We place our hand upon our heart when we speak his most beautiful name, Muhammad, because he is the true human heart—the essence of our own mystical heart, hidden far behind the heart of life throbbing within the human breast. He is not in the desert of Arabia, but in the heart. Love him and you will love all persons abundantly. Fail to love him, and you will fail to love anyone truly. Love him who is the perfection of human love, and you will overflow with love for Allah, Who is the Source of love. Disappear with ecstatic love into the Prophet of Allah, and you will disappear into Allah in mystic union ... - Atom from the Sun of Knowledge, by Shaykh Nur al-Jerrahi, may his secret be sanctified
Salawat are the prayers of angels and humanity praising and invoking blessing upon the Prophet Muhammad, may he be exalted to the highest station of peace. Through this offering we bring blessings upon ourselves and upon all creation, for the entire creation is linked to the soul of Muhammad, the Center Pole of Light at the Heart of Manifest Being, the Crown of Creation, and the Ocean of Mercy for All the Worlds. We beseech Allah to offer him the peace and blessings so that they originate from the Source of All Blessedness. Whenever we mention the holy name of the Prophet we invoke blessings upon him: salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallim, 'Blessings and peace be upon him.' - Invitation to Union, by Shaykha Fariha al-Jerrahi, may Allah ever increase the Divine Love residing in her heart
The Prophet Muhammad, upon him be blessings and peace, would constantly bless his devoted lovers and visitors with his loving attention, especially when they came to his house to be in his holy presence. As his community grew, there were more and more people who longed to be close to him. He was too gentle to turn people away or to close even slightly the door of his generosity, even when he might have to sacrifice his privacy and family life. This continued until one day, Allah Most High, in His Love for Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, revealed through the Holy Qur’an that the lovers should always carefully honor the sanctity of his home. With this merciful protection of the tender humanity of the Prophet, upon him be blessings and peace, God also revealed to humanity the principle of salawat. This revelation gives us unconditional access: salawat are the perfect vehicles with which to express our love for the Prophet, and to commune intimately with his divine radiance at any time.
Allah and His angels send continuous blessings upon the sublime soul of the Prophet,
ya ayyuha-lladhina amanu sallu ‘alayhi wa sallamu taslima
O noble believers, so you as well should humbly and constantly request Divine Benediction for him, saluting him repeatedly with utmost love and respect.
- Transliteration of Holy Qur’an 33.56 and English interpretation from Atom
Shortly after these words from the Source of Love were revealed through the heart of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, he mentioned to one of his companions, "An angel came to me and said: ‘No one invokes blessings on you once, but God invokes blessings on him tenfold.’" The spiritual inheritors of the Prophet, the great shaykhs, emphatically reconfirm the understanding brought in this and other oral traditions. As Shaykh Muzaffer Ashki al-Jerrahi transmits, "...benedictions on the Messenger represent the highest form of prayer and are the cause of our salvation..." (Irshad) The full depth of the significance of salawat is actually inconceivable:
...The venerable Abu Hurayra and Ammar ibn Yasir...were present when other Companions asked the meaning of ‘blessings’ in the verse of the Holy Qur’an: "Allah and His angels bless the Prophet..." The Messenger told them: "That is secret knowledge. Only Allah knows the meaning of the blessings. Had it been permitted to me to tell the secret, I would have told it to you." - Hadith
This book is an initiation into the mystery of salawat. It is a compilation largely of salawat which Shaykh Muzaffer lovingly transmitted to his dervishes. With gratitude we offer them back to his soul like a bouquet of the sweetest roses. With gratitude to Shaykh Nur al-Jerrahi and all the wise men and women who guide us into complete disappearance into the Prophet of Love, may we offer salawat in abundance, sharing their radical healing and enlightenment with all beings.
To be drawn into the Light of Allah and not be blinded,
O brothers and sisters, repeat with longing and with love:
as-salatu wa-s-salamu alayka Ya Rasulallah
as-salatu wa-s-salamu alayka Ya Habiballah
Heartfelt and profound greetings to your sublime soul,
O incomparable Prophet and uniquely beloved one of Allah.
—Atom from the Sun of Knowledge