Dalail Khairat / Dalaail u’l Khayraat (Proofs of Good Deeds) is a kitab (book) of salawaat (blessings) on our beloved Holy Prophet Sayyidina wa Mawlana Muhammad al-Mustafa composed by Imam Muhammad bin Sulayman al-Jazuli of Morocco. He was a Shaykh in the Shazili tariqa (spiritual path) who traced his ancestry to Imam Hasan ibn ‘Ali , the noble Prophet’s grandson, and left his earthly existence in 870 A.H / 1465 C.E. He is considered to be one of the seven greatest Awliya’ Allah (Friends of Allah, sufi masters) of Morocco. Al-Habib ‘AbdAllah bin ‘Alawi bin Hasan al-‘Attas informs us in The Way of Bani ‘Alawi that Imam al-Jazuli had twelve thousand muridin (disciples). Seventy seven years after he passed ahead, his body was exhumed for re-burial in Marrakesh and it had not undergone any change.
This is one of the miracles that has been recorded in books of history.
The full name of his kitab is Dalaail u’l Khayraat wa Shawaariq u’l Anwaar fee Zikri’s Salaati ‘ala’n Nabiyyi’l Mukhtaar (Proofs of Good Deeds and the Brilliant Burst of Sunshine in the Recitation of Blessing on the Chosen Prophet ). It is the most acclaimed, the most popular, and the most recited among books of salawaat on the beloved Prophet . Just as al-Muwatta of Imam Malik is the first major book of Hadith Sharif to be compiled, Dalaail u’l Khayraat is the first major book of salawaat. In it, Imam al-Jazuli presents to us as a gift a precious and spontaneous composition and recitation of salawaat that poured out directly from his heart. The recitation is obviously from memory as is the tradition of our ‘ulama’ (learned scholars) and the spontaneous composition is from the waaridaat (spiritual perceptions) that Allah poured into his heart as a reward for loving the Prophet . It does not contain all the salawaat that existed in his time because that would have taken many volumes.
We can understand this better when we recite the many salawaat of just one Imam, the great grandson of the blessed Prophet himself, namely, Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin ‘Ali ibn Husayn ibn ‘Ali (38-95 A.H / 658-713 C.E) in his huge kitab of supplications to Allah titled As-Sahifa Sajjadiyyah (The Book of the Worshipper). The mode of presentation of Imam al-Jazuli is all his own, musk-scented with the love of RasulAllah . The writing flows smooth and fast with an exhilarating pace. This kitab has caught the imagination of Muslims to such an extent that many ‘ulama’ have written whole books of explanation or commentary (Arabic: sharh) on it. One such sharh was written by al- ‘Allamah Mahdi Fasi titled Mataali‘ul Masarraat (The Dawns of Happiness), which has been translated into Urdu by al-‘Allamah Muhammad ‘Abdul Hakim Sharaf al-Qaadiri. These “shuruh” (plural of sharh) have been referred to, for example, by Imam Yusuf ibn Ismaʻil anNabhaani , another Shaykh in the Shazili tariqa, in his book Afdalus-Salawaat (The Best of Blessings).
The Dalaail has been translated into Turkish by Kara Dawud Efendi who also wrote a 2 commentary on it. And it has also been translated into Urdu by Shaykh Pir Muhammad Karam Shah Saheb in the kitab Majmuʻah Wazaaif Ma‘a Dalaail u’l Khayraat (A Compendium of Regular Voluntary Invocations Together with Dalaail u’l Khayraat). Another pleasing feature of Dalaail u’l Khayraat (Proofs of Good Deeds) is that its introduction contains Asma u’l Husna (the Most Beautiful Names of Allah ) as well as Asma u’n Nabi, (the Blessed Attributive names of the beloved Prophet Muhammad ) one of which is Dalil u’l Khayraat (Proof of Good Deeds). Isn’t that remarkable! Dalaail u’l Khayraat is presented in eight parts. You are expected to commence recitation on Monday with the Introduction and Part One. Each part is to be recited one day of the week for ease of completion except that on Monday you complete the recitation of Part Eight as well. Each part takes about ten to twenty minutes to recite and with consistent recitation, the book can be completed in a week, and the following week you may start all over again. In this way, many a saalik (traveller on the spiritual path) has made Dalaail u’l Khayraat a weekly wird (regular voluntary invocation). And of course, at least one juz (part) of the Holy Qur’an is also to be recited every day. The muhibbin (loving disciples) in Tariqa ash-Shaziliyyah have an annual recitation of the Dalaail in Toronto where it is recited in congregation in one sitting in about two hours. AlHamdu Lillah (All Praise is for Allah !).
Shaytaan becomes helplessly weak when he encounters love for the Prophet . Dalaail u’l Khayraat is normally printed in the ancient Muslim tradition where the text is printed in the middle and in wide borders on the sides can be found some other treasures, in this instance Hizb u’n Nasr, Hizb u’l Barr and Hizb u’l Bahr of Imam Abu’l Hasan Shazili, Hizb of Imam an-Nawawi, Hizb of Mulla ‘Ali al-Qaari, Hizb u’d Durril A‘laa of Shaykh u’l Akbar Muhyuddin ibn ‘Arabi, Hizb of Ustadh al-Bayyumi, As-Salaat u’l Mashishiyya of Imam Abdu’s Salaam bin Mashish , and Qasida al-Munfarija, among other awraad and azkaar (additional voluntary supplications to Allah ). Can Qasida al-Burda of Imam al-Busiri ever be left out? It naturally brings the kitab to a resounding close. The impact of Dalaail u’l Khayraat on subsequent Muslim scholarship on the subject of salawaat has obviously been tremendous. One illustration suffices at this juncture. The Hizb u’l A‘zam of Hadrat Mulla ‘Ali al-Qaari , a great Hanafi ‘aalim (scholar), is in seven parts, one part to be recited one day of the week. In fulfillment of the teachings of the beloved Prophet Muhammad to recite more salawaat on Fridays, Friday’s recitation in his Hizb consists only of salawaat. And almost all of these salawaat naturally happen to be from Dalaail u’l Khayraat! (SubhanAllah! Glorified is Allah !). The language of salawaat is the language of the heart and it is based on love.