Can We Abbreviate the Name of Prophet Muhammad (Allah Bless Him and Give Him Peace)?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani


Is it permissible for me to shorten Prophet Muhammad’s (Allah bless him and give him peace) name to “PM” because I study Islam in school and have to write the Prophet’s name a lot in essays? It takes longer to write it completely.

I don’t mean to offend anyone by doing this, but I’ve seen on another page that it’s considered disrespectful and kufr.


In the Name of Allah, the Merciful and Compassionate.

I hope you’re doing well, insha’Allah.

In personal notes and the like, it is not impermissible to shorten the name of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). It is superior to write out his name in full and to write out the blessings upon him.

Shortening His Noble Name (Peace Be upon Him)–and Sound Shortcuts

One shortcut is to refer to him with “He” and “Him” in repeated mentions. “He (peace be upon him) said…” etc.

Another way is to use keyboard shortcuts (available on all computers and smartphones). Through text replacement, you can type a shortcut: I use “zpb” for Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), “zmoa” for Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him), and “zbmoa” to trigger Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him & his folk)…

Don’t Shorten The Sending of Blessings (Salawat)

You shouldn’t miss out on the blessing and reward of writing out the sending of blessings on the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) when you write his noble name.

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever sends blessings upon me once, Allah blessed them tenfold.” [Bukhari; Muslim]

This applies to sending blessings upon the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) when one,

  • mentions his name;
  • hears his name;
  • writes his name; or reads his name (peace be upon him). [Sakhawi, al-Qawl al-Badi‘]

The Counsel of Great Scholars on Writing Out Blessings

Imam Sakhawi writes in his majestic, detailed commentary on Imam Iraqi’s Alfiyyat al-Hadith (a thousand-line poem on the sciences of hadith):

“Avoid, O writer, using glyphs or shortcuts(rumuz) instead of writing out the blessings on the Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him)–such as just using a letter (f: such as ص in Arabic, or S or SAWS in English)… as done by many common students… This entails the loss of reward and is improper (khilaf al-awla).” [Sakhawi/Iraqi, Fath al-Mughith Sharh Alfiyyat al-Hadith]

Imam Suyuti (Allah have mercy upon him) says the same in his great, expansive commentary on Imam Nawawi’s summary text in the sciences of hadith, saying:

“It is disliked to use abbreviations with letters… Rather, one should write out the blessings (salawat) in full.” [Suyuti/Nawawi, Tadrib al-Rawi Sharh Taqrib al-Nawawi]

This is the way of adab, benefit, and presence with Allah and the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him).

Be grateful for the gift of connecting daily to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) by sending blessings upon him, and strive to do what’s best.

And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.
[Shaykh] Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani spent ten years studying with some of the leading scholars of recent times, first in Damascus and then in Amman, Jordan. His teachers include the foremost theologian of recent times in Damascus, the late Shaykh Adib al-Kallas (may Allah have mercy on him), and his student Shaykh Hassan al-Hindi, one of the leading Hanafi fuqaha of the present age. He returned to Canada in 2007, where he founded SeekersGuidance to meet the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge–both online and on the ground–in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He is the author of “Absolute Essentials of Islam: Faith, Prayer, and the Path of Salvation According to the Hanafi School” (White Thread Press, 2004.) Since 2011, the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center has named Shaykh Faraz one of the 500 most influential Muslims.

Arabic References

  • قال الإمام السخاوي (رحمه الله تعالى) في فتح المغيث شرح ألفية الحديث للعراقي: ”واجتنب أيها الكاتب (الرمز لها) أي الصلاة والسلام على رسول الله ﷺ في خطك بأن تقتصر منها على حرفين ونحو ذلك فتكون منقوصة ـ صورة ـ كما يفعله (الكتاني) والجهلة من أبناء العجم غالبا وعوام الطلبة، فيكتبون بدلا من (صلى الله عليه وسلم) (ص) أو (صم) أو (صلعم) فذلك لما فيه من نقص الأجر لنقص الكتابة خلاف الأولى.“
  • قال الإمام السيوطي (رحمه الله تعالى) في تدريب الراوي في شرح تقريب النواوي: ”ويكره الرمز إليهما في الكتابة بحرف أو حرفين كمن يكتب (صلعم) بل يكتبهما بكمالها.“