“As- Salam-U- Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh”
The Islamic greeting means “May the peace of Allah be upon you and His mercy and His blessings”. Actually, the translation gives a very shallow meaning. In fact; it is more than being just a greeting, it has much deeper meanings.
In Islam, exchanging greetings has big rewards in both this life and the hereafter. To understand its importance, you have first to realize its meaning and rules.
What does it mean?
- Saying “As- Salam-U- Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh” means a guarantee that I will not harm you, as it is a very strong bond of security and peace.
- It is also a kind of invocation, as you pray Allah to make this person in peace in his mind, his body, his social life …etc.
- Greeting also is a kind of worshipping God, as Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) advised people to offer greetings to spread kind feelings between them and to acquire high ranks in paradise. This shows the great reward that one can attain by offering greeting.
- Islam encourages its followers to spread greetings among themselves, as the Prophet (PBUH) said:
O people, exchange greetings of peace (i.e., say: As-Salamu ‘Alaikum to one another), feed people, strengthen the ties of kinship, and be in prayer when others are asleep, you will enter Jannah in peace.”
Saying the Islamic greeting has lots of benefits:
* First, It protects one’s heart from envy, as the Prophet (PBUH) said:
By Him in Whose Hand my soul is! You will not enter Jannah until you believe, and you shall not believe until you love one another. May I inform you of something, if you do, you love each other. Promote greeting amongst you (by saying As-salamu ‘alaikum to one another).”
* Second, Receiving great rewards from Allah, as Imran ibn Husain reported:
- A man came to the Prophet and said: “As-Salamu ‘Alaikum (may you be safe from evil). The Prophet responded to his greeting and the man sat down. The Prophet said, “Ten (meaning the man had earned the merit of ten goots).” Another one came and said: “As-Salamu ‘Alaikum wa Rahmatullah (may you be safe from evil, and Mercy of Allah be upon you).” The Prophet responded to his greeting and the man sat down. The Prophet said, “Twenty” A third one came and said: “As-Salamu ‘Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu (may you be safe from evil, and the Mercy of Allah and His Blessings be upon you).” The Prophet responded to his greeting and the man sat down. Messenger of Allah (Peace and mercy be upon him) said, “Thirty..”
*Third, It is one of the best obedient acts, as ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr narrated: A person asked The Prophet. “What (sort of) deeds in or (what qualities of) Islam are good?” He replied, “To feed (the poor) and greet those whom you know and those whom you don’t know.”
* Fourth, Being close to Allah, as The Prophet said:
Those who are nearest to Allah are they who are first to give a salutation.”
Etiquettes of Islamic greeting:
1- Saying “As- Salam-U- Alaikum” in a heard voice, that an awake person can hear and in the same time doesn’t’ annoy the asleep, as Al-Miqdad reported: “We used to reserve for the Prophet his share of the milk, and he would come at night and offer greetings in such a manner as did not disturb those asleep and was heard only by those who were awake.”
2-The Prophet teaching who greats whom said:
The rider gives the Salam to the walking person, and the walking person to the sitting person and the few to the many.” Ibn Al-Muthanna added in his narration: “And the young one gives the Salam to the elder.”
3- When anyone enters his house, it is better to greet his family as a kind of love and respect. Allah said:
But when you enter the houses, greet one another with a greeting from Allah (i.e. say: As-Salamu ‘Alaikum – peace be on you) blessed and good. Thus Allah makes clear the Ayat (these Verses or your religious symbols and signs, etc.) to you that you may understand.” (Quran.com/24/61)
4- Greeting one another when you gather and also when you are about to depart, as The Prophet said:
When one of you arrives in a gathering, he should offer Salam to those who are already there, and he should also do so when he intends to depart. The first act of greeting is not more meritorious than the last.”
5- If you meet young boys , it’s better to greet them. It is a kind of modesty and mercy and it teaches them indirectly the Islamic teachings. As it is narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) met some young boys playing in the street and he (being who he was) greeted them.
6- Smiling in the face of your brothers ^_^ and shaking their hands, this increases fellowship and in the same time removes one’s sins. The Messenger of Allah (Peace and mercy be upon him) said:
Two Muslims will not meet and shake hands without having their sins forgiven (by Allah ) before they depart.”
7- When one enters an unoccupied house, one should say, “Peace be upon us and on the slaves of Allah, who are salih (who are righteous)”, as the Prophet recommended Muslims.
8- The most important conduct is when someone say “As- Salam Alaikum” to you, you can give it back equally or in a better way, to say “Ua-Alaikum As-Salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh”. Allah says in Quran “When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it, or (at least) return it equally. Certainly, Allah is Ever a Careful Account Taker of all things.” (Quran.com/4/86)
Greeting in Paradise:
The most beautiful fact showing the greatness of the Islamic greeting is that Allah makes it the greeting of the dwellers of paradise in the Hereafter.
In the Hereafter, the Angles will offer greetings to the people of paradise … imagine the scene, it will be amazing … There are a number of verses assuring and describing the scene … Allah says: “Their greeting on the Day they shall meet Him will be “Salam: Peace (i.e. the angels will say to them: Salamu ‘Alaikum)!” And He has prepared for them a generous reward (i.e. Paradise).” (Quran.com/33/44)
Islam is a religion of peace that shows in its every aspect even in greeting. All of these Quranic verses and the Prophet’s sayings focus on the impact of peace, and show how greeting is so important to create fellowship, intimacy, love and mercy among all people.
- Sunnah [At- Tirmidhi]
- Sunnah [At- Tirmidhi]
- Sunnah [Abu Dawud and At- Tirmidhi]
- Sunnah [Sahih al-Bukhari 28]
- Sunnah [Sahih Al-Albani]
- Sunnah [Muslim]
- Sunnah [Jami`at-Tirmidhi 2703]
- Sunnah [Abu Dawud]
- Sunnah [Abu Dawud]