Origins, Evolution and the Future
Explanation of Islamic terms of reverence
As it is well known, every time the name of Prophet Muhammad is mentioned, Muslims express their respect by saying ‘salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam’. This is the universal rule of respect in the Islamic world. The problem, however, is that when put in writing this reverential term is far too distracting for readers. If the Prophet’s name is mentioned frequently, as is often the case in this book, the reader finds it nearly impossible to concentrate on the topic. Originally I tried to abbreviate and used (SAS) after each time I referred to the Prophet. But then Western colleagues, who kindly read this book in manuscript form, complained bitterly for being distracted. This, surely, could not have been the intention of the Prophet. If he had to choose between the formal expression of respect and a higher level of understanding of his teachings, there is no doubt that he would have chosen the latter. Muslim readers of this book are therefore requested to recite the term of reverence silently in their hearts and thus show tolerance and understanding for non-Muslim readers. It goes without saying that I share the respect of all of my readers for all religious figures. xxxiii
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