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Islam uses a number of conventionally complimentary phrases praising Allah (e.g., Subḥānahu wa-taʿālā), or wishing good things upon Muhammad or other prophets and chosen figures of God (e.g., ʿalayhi s-salām). These phrases are encompassed by a number of terms: Prayers upon Muhammad may be referred to simply as Arabic: صَلَوات, romanized: ṣalawāt, "prayers", Persian: درود, romanized: dorud, "greetings", or Urdu: درود, romanized: durūd.
Applied to God
After mentioning one of the names of God, such as Allah, an expression of worship is used as opposed to the phrases of supplication used for regular individuals. These include:
|سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ||Glorified and Exalted||(swt), (s.w.t.)|
|تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَىٰ||Blessed and Exalted|
|عَزَّ وَجَلَّ||Prestigious and Majestic||(azwj), (a.z.w.j.)|
Applied to Muhammad and his family
|عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ||This expression follows after naming prophets and messengers in Islam, companions in Sunni Islam and Imams in Shia Islam.||(as), (a.s.)|
|Peace be upon him|
|عَلَيْهِ ٱلصَّلَاةُ وَٱلسَّلَامُ||This expression follows after naming prophets and messengers, companions in Sunni Islam, Imams in Shia Islam.||(asws), (a.s.w.s.), (pbbuh), (p.b.b.u.h.)|
|ʿalayhi ṣ-ṣalātu wa-s-salāmu|
|Blessings and peace be upon him|
|سَلَامُ ٱللَّٰهِ عَلَيْهِ||This expression follows after naming Imams in Shia Islam or angels. The feminine version (سَلَامُ ٱللَّٰهِ عَلَيْهَا) is commonly used for historical Islamic women (e.g. Fatimah, Khadijah, Maryam, Asiya, Sarah, Eve, etc.).||(sa), (s.a.)|
|salāmu -llāhi ʿalayhī|
|Peace of God be upon him|
|صَلَّى ٱللَّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ||This expression follows specifically after uttering the name of Muhammad, although "peace be upon him" may be used instead.||(saw), (s.a.w.), (sa), (s.a.), (sm)|
|ṣallā -llāhu ʿalayhī wa-sallama|
|Blessings of God be upon him as well as peace|
|صَلَّى ٱللَّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ وَسَلَّمَ||This expression follows specifically after uttering the name of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. It is used by all Muslims.||(saww), (s.a.w.w.), (saws), (s.a.w.s.), (saw), (s.a.w.), (sa), (s.a.), (pbuh), (p.b.u.h)|
|ṣallā -llāhu ʿalayhī wa-ʾālihī wa-sallama|
|Blessings of God be upon him and his progeny and grant him peace|
|صَلَّى ٱللَّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ||This expression follows specifically after uttering the name of Muhammad. It is more commonly used by Shia Muslims.||(sawa), (s.a.w.a.), (saww), (s.a.w.w.), (sa), (s.a.)|
|ṣallā -llāhu ʿalayhī wa-ʾālihī|
|Blessings of God be upon him and his progeny|
|رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ||This expression is used when mentioning historic and contemporary Muslims.||(ra), (r.a.), (r.h)(rah), (r.a.h.), (raa), (r.a.a.)|
|God have mercy on him|
|رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ||This expression is used when mentioning the companions of Muhammad but sometimes used with other religious persons, the feminine version رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهَا.||(ra), (r.a.)|
|raḍiya -llāhu ʿanhū|
|God be pleased with him|
Usually, ṣallā or "blessings" is used exclusively for Muhammad to distinguish between him and other prophets (and Imams in Shia Islam), but theoretically, it is used for all prophets equally.
Scriptural and hadith basis for prayers upon Muhammad
The honorifics for Muhammad are enjoined by Surat al-Ahzab:
إِنَّ ٱللَّٰهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَىٰ ٱلنَّبِيِّ يَا أَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا۟ صَلُّوا۟ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا۟ تَسْلِيمًا "Surely Allah (God) and His angels bless the Prophet; O you who believe! Send blessings on him and salute him with a (becoming) salutation."[Quran 33:56 (Translated by Shakir)]
Al-Tirmidhi recorded that Abu Hurairah said, "The Messenger of Allah said, 'May he be humiliated, the man in whose presence I am mentioned and he does not send Salaam upon me; may he be humiliated, the man who sees the month of Ramadan come and go, and he is not forgiven; may he be humiliated, the man whose parents live to old age and they do not cause him to be granted admittance to Paradise.'" Al-Tirmidhi said that this hadith was ḥasan gharib, "good but only reported once".
In Sahih Muslim, Sunan Abu Dawood, Jami' at-Tirmidhi and al-Sunan al-Sughra, four of the six major hadith collections recorded that Abu Hurairah said, "The Messenger of Allah said: 'Whoever sends one Salaam upon me, Allah will send ten upon him.'"
Ahmad ibn Hanbal reported in his Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal that the Companion of Muhammad, Abu Talha ibn Thabit, said:
One morning the Messenger of Allah was in a cheerful mood and looked happy. They said, "O Messenger of Allah, this morning you are in a cheerful mood and look happy." He said, "Of course, just now someone [an angel] came to me from my Lord [Allah] and said, 'Whoever among your Ummah sends Salaam upon you, Allah will record for him ten good deeds and will erase for him ten evil deeds, and will raise his status by ten degrees, and will return his greeting with something similar to it.'"
Al-Bayhaqi reports that Abu Hurairah said that Muhammad said, "Send the Salaam on Allah's messengers and prophets for Allah sent them as He sent me."
This point is further founded in the saying by Muhammad, "The miser is the one in whose presence I am mentioned, then he does not send the Salam upon me." This was recorded in Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal.
Anas bin Malik said, "The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: 'Whoever sends salah upon me once, Allah (SWT) will send salah upon him tenfold, and will erase ten sins from him, and will raise him ten degrees in status.'"
Salafi ruling on abbreviating prayers upon Muhammad
Scholars of the Salafi branch of Islam practised in Saudi Arabia have instructed their followers not to abbreviate the salawat upon Muhammad. For example, Abd al-Aziz ibn Baz, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, said:
As it is prescribed to send prayers upon the Prophet (peace and prayers of Allah be upon him) in prayer when saying the tashahhud, and it is prescribed when giving khutbahs, saying Du'a and praying for forgiveness, and after the Adhan, and when entering and exiting the mosque, and when mentioning him in other circumstances, so it is more important to do so when writing his name in a book, letter, article and so on. So it is prescribed to write the prayers in full so as to fulfil the command that Allah has given to Muslims, and so that the reader will remember to say the prayers when he reads it. So one should not write the prayers on the Prophet (peace and prayers of Allah be upon him) in short form such as writing (S) or (SAWS) etc, or other forms that some writers use, because that is going against the command of Allah in His Book, where He says (interpretation of the meaning):
صَلُّوا۟ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا۟ تَسْلِيمًا
And that (writing it in abbreviated form) does not serve that purpose and is devoid of the virtue of writing "salla Allaahu 'alayhi wa salaam (May Allah send prayers and peace upon him)" in full. Moreover the reader may not take notice of it and may not understand what is meant by it. It should also be noted that the symbol used for it is regarded as disapproved by the scholars, who warned against it.[year needed]
Applied to angels and prophets
Some honorifics apply to the archangels (Jibril, Mikhail, etc.) as well as any other Islamic prophets preceding Muhammad (Isa as, Musa as, Ibrahim as etc.). Group of modern scholars from Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, Yemen, and Mauritania has issued fatwa that the angels should be invoked with blessing of alaihissalam, which also applied to human prophets and messengers. This fatwa was based on the ruling from Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya.
- 'Alay-hi 's-salām (Arabic: عليه السلام)
- Translation: "Peace be upon him"
- Abbreviation: "AS"
- Alaihissalatu Wassalam
- Translation: "On him are the blessings and the peace of Allah"
- Abbreviation: "ASW"
Applied to companions of Muhammad
Some honorifics are used after companions (Aṣ-Ṣaẖābah) of Muḥammad:
- Raḍiya 'llāhu 'an-hu (Arabic: رضي الله عنه)
- Translation: "May Allāh be pleased with him"
- Abbreviation: "RA"
- Example: "Uthman Ibn Affan (Raḍiya 'llāhu 'an-hu) ..."
- Raḍiya 'llāhu 'an-hā (Arabic: رضي الله عنها)
- Translation: "May Allāh be pleased with her"
- Example: "Khadījah (Raḍiya 'llāhu 'an-hā) ..."
- Raḍiya 'llāhu 'an-huma (Arabic: رضي الله عنهما)
- Translation: "May Allāh be pleased with both of them"
- Example: "Umar and Abu Bakr (Raḍiya 'llāhu 'an-huma) ..."
- Raḍiya 'llāhu 'an-hum (Arabic: رضي الله عنهم)
- Translation: "May Allāh be pleased with them"
- Example: "aṣ-Ṣaḥābah (Raḍiya 'llāhu 'an-hum) ..."
Applied to enemies of Muhammad
- La'anatu 'llahi 'alay-hi (Arabic: لعنة الله عليه)
- Translation: "May the curse of Allāh be upon him"
- Example: "Abū Lahab (La'anatu 'llahi 'alay-hi)..."
Applied to scholars and saints
Some honorifics apply to highly revered scholars and people thought to be of high spiritual rank who have died:
- Raḥmatu 'llāhi 'alay-hi (Arabic: رَحْمَةُ الله عليه)/Raḥima-hu 'llāh (Arabic: رَحِمَهُ الله)
- Abbreviation: "RH"
- Translation: "May Allah's mercy/ blessing be upon him"
- Example: "Al Suyuti (Raḥmatu 'llāhi 'alay-hi) ..."
- Raḥmatu 'llāhi 'alay-ha (Arabic: رَحْمَةُ الله عليها)/Raḥima-hā 'llāh (Arabic: رَحِمَها الله)
- Translation: "May Allah's mercy/ blessing be upon her"
- Example: "Fatima al-Fihri (Raḥmatu 'llāhi 'alay-ha) ..."
- Raḥmatu 'llāhi 'alay-him (Arabic: رَحْمَةُ الله عليهم)
- Translation: "May Allah's mercy/ blessing be upon them"
If a revered scholar is still alive, the following is custom:
- Ḥafiḏahu 'llāh (Arabic: حفظه الله)
- Abbreviation: "HA"
- Translation: "May Allah preserve him"
- Faraja 'llāhu 'anhu (Arabic: فرج الله عنه)
- Abbreviation: "FA"
- Translation: "May Allah grant him relief"
|UTF-8 Encoding||Symbol||Unicode Name||Transcription||Arabic||English|
||ؑ||Arabic sign ALAYHE ASSALLAM||ʿalayhī s-salām||عليه السلام||peace be upon him|
||ؒ||Arabic sign RAHMATULLAH ALAYHE||raḥmatu Llāhi ʿalayh||رحمة الله عليه||God have mercy upon him|
||ؓ||Arabic sign RADI ALLAHOU ANHU||raḍī Llāhu ʿanh||رضي الله عنه||God be pleased with him|
- "هل يقال رضي الله عنه لغير الصحابة - إسلام ويب - مركز الفتوى".
- "The Book of Forgetfulness (In Prayer) (55) Chapter: The virtue of sending salah upon the Prophet (SAW)". sunnah.com. Archived from the original on 2021-05-02.
- Abdullaah Al-Faqeeh (2003). "Saying 'Peace be upon him' to Angel Gabriel". Islamweb.net. Fatwa center of Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, Yemen, and Mauritania Islamic educational institues. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
- "Islamic Terminology". islamic-dictionary. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
- "Radi Allahu Anhu in Arabic, Meaning". Retrieved February 4, 2023.
- Peace Be Upon Him in Islamic Context - This article offers an analysis of the usage and significance of the honorific "Peace Be Upon Him" within Islamic tradition.