I would highly appreciate it if you can help me clarify on the below mentioned issues. 1. Naat - Did people in times of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) recite Naat? How did this start and is it allowed? What about Qawalis etc?
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
I would highly appreciate it if you can help me clarify on the below mentioned issues.
1. Naat - Did people in times of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) recite Naat? How did this start and is it allowed? What about Qawalis etc?
2. Syed - Some people in our society call themselves `Syed` and believe they are from Prophet Mohammed (PBUH)`s family. They demand to be more respected than others for this fact. My question is were there Syeds in times of Prophet Mohammed? How do we know if people calling themselves Syed now are really from Prophet Mohammed`s (PBUH) famly? Are we supposed to give them more respect than others?
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Naat & Syed
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Q-1: Naat - Did people in times of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) recite Naat? How did this start and is it allowed? What about Qawalis etc?
There is absolutely no harm in listening or saying good naats or phrases that are said in the praise of the Noble Prophet of Allah, Mohamed ar-Rasool Allah (saws).
But one must be careful to remain within the limits of Islam and not say or listen to phrases or naats which have raised the status of the Prophet (saws) to that of Allah Subhanah, or raise the attributes of the Prophet (saws) to the exclusive Attributes of Allah Subhanah.
Most naats are indeed good and within the limits, but some ignorant people at times say and manufacture things about the Prophet (saws), which raise him to the Attributes which belong to Allah Subhanah, the Lord of the Worlds, Alone. Such naats should be strictly avoided by the believers.
Although some Qawwalis are sung in the praise of Allah and in Messenger (saws), most Qawwalis which are practiced at the graves and shrines of some of the pious slaves of Allah Subhanah and include words and phrases which would tantamount to the abomination of shirk.
To the best of our knowledge what we know as naats or qawwalis was not practiced in the times of the Messenger of Allah (saws); and we have no knowledge who was responsible for starting them or how they were initiated.
Q-2: Syed - Some people in our
society call themselves `Syed` and believe they are from Prophet Mohammed
(PBUH)`s family. They demand to be more respected than others for this fact. My
question is were there Syeds in times of Prophet Mohammed? How do we know if
people calling themselves Syed now are really from Prophet Mohammed`s (PBUH)
famly? Are we supposed to give them more respect than others?
The literal meaning of the Arabic term syed is leader, and is used in colloquial Arabic as a term for respect like Mr. in the English language.
There is no particular sect or family which is known as syeds. This syed term for some reason has become synonymous in the Indo-Pak region to mean a descendant of the Noble Messenger of Allah (saws) and is most probably derived from the early Arab settlers who came to the Indo-Pak region and were called Syeds in respect by the local population.
The descendants of the Noble Prophet of Allah
(saws) are better known as the Banu-Hashim or the Hashimites, the most famous
amongst them being the current Hashimite rulers of the
There is absolutely no concept of a particular family being considered holy or sacred in Islam. The criteria for honor in Islam is laid down by the clear commands of Allah Subhanah in the Glorious Quran:
Allah says in the Holy Quran: Chapter 49
Surah Hujurat verse 13:
O mankind, We created you from one man and one woman, and then divided you into nations and tribes so that you may recognize one another. Indeed, the most honorable among you in the sight of Allah is he who is the most pious of you. Surely Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.
Thus regardless of whatever family or lineage one may claim he belongs to; the most honorable in the sight of Allah Subhanah is the one who has the most taqwa or piety or God-consciousness! Allah Subhanah does not look at ones family, or lineage, or wealth, or looks, etc.; but Allah Subhanah will look at the persons belief, and his deeds and his piety.
Thus if someone claims to belong to the family of the noble Prophet (saws), but is an evil person, and violates the commands and teachings of Allah and His Messenger (saws); he shall have no respect and honor with Allah and will not be honored simply because of his links and lineage to the Prophets (saws) family!
Whoever accepts, obeys, and follows the teachings of Allah and His Messenger (saws) will be respected and honored as a believer; and whoever denies, rejects, and disobeys the teachings and guidance of Allah and His Messenger (saws) will have no honor in the sight of Allah Subhanah; regardless of who and what his family ties are!!
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 14 Surah Ibraheem verse 36:
36 (Ibraheem (a.s.) prayed) "O my Lord! They have indeed led astray many among mankind: he then who follows my (ways) is of me, and he that disobeys me, Thou art indeed Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful.
Allah Subhanah Himself describes and narrates the story of the unrighteous son of one of the greatest Prophets of Allah, Prophet Nuh (a.s.) in the Glorious Quran. The unrighteous son disobeyed and refused to follow the guidance of Allah and His Prophet, and subsequently Allah Subhanah drowned him with the rest of the disbelievers, even though he was the son of Prophet Nuh!
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 11 Surah Hud verses 42-47:
42 So the
43 The son replied: "I will be-take myself to some mountain: it will save me from the water." Noah said: "This day nothing can save from the Command of Allah any but those on whom He hath mercy!" and the waves came between them and the son was among those overwhelmed in the Flood.
44 When the word went forth: "O earth! swallow up thy water and O
sky! withhold (thy rain)!" and the
water abated and the matter was ended. The
45 And Noah called upon his Lord and said: "O my Lord! surely my son is of my family! and Thy promise is true, and Thou art the Justest of Judges!"
46 He said: "O Noah! he is not of thy family: for his conduct is unrighteous. So ask not of Me that of which thou hast no knowledge! I give thee counsel lest thou act like the ignorant!"
47 Noah said: "O my Lord! I do seek refuge with Thee lest I ask Thee for that of which I have no knowledge. And unless Thou forgive me and have Mercy on me I should indeed be lost!"
Thus a person should be respected and honored for his noble actions and deeds which are in accordance with the guidance and teachings of Allah and His Messenger (saws); and not simply because of ones family ties with the Messenger of Allah (saws) or any other noble and pious personality!
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brother and well wisher in Islam,