Sunday, October 31, 2010

Virtues of Salawāt

Virtues of Salawā
By Abdur-Rahim Rydhan

 In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and thanks is due to Allāh, the Lord of al-'ālamīn. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam is His Messenger.

In al-Qur’
ān, Allāh Subhānahu wata’ala has described the good qualities and praises of a number of Prophets; for instance, when Adam (‘alayhissalam) was created all the angels were ordered to prostrate before him. Ibrāhīm (‘alayhissalam) is described as Khalilullah, Friend of Allāh. Various other Prophets have been mentioned with praises. However, our Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) has been given a distinguished place by Allāh Subhanahu wata’ala in al-Qur’ān.

āh Says: “Inn Allāha wamala-ikatahu yusallūna ‘ālannabiyyi, Ya ayyuha allathīnāmanū Sallūālayhi wasallimū taslīma (Allāh sends His Salāt (Graces, Honours, Blessings, Mercy, etc.) on the Prophet (Muhammad Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) and also His angels too (ask Allāh to bless and forgive him). O you who believe! Send your Salāt on (ask Allāh to bless) him (Muhammad (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), and (you should) greet (salute) him with Taslim (the Islamic way of greeting (salutation i.e. As-salāmu `alayka ayyuhan-Nabiyyu wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh).”) [See the Tafsir of Muhsin: Al-Ahzab, 33: 56]

The Salawāt indicates the honour, love, belief, attachment to him as our Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) which signifies to be the deep faith in Allāh.  Anas ibn Mālik (radiyallāhu’anhu) narrated the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “No one of you truly believes until I am dearer to him than his father, his son, his own self and all the people.” [Narrated by al-Bukhāri, 15; Muslim, 44]. The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) also said: “Whenever someone seeks Allāh’s blessings for me, Allāh returns the soul to my body until I reply to his salutation." [Reported by Abu Dawud] And the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) likened those who do not salawāt upon him when his name is mentioned as a miser: "The miser (scrooge; mistaken; misguided) is the one who hears my name mentioned and does not seek blessings for me.” [Reported by At-Tirmidzi]

The Salawāt

This verse of al-Qur`ān starts with the word "inna," which lays down more stress and emphasis. Whenever a sentence starts with the word ‘inna,’ it implies the continuity and perpetuity of an act. Therefore Allāh and the angels perpetually shower blessings upon the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam).

Ismā`il Haqqī al-Bursawī (rahimahullāh) wrote: 

"To shower blessings upon the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) by Allāh means to honor him for the praised status: ... which is the Position of Intercession .... And to send blessings by the angels upon the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) means to pray for the raising of his position and to pray for pardon from Allāh (Subhanahu wata’ala) for his followers; and to ask blessings upon Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) by us is actually to praise him with his good qualities and to follow his ways with love and sincerity."

The honor given to the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is more than what was given to Adam (`alaihissalam) when the angels were ordered to respect him; whereas in the case of Rasulallāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), Allāh Himself is honoring him. In the above verse, the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) has been addressed as the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and not Muhammad (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), unlike the other Prophets, who have been addressed so frequently with their names. It is due to his magnificence, nobility and utmost respect. A similar case could be cited in the following verse of al-Qur’an, where Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)is mentioned with Ibrāhīm (`alaihissalām): "Lo! Those of mankind who have the best claim to Ibrāhīm are those who followed him and this Prophet ...."  ['Āli- ‘Imrān, 3:68]

Here too, it has been called "this Prophet" (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) rather than as Muhammad (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam). The point is: Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is addressed by his name in al-Qur`ān, only a few times, and that is also due to some special reasons... [It is important to note that the word salat which in this verse refers to Allāh, His angels and to the believers is a common word which is used for several meanings and purposes at various places in al-Qur`an. 

The scholars give a number of explanations to the word salāh used in this verse. These explanations have been given according to the positions of the personage referred to in the verse. According to some scholars "Salāh Alan Nabi (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)"means: To praise and respect him in order to show favor. And the praise and the respect for the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) will differ according to the personality who sends salāt (blessings). A similar difference may be noted in the meaning of the word ‘kindness.’ The salāt of Allāh upon the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)would mean his praise and regard for Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)with kindness and mercy; and the salāt of angels would mean their praises and respect for the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)with favor, love, sincerity, obedience and submission. 

Imām Bukhari (rahimahūlah) narrates from Abu ‘Aliyah(rahimahūllah): "The blessings of Allāh upon the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)means His praises for the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) before the angels; and the blessings of the angels upon the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)means their benedictions and prayers for him." Ibn `Abbas (radiallāhu`anhu) said: "Yusalluna (the angels send blessings), means Yubarrikuna (the angels pray for abundance in the eminence and status of Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)....”

[Ruh al Bayan]

1: In his Tafsir of ayat, Al-Ahzab, 33: 56, Al-Bakhari recorded Ka`ab bin ‘Ujrah (radiallāhu`anhu) reported, “It was said, “O Messenger of Allāh, we already knows how to greet you [i.e ‘As-salāmu ‘alaika ayyuhan-Nabiyyu wa rahmat-Allāhi wa barakātuh’ as in the Tashahhud], but how should we but how about Salāh [Supplicate; Ask blessings  for you]?'' He (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
«قُولُوا: اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ، كَمَا صَلَّيْتَ عَلَى آلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ ، إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ، اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ، كَمَا بَارَكْتَ عَلَى آلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيد»
"Say: “Allāhumma salli ‘ala Muhammad wa ‘ala āli Muhammad kama sallaita ‘ala āli Ibrāhīm; Innaka Hamīdum Majīd; Allāhumma bārik ‘ala Muhammad, wa ‘ala āli Muhammad, kama bārakta ‘ala āli Ibrāhīm; Innaka Hamīdum Majīd.”

(O Allāh! Send Prayers on Muhammad and on the family of Muhammad, as You sent Prayers on the family of Ibrāhīm, Verily You are Most Praiseworthy, Full of Glory; O Allāh! Send Your Blessings on Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, as You sent your Blessings on the family of Ibrāhīm, Verily You are Most Praiseworthy, Full of Glory.)''’

[Al-Bukhari ( Fathul-Bari 8:392) ; Ahmad; Nasā’ie and Abu Ya’la in his Musnad (44/2) with a sahih: (reaffirmed the narration thru Ibn Abi Layla’ informed by Ka’ab) ; Muslim (804-805); Humaidi (138/1) and Ibn Mandah (68/2): Sahih: Reported by Sa’īd bin Mansūr, ‘Abd bin Hamīd, Ibn Abi Hātim and Ibn Mardawiyah  and ‘Abd ar-Razzāq, Ibn Abi Shaybah, Ahmad ‘Abd-Hamīd, theSihah Sittah all from Ka’ab bin `Ajrah.; this narration uses ‘Kama Sallaita ‘ala [Ibrāhīm, wa `ala] āli Ibrāhīm’; ‘Allāhumma Bārik’ in second part and ‘Innaka Hamīdum Majīd’ in both part.]

2:  Muslim recorded in his Sahih under ‘The Book on Blessings on the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) after Tashahhud’ that ‘Abdullāh bin Zaid, one who was shown the adzān (the call for solat) in a dream, narrated it on the authority of Abu Mas’ud Al-Ansari (radiyallāhu’anhu) said: "We came to the Messenger of Allāh and we were with Sa’ad bin ‘UbadahBashir bin Sa’ad said to him, “Allāh has commanded us to send Salāh upon you, O Messenger of Allāh. How can we send Salāh upon you” The Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) remained quiet for so long that we wished that he had not asked him, then the Messenger of Allāh said [For blessing me]:
«قُولُوا: اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ، كَمَا صَلَّيْتَ عَلَى آلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ ، وَبَارِكْ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ، كَمَا بَارَكْتَ عَلَى آلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ فِي الْعَالَمِينَ، إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ ,وَالسَّلَامُ كَمَا قَدْ عَلِمْتُم»
“Say: “Allāhumma salli ‘ala Muhammad wa ‘ala āli Muhammad kamā sallaita ‘ala āli Ibrāhīm; Wa bārik ‘ala Muhammad wa ‘ala āli Muhammad kama bārakta ‘ala āli Ibrāhīfil-‘ālamīn; Innaka Hamīdun Majīd”
(O Allāh! Send Prayers upon Muhammad and the members of his household as You Sent Prayers upon the members of Ibrahim's household; And Send Blessings to Muhammad and the members of his household as You  granted Blessings upon the members of the household of Ibrahim, among all the nations’ Verily You are Most Praiseworthy, Full of Glory)”,

“And the Salutation [i.e ‘As-salāmu ‘alayika ayyuhan-Nabiyyu wa rahmat-Allāhi wa barakātuh’] as you about knows it.”
[Muslim (803): Book on Blessings on the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) after Tashahhud; this narration uses the phrase: ‘ala āli Ibrāhīm, fil-‘ālamīn; Innaka Hamīdun Majīd”]); this narration is Linguistically sound; more comprehensive] This was also recorded by Abu Dawud, An-Nasā`ie, At-Tirmidzi and Ibn Jarir. At-Tirmidzi said, "It is Hasan Sahih.''

3: Imām Ahmad recorded from Abu Humaid As-Sa’idi (radiyallāhu’anhu) that they said: "O Messenger of Allāh, how can we send Salāh upon you'' He (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said,
«قُولُوا: اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَأَزْوَاجِهِ وَذُرِّيَّتِهِ، كَمَا صَلَّيْتَ عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ، وَبَارِكْ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَأَزْوَاجِهِ وَذُرِّيَّتِهِ كَمَا بَارَكْتَ عَلَى آلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيد»
"Say: ‘Allāhumma salli ‘ala Muhammad, wa  [‘ala] azwajihi wa dzurriyatihi kama sallayta ‘ala  Ibrāhīm; Wa bārik ‘ala Muhammad, wa [ ‘ala] azwajihi wa dzurriyatihi kama bārakta ‘ala[ali] IbrāhīmInnaka Hamidum-Majīd’
(O Allāh Send Prayers on Muhammad and [on] his wives and progeny, as You Sent Prayers on [the family of] Ibrāhīm; And Send Blessings on Muhammad, and [on] his wives and progeny, as You Sent Blessings on [the family of] Ibrāhīm; Verily You are Most Praiseworthy, Full of Glory).

[Ahmad, It was also recorded by the rest of the Jama’ah, apart Muslim (807), Abu Dawud; at-Tirmidzi and Nasa’ie from Abu Humaid As-Sa`idi; but this narration uses : kama sallaita ‘ala  Ibrāhīm; only once ‘ Innaka Hamidum-Majīd’; No.2 almost similar to No.3.1 recorded by Imam Ahmad and Tahawi]

3.1: Imām Ahmad and Tahawi with a sahih sanad recorded another narration:

“Allāhumma salli ‘ala Muhammad wa ‘ala ahli bait, wa ‘ala azwajihi wa dzurriyyatihikama sallaita ‘ala āli Ibrāhīm; Innaka Hamīdum Majīd; Wa bārik ‘ala Muhammad wa ‘ala ahli bait, wa ‘ala azwajihi wa dzurriyyatihi kama bārakta ‘ala āli Ibrāhīm; Innaka Hamīdum-Majīd”

(O Allāh! Send prayers on Muhammad, and on his household, and on his wives and progeny, as you sent prayers on the family of Ibrāhīm; Verily You are Most Praiseworthy, Full of Glory; And send blessings on Muhammad, and his household, and his wives and progeny, as you sent blessings on the family of Ibrāhīm; Verily You are Most Praiseworthy, Full of Glory).

This narration of the salawāt reportedly used by the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) himself after the Tashahhud. [Ahmad and Tahawi with a sahih sanad]

[Recorded by Ahmad and Tahawi: sahih; uses phrase: wa ‘ala ahli bait, wa ‘ala azwajihi wa dzurriyyatihi, `ala āli Ibrāhīm, Innaka Hamīdum Majīd twice; Similar to No.3 recorded by Bukhari, Muslim (807), Abu Dawud and Nasā’ie from Abu Humaid As-Sa’idi when Sahabi enquired Rasūlullāh as how to send Salawat to him; but this narration is without ‘wa ‘ala ahli bait’, and uses ‘Innaka Hamidum-Majīd’ once at the end]

Imām Sakhawi (rahimahullāh) said in his book: “One of the reasons of saying ‘O Allāh! Send blessings upon Muhammad (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam),’ instead of saying ‘I send blessings upon Muhammad (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)’ is: we are full of sins, imperfect, but the personality of the Holy Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is perfect and faultless. The blessings and praises of a sinner are blemished, thus have us wait for a personality who is perfect. The only possible way, therefore, is to request Allāh to shower His choicest and eternal Blessings upon the Holy Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam). This is a request for the blessings from the one who is the Pure for such a person who is Virtuous and Modest."  [Al-Qawl al-Badi]

Heishafsuni (rahimahullāh) while reasoning about the above issue writes in his book: 

Although Allāh ordered us to send blessings upon the Holy Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) as our blessings we cannot reach as the height of the Prophet’s (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) place.

Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) praised Allāh (Subhānahu wata`ala) in the following way: "O Allāh! I cannot enumerate the praises due to you; you enjoy the same praises as you have praised yourself." On this account of example, Imam Sakhawi(rahimahullāh) said, "The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) praised Allāh just as he himself praised Him and we should ask such blessings upon Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) which were regarded most suitable by Allāh.”

For this reason, we ask Allāh to send His choicest blessings upon the Holy Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam).

 [Lata’if O Hikam]

The Salawāt and Salām will be credited to us for securing higher positions in Paradise. We should practice this in abundance. Make a habit of reciting it frequently as a sign of love for him. One of the features to be amongst the Ahl ul Sunnah is to send blessings upon the Holy Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) abundantly. 

Imām Ahmad related that Abu Talhah Al-Ansārī (radiyallāhu’anhu) said: The Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu’alayhi wasallam) arose one morning in a very pleasant mood with signs of good tidings apparent on his face. They said, “O Messenger of Allāh, we see that you look happy.” Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “The angel came to me and told me, ‘O Muhammad, would it not please you if your Lord, may He be glorified, said: ‘No member of your Ummah sends Solāh (Salawāt) upon you but I send Solāh upon him tenfold, and no member of your Ummah sends greetings of Salām upon you but I send greetings of Salām upon him tenfold’.’” I said, “Of course.’” [This was also recorded by An-Nasā'ie Ibn Abi Shaybah, ‘Abd bin Hamīd and At-Tirmidzi; Cited with slightly different wording in Imām Abu Sulayman al-Jazuli's Dala'il Al-Khayrat (The Index of Good Things)]

‘Abdullāh bin Mas’ud (radiyallāhu’anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: "Those who are most deserving of my intercession on the Day of Judgment are those who used to increasingly seek Allāh’s Blessing (salawāt) for me.” [This is recorded by Ahmad, Al-Bukhari, At-Tirmidzi and Ibn Hibbān said hasan]

Anas Ibn Mālik (radiyallāhu’anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu’alayhi wa sallam) said: “There are three under the shade of Allāh on a day when there is no shade except His; the one who relieved a distress from someone from my nation; the one who invigorate my Sunnah and the one who invoked blessings on me (Salawāt) the most”. [This is recorded in the Mustadrak and the Musnad of al-Firdaus; Al-Hāfiz As-Suyūtī also recorded it in his Burūj Al-Hilāl.]

Imam Zarqani (rahimahullāh) writes in his book:  "The purpose of asking blessings" is to obtain admittance to Allāh by following his commandments and to repay some of the rights of the Holy Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) which are due upon us." [Sharh-i-Mawahib]

Allāh ordered us to be thankful for the blessing of having a Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and guided us towards the right way and that is to request that Allāh shower His everlasting blessings upon His beloved Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam).  Scholars say that to ask blessings upon the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is obligatory (at least once in a lifetime) on the basis of the above verse. 

Imam Sakhawi (rahimahullāh) writes, "Allāh has linked His Blessings with the Blessings asked for the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)in the same way He has included the name of the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) with His name in the Kalimah-i-Shahadah; he has linked obedience to Himself with obedience to the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam); he has linked love for Himself with the love of the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam). [Al-Qawl al-Badi]

As-Sābūnī (rahimahullāh) said: “If one invokes blessings on the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), let him combine it with prayers and peace and not fall short on either of them. So, do not say, “Sallallāhu ‘alaīh” and not “`alayhis-salām”, only. This is what he said taken from the verse, "O ye, who believe, invoke blessings on him and peace unceasingly." For it is more proper to be said, “Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam”, unceasingly” 

Thus the virtues of salawāt are numerous; some of its many benefits a person receive by reciting it on Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) as the following:
·        Almighty Allāh sends ten mercies upon a person who recites Salawāt once.
·        Ten of the reciter's sins are forgiven.
·        The person's rank is raised by ten degrees.
·        Ten rewards are written for the reciter.
·        There is acceptance of Du’ā where Salawāt is recited at the beginning and at the end.
·        The person will be blessed with the intercession of Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) on the Day of Judgment.
·        Almighty Allāh will forgive the reciter's sins.
·        Almighty Allāh is pleased with the reciter.
·        The person will be nearer to the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) on the Day of Judgment.
·        The person will have all its worries removed in this world and the Hereafter.
It does not take long to send the Salawāt upon the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam).  When his name is mentioned, it can take less than a second to fulfill this order, by saying:  Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam and in doing so, a person’s sins are forgiven, he gains merits, his status is elevated and he also has a peaceful thought in his mind that he has just done something which Allāh and his angels also do. 

Bear in mind, that we are not only restricted to sending Salawāt upon the Holy Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) when his name is mentioned, but it is emphasised that we voluntarily send salawāt as it increases a person’s love for the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam).  As the sahih hadith contains, "A person is not a (complete) believer until he loves me more than his parents, his children and all people".  A person will be with whom he loves the most and what better to love, and to be with, on the Day of Judgement than the intercessor himself. It is related by Abu Dardā (radiyallāhu’anhu) that the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said : “Whoever sends salawāt upon me in the morning and in the evening ten times, on the day of judgement my intercession will surely reach him". 

But there are however times when it is undesirable (makrūh) to send salawāt’ which includes: During intercourse; Whilst retrieving one-self from the call of nature; For advertising the sale of product; Whilst stumbling;  During astonishment; Whilst slaughtering an animal.; Whilst sneezing. 

Meanwhile the Sending of Salām upon the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) may be done as in the Tashahhud by saying:

“Al-salāmu ‘alayka ayyuhan-Nabiyyu wa rahmat ullahi wa barakātuh’
(Peace be upon you, O Prophet, and the mercy of Allāh and His blessings).

Or, It may take the form of a du’ā’, praying that Allāh may keep him sound, such as saying:

“Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam”
(May Allāh send blessings and peace upon him) from Sallūālayhi wasallimū taslīma ( Al-Ahzab, 33: 56)

A person’s Sending Salām upon the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) may be done by mentioning Allāh’s name al-Salām by way of seeking the blessing of that name and this name is suited to the context because you are asking Allāh to keep him safe and sound, as if one is saying “O Allāh, Whose name is al-Salām, keep your Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) safe and sound.” When the word Salām refers to the name of Allāh, it appears with the definite article al-, unlike when the word Salām appears in the context of praying for peace, tranquility and soundness to be bestowed by Allāh upon His slaves, in which case it appears without the definite article. “It is because salām from Allāh Subhānahu wata’ala means any amount of salām, and any amount of salām from Him will be sufficient to make any slave of Allāh would not require any salām from anyone else and no need for any greeting from anyone else; and any salām from Allāh will be sufficient to grant him all of his wishes. So the least Salām from Allāh – and nothing can be described as least when it comes from Allāh – will bring the greatest blessings and will ward off all causes of misery, and will make life good and will ward off all causes of doom and destruction. Therefore in this context, when speaking of Salām from Allāh, there is no need for the definite article.”  

[See Dabâ`i’ al-Fawâ`id, 2/143]
Salām is meant by being free from evil and faults. So the one who sends Salām upon the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)   is praying for him (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) in this sense, asking for the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  to be protected from evil, faults and shortcomings. As for blessings (barākah), what this means is steadfastness; stability; growth and increase. Praying for blessing for the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  means supplicating Allāh to bestow good upon him, to make it lasting, to increase and multiply.

The benefit of Salawāt and Salām to the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) are enormous more so the Hereafter. Therefore, let us make a habit of reciting Salāwat to Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) in abundance. And reciting salawāt is especially virtuous on Friday.

And Allāh Almighty knows best.

[Adapted with modifications from Khutbah al-Jumu’ah, Masjid at-Tawhid by Abdur-Rahim Rydhan]