Q. Why saying YA Muhammad is considered Shirk or Haram? Some scholars say that saying YA Muhammad is shirk or haram because of the prefix ‘Ya’ means present since the prophet is not present everywhere that’s why it is considered Haram? But According to Arabic Grammar prefix YA can be used for both near and far person (Jaamin Durood Arabin vol.2 pg.106).
The Ulema which are in opinion that saying Ya Muhammad is not haram are Mufti Muhammad Akmal (Hanafi-Barelwi), Shaikh Al-Sayyid Muhammad Al Yaqoubi (Shafi), Mufti Ikram Ul Haq (Hanafi-Deobandi), Mufti Ebrahim Desai (Hanafi-Deobandi), Maulana Muhammad Ishaq (Ahl-e-Hadith), AND MANY OTHERS
All the above mentioned Ulema or Mufti are in opinion that Saying Ya Muhammad is not Haraam. It is one's wrong intention (of Prophet Being Omnipresent) which made it haram. So if you believe that prophet is not Omnipresent then saying Ya Muhammad is Mubah and not Shirk. Is this belief is according to Qur’an and Sunnah of Prophet S.A.W.
A. In the Arabic Language, the word ‘Ya’ can be used for different reasons. So from the angle of its literal meaning and implication, as long as a person does not have any wrong belief in using it, it will be permissible to use. So, if ‘Ya Muhammad’ is uttered without having any wrong belief regarding the Prophet (SAS) and it is not meant to be on the same level of saying ‘Ya Allah’, and one does not have the intention of calling on the Prophet (SAS) for help and assistance, then it will be allowed to use. As I said before, the one who says it or those who say it- their Aqeeda (belief) must be free from every type of corrupted belief which has been concocted regarding the blessed Prophet of Allah (SAS).
It must however be noted, that after the demise of the Prophet (SAS), the Sahabahs (companions of the Prophet (SAS) did not use such phrase of ‘Ya Muhammad’ or ‘Ya Rasoolullah’ for the Prophet (SAS).
According to my limited knowledge and research, none of the Sahabahs referred to the Prophet (SAS) in this manner after his demise. Whether they spoke about him, narrated his traditions, expressed their love which they had for him or sent salaat and salaam to him in they did not address him with the words, ‘Ya Muhammad’ or ‘Ya Rasoolullah’.
While explaining this point, the late grand Mufti of India, Maulana Mufti Kifayatullah Dehlwi (AR) writes, if while saying ‘Ya Muhammad’ or ‘Ya Rasoolullah’ one has the belief that the Prophet (SAS) hears him every time, and he hears from every direction, then addressing him in this manner is not permissible and such belief is totally wrong. If however, the understanding of a person is that the Angels reach the Darood and greetings to the Prophet (SAS) while reciting Darood and Salaam, then this understanding is correct.
If one says these words like “Ya Muhammad’ or ‘Ya Rasoolullah’ without having wrong beliefs, and says it on account of his strong love for the Prophet (SAS), knowing that the Darood and salaams he sends, are conveyed to the Prophet (SAS) via the Angels, then this in itself is allowed. However, due to the fact that many of the common Muslims become confused through the usage of this phrase, and they begin to believe that the Prophet (SAS) is present everywhere and that he hears everyone who says “Ya Muhammad’ or ‘Ya Rasoolullah’, one should refrain from using such phrases. (Kifayatul Mufti Vol. 1 pg. 166-167-Darul Ishaat Karachi 2001)
This is a short explaination of what you have asked about.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Waseem Khan