Muslims should greet each other by saying Salaam “As-Salamu Alaikum.” One should respond with “Wa-Alaikumus Salaam.” The response to salaam has a similar reward as saying salam. Saying salaam is the Sunnah, but its response is a Fard. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:
“The person closest to Allah is the one who precedes others with greetings” (Abu Dawud).
The greeting is one of the best things in Islam, as Holy Prophet (PBUH) made spreading salam a part of the faith.
All people have the custom of greeting one another, and religion has a distinctive greeting that differentiates them from others. Islam tells its followers to say salam. It is one way of greeting in Islam. On the Day of Judgment, angels and Muslims will say salam to each other.
When Islam came, Allah prescribed that the manner of greeting among Muslims should be “Al-Salam u Alaykum” and that this greeting should only be used among Muslims and not for other nations. The meaning of salam is harmlessness, safety, and protection from evil.
Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W.W) Said to Say Salam:
“As-salaam” is a name from names of Allah, which Allah has placed upon the Earth. Therefore, spread salam amongst you in abundance.”
Islam commanded Muslims to greet their Muslim fellows with salam. Whom we know and those whom we do not know. Believers try to establish peace and friendly relations by greeting through salam with one. When Muslims of any nationality or color meet, they greet each other with salam.
The Muslims have five rights over their fellow Muslims: they should greet him with salam, visit him when he is sick, attend his funeral, accept his invitation, and ask ALLAH to have mercy on him when he sneezes.
When a Muslim says salam to someone, they have fulfilled their duty. Now other Muslims have to give a reply to the salaam.
وَإِذَا حُيِّيتُم بِتَحِيَّةٍ فَحَيُّوا۟ بِأَحْسَنَ مِنْهَآ أَوْ رُدُّوهَآ ۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىْءٍ حَسِيبًا
And when you are greeted with a greeting, greet [in return] with one better than it or [at least] return it [in a like manner]. Indeed Allāh is ever, over all things, an Accountant.
Let us smile and spread sincere and warm salaam to all we see. May ALLAH make it a means and allow us to enter Paradise.
Benefits of saying salaam
There are many benefits of saying As-Salamu Alaikum, some of which are given below:
- Saying salam is a means of extensive reward.
- Salaam is an aspect of Imaan. Once, a man asked from Holy Prophet (SAW) which aspect of Islam was the best. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) replied:
“Feeding the hungry and saying salaam to those you know and those you don’t know.” (Bukhari)
- Our beloved Prophet (SAW) said:
“When two Muslims meet (give salaam), and shake hands, they are forgiven their sins before they part (with each other)” (Abu Dawud).
So we can say that As-Salamu Alaikum is a source of getting rid of sins.
- Saying salaam is a means of entering Jannah. Messenger of Allah (SAW) said:
“You will not enter Paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another. Shall I not tell you about something which, if you do it, you will love one another? Spread salam (the greeting of peace) among you.” (Muslim)
- In Holy Quran, Allah Almighty says:
وَسِيقَ ٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّقَوْا۟ رَبَّهُمْ إِلَى ٱلْجَنَّةِ زُمَرًا ۖ حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا جَآءُوهَا وَفُتِحَتْ أَبْوَٰبُهَا وَقَالَ لَهُمْ خَزَنَتُهَا سَلَٰمٌ عَلَيْكُمْ طِبْتُمْ فَٱدْخُلُوهَا خَٰلِدِينَ
“Then, those that feared their Lord shall be driven in companies into Paradise. When they draw near, its gates will be opened, and its keepers will say to them: “Salaamu ‘Alaikum,” you have done well. Enter and live in it forever.” (Quran, 39:73).
From this verse of the Noble Quran, we can say that salaam is the greeting of the people of Jannah.
- Salaam is a prayer of peace and blessings.