Answering Islam Email Dialogs

Topic: Should Christians Use The Formula "PBUH"?

Received: 31 May 2005

Subject: Pl. use "pbuh" with the name of last prophit of God

Dear Sir,

Ur arguments are well arranged but lack common sense. I will suggest u to please use word "PBUH" where u quote the name of last prophet of God. I think it will not harm ur cause.

With kind regards

Our answer:

Hello and warmest greetings to you,

Thank you for your e-mail.

There are a few reasons why we do not use either PBUH or SAW after Muhammad's name in our articles. (Note: PBUH - English - [peace be upon him] / SAW - Arabic- [Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam - the prayers of Allah be upon him and peace])

Both are derived from the Qur'anic verse:

"Lo! Allah and His angels pray upon the prophet. Oh ye who believe, pray on him and salute him with peace." Al-Azhab 33:56

Either PBUH or SAW seem to indicate a prayer of blessing or peace for Muhammad. Either way, it is a supplication to ask for blessings to be poured onto someone whose fate has already been determined.

Meanwhile, our Scriptures say that:

"It has been given unto man once to die and then comes the judgment." Hebrews 9:27

Thus, once a person has died, he or she is either suffering in a place separate from God or he or she is filled with joy in the very presence of God. The prayers of the living do not change or affect this. After death it is too late for our prayers.

Another important aspect is that the use of this blessing/supplication after Muhammad's name also infers an acknowledgment that Muhammad is indeed a true prophet of God. In light of the clear revelation of the Scriptures of the Bible, we certainly do not believe this.

Would it be proper for me as a Christian to ask you to begin referring to Jesus only as "The Lord Jesus Christ"? The use of the term Lord, among other things also infers that He is one and the same as Adonai (The Almighty God of the Hebrew Old Testament). Knowing that this is a violation of your Islamic belief, it probably would be a waste of my time asking you to do this. Nevertheless, since the Scripture clearly states: "... if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9) ... I will nevertheless take this opportunity to ask you: Would you like to consider becoming a follower of Jesus and determining, even today, where you will go after you die? Will it be a place of suffering or will it be the very presence of God? Which would you choose? I invite you this day to believe in your heart the true message of the prophets which Jesus the Messiah perfectly fulfilled and thus confess with your mouth that Jesus is indeed the Lord. You will never once regret such a wonderful decision!

Listen to these words from Jesus Himself: "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life." (John 5:24)



Webeditor's note: Consult the "Index to Islam" entry PBUH for more details on the meaning and implications of using this Islamic phrase after mentioning the name of Muhammad.

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