Abbreviating the Salawat

Many people often use [SAW, PBUH, s.a.w, etc] after mentioning the Prophet Muhammad’s صلى الله عليه و آله و صحبه و سلم name.

Imam an-Nawawi رحمه الله explains:

It is recommended {Mustahabb} for a person who writes down Hadith that at the mentioning of the Messenger of Allah {peace and blessings of Allah be upon him}, that he writes صلى الله عليه و سلم “Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam” in full and not merely using abbreviations, and neither sufficing on one of the two, {i.e. Salat & Salam}

{Sharh Sahih Muslim, Volume 1, pg. 39}

Imam an-Nawawi رحمه الله listed a section in his introduction {Muqaddimah} in his commentary {Sharh} of Sahih Muslim.

He sets a guideline of the manners and Etiquette that is need to be observed when specific names are mentioned.

He sets such guideline to the writers as well as the reader:

{Section} ===> What is Preferable to say after writing names of Allah Ta’ala or the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) or companions or scholars.

Allah (عز و جل)

It is likable to the one who writes down a Hadith , at time he comes across mentioning to the name of Allah to add after it: {A’zza wa Jal} or {Ta’ala} or {Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala} or {Tabarak Wa Ta’ala} or {Jalla Dhikruh} or {Tabarak Asmuh} or such similar statements.

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم)

It is likable to add after mentioning the name of the Prophet the following: (صلى الله عليه و سلم). This should be written as it is without using any abbreviation and using both “Salah” and “Taslim” on the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) not Salah or Taslim.

The Companions (رضي الله عنهم)

If it was a companion then it should be used after him (رضي الله عنه) and if he was a companion that his father is also a companion as well, then it should be written (رضي الله عنهما).

Scholars ( رحمهم الله) and Allah knows best…

Imam an-Nawawi رحمه الله based such manner on the following Hadith:

Umm al-Mu’minin, Aisha رضي الله عنها reported:

“The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم ordered us to treat every person in accordance to their rank”

Hafiz Ibn Kathir رحمه الله relates and mentions in his Summarization of the Science of Hadith:

The Hadith Master, Ibn as- Salah رحمه الله said,

“‘He should preserve the praise of Allah and the salutation upon His Messenger صلى الله عليه و آله و صحبه و سلم.

If it is repeated he should not become lazy as there is much benefit in this.”

He then said, “What is found in the handwriting of Imam Ahmad which does not contain the salutation is to be understood as him intending to say it.”

Another Hadith Master, Al-Khatib رحمه الله said,

“It has reached me that he would send salah upon the Prophet صلى الله عليه و آله و صحبه و سلم by word and not by pen.”

Ahmad bin Hanbal held the opinion that the copyist should follow the manuscript he is copying from. If the salutation is written, he should write it and if it is not written then he should not write it. In each case the one copying should utter it. Thus, he should say salah by word and in writing, if it is in the manuscript, and by word alone if it is not written in the manuscript… and Allah knows best.

– Originally posted by Ustadh Luqman al-Andalusi

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