logo.gif (6340 bytes)

Spirit of Islam
Response to Salafi Bilal Philips & Albani False Claims about Tashahhud



Page last updated:






The Salafi Bilal Philips contradicts the 4 mathaheb about tawassul and the tashahhud on the 2nd DVD in the series he entitled "Foundations of Islamic Studies".

On both issues, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) NEVER told the companions to CHANGE these teachings after his death, but the Salafis claim to know better.

So let's review the authentic hadith where the companion Uthman ibn Hunayf teaches the prayer intercession after the death of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh):
"... 'O Allah I ask you, and turn to You by Your Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of Mercy; O Muhammad! I have turned to my Lord by you in [this request of mine] ... "
- Altargheeb wal Tarheeb, Al Muntheree (SAHIH according to Baihaqi, Mundhiri, and Haythami)

...الدعاء: "اللَّهُمَّ إني أسألُكَ وأتَوَجَّهُ إِلَيْكَ بِنَبِيِّكَ مُحَمَّدٍ نَبِيّ الرَّحْمَةِ صلى اللّه عليه وسلم، يا مُحَمَّدُ! إني تَوَجَّهْتُ بكَ إلى رَبّي في حاجَتِي هَذِهِ لِتُقْضَى لي..."

Then, 400 years after the Salaf al Saleh, Ibn Taymiyyah committed the bid'a of objecting to tawassul. But Ibn Taymiyyah never claimed that this hadith was weak or inauthentic, and Ibn Taymiyyah was unable to explicitly accuse the companion Uthman ibn Hunayf or the 4 mathaheb of teaching a bid'a or shirk.

What has happened, is that in bringing evidence to defend Ibn Taymiyyah's opinion, SOME Salafis have gone FAR, FAR beyond the initial bid'a that Ibn Taymiyyah committed:

DVD2, 4:35
Bilal Philips : We do not pray to anyone besides Allah. And praying to anyone, in Islam, it involves calling on anyone who cannot answer your call. Because somebody might say "when I call on the Prophet..."

DVD2, 5:45
Bilal Philips : And they're saying "well this is not the worship of the Prophet (pbuh), this is just calling on him in prayer" NO. No. If you call on anyone who cannot answer your call, you are worshipping him.

(where did he get these inventions and confusion from?)


What? So the companion Uthman ibn Hunayf and the 4 mathaheb were teaching Muslims to WORSHIP Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)! And I guess Imam al Nawawi is also on this "list", because of what he wrote about visiting the Prophet Muhammad's grave (pbuh):
"... (the visitor) returns ... facing the Prophet (pbuh) and requests his INTERCESSION (fayatawassalu bihi) for himself, and requests his MEDIATION (wayatashaffa'a bihi) with his Lord..."

- Al Athkar lil Nawawi

... ثم يرجعُ إلى موقفه الأوّل قُبالة وجهِ رسول اللّه صلى اللّه عليه وسلم فيتوسلُ به في حقّ نفسه، ويتشفعُ به إلى ربه...
الأذكار للنووي

And Bilal Philips has the nerve to claim that their tawassul is worship (of the Prophet)!

DVD2, 7:45
Bilal Philips : The fact that you call on him, he's not present, he's not available to help you, that's worship. If he's dead, it's also worship.


Salafis are oblivious to the FACT that spiritual life is very much real. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said in an authentic hadith:
"No one greets me, without Allah returning my soul to me, so that I return the greeting to him"
- Al Althkaar al Nawawiyyah

وروينا فيه أيضاً بإسناد صحيح، عن أبي هريرة أيضاً أن رسول اللّه صلى اللّه عليه وسلم قال: مَا مِنْ أحَدٍ يُسَلِّمُ عَليَّ إِلاَّ رَدَّ اللَّهُ عَليَّ رُوحي حتَّى أَرُدَّ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامَ
‏الأذْكَارُ النَّوَويَّة, للإِمام النَّوَوي

Imam al Nawawi also wrote about visiting the Prophet's grave (pbuh):
"... the visitor ... says: 'Peace be onto YOU, O Messenger of Allah ...'
(and) ... Ibn Umar ... would say: 'Peace be unto YOU, O Messenger of Allah, Peace be unto YOU, O Abu Bakr, Peace be unto YOU, O Umar' and it is Saheeh.
And Malik (ra) would say: 'Peace be unto YOU (alaykum) and Allah's Mercy'
- Imam al Nawawi, Al Athkaar

فيقول (الزائر): "السَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ يا رَسُولَ اللّه...
وقد ورد عن ابن عمر بعضه، أنه كان يقف على قبر رسول اللّه صلى اللّه عليه وسلم ويقول
السلام عليك يا رسول اللّه
السلام عليك يا أبا بكر السلام عليك يا عمر
وهو موقوف صحيح.
وعن مالك ـ رحمه اللّه ـ يقول: السلام عليكم ورحمة اللّه وبركاته.

الأذكار للنووي

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said "YA MUSAA" in the Isra' wal Mi'raj - Bukhari.
يا موسى
Abu Bakr (ra) said "YA NABI ALLAH" after the Prophet's death (pbuh) - Bukhari.
بأبي أنت يا نبي الله

And what does Bilal Philips say about people like Uthman ibn Hunayf, ibn Umar, Imam Malik, and Imam al Nawawi, who say "YA RASUL ALLAH":

DVD2, 11:18
Bilal Philips : If you say "Ya Rasul Allah" you're involved in worshipping the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

The Salafis have a real dilemma here. According to their logic, all of these companions and the Salaf al Saleh who said "Assalaamu Alaika YA RASUL ALLAH" were worshipping Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), because Prophet Muhammad was dead and "can't answer their call".

And of course, the strongest argument against this absurd claim is the fact that during our prayer, where we are worshipping Allah alone, we say "peace be on you, O Prophet". So now, Muslims for 14 centuries have been worshipping Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) because we've been speaking to him after his death?

And how about the companions that were praying in other cities during the Prophet's lifetime?  According to Bilal Philips' logic, they were worshipping Prophet Muhammad, because Prophet Muhammad was, quote, "not there" and, quote, "not available to help them" by returning their greetings?

If the Salafis don't feel any difference between the normal feeling of saying "Ya Rasool Allah", and the ultimate submission and awe of saying "Ya Allah", then they have a MAJOR problem.

And now, we'll see just how far SOME Salafis will go to defend their own OPINION about tawassul: 

DVD2, 11:37
Bilal Philips : Now some people say "well, don't we say in our tashahhud "Assalaamu Alaika Ayyuha al Rasool"

Uh, no we don't. It's "ayyuha al NABI", not "ayyuha al RASOOL". This is our prayer that we're talking about! Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) taught the tashahhud like he would teach A VERSE OF THE QURAN. And there isn't one single version that's "ayyuha al RASOOL" or "O Messenger" 

DVD2, 11:48
Bilal Philips : "Don't we say this? 'Peace be on you, O Messenger' "

AGAIN, No we don't. It's "O PROPHET", not "O MESSENGER". Can you imagine how many people watched Bilal Philips' video, and are now missing Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)'s wording because of Bilal Philips' ridiculous blunder, which is a clear bid'a?

Whether Bilal Philips has a bad memory, he can't read well, or he doesn't know the difference between Nabi and Rasool, ANY of these cases DISQUALIFY him from giving lessons in ANY field, let alone Aqeedah! 

DVD2, 11:59
Bilal Philips : "Don't we say this, is this not in our tashahhud?" Yes, it is in the one that the Prophet (pbuh) taught us, BUT Abdullah Ibn Masood in Saheeh al Bukhari, he informed that when the Prophet (pbuh) was living among them, they used to say that, but when he died, instead they said (Peace be on the Prophet) "Peace be on the Messenger".

Contrary to Bilal Philips implication, in no way whatsoever did Abdullah Ibn Masood ever claim that addressing Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) after his death was in any way PROHIBITED, let alone an act of WORSHIP.

So let's see the opinion of some other companions:
"...Ibn Umar (said): Abu Bakr used to teach the tashahhud ON THE PULPIT (ie, after the Prophet's lifetime)... '...peace be onto YOU, O Prophet...' "

- Ibn Abi Shaybah, Almusannaf

... عن ابْنِ عُمَرَ، أَنَّ أَبَا بَكْرٍ كَانَ يُعَلِّمُهُمْ التَّشَهُّدَ عَلَى المِنْبَرِ كَمَا يُعَلِّمُ الصِّبْيَانَ فِي الكِتَابِ: التَّحِيَّاتُ وَالصَّلَوَاتُ وَالطَّيِّبَاتُ لِلَّهِ السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْك أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْنَا وَعَلَى عِبَادِ اللهِ الصَّالِحِينَ أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لاَ إلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّداً عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ.
المصنف لابن أبي شيبة


"...Umar ibn al Khattab (raa) while he was ON THE PULPIT (ie, after the Prophet's lifetime) used to teach people the tashahhud... 'peace be onto YOU, O Prophet...'..."
- Alathkaar al Nawawiyyah, Imam Nawawi

...بالأسانيد الصحيحة...عمر بن الخطاب رضي اللّه عنه وهو على المنبر وهو يعلِّم الناس التشهد يقول: ... السَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ أيُّهَا النَّبيُّ...
‏الأذْكَارُ النَّوَويَّة, للإِمام النَّوَوي


Bilal Philips is misrepresenting the views of the Salaf al Saleh. Regarding the different versions, Imam al Nawawi said:
"The scholars AGREED that ALL are PERMITTED, and differed about which is the BEST..."

- Sahih Muslim bisharh al Nawawi

واتفق العلماء على جوازها كلها، واختلفوا في الأفضل منها. ...

And as for Ibn Masood's personal preference, this was a GRAMMATICAL issue (according to scholars, because Ibn Masood did not mention any Aqeedah issue), ie, to use the 3rd person for the entire tashahhud. Ibn Hajar states:
"...so if one says 'what is the wisdom of going from the third person to the direct address, in saying: on YOU, O Prophet, while the structure requires the third person ... (for the rest of the tashahhud)...?'
- Fathul Bari

، فإن قيل ما الحكمة في العدول عن الغيبة إلى الخطاب في قوله
عليك أيها النبي
مع أن لفظ الغيبة هو الذي يقتضيه السياق كأن يقول السلام على النبي فينتقل من تحية الله إلى تحية النبي ثم إلى تحية النفس ثم إلى الصالحين، أجاب الطيبي بما محصله: نحن نتبع لفظ الرسول بعينه الذي كان علمه الصحابة


So this was a grammatical question (for scholars). And the parts that the scholars differed about was NOT the part that Bilal Philips is talking about, because Ibn Hajar continues:
"...Al Teebee answered with what boils down to: we follow the wording that the Prophet (pbuh) EXPLICITLY taught to the companions."
- Fathul Bari

أجاب الطيبي بما محصله: نحن نتبع لفظ الرسول بعينه الذي كان علمه الصحابة

All 4 Mujtahideen said that this section should be "peace be onto YOU, O Prophet", by unanimous consensus (ijma'), which means that the scholars DIDN"T DIFFER about it WHATSOEVER (and not ONE scholar mentioned any relation with aqeedah).

DVD2, 12:46
Bilal Philips : Now scholars have differed as to whether you should follow what Abdullah ibn Masood said, or whether we should just go with what the Prophet (pbuh) initially taught.


And while Ibn Masood's GRAMMATICAL selection for his OWN prayer was accepted, yet Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:
"Adhere to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the Khulafa' al Rashideen... Hadeeth Hasan Saheeh"
- Alathkaar al Nawawiyyah, Imam Nawawi

فَعَليْكُم بسُنَّتِي وَسُنَّةِ الخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدينَ المَهْدِيِّينَ... حديث حسن صحيح
‏الأذْكَارُ النَّوَويَّة, للإِمام النَّوَوي

So any SINCERE Salafi would have to admit, that the PROPER methodology is to go with what Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the Khulafa al Rashideen said: 

DVD2, 12:55
Bilal Philips :The proper methodology is to go with what Abdullah ibn Masood said. Why? Because he said "WE used to", not just "I". "I used to". That may be a personal thing on his part. But he said "we", the companions of the Prophet (pbuh)...
This accuses Abu Bakr & Umar of following the wrong methodology!

Since we already showed that 2 of the Khulafa' al Rashideen didn't, quote "go with what Abdullah ibn Masood said", so Bilal Philips' argument is completely false. Even Nasirud-Deen al Albani, the Salafi who to our knowledge first came up with this idea to change the tashahhud, contradicts this claim in his own book "The Prophet's Prayer Described" by citing 4 companions teaching the direct form of "Peace be onto YOU, O Prophet", who are: Ibn 'Abbass, Ibn 'Umar, Abu Moosaa al-Ash'ari, and the Khalifah 'Umar ibn al-Khattaab.

So Bilal Philips implication that ALL the companions followed Abdullah Ibn Masood, quote "because he said WE" is clearly false.

So now, let's take a closer look at Al Albani's claims.

In his book entitled The Abridgement of the Prophet's Prayer Described (Talkhees Sifat Salaat an-Nabee), Al Albani wrote about the tashahhud:

"It's wording is...peace be on the Prophet" (As-Salaamu 'alan-Nabee)"
... باب الجلوس للتشهد ... صيغة التشهد ... وصيغته: ... السلام على النبي ...
تلخيص صفة صلاة النبي, ناصر الدين الألباني

and Albani adds the footnote:

"This is what it is prescribed to say after the death of the Prophet * and this wording is established in the tashahhud of Ibn Masood, 'Aa'ishah, Ibn az-Zubayr and Ibn 'Abbaas."
... هذا هو المشروع بعد وفاة النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم, وهو الثابت في تشهد ابن مسعود وعائشة وابن الزبير وابن عباس ...
تلخيص صفة صلاة النبي, ناصر الدين الألباني

So let's examine Al Albani's evidence from footnote #205 (from Albani's un-abridged version):


First of all, Al Albani cites the opinion of Aisha from Siraj and Mukhlis, and completely ignores her much more AUTHENTIC narrations (through Imam Malik, al Baihaqi and others), where:
"Al Qasem said 'Aisha (raa) TAUGHT ME...'this is the tashahhud of Prophet Muhammad...Peace be unto YOU, O Prophet...' "
- Imam Nawawi, Al Athkaar Al Nawawiyyah

وروينا في سنن البيهقي بإسناد جيد، عن القاسم قال: علمتني عائشةُ رضي اللّه عنها قالت:
هذا تشهُّدُ رسول اللّه صلى اللّه عليه وسلم: "التَّحِيَّاتُ لِلَّهِ وَالصَّلَوَاتُ وَالطَّيِّباتُ، السَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ أيُّهَا النَّبيُّ
‏الأذْكَارُ النَّوَويَّة، للإِمام النَّوَوي

"...in Muwatta' (Malik) and Sunan al Baihaqi and others also with SAHEEH authentication about Aisha (ra) that she used to say the tashahhud: ... Peace be on you O Prophet...' "

وروينا في الموطأ وسنن البيهقي وغيرهما أيضاً بإسناد صحيح عن عائشة رضي اللّه عنها أنها كانت تقول إذا تشهَّدتْ: التَّحِيَّاتُ الطَّيِّباتُ الصَّلَوَاتُ الزَّاكِياتُ لِلَّهِ، أشْهَدُ أن لا إلهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وأنَّ مُحَمَّداً عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ، السَّلامُ عَلَيكَ أيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ
‏الأذْكَارُ النَّوَويَّة، للإِمام النَّوَوي


Secondly, Albani also cites a quote from Imam al Sibki about the ramifications of Ibn Masood's opinion:
"Subki said in Sharh al Minhaj... it proves that after his time, it is NOT COMPULSORY to address the Prophet (pbuh) directly in the greeting of peace, so one says: "Peace be on the Prophet"
- Ibn Hajar, Fathul Bari

قال السبكي في شرح المنهاج ... دل على أن الخطاب في السلام بعد النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم غير واجب فيقال السلام على النبي.

However, this is a misleading translation by the Salafis who translated Albani's book. It should read, "it is not compulsory (ghair wajib ... fayuqaal) so it CAN BE SAID", ie, it is permissible, not that it "must be said".

So Albani's own reference just proved, that Ibn Masood in NO WAY declared the other opinions as being WRONG.


Third, as evidence for Ibn Abbaas' opinion, Albani cites Ibn Hajar, who recounts a hadith:
"the Prophet (pbuh) TAUGHT them the tashahhud, and then he (`Abdullaah bin Masood) said IT (ie, the tashahhud that Prophet Muhammad pbuh TAUGHT); Ibn `Abbaas said: We used to say 'Peace be on you, O Prophet'
only while he was alive,"
- Ibn Hajar, Fathul Bari

...من طريق أبي عبيدة بن عبد الله بن مسعود عن أبيه أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم علمهم التشهد فذكره قال فقال ابن عباس: إنما كنا نقول السلام عليك أيها النبي إذ كان حيا،...
‏فتح الباري، للإمام ابن حجر العسقلاني

A quick point, that the word "only" is not in the Arabic text, it has been suspiciously added by the Salafis who translated Albani's book. Ith kaana hayyaa should read "while he was alive".


Anyway, apparently Al Albani stopped reading the hadith there, because the rest of the hadith shows that (the young) Ibn Abbaas was NOT giving a verdict, rather, simply discussing the wording:
"to which Ibn Masood replied, 'THIS is how we were TAUGHT, and THIS is how we teach it', (Ibn Hajar continues:) it would appear (correct translation should be: "it is CLEAR"... not "would appear") that Ibn `Abbaas said this as a matter of discussion but Ibn Masood DID NOT ACCEPT."
- Ibn Hajar, Fathul Bari

... فقال ابن مسعود: هكذا علمنا وهكذا نعلم، فظاهر أن ابن عباس قاله بحثا وأن ابن مسعود لم يرجع إليه...
‏فتح الباري، للإمام ابن حجر العسقلاني

So when Albani tried to bring evidence claiming that Ibn Abbaas changed the tashahhud, that same hadith shows 3 things:

1) Ibn Abbaas was RESEARCHING with the elder Ibn Masood
2) Although it was Ibn Masood's personal preference, but he REJECTED to teach it that way 
3) Ibn Masood himself insisted to TEACH it EXACTLY the way that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) did: "Peace be on YOU, O Prophet"


And Albani has another problem, you see, this hadith of Ibn Abbaas is weak.
"(ibn Hajar)...the narration of Abu Ma`mar (i.e. the narration of Bukhaari ) is more authentic, since Abu `Ubaidah did not hear (ahaadeeth) from his father, and furthermore, the isnaad up to Abu `Ubaidah is weak."

...لكن رواية أبي معمر أصح لأن أبا عبيدة لم يسمع من أبيه والإسناد إليه مع ذلك ضعيف...
‏فتح الباري، للإمام ابن حجر العسقلاني

And Albani uses this weak hadith to make a claim about Ibn Abbaas, when the more authentic hadith of Ibn Abbaas didn't support Albani's opinion.

Just like Albani IGNORED the more authentic hadith to misrepresent Sayyideh Aisha's opinion. How could Albani, who posed himself to be some great hadith verifier, make such fundamental mistakes as picking weaker hadiths that contradict the more authentic ones! Any elementary student knows that this is not allowed, and the Salafis are doing this in matters of FARA'ED and especially AQEEDEH!


According to Al Albani's own evidence, his book should really be renamed to "The Prayer that Ibn Masood REFUSED to TEACH"


Top of Page