What is to be recited in the Tashahhud of a Two-Raka’at Solāt?
In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and Thanks are due to Allāh, the Lord of the al-ā’lamīn. There is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu alayhi wa sallam, is His Messenger.
A question was asked: What should the worshiper say in the Tashahhud of a two raka’at solāt? Should he say the first or the second, or both of them together, and with which one should he start?
The Messenger (sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) had commanded upon us to perform the solāt as he had performed it. The Prophet (sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) said: “Pray as you have seen me praying.” [Narrated by al-Bukhāri (631)] Thus we must pay attention in perfecting our solāt according to his Sunnah.
1. The Tashahhud
In a two raka’at solat the Tashahhud is recited its final sitting, and that Tashahhud is the final tashahhud.It is a Sunnah to sit in the form of tawarruk [as in the diagram].
It is known as Tashahhud because it includes the Shahadah.
Ibn Hajar Asqalani in his Fathul Bari recorded that Ibn Masud (radiallāhu 'anhu) said, “It is incumbent in Solāt to say Tashahhud, then say Salawat upon the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam) followed by do’a for himself”. Imām Shafie, Ahmad and some Maliki scholars concurred with it.
There are various versions of the tashahhud reported in sahih ahadith.
A. The tashahhud as reported by Ibn 'Abbās (radiallāhu`anhu):
"The Messenger of Allāh (sallallāhu `alaihi wa sallam) used to teach us the tashahhud the way he taught us [Surahs of] the Qur'an; he used to say:
“At-tahiyyatul mubarakatus-salawātut-taiyibātu lillah. As-salāmu ‘alaika aiyuhan-Nabiyyu wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh. As-salāmu‘alaina wa ‘alā ‘ibadillāhis-sālihīn. Ash-haduan lāilāha illallāh waash-haduanna Muhammadan Rasūlullah [in one narration: ‘abduhu wa rasūluh]”
(All compliments, blessed words, prayers, pure words are due to Allāh. Peace be on you, O Prophet, and also the mercy of Allāh and His blessings. Peace be on us and on the righteous slaves of Allāh. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allāh, and [I bear witness] that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allāh (in one narration: ... is His slave and messenger).)
[Muslim, Abu ‘Awanah, Shafi’ie and Nasa’ie]
B. Another is the one reported by Abdullah Ibn Mas`ūd (radiallāhu`anhu):
“At-Tahiyyātulillāhi was-salawātu wal-taiyibāt. As-Salāmu ‘alaika aiyuhan-Nabiyyu wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh. Al-Salāmu ‘alaina wa ‘ala ‘ibād-illāh il-sālihīn. Ash-hadu an lā ilāha ill-Allāh wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasūluh”
(All compliments, salāh and pure words are due to Allāh. Peace be upon you, O Prophet, and the mercy of Allāh and His blessings. Peace be upon us and upon the righteous slaves of Allāh. I bear witness that there is no god except Allāh and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger).
[Al-Bukhāri, 831; Muslim, 402]
2. After Tashahhud one should send blessings (salawāt) upon the Prophet (sallallāhu `alaihi wa sallam).
A. Recites the salawāt as reported related by Abu Mas`ud al-Ansari (radiallāhu`anhu):
Abdullah bin Zaid - one who was shown the azan (the call for prayer) in a dream - narrated it on the authority of Mas'ud al-Ansari who said: We were sitting in the company of Sa'ad bin 'Ubadah when the Messenger of Allāh (sallallāhu `alaihi wa sallam) came to us. Bashir bin Sa’ad enquired [from the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam]: Allāh has commanded us to bless you [re: al-Ahzab, 33:56], O Messenger of Allāh! But how should we do it? He (the narrator [Mas’ud al-Ansari]) said: The Messenger of Allāh (sallallāhu `alaihi wa sallam) kept quiet (and we were so much perturbed over his silence) that we wished we had not asked him. The Messenger of Allāh (sallallāhu `alaihi wa sallam) then said:
“(For blessing me) say:
Allāhumma salli ‘ala Muhammad, wa ‘ala Ali Muhammad, kamā sallayta ‘ala* āli Ibrāhīm, Wa bārik ‘ala Muhammad, wa ‘ala āli Muhammad kama bārakta ‘ala * āli Ibrāhīm, fil-‘ālamīn; Innaka Hamīdun Majīd.
(0 Allāh! Send Prayers upon Muhammad and the members of his household as You Sent Prayers upon * the members of Ibrahim's household. And Send Blessings to Muhammad and the members of his household as You Granted Blessings upon * the members of the household of Ibrahim, among all the nations’ Verily You are Most Praiseworthy, Full of Glory)”,
“And the Salutation [i.e As-salāmu ‘alaika ayyuhan-Nabiyyu wa rahmat-Allāhi wa barakātuh] as you about knows it.”
[Muslim (803); Abu Dawud, Book on Blessings on the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam) after Tashahhud (976: from Ka’ab bin Ujrah; 980: from Abu Mas`ud Al-Ansari uses the phrase “‘ala āli Ibrāhīm, fil-‘ālamīn; Innaka Hamīdun Majīd”); At-Tirmidzi (3220) - includes Fil’ālamīn, add: [Ibrāhīm wa ala*]; Al-Nasā’ie.]
B. Or one may recites the salawāt that was reported by Abu Humaid as-Sa'idi (radiallāhu`anhu).
Abu Humaid as-Sa'idi (radiallāhu`anhu) reported: They (the Companions of Prophet (sallallāhu `alaihi wa sallam)) said: Apostle of Allāh, how should we bless you? [Re: Al-Ahzāb, 33:56] He (the Holy Prophet) observed: Say:
‘Allāhumma salli `ala Muhammad, wa azwajihi wa dzurriyyatihi, kama sallayta `ala [āli] Ibrāhīm; Wa barik `ala Muhammad, wa `ala azwajihi wa dzurriyyatihi,kama bārakta `ala [ali] Ibrāhīm, Innaka Hamidum-Majīd’
"O Allāh! Bless Muhammad, [and] his wives and his offspring as Thou blessed [the family of*] Ibrahim, And Grant Favours to Muhammad, and his wives and his offspring as Thou Granted Favours to the family of Ibrahim; Thou art Praiseworthy and Glorious."
[Muslim (0807);Abu Dawud (979); Ahmad and Tahawi: Sahih; reported that the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam) used to recite this salawat after the Tashahhud -it uses the phrase “Wa `ala ahli bait, wa`ala azwajihi wa dzurriyyatihi, `ala āli Ibrāhīm”; The phrase” Innaka Hamīdun Majīd” are mentioned twice, and without the phrase of “fil’ālamīn”]
The Hanafis and the Malikis views it is not obligatory to recite the Salawāt [Naylul Awtar 2/288], while the Hanbalis view it is obligatory [Al-Mughni 1/54]. On the other hand Imam Shafie considered the Tashahhud as obligatory whereas the salawāt as a Sunnah. [Al-Umm pg.92]
Even though the fuqaha’ differs in their opinion being obligatory or not one should grab the opportunity of multiplying one’s rewards of sending the salawāt upon the Prophet (sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam)
3. Then one may recite the Duā’s: As indicated in sahih ahadith it is a Sunnah to recite dua’s after reciting the final tashahhud and Salawat Ibrahimmiyah.
The Obligation to Seek Refuge from Four Things before Supplicating
The Prophet (sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) used to say, "When one of you has finished the [last] tashahhud, he should seek refuge with Allāh from four things; [saying:
“Allāhumma inni a`uzubika min`azabi jahannam, wamin’azabilqabr, wamin fitnatil mahya wal-mamat,
Wamin syarri [fitnati] al masihid dajjal”
(O Allāh! I truly seek refuge with You] from the punishment of Hellfire, and from the punishment of the grave, and from the trials of living and dying, and from the evil [trials] of the False Christ)
Then he should supplicate for himself with what occurs to him."  - "He (sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) would supplicate with it in his own tashahhud." 
Also, "he (sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) used to teach the Companions (radiallāhu 'anhum) this the way he taught them Surahs of the Qurān." 
Various types of Supplication before the Salam
He (sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) used to use different supplications in his prayer , supplicating with different ones at different times; he also endorsed other supplications, and "ordered the worshipper to select of them what he wishes."  They are:
1. “Allāhumma inni a`uzubikamin’adzābiilqabr, wa a`udzubika min fitnatilmasihiddajjal,
Waminfitnatil mahya wal-mamat, Allāhumma inni a `u zubika minal ma 'uthami wal maghram”.
"O Allāh! Truly I seek refuge with You from the punishment of the grave, and I seek refuge with you from the trials of the False Christ, and I seek refuge with You from the trials of living and dying.
O Allāh! Truly I seek refuge with You from sin  and burden  ." 
2. "Allāhumma inni a`uzubikamin syarrima`amiltu, waminsyarri lam `amal [ba’du]"
"O Allāh! truly I seek refuge with You from the evil of what I have done, and from the evil of what I have not done  [yet]. 
3. “Allāhumma hasibni hissaban Yasiyra”
(O Allāh! Call me to account with an easy reckoning.) 
4. “Allāhumma bi`ielmikalngaib,waqudratika`aliyalkhalqi,ahyiniy ma`alimtalhayatakairannli, watawaffanai izakanatilwafatu khairanliy,
Allāhumma waasaluka fialazngaibi wasshahadah, waasaluka kalimatalhaq [hukmi], wal`adlafingadabiwarrado, waasalukalqasdadafiyalfaqriwalngina, waasaaluka naie’man layabidu, waasalukaqurata ie’nin [latanfazu, wa] latanng-qatie’, waas alukarradoo’, waasaluka bardal `aiesyiba’dalmauut, waasalukalazzatannazhiriila wajhika,wa [ asaluka] syawqailaliqaika, fingairidorrain madhirrah, walafitnatinmudhillah,
Allāhumma zaiyanna bizi natiliman, waj `alna hudan muhtadeen”
(O Allāh! [I ask you], by Your knowledge of the Unseen, and Your control over the creation: give me life as long as You know that life is best for me, and take me when death is best for me.
O Allāh! I also ask of You fear of You, in secret and in open; I ask of You the word of Truth (in one narration: Wisdom) and justice in anger and in pleasure; I ask of You moderation in poverty and affluence; I ask of You joy which does not fade; I ask of You pleasure [which does not pass away, nor that] which ceases; I ask of You contentment with Your decree; I ask of You coolness of life after death; I ask of You the delight of looking towards Your Face; and [I ask of You] eagerness towards meeting You, not in harmful adversity, nor in misleading afflictions.
O Allāh! Adorn us with the decoration of Eman, and make us those who guide and are guided).
5. He taught Abu Bakar as-Siddiq (radiallāhu 'anhu) to say:
‘Allāhumma inni zalamtu nafsi zulman kathiran, Wala yaghfiruzzunu bailla anta, Faghfir li maghfiratan min ‘indaka warhamni, Innaka anta al-Ghafur al-Rahim’
(O Allāh! Indeed I have wronged myself greatly, and none can forgive sins except You, so forgive me out of Your forgiveness, and have mercy on me. Truly, You are the Oft- Forgiving, the Most Merciful.) 
6. He (sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) instructed 'Aishah (radiallāhu 'anha) to say:
“Allāhhummainni as alukaminalkhiikullihi [`ajilihi wā jilihi] ma`alimtu minhu wama lam `alam, waa`uzubika minassharankullih, [`ajililihi waajilihi] ma `alimtu minhu wama lam `alam,
[Allainni asluka] aljannata wama qarrabailayha min qauliaw `amal, waa`uzubika minannar waqarraba ilaiha minqawliaw `amal,
waasaluka (Allāhuminni asaluka) mina [al] khairimasaalak `abduka warasuluka [Muhammad, Waa`uzubikaminsyarama ista`azakamin `abduka warasuluka Muhammadun sall Allāhu `alayhi wassallam], [Waasaluka] ma qadaita liy min amrin antaj`ala `aqibatuhu [liy] rushda”
(O Allāh! Indeed I ask of You all Good, [the imminent and the far-off,] that of it which I know and that which I do not know. I seek refuge with You from all Evil, [the imminent and the far-off,] that of it which I know and that which I do not know.
I ask of You (in one narration: O Allāh! indeed I ask of You) the Garden, and whatever saying or deed which brings one near to it; I seek refuge with You from the Fire, and (from) whatever saying or deed which brings one near to it.
I ask of You (in one narration: O Allāh! Indeed I ask of You) [the] good of what was asked of You by Your slave and messenger [Muhammad; and I seek refuge with You from evil of what Your slave and messenger Muhammad (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) sought refuge with You].
[I ask of You] that whatever You have decreed for me, its result [for me] be beneficial) [270 ]
He said to a man, what do you say during the prayer? He replied, "I bear witness (i.e. do the tashahhud), then I ask Allāh "Allāhumma inni as alukal jannah wa a ‘udzu bika minan-nār. (O Allāh, I ask Thou for Paradise and seek refuge in Thou from the Fire)" However, by Allāh, there is no murmuring  as good as yours or that of Mu’adz." So he said, Our murmuring is like yours. 
8. He heard a man saying in his tashahhud:
“Allāhumma inni asaluka ya Allāh [billah] [alwahid] Allāhuahadussamad, allazi lamyalid walamyulad walamyakunlahu kufuwan ahad, an taghfir liya zunu biy in nakanatal ngafururāhim”.
(O Allāh! Indeed I ask of You, O Allāh (in one narration: by Allāh), the One, the Only, the Absolute, Who begets not and nor is He begotten, and there is none like Him, that You forgive me my sins; indeed You are the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful).
On this, he (sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) said, He has been forgiven, he has been forgiven. 
9. He heard another man say in his tashahhud:
“Allāhuma inni asaluka bi anna lakal-hamd, Lāillā hailla anta [Wahdahulasyarikalak], [Almanna], [Ya] Badi`assamawatiwal ard, Ya Dzaljalaliwalikram, Ya Haiyu Ya Qaiyum [inni asaluka] [aljannata wa au’ zubika minannār]”
(O Allāh! Indeed, I ask of You, by the fact that to You belongs all Praise; there is no (true) god except You, [You alone, You have no partners;] the Bestower of Favours; [O] Originator of the Heavens and the Earth; O One that is Full of Majesty and Honour; O Living One, O Eternal One; [indeed I ask of You] [the Garden, and I seek refuge with You from the Fire])
[So the Prophet (sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) said to his Companions, Do you know with what he has supplicated? They said, "Allāh and His Messenger know best." He said, By Him in Whose Hand is my soul,] he has supplicated Allāh with His Mighty (in one narration: Mightiest) name , with which if He is supplicated, He answers, and with which if He is asked, He gives. 
One of the last things he would say between the tashahhud and the taslīm would be:
“Allāhummaghfirli maqaddamtu, wama akhkhartu, wamaasrartu, wama’alantu, wama asraftu, wama anta’alamubihinni minni, Antal-Muqaddimu, wa antalmakhiru, lā ilāha illa anta”
(O Allāh! Forgive me what I have done in the past, and what I will do in the future, and what I have concealed, and what I have done openly, and what I have exceeded in, whatever You know about more now than I. You are the Bringer-Forward, and You are the Delayer, there is no (true) god except You.) 
4. Finally the Taslim (Salutation of Peace) to conclude the Solāh: “As-Salāmu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullāh (Peace and Allāh's Mercy be on you)”
And Allāh knows best.
257. Muslim, Abu `Awānah, Nasā’ie and Ibn al-Jarud in al-Muntaqa (27). It is given in Irwa' (350).
258. Abu Dawūd and Ahmad: sahih sanad.
259. Muslim and Abu `Awānah.
260. We have not said, "... in his tashahhud" because the text is "... in his prayer", not specifying either tashahhud or anything else. Hence, it covers all positions suitable for supplication, e.g. prostration and tashahhud; the instruction to supplicate in these two postures has been mentioned.
261. Bukhāri and Muslim. Athram said, "I asked Ahmad: 'With what (words) should I supplicate after tashahhud?' He said, 'As has been narrated.' I said, 'Didn't the Messenger of Allāh (sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam) say, "Then he should select whichever supplication he likes”?' He said, 'He should select out of what has been narrated.' I repeated the question: he said, 'From what has been narrated'." This was quoted by Ibn Taymiyyah (Majmu` al-Fatawa 69/218/1), who endorsed it, adding, "Hence, 'whichever supplication' refers to the supplications which Allāh loves, not to any supplication ...” later he said, "Hence, it is best to say: (one should supplicate) with the approved, established supplications, and these are what have been narrated and those that are beneficial." This is so, but to recognise which supplications are indeed beneficial depends on authentic knowledge, and this is rarely found among the people, so it is best to stick to the supplications quoted, especially when they include what the worshipper wishes to request. Allāh knows best.
262. Ma’tham: the causes a man to sin, or the sin itself.
263. Maghram: burden; here it means debt, as proved by the rest of the hadith, in which `Aishah said, "Someone said to him, `Why do you seek refuge from maghram, so often, O Messenger of Allāh?' He replied, truly, when a man becomes indebted, he speaks and lies, and he promises and breaks his promise.
264. Bukhāri and Muslim.
265. i.e. from the evil of the bad actions I have done, and from the evil of not doing good actions.
266 Nasā’ie with a sahih sanad and Ibn Abi `Asim in his as-Sunnah (no. 370 - with my checking); the addition is from the latter.
267. Ahmad and Hakim who declared it sahih and Dhahabi agreed.
268. Nasā'ie and al-Hakim who declared it sahih and Dhahabi agreed.
269. Bukhāri and Muslim.
270. Ahmad, Tayalisi, Bukhāri in al-Adab al-Mufrad, Ibn Majah and Hakim who declared it saheeh and Dhahabi agreed. I have given its takhrij in Silsilah al-Ahadith as-Sahihah (1542).
271. Dandanah: to speak such the intonation is audible, but the words are incomprehensible - in the case, the quiet words of supplication. The final statement means, "Our words are like yours."
272. Abu Dawūd, Ibn Mājah and Ibn Khuzaimah (1/87/1): a sahih isnad.
273. Abu Dawūd, Nasa’ie, Ahmad & Ibn Khuzaimah; Hakim declared it sahih and Dhahabi agreed.
274. This is tawassul (a seeking of approach) to Allāh through His most beautiful names and attributes, and this is what Allāh the Exalted commands: "To Allāh belong the most beautiful names, so call on Him by them." (A`raf 7:180). As for seeking to approaching Allāh through other things, e.g. for so-and-so's sake, or by so-and-so's right, status, dignity, etc., there is text from Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) and his companions that such a practice is at least disliked (makruh); in general it is prohibited (haram). Therefore, it is a pity that one sees most of the people, among them many sheikhs, totally neglecting the approved tawassul - you will never hear them approaching Allāh this way - but they are well-versed in innovated forms of tawassul, which are at the very least debatable, as though no other way is allowed! Shaikh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah has composed an extremely good essay on this subject entitled Tawassul and Wasilah ("Approaching Allāh, and the Means of doing so"), which should be consulted, for it is very important, and there is little to compare with it in its coverage. There is also my article Tawassul - its types and its rules, which is also important in its subject-matter and format, and also refutes some of the latest misconceptions advanced by contemporary doctors of religion. May Allāh guide us and them.
275. Abu Dawūd, Nasa'ie, Ahmad, Bukhāri in al-Adab al-Mufrad, Tabarani and Ibn Mandah in Tawhid (44/2, 67/1, 70/1-2): sahih isnads.
276. Muslim and Abu `Awanah.
[Via The Qurān and Sunnah Society]
[Adapted from Islam Q&A (Fatwa No: 26889 by Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid) andThe Solāh of the Prophet (sallallāhu‘alayhi wa sallam) By Shaikh Muhammad Nasiruddin Al-Albāni]