The permissibility of writing “May Allah be pleased with him” after the names of the Ulama and the pious!
The compiler of this treatise has written that Imam Abul Husain Muslim bin Al Hujjaj Al Qushayri May Allah have mercy on him has stated that:
By recording the words “May Allah be pleased with him ” after the name of Imam Muslim, we come to understand that these words are a source of dua and which is not only restricted to the blessed companions. As a matter of fact, these words can be used for all the rightly guided Ulama and the pious slaves of Allah Almighty. At the same time, words of respect cannot be used for any ordinary person. The proof for this is the following verses of the Quran. In surah Bayyinah, verse 8, the Quran declares:
رَضِیَ اللہُ عَنْہُمْ وَ رَضُوۡا عَنْہُ ؕ ذٰلِکَ لِمَنْ خَشِیَ رَبَّہٗ ٪﴿۸﴾
Allah is well pleased with them and they are pleased with Allah, this is for him who fears his Lord.
In Surah Taubah, verse 100, the Quran declares that:
وَالسّٰبِقُوۡنَ الۡاَوَّلُوۡنَ مِنَ الْمُہٰجِرِیۡنَ وَالۡاَنۡصَارِ وَالَّذِیۡنَ اتَّبَعُوۡہُمۡ بِاِحْسٰنٍ ۙ رَّضِیَ اللہُ عَنْہُمْ وَرَضُوۡا عَنْہُ
And the first and foremost emigrants and helpers and those who followed them with good. Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Allah.
In the first verse, these words are used for all those who sincerely fear Allah Almighty and in the second verse, these glad tidings are for the Muhaajireen and the Ansaar. Until the day of Judgement, every true Muslim will obey sincerely and happily every companion. They will also describe the Ashaab with words of praise and admiration and this also includes the fact that the Almighty is Pleased with them and that they are pleased with Him.
Allamah Nawawi explains that, “One should always write either May Allah be pleased with him or May Allah shower mercy upon him for all the (rightly guided) Ulama and the pious.”
* Allamah Yahya bin Sharf Nawawi May Allah have mercy on him who passed away in the year 676 a.h.
It was also the habit of Imam Fakhrudeen Razi May Allah have mercy on him that wherever he mentioned the Aimmah Mujtahideen, with their names he also wrote “May Allah be pleased with him “. Imam Razi May Allah have mercy on him explains that, “Imam Abu Hanifah May Allah be pleased with him has stated that, “when such an animal dies in the water, which does not have blood that flows, then it does not make the water impure. Imam Shafi May Allah be pleased with him has two opinions about less water”.
Imam Razi May Allah have mercy on him explains further that, “Imam Abu Hanifah and his companions May Allah be pleased with him explain that a limb which does not have a valid Wudu, is impure in (the law of shariah).” Both of these statements, even though they have nothing to do with the subject matter, merely proves the respect displayed by the eminent scholars of the Ahle Sunnah wa Jammah when they mention the giants of Islamic law.
Imam Nawawi May Allah have mercy on him further explains that, “When a person records a hadith shareef, then it is considered as Mustahab that when he records the Divine Name of the Almighty, he should write “Almighty” or similar words of respect. In like manner, when he writes the name of the Prophet Peace be upon him, he should write the “May Allah send peace and blessings upon him” in full. He should never abbreviate this like using “sal’am or the letter saad”. When we record this after the name of the Holy Prophet Peace be upon him, we should record the complete Durood and salaam. In the same way, when we write the name of a blessed companion, we should write in full “May Allah be pleased with him ” and when we mention someone who is a companion and also the son of another companion, we should say in full “May Allah be pleased with him ” This has been clearly emphasised by Allamah Nawawi May Allah have mercy on him.
Alllamah Tahtawi May Allah have mercy on him writes that, “In some treatises it is written that when we record the Divine Name of the Almighty, then out of respect, we should also write, “Almighty”. In like manner, we should also record Peace be upon him after the blessed name of the Holy Prophet Peace be upon him. One should not also tire of this even if in the original book from where you are recording, there is no mention of Peace be upon him. You should also verbally mention the salat and salam when you write. When you write the name of the Ashaab, you should write May Allah be pleased with him and when you write the name of any rightly guided Alim, you should record May Allah shower mercy upon him. To write the salam and omit the salat after the blessed name of the Holy Prophet Peace be upon him is also considered as Makruh.
Mullah Miskeen May Allah have mercy on him has recorded in his marginal notes that this is not Makruh, however what he actually means is that it is not Makruh Tahreemi. As for those who have mentioned the word Makruh, they mean that it is Makruh Tanzeehi. To shorten and abbreviate the Durood and Salam or the May Allah be pleased with him is considered as Makruh Tahreemi. One should record this in full. As a matter of fact in Fatwah Tataar Khaniyyah, it is mentioned in certain places that if one abbreviates the Durood and salaam, or merely writes the letter “Meem” he would become a kaafir because this is lowering the status of a Prophet and to do this is without doubt Kufr.
If this is true, then we must also add that if this done deliberately, then only will a person become a kaafir. If we say that this is an indication of kufr, we must also understand that this is only applicable is those forms of kufr which are clear and apparent. Whatever be the case, strict caution should be displayed.
In summary, it is Waajib to write the durood and salaam after any name or attribute of the Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him. To abbreviate it with such letters as sal’am or merely the letter saad, is considered as Makruh Tahreemi and as we have already mentioned, certain jurists have even called it kufr. Therefore, we should refrain from this habit. The reason that we have mentioned this is that in the present time, many people who write books in Urdu or other languages are in the habit of ignoring this.
Allamah Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Tahtawi who passed away in 1231 a.h.*
(Extracted from the Commentary of Sahih Muslim)