Question # 98: I received the following forwarded message on Whatsapp, is this authentic? Do you know background of ATTA’HIYYAAT, as to why we recite it in every namaz? Attahiyyaat is a very important ‘Dua’ we repeat it in our daily prayers. When I learnt the importance of this, it melted my heart. Attahiyat is actually a part of conversation between Our Creator Allah SWT and our beloved Prophet Muhammad Sallalahu’alayhi wasallam during his journey of Al Isra Wal Miraj. When Prophet Muhammad Sallalahualayhiwasallam met Allah SWT, he didn’t say ‘Assalam aleikum’. What is someone going to say when he meets Allah? We can’t wish HIM peace because ALL sources of peace are through HIM. So Prophet Muhammad Sallalahualayhiwasallam said:”Attahiyyaatu Lillahi Was Salawatu Wattayyibatu” (All compliments, all prayer and worship are for Allah) Allah replied: “Assalamu Alaika Ayyuhannabiyyu ‘Warahmatullahi Wabarka’tuhu” (Peace be upon you, Oh Prophet and Allah’s Mercy and Blessings). To this, Prophet Muhammad sallalahualayhiwasallam replied: “Assalamu Alaina Wa’ala’Ibadillahis Saa’liheen” (Peace be on us and on all good slaves of Allah) Note Prophet Muhammad sallalahualayhiwasallam included “us” in his reply… (and on all good slaves of Allah) And listening to this conversation between Allah and His Messenger sallalahualayhiwasalam, the Angels said: “Ash’had’u’un La ilahaillallahu Wa Ash’hadu Anna Muhammadun Abd’uhu Wa Rasooluh” (I bear witness that no one is worthy of worship except Allah And I bear witness that Muhammad is Messenger). SubhanAllah!
bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,
Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).
First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.
Shorter Answer: The incident mentioned in the question about the origin of tashahhud has no basis in Islam. It is not permissible for any Muslim to propagate such messages that are not proven, or which contain innovations (bid‘ah) in beliefs or actions; rather everyone should refrain from forwarding such messages until their authenticity is verified. In fact, the hadith of Ibn Mas‘ood (رضي الله عنه) about the tashahhud is considered to be the soundest hadith, which was narrated via twenty-odd hadiths, wherein Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) taught him the tashahhud. One should not forget, while narrating anything from Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) that he said, “Whoever (intentionally) ascribes to me what I have not said then (surely) let him occupy his seat in Hell-fire.”
Long Answer: The scholars of the Standing Committee were asked: Is the tashahhud that we recite in the prayer what the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said when he prostrated at Sidrat al-Muntaha during the Mi‘raj?
They replied: It was narrated that Ibn Mas‘ood (رضي الله عنه) said: “The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) taught me the Tashahhud, holding my hand between his hands, just as he would teach me a Surah from the Quran: ‘At-tahiyyatu Lillahi wa’s-salawatu wa’t-tayyibat, as-salamu ‘alayka ayyuha’n-Nabiyyu wa rahmat-Allahi wa barakatuhu. As-salamu ‘alayna wa ‘ala ‘ibad-Illah is-saliheen. Ash-hadu an la ilaha ill-Allah wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasooluhu (All compliments, prayers and pure words are due to Allah. Peace be upon you, O Prophet, and the mercy of Allah and His blessings. Peace be upon us, and on the righteous slaves of Allah. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger).’ (This was narrated by the jama‘ah (group))
According to another version, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “When one of you sits during the prayer, let him say: al-tahiyyatu Lillahi…” … and when he came to the words, “wa ‘ala ‘ibad-Illah al-saaliheen”, he said: “If you do that, you will have greeted with salam every righteous slave of Allah in heaven and on earth.” And at the end he said: “Then let him choose whatever he wants to ask for.” (Agreed upon)
Ahmad narrated from Abu ‘Ubaydah, from his father ‘Abd-Allah ibn Mas‘ood (رضي الله عنه) that he said: The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) taught him the tashahhud and instructed him to teach it to the people: “Al-tahiyyatu Lillahi…” and he quoted it.
Al-Tirmidhi said: “The hadith (narration) of Ibn Mas‘ood (رضي الله عنه) is the soundest hadith about the tashahhud, and is to be acted upon according to most of the scholars among the Sahabah (Companions) and Tabi‘een (Successors). Abu Bakr al-Bazzar said: It is the soundest hadith about the tashahhud. And he said: It was narrated via twenty-odd hadiths. Among those who were certain about that was al-Baghawi in Sharh al-Sunnah.”
Thus you will know that this format is the soundest that has been proven from the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم).
With regard to whether the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) recited the tashahhud when he was prostrating at Sidrat al-Muntaha on the night of the Mi‘raj, we do not know of any basis for saying that he prostrated in that place on the night of the Mi‘raj. (Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baz, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Razzaq ‘Afeefi, Shaykh ‘Abd-Allah ibn Ghadyan, Shaykh ‘Abd-Allah ibn Qa‘ood in Fatawa al-Lajnah al-Daimah)
Thus it becomes clear that it is not permissible to propagate [such messages] …that are not proven, or which contain innovations (bid‘ah) in beliefs or actions; rather no one should propagate them until after checking whether they are proven and sound.
(The above answer is provided by Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid on the same topic)
Narrated Salama (رضي الله عنه): I heard the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) saying, “Whoever (intentionally) ascribes to me what I have not said then (surely) let him occupy his seat in Hell-fire.” (Al-Bukhari)
Narrated Al-Mughira (رضي الله عنه): I heard the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) saying, “Ascribing false things to me is not like ascribing false things to anyone else. Whosoever tells a lie against me intentionally then surely let him occupy his seat in Hell-Fire.”… (Al-Bukhari)
Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.
 Sidrat al-Muntaha is a Lote tree that marks the end of the seventh heaven, the boundary where no creation can pass. During Isra and Mi’raj, Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم), being the only one allowed and invited, travelled with the Jibra’eel (as) to the Sidrat al-Muntaha where it is said that Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) assigned the five daily prayers to all Muslims.