I was just exploring around Internet and I find many websites and articles where people are doing a great mistake and disrespect in their ignorance!! They use the Abbreviation of Durood Sharif i.e. SAW, PBUH, RA, AS (ma’azALLAH) instead of writing the Durood o Salam completely… Abbreviating the Salutation with Suad ص, Sal’am صلعم and etc. is strictly forbidden. In this century, leaving aside the ordinary person, even the so-called “learned” and “intellectuals” are guilty of such. Some write, while others, and some only. Some people, in place of write or just to save a drop of Ink, fraction of paper or a second of time, people are depriving themselves in reaping great excellence and reward. They have instead chosen misfortune.
Imam al-Nawawi, the great Muhaddith and Shafi’i Faqih (Allah have mercy on him) states in his introduction to the commentary of Sahih Muslim:
“It is praiseworthy (mustahab) for a person writing Hadith that…..at the mentioning of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), he writes “Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam” in full and not merely using abbreviations, and neither sufficing on one of the two, i.e. Salat & Salam.” [Sharh Sahih Muslim, 1/39]
Thus, when one writes the name of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), one should avoid using abbreviations such as SAW, PBUH or something similar. It is inappropriate and disrespectful to do so. The love for the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) requires that one never tires, both verbally or in writing, from sending blessings and salutations upon him (Allah bless & and grant him eternal peace).
Qadhi Iyadh al-Maliki (Allah have mercy on him) mentions a Hadith wherein the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said:
“Whosoever sends blessings upon me in a book, the angels seek forgiveness for him until my name remains in that book.” [Narrated by al-Tabrani in his al-Awsat, See:al-Shifa’ by Qadhi Iyadh, P: 557]
Hence, although the requirement would be fulfilled if one verbally sent blessings and salutations upon the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & grant him peace), but when one writes the name of the beloved of Allah, one should also send blessings upon him in writing. I think its important to aware people with the Laws of Shari’ah regarding writing Short forms of Durood Shareef i.e.S.A.W … Suad a … Sal’am and etc.
Hence, to write S.A.W after the name of the Beloved Prophet Syyeduna Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) or A.S in place of Alaihis Salaam is really a sign of being deprived, because Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam or Alaihis Salaam etc. is Durood and we decide to make abbreviations for Durood.
Hadrat Imam Jalaaludin Suyooti (Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu) said,
“The person who first introduced the practice of using abbreviation for Durood had his hands cut off”
Allamah Sayyad Tahtawi (radi Allahu anhu), making a marginal note in “Durr-e-Mukhtar” states, and this quotation is also found in “Fatawa Tatar Khaniah”,
“A person who writes such abbreviation with the name of any Prophet, become a Kafir.”
Note: It means belittling and this deals with the integrity of the Prophets and to belittle the integrity of Prophets in indeed Kufr. It is beyond doubt that to have the intention of belittling the status of the Prophet SallAllahu Alaihi wa Sallam is definitely Kufr and the above ruling pertains to such a condition or intention. The above ruling does not apply to those who, out of sheer laziness and ignorance, use such abbreviations. But, indeed, such persons are misfortunate, ill-fated and unlucky.
At this point, the great Imam and Wali, A’la Hazrat Imam Ahmed Rida al-Qadiri (radi Allahu anhu) comments by saying:
Obviously, the pen is also a language and to write any meaningless words in place of is like hearing the sacred name of the glorious Prophet SallAllahu Alaihi wa Sallam and mumbling some meaningless thing. Allah, the Almighty and Powerful, states :
“What was already commanded, the oppressors had changed it to something else. So We sent on them punishment from the sky in retaliation to their transgression.” [Para 1, Ruku 2]
There Allah has ordered Bani Israel to say (Say our sins be decreased), they said (We got wheat). This word has a meaning and is still a Blessing of Allah (Wheat), but just because of changing the words, it caused the displeasure of Allah and His destruction by His Punishment.
Here the order is: “O you who Believe! Salute your Nabi SallAllahu Alaihi wa Sallam and send Durood and Salutations onto him.”
And this order is compulsory every time that you hear, say or write the sacred name of the Holy Prophet SallAllahu Alaihi wa Sallam. The fulfilment of the above command when writing the sacred name is to write , but, instead, this was changed to which has absolutely no meaning. Do you not fear the Azab of Allah descending upon you? May Allah save us from this Azab! Aameen!
This concerns the Durood Sharif or Salawat whose excellence is so great that its abbreviation has a reason of Kufr in it.
Now lets deal with the Sahabas and Awliya Allah (radi Allahu anhum). After writing their names, instead of writing the meaningless letters are written. This is condemned by the Learned Ulema as Makrooh and a reason of misfortune. Sayyid Allamah Tahtawi (radi Allahu anhu) states:
“It is Makrooh to abbreviate when writing . Write it in full.”
Imam Nowawi (radi Allahu anhu), in his commentary of “Muslim Sharif” states:
“One who indulges in this act is stripped from a very great benefit (Khair) and has lost a great reward.”
Likewise, when writing and is writing. This too is nonsensical and unfortunate. We should abstain from such acts. May Allah guide us all to success. Aameen!