Why Do We Add PBUH After Muhammad’s Name?

Saleem Ahmed Ph.D.
A non-Muslim friend recently asked, “Saleem, why do you add ‘peace be upon him’ whenever you mention Muhammad’s name?”
I was stunned. It is one of those things I took for granted. My first impulse was to ask, “How dare you ask that question?” But then, on reflection, I realized it was a very legitimate question. Especially when some Muslims add “peace be upon him” every time they mention the prophet’s name in a conversation or talk. Thus, if they take the prophet’s name 10 times within five minutes, they will add “peace be upon him” ten times.
My friend continued, “If Muhammad was a holy man, adding this wish is unnecessary as all of the world’s peace is already with him. Thus, do Muslims imply he was NOT a holy person and needs all the good wishes he can get?”
I had no answer. Hence, I raise this question through MCA’s website with all sincerity. I recall there is one Qur’anic verse in which Allah asks Muslims to wish Muhammad peace. But that was when a vulnerable Muhammad, surrounded by enemies on all sides, was fighting with his back to the wall. But, after he had won over his adversaries and the last Qur’anic verses (5.3 and 5.5) gave the name “Islam” to Muhammad’s religion, is this wish still needed?
If the answer is that this is no longer needed but Muslim do it to show their love for Muhammad, then why is it that in Pakistan it is actually a requirement that PBUH be added every time Muhammad’s name is mentioned . Else, one could even be hauled in under the country’s draconian Blasphemy Laws.
The extent to which this practice seems to have become a requirement is that, in the khutbah after Friday prayers, I once heard the imam, instead of reciting 3.144 as:
“ Muhammad is no more than an apostle”, he recited:
“Muhammad (peace be upon him) is no more than an apostle”.
I’ve sent a couple of letters to the newspaper “Dawn” in Karachi. And I noted they added “pbuh” at all places where Muhammad’s name was mentioned.
I hope it will be possible to have an objective and intellectual discussion. Thanks.

One Response to “Why Do We Add PBUH After Muhammad’s Name?”

  1. Dr Ansar Ahmed Says:

    I also wonder as to why we have to say after the name of Muhammad pease be upon him every time we speak or write. I wold appreciate if some scholar give his or her opinion

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