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ETIQUETTES OF GREETING


Etiquettes are prescribed rule or guide for conduct or action. In Islam these etiquettes has been set by Allah and His Messenger. Islam has professed the use of the Islamic greeting when encountering another Muslim or leaving the company of another Muslim because it unifies the hearts and strengthens bonds between Muslims. Conversation between two Muslim starts by salutation known as SALAM in Arabic.

 

Table of Contents

 

Meaning of the word SALAM

"Salaam" literally means "peace" (which is where the word ' Islam' also comes from).  In a broader sense "salaam" means harmlessness, safety and protection from evil and from faults.  As-Salaam is one of the Names of Allah سبحانه و تعالي., and so when one says "salaam", they are in effect saying:  "May the blessing of His name descend upon you".

 

The complete form of Islamic greeting

The complete form for the Islamic greeting is AssalamuAlaykum Wa Rahmathullahi Wa Barakatahu meaning peace, mercy, and blessings be upon from Allah سبحانه و تعالي. This is because Imam Abu-Dawud and Tirmizi reported in a good hadith that a man came to the prophet  Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم  and said, "Assalamu Alikum." The prophet  Muhammadصلى الله عليه و سلمresponded and the man sat down. The prophet  Muhammadصلى الله عليه و سلم said, "Ten rewards." Another man came and said, "Assalamu Alikum Wa Rahmatullh." The prophet responded and the man sat down. The prophet said, "Twenty rewards." Then another man came and said: "As-Salamu 'Alaykum wa Rahmathullahi wa Barakatuh". The prophet responded and the man sat down. The prophet said, "Thirty rewards." Sunan Abi Dawud 5176 (Sahih by Albani)  [1]

 

Qur’aan

Allah سبحانه و تعالي.says in the Qur'an: "When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with that what is better than it, or (at least) return it equally" Qur'an.Surah Nisa4:86 [2]

 

Hadith

Don’t permit the One who didn’t start by Salam. Sahih Al Ja’mee 7190 (Arabic Ref) When two Muslims meet and shake hands, their (minor) sins are forgiven before they depart. Abu Dawud 5212

 

The importance of saying "salaam"

Greeting one another with "salaam" (i.e. saying Assalamu 'alaykum and its reply), is something of great importance in Islam, as the following quotes from prophet  Muhammadصلى الله عليه و سلم  illustrate:

 

"There are three things which if brought together constitute Iman (faith): justice with oneself, greeting people with greetings of salaam, and freeing oneself from stinginess" Al-Bukhari, cf. Al-Asqalani, Fathul-Bari 1/82

 

'A man came to prophet  Muhammadصلى الله عليه و سلم  and asked him "What is the best act of a Muslim?".  He said "To feed others and to give greetings of salaam to those you know and those whom you do not know"' SahihAl-Bukhari Vol 8: 253 (6236), Fathul-Bari 1/55, Muslim 1/65

 

"You shall not enter paradise until you believe, and you have not believed until you love one another.  Shall I tell you of something you can do to love one another? Give one another frequent greetings of salaam." Sunan Ibn Majah Vol 1:68

 

"The Muslim has five rights over his fellow-Muslim: he should return his salaams, visit him when he is sick, attend his funeral, accept his invitation, and pray for mercy for him [say "YarhamukAllah"] when he sneezes." Sahih Muslim 5378 [3]

 

Few Etiquettes of Salam

  1. The one who comes greets the Muslims that are present.
  2. The one who is riding greets the one who is walking.
  3. The one who is walking greets the one who is sitting.
  4. The smaller group greets the bigger group.
  5. The young greet the elder.

 

Islam on saying SALAM to the people of the book

Hadith of the prophet that was reported by Imam Muslim in which the prophet  Muhammadصلى الله عليه و سلم  said, "Don’t start with the (salam) Islamic greeting when encountering Jews or Christians."

 

If a Non-Muslim says "Assalamu 'alaykum" to a Muslim, the Muslim should reply: "wa 'alaykum" meaning ‘and to you’ Sahih al-Bukhari 6258 (Vol8:275)

 

What to say when leaving

When leaving, a person should also offer salaam, since the greeting is no more important than the farewell.  The Messenger of Allah سبحانه و تعالي said: "When one of you joins a gathering, let him say salaam. When he wants to get up and leave, let him say salaam. The former is not more important than the latter." Abu Dawud, Vol 5:386 (or NE 5189), Kitab al-adab, bab fi'l-salam; Tirmidhi, 5/62, Kitab al-isti'dhan, hasan hadith. [4]

 

Greeting during Eid

It is permissible for Muslims to greet each other on the day of Eid with specific greetings that have been reported from the sahabah (ra). Responding to a question in this regard, Ibn Taymiyyah (May Allah have mercy on Him) said:

 

"As for people greeting each other after the eid prayer by, 'Taqaballahu minna wa minkum' (may Allah accept from us and you) - it is reported that some of the shahabah practiced it, and the scholars permitted it. However, Ahmad said, 'I do not initiate saying it to anyone; but if one says it to me, I answer him. This is because responding to a greeting is obligatory, but to initiate the greeting is not a required sunnah, neither is it prohibited: whoever does it would have an example and whoever does not would have a predecessor as well." (Al Fatawa24:253)

 

Jabyr ibn Nufayr said: 'When the companions of Allah's Messenger (saaws) met on the day of eid, they would say to each other, 'Taqaballahu minna wa mink (may Allah accept from us and you)." [Al Mahamiliyyat; hasan isnad; see Fath ul Bari 2:446]

 

And Muhammad ibn Ziyad said: I was with Abu Umamah al Bahili (ra) and some other companions of the Prophet (saws). When they returned from the eid, they said to each other, 'Taqabbalallahu minna wa mink." [5]

 

References

[1] [3] http://www.iris.org.nz/etiquette_greeting.php

[2] [5] http://muttaqun.com/greeting.html

[4] http://www.missionislam.com/knowledge/salaam.htm

See Also: ETIQUETTES OF RELIEVING ONESELF; ETIQUETTES OF VISITING THE SICK; Islamic Etiquettes;

 

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