Q. I want to know to whom the following terms can be used:
1. I have heard some people using "Alaihis Salaam" with some personalities of Ahl-al-Bayt like Hazrat Ali, Hazrat Jaffar, Hazrat Hassan etc. Is using this term for these personalities permissible?
2. I have heard some people using "Radhiyallahu Ta’ala anhu" with personalities like Imam Abu Hanifa, Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani etc. Is using this term for these personalities permissible?
3. I have heard some people using "Rahmatullah Alaihi" with personalities like Mufti Shafi Usmani, Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, etc. Is using this term for these personalities permissible?
4. I have heared Some people using "Damat Barakaatuhum Al Aa’liyah" with personalities like Mufti Taqi Usmani, Mufti Rafi Usmani, Mufti Ebrahim Desai etc. Is using this term for these personalities permissible?
Please tell me the meanings of the upper mentioned terms also.
A. 1. The phrase Alaihis Salaam means ‘Upon him be peace, greetings’. According to the scholars this is used exclusively for the prophets, Messengers and Angels. It should not be used for anyone besides them.
2. Radhiyallahu Ta’ala anhu means ‘May Allah be pleased with him’. This is used for the Sahabahs (Companions of the Prophet Muhammad (SAS)). It should not be used for others (besides them). However, some great scholars and authors have used it sparingly for great personalities from among the Tabi’een scholars. This is on account of one’s love and high regards for such people.
3. Rahmatullah Alaihi means ‘May the mercy of Allah be upon him’. This is normally used for the great people from among the Tabi’een and those after them. Some latter day scholars use it for great scholars who have passed away in recent times (on account of their great status). (There is no harm in doing this). This is meant to be a dua for them.
4. Damat Barakaatuhum Al Aa’liyah means ‘May great blessings be upon them’. This is used for great scholars and personalities who are still alive. This is also meant to be a dua for them, asking Allah to bless such persons. It can be used for the great scholars whom you have mentioned and others.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Waseem Khan