and gifts of their lives to The One Who is Al-Hayy and Al-Qayyûm.
Then, when I said: 13 اَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ يَا اَيُّهَا النَّبِىُّ , that limitless desolate time transformed from the form of the wilderness into a familiar form of a place of promenade under the leadership of Ar-Rasûl Al-Akram ‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm with living rûhs.
Second Question: The comparison at the end of the tashahhud: اَللّٰهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ كَمَا صَلَّيْتَ عَلَى اِبْرَاهِيمَ وَعَلَى آلِ اِبْرَاهِيمَ 14 is not appropriate to the rules of comparisons. For Muhammad ‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm receives greater rahmah than Ibrâhîm ‘Alayhissalâm and is greater than him. What is the mystery of it? And, what is the hikmah for designating salawât of this sort especially to the tashahhud? Since early times the same du'â has been repeated in all salâh by all the ummah; whereas if a du'â is accepted once, that is enough. Offering du'â persistently by millions of people whose du'âs are accepted, and especially if that thing has attained the promise of Allah... For example, Although Janâb-i Haqq has promised: عَسَى اَنْ يَبْعَثَكَ رَبُّكَ مَقَامًا مَحْمُودًا 15 in the du'â after every adhan and iqâmah وَابَعَثْهُ مَقَامًا مَحْمُودًا الَّذِى وَعَدْتَهُ 16 is said; the whole Ummah offers du'â for that promise to be fulfilled. What is the mystery of this hikmah?
The Answer: There are three aspects and three questions within this question.
First Aspect: Although Hazrat Ibrâhîm ‘Alayhissalâm cannot reach Hazrat Muhammad ‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm, but his descendants (Âl)17 were prophets. Muhammad ‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm’s descendants (Âl) are awliyâ and awliyâ cannot reach the prophets. The evidence of this du'â for the Âl is accepted in a shining manner are these:
Among three hundred and fifty million, in the great majority the murshids and leaders of the tarîqahs and the paths of haqiqahs being from the awliyâ those who are from the descendants of only two of the Âl of Muhammad ‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm, that is, Hasan (ra) and Husayn (ra). And their being the place of manifestation to the hadith: عُلَمَاءُ اُمَّتِى كَاَنْبِيَاءِ بَنِى اِسْرَائِيلَ 18 . Foremost Ja'far as-Sadiq (ra), Gawth al-A'zam (ra) and Shâh Naqshband (ra), that each who guides the greater part of the ummah to the tarîq of haqiqah and haqiqah of Islam are the fruits of the acceptance of this du'â for Âl.
Second Aspect: The hikmah for salawât of this sort being appropriated to the salâh is to recall one’s joining and accompanying on the way opened up and taken by the great caravan of the prophets and awliyâ, who are the most luminous, perfect and mustaqîm of the eminent members of mankind; joining and on that sirât al-mustaqîm accompanying to the great jamâ’ah, which is as powerful as the hundredfold ijma’19 and hundredfold tawâtur, and not possible to be confused. And being saved from doubts of shaytan and evil wahm by that recollection. Evidence that this caravan are the friends and accepted creatures with the art of the universe's Owner, and their opponents and enemies are the rejected creatures of His is from the time of Âdam, the arrival of aid from the gayb to the caravan while the calamities consistently fall from the samawât to its opponents.
Yes, just as all the opponents like the people of Nûh, Thamud, 'Ad, Pharaoh and Nimrod received blows from the gayb that will cause to perceive Allah’s wrath and punishment; so the sacred heroes of the great caravan, like Nûh ‘Alayhissalâm, Ibrâhîm ‘Alayhissalâm, Mûsâ ‘Alayhissalâm and Muhammad ‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm, have wondrously and extraordinarily manifested miracles and Rabbânî bounties from the gayb. Although a single blow demonstrates anger, and a single bestowal demonstrates love; thousands of blows being visited on opponents and thousands of favours and aid arriving to the caravan testify and prove self-evidently, as clearly as daylight, the rightfulness of the caravan and that it goes on as-sirât al-mustaqîm. The âyah: صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ اَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ 20 in Surah al-Fâtiha looks to the caravan, while the âyah: غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَ لاَ الضَّالِّينَ 21 looks to their opponents. The subtle point we have explained here is clearer at the end of Surah al-Fâtiha.
Third Aspect: The mystery of hikmah in repeatedly asking for something which will certainly be given is this: the thing sought, for instance, the 'Station of Mahmûd' is a tip. It is a branch of a great haqiqah that comprises significant and great haqiqahs like thousands of Stations of Mahmûd. And it is a fruit of the most important result of the universe's creation. To ask, through du'â, the tip, branch and that fruit is to ask implicitly the coming into existence of that great general haqiqah, and of al-‘âlam al-baqâ which is the largest branch of the tree of creation, and of the resurrection and qiyâmah which are the greatest result of the universe and the opening up of the Abode of Bliss. And, by asking, to participate in the ‘ubûdiyyah and du'âs of all mankind which are the most important causes of the existence of Jannah and the Abode of Bliss. And for such an infinitely great aim these infinite du'âs are indeed so few. Also, to give the Station of Mahmûd to Hazrat Muhammad ‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm is a sign of his great shafâ’ah for all his ummah. Also, he is concerned with the happiness of all his ummah. Therefore, to ask for infinite salawât and du'âs of rahmah for him from all his ummah is hikmah itself.
1 (Tahiyyas to Allah)
2 (at-tahiyyâtu lillah)
4 (May Allah bless! Wonderful!)
7 (The malâikah who are allowed to approach the presence of Allah)
8 (As-Salâm be upon you, O Prophet!)
9 (As-Salâm be upon you, O Prophet!)
10 (Salâm be upon us and upon all Allah's sâlih ‘abds)
11 (As-salâm be upon you!)
12 (I testify that there is no Ilah but Allah, and I testify that Muhammad is Allah's rasûl)
13 (As-Salâm be upon you, O Prophet!)
14 (O Allah! Grant blessings to Muhammad and to the Family of Muhammad, as You granted blessings to Ibrâhîm and to the Family of Ibrâhîm)
15 (Soon will your Rabb raise you to the station of Mahmûd!)
16 (And raise him up to the station of Mahmûd that You have promised him)
18 (‘Ulamâ of my ummah are like the prophets of the Children of Israel.)
19 (Consensus of the ‘Ulamâ, The general concurrence and agreement in the opinion and decision of the ‘Ulamâ of Islam)
20 (The path of those whom You have given ni’mahs)
21 (Not those on whom Your anger has been visited, nor those who have gone dhalâlah)