“Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [ Allah to confer] blessing upon him and ask [ Allah to grant him] peace.” Surah Al Ahzab Ayat 56
From this verse of the Quran it makes clear mention that whenever we say the Prophet Muhammad’s name it should be said with one of the following SAW, SAWS, pbuh, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, or the symbol ﷺ.
This is done for one simple reason, respect.
By saying, “sallallahu alayhi wa sallam” after his name doesn’t take much time and is a short prayer you are making on behalf of our beloved Prophet.
sallallahu alayhi wa sallam Meaning:
The meaning of Arabic phrase sallallahu alayhi wa sallam (abbreviation SAW) is “May Allah honor him and grant him peace” or “peace and blessings of Allah be upon him”. This term should be used specifically when saying Prophet Muhammad’s name.
For other Prophet Alayhis salaam (AS) or peace be upon him (PBUH) should be said.
Common Spellings / abbreviations used:
- Sallallahu alaihi wasallam
- salla allahu alayhi wasallam
- salla llahu alayhi wa-sallam
sallallahu alaihi wasallam in arabic text:
In Arabic sallallahu alaihi wasallam is written as,
صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ
The short form Arabic symbol is ﷺ, this makes the articles and post online more user friendly to read. It would be used like, the messenger of Allah (ﷺ) or Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) instead of the prophet (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ). Although the latter is completely acceptable, it is a matter of preference.
There is some controversy among scholars between the usage of SAW over Sallallahu alaihi wasallam. They argue that the short abbreviation demonstrates laziness and disrespect. When saying the Prophet’s name it should be said in full like any other prayer and we should think about the meaning of the words.
Hadith on How To Make Supplication For Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ):
Abu Muhammad Ka’b bin ‘Ujrah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
The Prophet (ﷺ) came to us and we asked him, “O Messenger of Allah, we already know how to greet you (i.e., say As-salamu ‘alaikum), but how should we supplicate for you?” He (ﷺ) said, “Say: ‘Allahumma salli ‘ala Muhammadin, wa ‘ala ‘ali Muhammadin, kama sallaita ‘ala ‘ali Ibrahima, innaka Hamidum Majid. Allahumma barik ‘ala Muhammadin, wa ‘ala ‘ali Muhammadin, kama barakta ‘ala ‘ali Ibrahima, innaka Hamidum Majid [O Allah, exalt the mention of Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as you exalted the family of Ibrahim. You are Praised and Glorious. O Allah, bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as You blessed the family of Ibrahim. You are Praised and Glorious.”‘
Riyad As Salihin [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Arabic/English book reference: Book 15, Hadith 1405
Hadith on salawat (salutation upon the prophet of Islam):
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Whenever someone greets me, Allah returns the soul to my body (in the grave) and I return his greeting.”
Riyad As-Salihin[Abu Dawud].
Arabic/English book reference: Book 15, Hadith 1402