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Customs and Culture >
Why do Muslims say “Peace be upon him?” What does PBUH mean?

PBUH stands for “Peace be upon him.” Muslims repeat this every time they refer to Muhammad or any of the prophets (Jesus, Moses, etc.). Some Muslims use the longer phrase “God's blessings and peace be upon him,” which is the English for the Arabic phrase Salah Allah alayi wa-salam. This is abbreviated as SAAS. These abbreviations are used in written documents throughout the Muslim world, both privately and publicly, including in government documents in some countries.

The use of PBUH or the repetition of the phrase “Peace be upon him” in speech reflects the belief that Muslims should at all times remember the special role of the Prophet and request God's blessings upon him in order to obtain blessings for themselves. The Quran commands this remembrance. Quran 33:56 states, “God and His angels send blessings on the Prophet. O you who believe! Send blessings on him, and salute him with all respect.”

This phrase also reflects the important role Muhammad plays in Islam as the living embodiment of the revelation contained in the Quran. It is through Muhammad's life, love for God and for humanity, and vision of how human beings should live in this world that Muslims believe they can know the will of God.

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