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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

As salamu alaykum wa rahmatullilah wa barkatu. Importance of greeting one another with salaam

“When you are greeted with a greeting, greet back with better than it or return it. Lo! Allah takes count of all things.” [Sûrah al-Nisâ’: 86]

The Prophet (SAW)made spreading salaam a part of faith. Bukhari and Muslim narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar that a man asked the Messenger of Allaah (SAW): “What is the best thing in Islam?” He said, “Feeding others and giving the greeting of salaam to those whom you know and those whom you do not know.”


Abu Hurayrah (RA) related that a man passed by the Messenger of Allaah (SAW) whilst he was sitting with some others, and said “Salaam ‘alaykum (peace be upon you).” The Prophet (SAW) said, “[He will have] ten hasanaat (rewards).” Another man passed by and said “Salaam ‘alaykum wa rahmat-Allaah (peace be upon you and the mercy of Allaah).” The Prophet (SAW) said, “[He will have] twenty hasanaat.” Another man passed by and said “Salaam ‘alaykum wa rahmat-Allaahi wa barakaatuhu (peace be upon you and the mercy of Allaah and His blessings).” The Prophet (SAW) said, “[He will have] thirty hasanaat.” [Nasaai]

The Prophet (SAW) commanded us to return salaams, and made it a right and a duty. Abu Hurayrah (RA) said that the Prophet (SAW) said: “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 “Yarhamuk Allaah”] when he sneezes.” [Muslim & Bukhari]


It is clear that it is obligatory to say salaam and return salaams, because by doing so a Muslim is giving you safety and you have to give him safety in return. It is as if he is saying to you, “I am giving you safety and security,” so you have to give him the same, so that he does not get suspicious or think that the one to whom he has given salaam is betraying him or ignoring him. The Prophet (SAW) told us that if Muslims are ignoring or forsaking one another, this will be put to an end when one of them gives salaam. Al-Bukhari reported that Abu Ayyoob (RA) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (SAW) said: ‘It is not permissible for a Muslim to forsake his brother for more than three days, each of them turning away from the other if they meet. The better of them is the first one to say salaam.’”

And AbdAllah ibn Amr related that a man came to Rasul Allah and asked him, “Which Islam is the best?” He said, “To feed the hungry and to give salam to those you know and those you don’t know.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

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