10 Oct

Salaam Q & A

As-salāmu ʿalaykum is a Muslim greeting in Arabic that means “Peace be upon you”. The greeting is the standard salutation among Muslims and is routinely used whenever and wherever Muslims gather and interact, whether socially or within worship and other contexts. The response to the greeting is Waʿalaykumu s-salām (“and upon you, Peace”)

Here are some common Questions and Answers regarding this topic:

My friends and I exchange greetings before we all get into the car. Should we exchange greetings after we are in the car again?

It is related by Abu Hurayrah (RA) that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “When anyone of you meets a Muslim brother, he should offer salaam, and if after it, a tree, or a wall, or a rock comes between them, (and they cannot see each other for some time), and then he meets him, he should offer him salaam once more.” [Abu Dawood]

Usually we don’t send salutations to our family members because we see each other numerous times throughout the day or maybe because we take each other for granted. Is there a hadith to ecoursege us in this regard?

It is related by Sayyidina Anas (RA) that the Prophet (SAW) said: “Son, make salutation when you go to your family. It will be a source of blessing to you as well as to the members of the family.” [Tirmizi]

Should one say salaam before sitting in a gather or after being seated?

It is related by Abu Hurayrah (RA) that the Prophet (SAW) said: When anyone of you arrives at a gathering (or assembly), he should (first of all) greet those who are present and then sit down if he wishes. Afterwards, he should salute again on leaving. The first salutation is not superior to the second salutation i.e., the salutation of farewell is of the same value or grade as the salutation of arrival, and not inferior to is in any way.” [Tirmizi]

If I happen to pass by a group of brothers sitting, should I initiate the salutations or should they?

Abu Hurayrah (RA) related that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “The younger person should salute the elder person; he who is passing on (the road) should salute those who are sitting; and (men of) smaller group should salute (men of) the larger group.” [Bukhari]

If I greet a group of brother, do all of them have to reply to my salaam?

Sayyidina Ali ibn Abi Talib (RA) related to us that the Prophet (SAW) said: “If anyone belonging to a group that is passing by salutes, it will suffice for the entire group. If anyone belonging to the group that is sitting acknowledges, it will suffice for the entire group.” [Baihaqi]

If I come home in the night, and I’m not sure if anyone in my family is up, should I say still say salaam out loud?

Miqdad ibn al-Aswad (RA) relates in the course of a long narrative, then when the Messenger of Allah (SAW) came to Ahl-us-Suffa (people of the platform) in the night, he used to wish them in such a low voice that those who were asleep did not wake up and those who were awake heard the salutation. [Tirmizi]

Can you mention a hadith that mentions the reward for those who say salaam to each other?

It is related by Bara’ ibn ‘Aazib (RA) that the Prophet (SAW) said: “When two Muslims meet, and shake hands with each other, and glorify the Lord, and beg forgiveness for themselves, they will be forgiven.” [Abu Dawood]

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Hillside Islamic Center