Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick
Is it permissible and correct to use short forms of Arabic words such as Jzk instead of JazakaAllah and slms instead of Assalamu alaykum?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate. May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to what pleases Him. Amin.
While using such shortcuts is generally acceptable in informal digital communication, it is advisable to maintain the full and proper Islamic expressions in more formal or sacred contexts, such as in religious discussions, sermons, or when communicating with scholars and respected individuals.
Moreover, one should always be mindful of the sincerity and respect underlying their expressions, regardless of the form they take.
Linguistic and Cultural Considerations
Using short forms of Arabic words, such as “Jzk” instead of “JazakaAllah” and “slms” instead of “Assalamu alaykum,” raises a matter of linguistic and cultural consideration within the context of Islamic etiquette.
In Islam, expressing gratitude and sending greetings of peace (salutations) are highly encouraged practices. When we shorten these phrases, there is a potential risk of diminishing the sincerity and depth of our expressions.
More Than Words
Arabic is a rich language; its phrases often carry deep meanings and spiritual significance. When we use full phrases like “JazakaAllah Khairan” and “Assalamu alaykum,” we are conveying the full depth of our intentions and sincerely praying for our addressees. These complete phrases can remind us of the values and principles underlying our expressions.
Contemporary and Informal Usage
However, it is essential to recognize that language and communication evolve over time. Using abbreviations or shortcuts is a common feature of contemporary digital communication, where character limits and convenience play a role.
Using “Jzk” and “slms” in informal text messages or social media posts may be more about practicality and fitting within character limits rather than a lack of sincerity.
I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan.
Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.
He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.
Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.