What is to be recited in the middle (first) Tashahhud in prayer: by Shaikh Muqbil Ibn Hādi Al-Wādi’ee.

Regarding the middle Tashahhud of the prayer, ‘Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood said: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: “When one of you sits in the prayer, let him recite:

التَّحِيَّاتُ لِلَّهِ، وَالصَّلَوَاتُ وَالطَّيِّبَاتُ، السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ وَرَحْمَةُ اللَّهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ، السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْنَا وَعَلَى عِبَادِ اللَّهِ الصَّالِحِينَ‏ وأَشْهَدُ أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ، وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ

«All dominion and greatness is for Allah, and all the prayers, and all good speech and action is for Him. Peace be upon you O Prophet, and likewise the Mercy of Allah and His Blessings. And peace be upon us, and upon the pious servants of Allah. [1] I testify that there is none who has the right to be worshipped except Allah, and I testify that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger.»

Then he may make any du’ā (invocation) that pleases him.”

Reported by Bukhāri (831) and Muslim (402)

[1] The Prophet (ﷺ) added here as reported by Bukhāri and Muslim:  “When you say this it reaches every righteous servant of Allah in the heavens and the earth.” 

The Shaikh, the Great Scholar of hadeeth, Muqbil Ibn Hādi al-Wādi’ee (رحمه الله) stated: “After this it is for you to either make a supplication or to stand up [for the third rak’ah].”

Additional notes by the daughter of the Shaikh:

The proof for that is the hadeeth of Ibn Mas’ood (رضي الله عنه) reported in Saheeh Al-Bukhāri (no. 835) and in Saheeh Muslim (402) which states that the Messenger (ﷺ) said: “Then he may make any du’ā (invocation) that pleases him.” And in a wording of Muslim: “Then he may choose from whatever he wishes to ask for.” 

An-Nasā’ee (2/238) and Ahmad (7/227) reported from Abul-Ahwas from Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (رضي الله عنه) who said: We used to not know what to say after every two rak’ahs in the prayer other than glorifying (tasbeeh), exalting (takbeer) and praising (tahmeed) our Lord. Then Muhammad (ﷺ) taught us the openings of goodness and its finalities. He said: “When you sit at the end of every two rak’ahs (the middle tashahhud), say: 

التَّحِيَّاتُ لِلَّهِ، وَالصَّلَوَاتُ وَالطَّيِّبَاتُ، السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ وَرَحْمَةُ اللَّهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ، السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْنَا وَعَلَى عِبَادِ اللَّهِ الصَّالِحِينَ‏ وأَشْهَدُ أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ، وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ

«All dominion and greatness is for Allah, and all the prayers, and all good speech and action is for Him. Peace be upon you O Prophet, and likewise the Mercy of Allah and His Blessings. And peace be upon us, and upon the pious servants of Allah. [1] I testify that there is none who has the right to be worshipped except Allah, and I testify that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger.»

وَلْيَتَخَيَّرْ أَحَدُكُمْ مِنَ الدُّعَاءِ أَعْجَبَهُ إِلَيْهِ فَلْيَدْعُ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ

[Then] choose any supplication you please and call upon Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, with it.” Its chain of narration is saheeh and its origins can be found in Bukhāri and Muslim.

Shaikh Al-Albānee (رحمه الله) said in his Aslu Sifat is-Salāh“I say: what is apparent from the hadeeth is that it proves that it is prescribed to supplicate in every tashahhud, even if it is not followed by the salām. And that is the saying of Ibn Hazm (رحمه الله).”

Ibn Rajab (رحمه الله) said in Fathul-Bāri (7/341):

“The saying of the Messenger (ﷺ): ‘Thereafter choose any supplication you please and call upon Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, with it.’ There has preceded in the narration of Imām Ahmad clearly that this du’ā is specific for the final tashahhud of the prayer. As for the first (or middle) tashahhud then no supplication is made after it according to the majority of the scholars; and most of them say there is no increase to be made to it – to the point that Ath-Thawri (died 161H) said in a narration reported from him that whoever does that deliberately, then his prayer is invalidated. However, Ash-Shāfi’ee (died 204H) said: [After the first tashahhud] he sends peace and blessings upon the Prophet (ﷺ) alone and not his family. Mālik (died 179H) said: He supplicates in the first tashahhud as he would do in the final tashahhud and that has been reported from Ibn ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه).

From the book, Sifatus-Salāh an-Nabi of Shaikh Muqbil Ibn Hādi (may Allah have mercy upon this great scholar), Dār al-Imām al-Bukhāri, pp. 106-110, with some editing.

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