Question: Is it permissible to abbreviate the salaam and salaah on the Prophet (sallaallahualayhiwasallam) in our writings? It is understood that once the reader sees this abbreviation, then it will be read in full.
Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Muslims are obliged to send Allah's Salaah [means that one invokes Allaah to praise him and mention his high status to the angels Tafseer Ibn Katheer] and Salaam [peace, security] upon Muhammad (sallaallahualayhiwasallam) when his name is mentioned. Allaah has commanded us:
"Verily Allaah and His Angels send salaah on the Prophet. 0you who believe! Invoke salaah upon him, as well as a complete salaam!"(Q33 [Ahzab]: 56)
And the Messenger of Allaah (sallaallahualayhiwasallam) said:
"For each time someone invokes salaah upon me, Allaah writes for him ten good rewards because of it." (SaheehIbnHibban)
And the Prophet (sallaall ahualayhi wasallam) had described the one who does not send salaah upon him when he is mentioned as "the stingiest of people." (IbnAbee Ad-Dunyaa)
And he exclaimed "Aameen!" to Jibreel's supplication,
"May Allaah repel the one who hears mention of you and does not invoke any salaah upon you!"(At-Targheeb)
So here is the issue that needs to be clarified: Many people use the abbreviation "SAW' or "PBUH" to fulfil this obligation in their writing. Is this something that fulfils the obligation of sending the salaahand salaam on the Messenger? Let us look now to some of the statements of the scholars regarding this practice.
Sheikh Bakr Aboo Zayd (RAH) said, "The safe practice, the way of true love, (seeking) reward (from Allaah), respect and honour for the Prophet of this nation is to send the salaah and salaam upon him when he is mentioned, carrying out the order of Allaah and the guidance of his Prophet (sallaallahualayhiwasallam). For this reason, written abbreviations or symbols used to represent salaah and salaam upon the Messenger (sallaallahualayhiwasallam) are prohibited. Some examples of these are: SAAD ().SAAD-'AYN-MEEM ().SAADLAAM-'AYN-MEEM ().SAADLAAM-MEEM (). SAAD-LAAM-YAA'-WAAW (). And SAAD-LAAM-'AYN."(Mu'jam A/-Manaahee Al-Lafthiyyah (p.188» These examples are all used in some 'Arabic books. The English equivalents of these abbreviations would be: SAAWS SAW, PBUH, and the likes.
Avoid Invented Abbreviations
Sheikh 'Abdul-Qaadir AI Maghribee (RAH) said, "As for SAAD-LAAM-'AYN-MEEM (~), it Seems as if it was invented in the9th century after Hijrah. In the explanation of the Alfiyyah of AI-'Iraaqee, a book about the sciences of Hadeeth, the author says, "Abbreviations must be Avoided, as well as neglecting it."This means that one should stay away from symbols and not Abbreviate it by removing some of its letters; rather he should employ it ("sallaallahualayhiwasallam") fully in his speech and writing.
The author, Sheikh Zakariyyaa AI Ansaaree (RAH), then mentioned that Imaam An-Nawawee related that there is consensus among those who are relied upon that it is legislated to send salaah upon the Prophet (sallaallahualayhiwasallam) in speech as well as writing. So therefore, it not from the Sunnah to use symbols or abbreviations in place of it. Then Sheikh AI-Ansaaree mentioned that the first one to use a symbol for it, his hand had been cut off, and Allah's Refuge is sought ..."(Mu'jam Al-Manaahee Al-Lafthiyyah (p.188-189) Ibn Hajr AI Haythamee (RAH) said,
"The word "SAAD-LAAM-'AYN-MEEM"(~) is not permissible. Rather, it is binding on us to send the salaahand the salaam." (Al-Fataawaa Al- Hadeethiyyah(p.168)
AI-Fayrooza-abaadee (RAH) said, "It is not appropriate to use symbols or abbreviations to refer to salaah and salaam, as some of the lazy ones do, as well as some ignorant people and even some students of knowledge – they write 'SAAD-LAAM-'AYN-MEEM' instead of writing 'sallaallahualayhiwasallam.'" (Mu'jam A1-ManaaheeAI-Laf-thiyyah (p.35 I) Ahmad Shaakir (RAH) said:
"It is the absurd tradition of some of the later generations that they abbreviate the writing of' sallaallahualayhiwasallam"(Musnad Ahmad)
Wasee A1laah'Abbaas, may Allaah preserve him, said: "It is not permissible to abbreviate the salaams in general in one's writing, just as it is not permissible to abbreviate the salaah and salaam on the Prophet (sallaallahualayhiwasallam). It is also not permissible to abbreviate either of these in one's speech."
And Allaah knows best. May the most perfect and complete salaahand salaam be upon our beloved Messenger, and upon his noble family and Companions? (Answer was compiled and translated by Moosaa ibn John Richardson).
Is the Prophet (sallaallahualayhiwasallam) the best of creation?
Questions: Is there any evidence that our Prophet Muhammad (sallallahualayhi Sallam) is the best of creation?
Answer: Praise be to Allaah. There is a great deal of evidence about the virtues and unique characteristics of the Prophet (sallaallahualayhiwasallam), but as far as we know there is no text that clearly states that the Prophet (sallaallahualayhiwasallam) is the best of creation. What has been narrated is that he (sallaallahualayhiwasallam) is the best of mankind and the leader of the sons of Adam.
Abu Hurayrah (RA) said: The Messenger of Allaah (sallaallahualayhiwasallam) said:
"I will be the leader of the sons of Adam on the Day of Resurrection and the first one for whom the grave is opened, and the first one to intercede and the first one whose intercession will be accepted." (Muslim)
The scholars understood from this text and others which speak of the virtues of our Prophet (sallaallahualayhiwasallam) that he is the best of Allah's creation. AI-Nawawi(may Allaah have mercy on him)said in Sharh Saheeh Muslim:
"This hadeeth indicates that he(sallaallahualayhiwasallam) is superior to all of creation, because the view of Ahl al-Sunnah is that humans are better than the angels, and he (sallaallahualayhiwasallam) is superior to humans and others".
The scholars all described the prophet (sallallahualayhi Sallam) as the best of creation and it will be sufficient to refer to a few of them, so as to avoid making this response too lengthy.
Imam al-Shaafa'i in al-Umm (4/167) Imam 'Abd al-Razzaaq al-San'aaniin al-Musannaf (2/419) Shaykhai-Islam Ibn Taymiyah in Majmoo' al-Fataawaa (1/313 and5/127 and 468) Ibn al-Qayyim in Tahdheeb al-Sunan, hadeeth no. 1787, quoting from 'Awn al-Ma'bood. Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Baari, commentary on hadeeth no. 6229AI-Mardaawiinal-Insaaf (11/422)AI-Aloosi in Rooh al-Ma'aani(4/284)AI-Taahiribn 'Ashoor in his Tafseer(2/420)AI-Sa'di in his Tafseer (51, 185,699)Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shanqeeti in Adwa' al-Bayaan(9/215)Sheikh 'Abd al-'Azeez ibn Baaz in Majmoo' al-Fataawaa (2/76,383)
He is the Best of Creation
The scholars of the Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwa were asked: Should we say that the Prophet (sallaallahualayhiwasallam) is the best of mankind or the best of creation? Is there any evidence that he is the best of creation as many people say?
They replied: "Many texts in the Qur'aan and Sunnah speak of thegreatness of our Prophet Muhammad and his sublime statusbefore his Lord, may He beexalted, through the noble attributes and uniquecharacteristics that Allaahbestowed only upon him, which indicates that he is the best ofcreation, the most honoured by Allaah and the greatest in status before Him. Allaah says:
“AIlaahhas sent down to you the book(the Qur'aan), and AI-Hikmah(Islamic laws, knowledge of legal and illegal things, i.e. the Prophet's Sunnah legal ways), and taught you that which youknew not. And EverGreat is theGrace of Allaahunto you (o Muhammad (sallalla ahualayhi wasallam)" (Q4 [al-Nisa']: 113).
It is difficult to list all the differenttypes of honour that Allaah hasbestowed, for example: Allaah took him asaclose friend (khaleel);He made him the Seal of His Messengers; He revealed the bestof His Books to him, and made his message one that applies to both mankind and the jinn until the Day of Resurrection; He forgave him his past and future sins; He caused miracles to happen at his hand that superseded those of all theProphets who came before him.
... He will be the leader of the sonsof Adam (on the Day of Resurrection), the first one forwhom the grave will be opened, and the first one to intercede andthe first one whose intercession will be accepted;in his handwill bea banner of praise on the Day ofResurrection; he will be the firstone to cross al-siraat (a bridge across Hell), the first one to knockat the gate of Paradise and the firstone to enter it
... And many other unique characteristics and miracles that are mentioned in the Qur'aan and Sunnah, which led the scholars to agree unanimously that the Prophet (sallallahualayhi Sallam) is the greatest of creation in status before Allaah, may He be exalted.
Shaykhai-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (RAH) said:
"The Muslims are unanimously agreed that the Prophet (sallaallahualayhiwasallam) is the greatest of creation in status before Allaah, and no other created being has any status that is higher than his or any power of intercession that is greater than his".
From what has been mentioned above and elsewhere it is clear that our Prophet Muhammad (sallaallahualayhiwasallam) is the best of the Prophets and the best of creation, and the greatest of them in status before Allaah, may He be exalted.
But in addition to these virtues and unique characteristics, he(sallaallahualayhiwasallam) is no more than a human being, so it is not permissible to call upon him or seek his help instead of Allaah, as Allaah says:
"Say o Muhammad (sallaallahualayhiwasallam): 'I am only a man like you. It has been revealed to me that your Allah (God) is One Allaah (God i.e. Allaah). So whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Lord. Let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord"(QI8 [al-Kahf]:110)
And Allaah is the Source of strength. May Allaah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions."Fataawaa al-Lajnah al-Daa'imah (26/35).
[Sheikh 'Abd al-'Azeez ibn 'Abd-Allaah Aal al-Sheikh, Sheikh 'Abd-Allaah ibn Ghadyaan, Sheikh Saalih al-Fawzaan, Shaykh Bakr AbuZayd].
He is the Leader of the Sons of Adam
Sheikh Ibn 'Uthaymeen (RAH) did not confirm that, noting that there is no clear text concerning that, and he said: "The well-known view of many scholars is that Muhammad (sallaallahualayhiwasallam) is the best of creation. But in order to be on the safe side we should say: Muhammad (sallaallahualayhiwasallam) is the leader of the sons of Adam and the best of mankind and the best of the Prophets, and so on, following what is said in the texts. I do not know of any report which says that the Prophet (sallaallahualayhiwasallam) is the best of all creation in all senses.... So it is better in such matters to follow what it says in the texts.
For example, if someone asks: Did Allaah favour the sons of Adam in general over all other created beings? We would say: No, because Allaah, may He be exalted, says:
“And indeed We have honoured the Children of Adam, and We have carried them on land and sea, and have provided them with At-Tayyibaat (lawful good things), and have preferred them above many of those whom We have created with a marked preferment" (Q17 [al-lsra']: 70)
He did not say "above all of those whom We have created". Therefore it is better for a person who adheres to that which is mentioned in the texts and not goes beyond that
Praise be to Allaah, we know that Muhammad (sallaallahualayhiwasallam) is the Seal of the Prophets and the noblest and best of the Messengers, the most honoured of them by Allaah, may He be exalted. The evidences for those in the Qur'aan and Sunnah are well known. As for that for which there is no clear evidence, then in order to be on the safe side we should refrain from that. But it is well known that you will find many scholars saying that Muhammad is the noblest of creation." [Uqaa'aatal-BaabiI-Maftoohah (53/11)].
And Allaah knows best.
How can we increase the love ofthe Prophet (sallaallahualayhiwasallam) in our hearts?
Question: How can one develop in their heart love of Prophet Muhammad more than anything else in the world?
Praise be to Allaah. The strength of love for the Messenger (sallaallahualayhiwasallam) is connected to the Muslim's faith. When his faith increases, his love for the Prophet (sallaallahualayhiwasallam) increases. Loving the Prophet (sallaallahualayhiwasallam) is an act of obedience to Allaah and a means of drawing closer to Him. Loving the Prophet (sallaallahualayhiwasallam) is one of the obligatory duties in Islaam. It was narrated that Anas said: the prophet (sallaallahualayhiwasallam) said:
“none of you truly believes until I am more beloved to him than his father, his child and all the people.” (Bukhari).
You can increase your love of the messenger (sallaallahualayhiwasallam) by realizing the following:
Firstly: he was sent by his Lord who chose him above all of creation to convey the religion of Allaah to mankind. Allaah chose him because He loved him and was pleased with him. If Allaah were not pleased with him, He would not have chosen him. Some must love the one whom Allaah loves and be pleased with the one with whom Allaah is pleased. We must realize that he is the close friend (khaleel) of Allaah and that close friendship is a higher status and it is the highest degree of love.
It was narrated that Jundub said: I heard the Prophet (sallaallahualayhiwasallam) say:
"I declare before Allaah that I have no close friend (khaleel) from among you. Allaah has taken me as a close friend as he took Ibraaheem as a close friend. If I were to have taken a close friend from among my ummah, I would have taken Abu Bakr as a close friend." (Muslim).
Secondly: We should realize the high status to which A1laah has raised him, for he (sallaallahualayhiwasallam) is the best of mankind. It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: The Messenger ofA1laah(sallaallahualayhiwasallam)said:
"I will be the leader of mankind of the Day of Resurrection, the first whose grave will be opened, the first to intercede and the first to be asked to intercede." (Muslim)
Thirdly: We should realize that he suffered trials and difficulties in order to bring Islam to us. We should remember that the Messenger (sallaallahualayhiwasallam) was persecuted, hit, slandered and insulted; the closest people to him disowned him and accused him of being a madman, a liar and a sorcerer. He fought the people in order to protect the religion so that it could reach us; they fought him, expelled him from his people and homeland, and gathered armies against him.
Fourthly: We should follow the example of his companions who loved him deeply. They loved him more than wealth and sons, and more than their own selves. There follow some examples of that: Anas (RA) said: I saw the Messenger of A1laah (sallaallahualayhiwasallam) when the barber was cutting his hair and his companions were going around him wanting to ensure that his hair would fall only into someone's hand. (Muslim)
Anas (RA) said:
"On the Day of Uhud some of the people fled and left the Prophet (sallaallahualayhiwasallam), but Abu Talhah stood before him covering him with a shield. Abu Talhah was a powerful archer who broke two or three bows that day. When a man passed by carrying a quiver containing arrows, he would say: Give them to Abu Talhah. Whenever the Prophet (sallaallahualayhiwasallam) raised his head to look at the people, Abu Talhah would say: O Prophet of Allaah may my father and my mother be sacrificed for you, do not raise your head lest you be struck by an arrow shot by the enemy. My neck is before your neck." (Bukhaari)
Fifthly: You should follow his Sunnah in word and deed, so that his Sunnah is the path you follow in your whole life, and you put his words before any other words and put his command before everything else; and you should follow the 'aqeedah (belief) of his noble Companions, and the 'aqeedah of the Taabi'een who followed them, and the 'aqeedah of those who followed their path until the present day, namely Ahlal-Sunnah wa'I-Jamaa'ah, and avoid bid'ah (innovation), especially the Raafidis (Shi'ah), for their hearts are hardened against the Messenger of Allaah (sallaallahualayhiwasallam) and they give their imams precedence over him and love them more than they love him.
We ask A1laah to help us to lov His Messenger (sallaallahualayhiwasallam) and to make him dearer to us than our children, parents, families and our own selves.
And A1laah knows best.
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited