In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Most Merciful
What does “Amma Ba’d” mean and how is it used?
By Shaykh Zayd al-Madkhali may Allah have mercy on him
Zayd ibn Aslam [may Allah be pleased with him] said,
أَرْسَلَنِي أَبِي إِلَى ابْنِ عُمَرَ، فَرَأَيْتُهُ يَكْتُبُ: بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ، أَمَّا بَعْدُ
“My father sent me to Ibn ‘Umar and I saw him write, ‘In the Name of Allah, the All-Merciful, Most Merciful. Following on from that'” [Bukhari – Book of Manners #1120]
Hisham ibn ‘Urwa [may Allah be pleased with him] said,
رَأَيْتُ رَسَائِلَ مِنْ رَسَائِلِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم، كُلَّمَا انْقَضَتْ قِصَّةٌ قَالَ: أَمَّا بَعْدُ
“I saw some of the letters of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. After the introduction he said, ‘Following on from that'” [Bukhari – Book of Manners #1121]
The Shaykh comments on these narrations in his explanation of al-Adab al-Mufrad by Imaam Bukhari on page 251 Vol 3. He said,
This phrase “Following on from that” [or “To proceed” as some have translated] is from the different styles of writing. It is said that this phrase is from “Faslul Khitaab” that was given to Dawud, peace be upon him.
وَءَاتَيۡنَـٰهُ ٱلۡحِكۡمَةَ وَفَصۡلَ ٱلۡخِطَابِ
“…and We [Allah] gave him [Dawud] wisdom and Faslal Khitaab [discernment in speech].” [Surah Saad: 20]
Some say that this Faslal Khitaab is the saying Amma Ba’d “following on from that/to proceed”. *Refer to Ibn Abi Haatim in his Tafsir 10/3237, at-Tabari in his Tafsir 21/173 for more commentary*
This statement is written in messages addressed to kings [those of high status] and as well as to regular people. It is a phrase that separates between two topics, and it is used to indicate that the content that comes after will be a different topic/subject from what was previously spoken of. There is nothing that prevents a person from using this phrase repeatedly in one message – depending on the need of its usage.
Translated by: Abu Awzaa’ee AbdusSalaam
الفقير الى الله