Etiquettes of Na’t (Naat)

The topic is a voluminous subject in itself, as not only the reciter of this devotional poetry is bound to follow the basic etiquettes, but, the poet too, has to take great care while composing selected words to praise the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad ﷺ. This type of devotional poetry is termed as Na’t (erroneously spelt: Naat by many). The founder and initiator of this unique genre is none other than the Lord, the Creator, the All-knowing, the Almighty Allah. If one goes through the divine dictum, the Holy Qur’an carefully, he would find that it is mandatory to all Believers to follow the commands of Holy Prophet, besides following the commandments of Allah. This is the basis of Na’t (Naat), as well.

The height of love is called Ishque, i.e. passionate intense love which could hardly be defined logically in any case, as this occurs only between the two humans. The highest precedent set by any in Ishque is by the Almighty Allah for His beloved and blessed last Messenger, Muhammad ﷺ. It is Allah who narrates it many times in His Holy Book, Qur’an. HE demands of every Believer to follow the role model of the Holy Prophet to become an ideal human, as well as Muslim.  This is the practical aspect of true and passionate love.

To express the deep thoughts, i.e. the heartily feelings about the true love, Ishque with the Holy Prophet, in the form of Na’t (Naat), it is utmost that one at least learn as to how the same was expressed in the poesy by the heavenly guided Companions of the Holy Prophet, Sehaba, including Hazrat Has’saan Ibn Thabit, Ka’b Ibn Maalik, Abdullah Ibn Rawaha, Abu-Bakr As-Siddique and others [May Allah be pleased with them all, as promised by Him].

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The Na’t (Naat) poet should do ablution to cruise through the ocean of devotion, under the light from heaven. Purified both physically and mentally, he would be at his peak of saying something quite fluently, without any fear of using anything misleading. Besides, he should recite Drood Sharif, too.

While writing Na’t (Naat), the poet has to refrain from using any illegitimate word, phrase or symbol, besides keeping in mind that the Holy Prophet is the most beloved human in the eyes of Almighty, yet, he is a human, a creature of Allah and is not the God or Avatar of God. That is to say in easy words, DON’T exaggerate in his praise; don’t say, ‘he is like God’.

Similarly, when a reciter recites Na’t (Naat), he must keep it in mind that he is presenting a piece of devotional poetry to the Holy Prophet, the Most Perfect of all Perfect Humans, proclaimed the ‘Light of Allah’ by Allah. Be humble and much focused!

The Na’t (Naat) reciter MUST NOT ask for a professional fee, in advance or later, as this is not a commendable deed in the light of Shariah. However, if someone or some people gives him some amount, without any compulsion, he is free to accept the same. The current practice of money minting through recitation of Na’t is of course for worldly matters. A large number of such people are addicted to it, showing the so-called Ishque with the Holy Prophet ﷺ.

The organisers and the audience must refrain from giving the highest level of regard and respect to the professional Na’t (Naat) reciters, as they don’t deserve for that for several reasons. Above all, it is the reverence of the Holy Prophet, rather and not the social calibre of those people. Same formula should be applied to the people sitting on the stage or podium. There should be no extraordinary arrangement just to please the professionals, only. The gathering of Na’t (Naat) MUST NOT seem like a show of otherwise professionals, gathered only for the sake of making and grabbing money by all means.

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There may be some other points to ponder, yet, the writer humbly requests the readers to comment in the light of Shariah, after going through carefully.

Sohail Ahmed Siddiqui
Poet, Writer, Journalist, Broadcaster and TV Host Sohail Ahmed Siddiqui had served various organisations in different fields. He has got approximately 700 published writings (Urdu/English) and a few books to his credit. Currently, he is the Chief Editor, Live Rostrum.

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