Quranic Reflection No. 379 Āyat 33:43 – Blessings from Allah ‘azza wa-jall
هُوَ الَّذِي يُصَلِّي عَلَيْكُمْ وَمَلَائِكَتُهُ لِيُخْرِجَكُمْ مِنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ ۚ وَكَانَ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَحِيمًا
Huwalladhī yusallī ‘alaykum wamalā’ikatuhu liyukhrijakum minazzulumāti ilannūr, wakāna bilmu’minīna rahīmā
It is He who blesses you, and so do His angels, that He may bring you out from darkness into light, and He is most merciful to the faithful.
(Sūrat al-Ahzāb, No.33, Āyat 43)
In this verse Allah ‘azza wa-jall promises those who remember Him frequently- mentioned in the previous verse – that He will send salawāt on them, and so will His angels. The word salawāt, often translated as blessings, means different things according to who sends it:
a. Salawāt of Allah subhānahu wata‘ālā – special attention, kindness, grace. It denotes an exclusive mercy from the Almighty for a group of believers. This mercy from God results in their success and eternal happiness. The Quran also talks about the salawāt of Allah for those who are patient and submit to His will: It is they who receive the blessings of their Lord and mercy, and it is they who are guided (Q 2:183).
b. Salawāt of the angels – requesting Allah to send mercy to the believers. Asking for forgiveness for them. The Quran mentions this in another place: Those who bear the Throne, and those who are around it, celebrate the praise of their Lord and have faith in Him, and they plead for forgiveness for the faithful: ‘Our Lord! You embrace all things in mercy and knowledge. So forgive those who repent and follow Your way and save them from the punishment of hell (Q 40:7)
c. Salawāt of believers – a Du‘ā for the Prophet and his family, asking Allah to bless them. Allah asks believers to do this: Indeed Allah and His angels bless the Prophet; O you who have faith! Invoke blessings on him and invoke Peace upon him in a worthy manner (Q 33:56) The verse tells us that Allah sends blessings on the Prophet, the angels do it, and He asks believers to send blessings too. Āyatullāh Jawad Āmulī compares it to the showing of respect by an authority when an esteemed guest enters the city. The chief of the city will go to visit the guest but will take along other dignitaries with him to show just how respected the guest is. This shows the high status of the Prophet. Note that unlike the verse above (Q 33:43), this verse does not mention the result of the blessings being removal from darkness and entering into light. This is because the Prophet is already perfect and enlightened.
The salawāt from Allah (swt) removes believers from the darkness of ignorance and takes them into the light of knowledge and awareness. ‘Allāmah Tabātabā’ī in Tafsīr al-Mīzān says that darkness here is heedlessness and forgetting Allah while light is the remembrance and consciousness of Allah. Such a journey makes the believers worthy of the eternal success that is part of the blessings sent upon them by Allah. It is noteworthy that entering into the realm of true awareness does not just depend entirely on one’s own efforts. It needs a boost from Allah – a special grace and favor for those who deserve it.
Let this verse remind you of the tremendous benefits of constant remembrance of Allah. It will bring blessings of Allah on you resulting in an inner light propelling you to eternal happiness. The results cannot be overestimated.