Standing up (Qiyaam) whilst offering Salawat (Blessings) and Salaam (Salutations) to Rasoolullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), in terms of religion is desirable and commendable (mustahab) according to the belief of the Ahl us-Sunnah. It is an act of happiness, respect and love, the origin of which is established from Shari’ah. This is the consensus of opinion of the entire ‘Ulama of Ahl us-Sunnah. Furthermore, it is known that anyone who visits the Prophet (sallallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) in Madina is obliged to stand in front of him with utmost respect at the time he gives him greetings and salutations. No scholar of Ahl us-Sunna for over 1400 years has ever objected to it with a view to it being a bad Bid’a (innovation).
Qiyaam is of three kinds:
- Qiyaam-e-Musarrat, or standing up for a person as an expression of happiness,
- Qiyaam-e-Muhabbat, or standing up for a person as an expression of love, and
- Qiyaam-e-‘Azmat or standing up in honour of a person.
The origin of Qiyaam-e-Musarrat is derived from the action of the companion of the Holy Prophet Hadhrat Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), as proved from the following Hadith:
Hadhrat Uthman (radi allahu ‘anhu) said, “The Holy Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) passed away before we could ask him the solution to this problem.” Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radi allahu ‘anhu) said, “I have already asked him concerning this affair …” Then Hadhrat Uthman (radi allahu ‘anhu) said (upon hearing this glad tidings from Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radi allahu ‘anhu)), “I stood up for him.”(Sahih Bukhari)
Similarly, the origin of Qiyaam-e-Muhabbat is from the following Hadith:
Hadhrat Aisha Siddiqa (radi allahu ‘anha) has narrated :
“I have never encountered anyone that had emulated the Holy Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) in manner, likeness and speech [and with another chain of narrators : I have never seen anyone even come near her with the above qualities] more than Fathima (radi allahu ‘anha), may Allah honour her face. When she came in to visit him (the Prophet) he got up to (welcome) her, took her by the hand, kissed her and made her sit where he was sitting; and when he went in to visit her, she got up to (welcome) him, took him by the hand, kissed him, and made him sit where she was sitting”. (Sunan Abu Dawood; Ash’atul Lama’aat)
Similarly the origin of Qiyaam-e-‘Azmat is derived from the following narration:
Narrated Abu Sa ‘id al-Khudri (radi allahu ‘anhu) : The people of (Banu) Quraiza agreed to accept the verdict of Sa’d bin Mu’adh. So the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) sent for Sa’ad, and the latter came (riding) a donkey and when he approached the Mosque, the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said to the Ansar, “Get up for your chief or for the best among you !” (Sahih Bukhaari, Vol 5, Chapter 29, Hadith 447)
Indeed Hadhrat Sa’d (radi allahu ‘anhu) is worthy of such honour. Narrated Jabir (radi allahu ‘anhu) : I heard the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) saying, “The Throne (of Allah) shook at the death of Sa’ad bin Mu’adh.”
Allama Ibn Hajar Makki (rahmat allahi ‘alaih) states in Moulidatil Kabeer, “It is proven from Sunnah to stand for others besides the Holy Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), thus in honour of the Holy Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) it is permissible in the first instance. The proof hereof is the command to stand the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) gave in respect of Sa’ad ibn Muadh.”
Imam Nawawi (rahmat allahi ‘alaih) holds the same view (in his commentary of this Hadith) and he even quotes the opinion of Qadi ‘Iyad (rahmat allahi ‘alaih). (See Sharh Sahih Muslim and al-Tarkhis for Imam Nawawi’s view on Qiyaam)
Also commenting on this Hadith Hadhrat Shaikh ‘Abdul Haq Muhaddith Dehlawi (rahmat allahi ‘alaih) writes, “A great number of eminent ‘Ulama have taken this Hadith as proof in support of Qiyaam in Meelad.” (Ash atul Lama’aat) [For an opinion on the authenticity of Hadhrat Shaikh ‘Abd al-Haqq Muhaddith (rahmat allahi ‘alaih) we refer to Moulvi Ashraf ‘Ali Thanwi who says, “Shah ‘Abd al-Haqq Sahib used to have the blessed vision of the Holy Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) daily” and ” …Shaikh (‘Abd al-Haqq) has a vast knowledge of Hadith“]
The Qiyaam during Mawlid an-Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) may represent the three kinds of Qiyaam as discussed above, because it is a manifestation of happiness, love and honour towards the occasion which is celebrated to thank Allah for his arrival. However, the ‘ulama have also collectively designated these Qiyaam as Qiyaam-e-Tazimi, i.e. standing up in honour, love and happiness of a person, and in this case, to the Holy Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).
In a Hadith reported by Hadhrath Abu Huraira (radi allahu ‘anhu), he says, “The Holy Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was seated with us in the mosque and speaking to us. When he rose to depart, we all rose with him and remained standing until he entered any of the houses of his Blessed Wives.” (Mishkaat- Kitabul-Adaab, Babul Qiyaam, Page 403)
Usama ibn Sharik (radi allahu ‘anhu) narrates : “I came to see the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) while his Companions were with him, and they seemed as still as if birds had alighted on top of their heads. I gave him my Salaam and I sat down. [Then Bedouins came and asked questions which the Prophet answered.] … The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) then stood up and the PEOPLE STOOD UP. They began to kiss his hand, whereupon I took his hand and placed it on my face. I found it more fragrant than musk and cooler than sweet water.”(Narrated by Abu Dawud [#3855], Ti[2038 – hasan sahih], Ibn Majah , al-Hakim [4:399], and Ahmad [4:278]. Al- Hafiz Imam Bayhaqi cites it in Branch 15 of his Su’ab ul-iman entitled : The Fifteenth Branch of Faith, Namely A Chapter On Rendering Honour To The Prophet, Declaring His High Rank, And Revering Him Vol.2 p.200 [#1528])
Narrated ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Umar (radi allahu ‘anhu): Ibn ‘Umar (radi allahu ‘anhu) was sent with a detachment by the Apostle of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). The people wheeled round in flight. He said : I was one of those who wheeled round in flight. When we stopped we said : What should we do? We have run away from the battlefield and deserve Allah’s wrath. Then we said: Let us enter Medina, stay there, and go there while no one sees us. So we entered the city and thought : If we present ourselves before Allah’s Apostle, and if there is a change of repentance for us, we shall stay; if there is something else, we shall go away. So we sat down (waiting) for the Apostle of Allah before the dawn prayer. When he came out, WE STOOD UP TO HIM and said : We are the ones who have fled. He turned to us and said : No, you are the ones who return to fight after wheeling away. We then approached and kissed his hand, and he said : I am the main body of the Muslims. (Abu Dawud, Book 14 [Jihad], Number 2641) This Hadith is also found in al-Abhari; in the book of al-hafiz Ibn Muqri on standing up and kissing the hand out of respect; in the Adab al- Mufrad of Imam Bukhaari (Chapter on kissing the Hand and Chapter on Kissing the Foot), in Ibn Maja (Adab), in Bayhaqi’s Dala’il an-Nubuwwa, and in the Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal)
Jabir (radi allahu ‘anhu) said: “`Umar ibn al-Khattab GOT UP and kissed the hand of Allah’s Messenger.” Ibn al-Muqri’ narrates it in al-Rukhsa (p. 71 #11) and although its chain contains `Ubayd Allah ibn Sa`id who is weak, Ibn Hajar included it among Ibn al-Muqri’s good narrations (min jayyidiha) on the subject (Fath al-Bari 11:66). Tabari narrates it mursal [missing the Companion-link] through al-Suddi in his Tafsir in commenting on verse 5:101: “Do not ask of things which once shown to you would hurt you” with the wording: “`Umar ibn al-Khattab GOT UP and kissed the foot of Allah’s Messenger and said: O Messenger of Allah, we are pleased with Allah as our Lord, with Islam as our religion, and with Muhammad as our Prophet, and with the Qur’an as our Book. Forgive, and Allah will forgive you (fa`fu `afallahu `anka). And he did not cease until the Prophet softened.”
It is mentioned in Hisn-al-Haseen, on the basis of several Ahaadith, “When any man enters a masjid he should say, ‘With Allah’s name. And Salutations be on His Rasool (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)'”
Allama Sakhawi (rahmat allahi ‘alaih) has narrated from the Hadith of Hadhrat Ali (radi allahu ‘anhu), “Whenever you enter the masjid, recite Durood for Rasoolullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)” – and has also quoted a Hadith narrated by Hadhrat Fathima (radi allahu ‘anha), the daughter of Rasoolullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) who said, “Whenever Rasoolullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) entered the masjid he recited first Durood and Salaam for Hadhrat Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) (i.e. upon Himself) … ”
Those that are antagonistic to Qiyaam and also claim to follow the Sunnah are therefore according to this Hadith advised to recite Durood and Salaam when entering the Masjid. Adherence to this Sunnah would mean that the antagonists would be hypocritically sending Salawat and Salaam to the Holy Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) whilst standing. Non-adherence of this Sunnah makes their claim of being the ardent followers of Rasoolullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) without substance !
Those that masquerade as the “true upholders” of the Sunnah, by claiming to follow the footsteps of the Sahaaba-e-Kiraam and continuously misquoting the Ahaadith of the Blessed Companions of Rasoolullah (sallalahu ‘alaihi wasallam) should take cognisance of the following Hadith:
Once Hadhrath Ka’ab (radi allahu ‘anhu) said to Hadhrath Abu Huraira (radi allahu ‘anhu), “I am telling you two things which you should not forget. One, whenever you enter a musjid recite Salawat for the Holy Prophet (sallalahu ‘alaihi wasallam), and then this Du’aa, ‘O Allah forgive me my sins and open for me the doors of Thy Mercy !'”
If the antagonist is adamant in his objection to the performance of Qiyaam (while reciting Salawat) and maintains that the only posture permitted to recite Salawat is the posture of Jalsa (in Salaah when reciting “Attahiyyaat”) then the only option open to him is to sit at the entrance of the masjid recite the Salawat, and thereafter enter ! Seeing that we have not observed anyone entering the masjid in such a manner, it is therefore deduced that persons entering the masjid are either reciting the Salawat whilst in Qiyaam, or ommitting this directive of Rasoolullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). If this great practice is intentionally ommitted, then they are guilty of not adhering to the advice of the Sahaaba-e-Kiraam.
Evidence from the ‘Ulama of the Ahl as-Sunnah
Imam Nawawi (rahmat allahi ‘alaih) says :
al-Shaykh Abu Muhammad told us – Abu Taher al-Khashaw’i told us – Abu Muhammad al-Akfani told us – Al-hafiz Abu Bakr al-Khatib al-Baghdadi told us by permission not hearing : – Al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali al-Jawhari told us – ‘Amr ibn al-‘Abbas al-Khazzaz related to us – Abu Bakr al-Sawli told us – Ishaq ibn Ibrahim al-Qazzaz told us – Ishaq al-Shahidi related to us:
I would see Yahya al-Qattan – may Allah the Exalted have mercy on him – pray the mid-afternoon prayer, then sit with his back against the base of the minaret of his mosque. Then Ali ibn al-Madini, al-Shadhakuni, ‘Amr ibn ‘Ali, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Yahya ibn Ma’in, and others would stand before him and ask him questions about Hadith standing on their feet until it was time for the sunset prayer. He would not say to a single one of them. “Sit” nor would they sit, out of awe and reverence.
Imam Nawawi (rahmat allahi ‘alaih) said, the Hafiz Abu Musa al-Ashbahani (rahmat allahi ‘alaih) recited :
Qiyami wa al-‘aziz ilyaka haqqun
I swear by the All-Powerful that my standing for you (O Prophet) is right and true
Wa tarku al-haqqi ma la yastaqimu
And to leave truth and right is to embrace error
Fa hal ahadun lahu ‘aqlun wa lubbun wa ma’rifa yaraka fa la yaqumu ?
I ask: can anyone possessed of a mind and a heart and knowledge, upon seeing you, not stand up?
(see Sharh Sahih Muslim and al-Tarkhis by Imam Nawawi)
It must be noted that Hafiz Abu Musa (rahmat allahi ‘alaih) made Wisaal in 581, more than five centuries after the time of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), and yet stands for him in the present tense and mentions “seeing him”: this seeing of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) by the pious Believers both in a sleeping and a wakeful state is an attested fact in the Shari’a which has been mentioned by the scholars, among them al-Haytami (rahmat allahi ‘alaih) in his Fatawa Hadithiyya (see Chapter 6.5 for the fatwa)
Musa ibn Dawud al-Dubbi (d. 217) (radi allahu ‘anhu) said: “I was with Sufyan ibn `Uyayna (d. 198) when Husayn ibn `Ali al-Ju`fi (d. 203) came, whereupon Sufyan STOOD UP and kissed his hand.” Narrated with sound chains by Ibn Sa`d in his Tabaqat (6:397 “Husayn al-Ju`fi”) and Ibn al-I`rabi in al-Qubal. Also al-Mizzi in al-Tahdhib (6:452) and al-Dhahabi in the Syar (9:398).
Allama Ibn Hajar Makki (rahmat allahi ‘alaih) says, “To stand at the mention of the Prophet’s (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) Birth (Mawlid) is something the Ahl as-Sunnah Wa ‘l Jamaa’a have all agreed upon, as being a commendable action. And the Holy Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) says, ‘My followers do not agree upon misguidance and the Hand of Allah is upon the (majority) group; and he who deviates, deviates towards the Fire (of Hell). (Tirmidhi)'” (Mawlidatil Kabeer, Page 85)
Allama Ibn Hajar (rahmat allahi ‘alaih) states at another place, “It is proven from the Sunnah to stand for others besides the Holy Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), thus in honour of the Holy Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) it is permissible in the first instance. The proof hereof is the command to stand the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) gave in respect of Sa’d ibn Mu’adh.”
With this Hadith with referance of Imam Nawawi, Imam Baghwi and Allama Khattabi (may Allah be pleased with all of them) state, “To stand for one’s leader, or just ruler, or teacher, is a beloved action.” The acceptance of the repentance of Ka’ab ibn Maalik (radi allahu ‘anhu) is related by himself, “I departed to present myself at the Holy Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), and when I entered the Prophet’s Mosque I saw him sitting with the Companions around him, whereupon Talha ibn ‘Ubaidullah, on seeing me, STOOD UP, and shook hands with me and congratulated me upon my repentance!” (Mawlidatil-Kabeer, Page 93)
Sheikh-ud-Dalaa’il Mawlana Sheikh Abd al-Haqq Muhaddith Allahabaadi (rahmat allahi ‘alaih) has written a researched book called, Ad Durrul Munazzam Fi Bayaanil Hukmil Mawlidin Nabi-yil-A’zam (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). This book has been authenticated by Hajee Imdadullah Muhaajir Makki (rahmat allahi ‘alaih) the mentor of many of the Deobandis. The Scholars of Deoband like Muhammad Rahmatullah Muhaajir Makki, Sayyid Hamzah, Abdullah Ansari (son in law of Qasim Nanotwi) and Muhammad Jameel-ur-Rahmaan Khan have also authenticated this book as is evident from the laudatory notes included in the book.
In the fourth chapter of this book the author has recorded in detail incidents which manifested themselves at the time when the Holy Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was born. These include, “a cluster of stars concentrated over the roof of his house at the time of the birth of the Holy Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam); Angels hoisted flags on holy Baitul Laah and in the east and in the west; the whole atmosphere was filled with the voices of Angels and houries reciting Salutations to him in the STANDING POSITION and congratulating each other and rejoicing with abandon; animals also congratulated each other at the birth of the holy Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), the Ka’batul Laah bowed in a manner of saluting, and the falsehood vanished and the light of truth spread light in all directions.”(Pages 54, 72, 91; Mawaahib-e-Ladunniyah by Imam Qasatalani Page 57; Mauladul Uroos by Imam Ibn Jawzi Pages 3, 7, 26; Shawaahidun Nubuwwah Page 55; As-Seeratul Halbiyah by Allamah Ali Bin Burhaan Page 94; Khasaa’is-e-Kubra by Imam Suyuti Volume 1, Page 45; Zurqaani Volume 1 , Page 112,116)
Angels do exactly as they are commanded. This is testified to by the Holy Qur’aan: “Wa Yaf’aloona Ma Yu’maroon”. Whatever the Angels did then was at Allah’s command.
Haji Imdaadullah Muhaajir Makki (rahmat allahi ‘alaih), a great scholar and spiritual guide of the scholars of Deoband, (namely, Moulvi Ashraf ‘Ali Thanwi, Moulvi Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi and Moulvi Qaasim Nanotwi) stated the following as recorded by Moulvi Ashraf ‘Ali Thanwi himself, “To reject such a practice is to be denied a great deal of good. If one stands for respect when the sacred name of the Holy Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is mentioned in a Mawlid Shareef, what harm is there ? When someone (an ordinary person) appears we stand up for him, so if we stand up for our Master to show respect, what wrong is there ?” (Imdaadul Mushtaaq, Page 88 [Imdaadul Mushtaaq was authored by Ashraf ‘Ali Thanwi, the ideologue of the scholars of Deoband. It is a biography of his spiritual guide, Haji Imdaadullah Muhaajir Makki (rahmat allahi ‘alaih)])
Haji Imdaadullah (rahmat allahi ‘alaih) further states,”The way of this servant (himself) is this: I present myself in the gathering of Meelad regarding it as a means of blessing I even commemorate it and I gain great pleasure and peace by STANDING.” (Faisla Haft Mas’ala, Page 5)
What the scholars of Deoband have to say?
Moulvi Ashraf Ali Thanwi, the leader of the Deobandi group, says that the ‘Ulama have unanimously agreed that the practise of standing out of respect is allowed and substantiates by saying that whenever the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) visited Fatima (radi allahu ‘anha) she stood respectfully and whenever Fatima (radi allahu ‘anha) visited the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) he stood up respectfully for her. (Al-Ifaadatul Yaumiya)
Moulvi Asfraf ‘Ali Thanwi has written a long story about Moulvi Qaasim Nanotwi and Hakim Abdus Salaam: “Hakim Abdus Salaam had a desire to meet Mawlana Nanotwi who was at the time sitting with many people. When Hakim Abdus Salaam arrived, everybody STOOD UP to pay respect to him”. (Arwahe Salaasa, Story Number 215, Islami Academy, Lahore)