10 Sunan and Etiquettes of Salam (Greeting)

February 22,2018 - Published 2 years ago

10 Sunan and Etiquettes of Salam (Greeting)

Greeting a Muslim brother (Paying Salam) is a sweet Sunnah of our Beloved Prophet Muhammad صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ. Unfortunately, this Sunnah seems to be going extinct these days. When Muslim brothers meet one another, instead of greeting each other with السلام علیکم, they utter words like “What’s up? Good Morning! Good Evening! Hello!” etc. Similarly, when departing each other’s company, they say “Good bye! See you!”etc. This practice is contradictory to the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ. So, we should make a habit of greeting each other with the beautiful words of Salam whenever we meet our fellow Muslim brothers and when we leave their company. In this respect, here are a few Sunan and manners of paying Salam:

1. The best words of Salam are, “السلام علیکم ورحمۃ اللہ وبرکاتہ” which means “Peace be upon you and may the mercy and blessings of Allah be showered upon you!”

2. The one who has been greeted with Salam should reply with better words. Almighty Allah states in the Holy Quran Pak:

وَإِذَا حُيِّيتُمْ بِتَحِيَّةٍ فَحَيُّوا بِأَحْسَنَ مِنْهَا أَوْ رُدُّوهَا

“And when you are greeted with some words, greet back with words better than it or with the same”

(Nisa 4:86)

The best words for replying to a Salam are the following:

وعلیکم السلام ورحمۃ اللہ وبرکاتہ

“And peace be upon you too and may the mercy and blessings of Allah be showered upon you!

3. Paying Salam is also a Sunnah of Sayyiduna Adam عَلَیْہِ السَّلَام. Sayyiduna Abu Hurairah رَضِیَ اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَنْہ reports that the Noble Messenger صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ said:

فَلَمَّا خَلَقَهُ قَالَ اذْهَبْ فَسَلِّمْ عَلَى أُولَئِكَ النَّفَرِ مِنَ الْمَلاَئِكَةِ جُلُوسٌ، فَاسْتَمِعْ مَا يُحَيُّونَكَ، فَإِنَّهَا تَحِيَّتُكَ وَتَحِيَّةُ ذُرِّيَّتِكَ‏.‏ فَقَالَ السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ‏.‏ فَقَالُوا السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ وَرَحْمَةُ اللَّهِ‏.‏ فَزَادُوهُ وَرَحْمَةُ اللَّهِ.

When Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ created Adam عَلَیْہِ السَّلَام, He said to him, "Go and greet that group of angels sitting there, and listen to what they say in reply to you, for that will be your greeting and the greeting of your offspring.” Adam عَلَیْہِ السَّلَام said, “السلام علیکم They replied, “السلام علیک ورحمۃ اللہ”. So they increased “ورحمۃ اللہ”.

(Bukhari)

4. People generally think that only “السلام علیکم” are the words of Salam, but there are some other words also which are considered Salam by Shariah. For example, if someone comes and says, “Salam”, then this is also considered Salam. And if someone replies to a Salam with the word “Salam” or says “السلام علیکم” or only “وَعَلیکم”, then this is also accepted reply.

5. Paying Salam to one another creates mutual love. Sayyiduna Abu Hurairah رَضِیَ اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَنْہ narrates that the Holy Prophet صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ said:

لاَ تَدْخُلُوا الْجَنَّةَ حَتَّى تُؤْمِنُوا وَلاَ تُؤْمِنُوا حَتَّى تَحَابُّوا أَفَلاَ أَدُلُّكُمْ عَلَى أَمْرٍ إِذَا فَعَلْتُمُوهُ تَحَابَبْتُمْ أَفْشُوا السَّلاَمَ بَيْنَكُمْ.

“You will not enter Paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another. Should I not guide you to something doing which you will love one another: spread out Salam among you.”

(Abu Dawood)

6. We should pay Salam to every Muslim brother whether we know him or not. Sayyiduna Abdullah Bin Amr Bin Al-Aas رَضِیَ اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَنْہُمَا narrates:

أَنَّ رَجُلاً، سَأَلَ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَىُّ الإِسْلاَمِ خَيْرٌ قَالَ ‏‏ تُطْعِمُ الطَّعَامَ، وَتَقْرَأُ السَّلاَمَ عَلَى مَنْ عَرَفْتَ، وَعَلَى مَنْ لَمْ تَعْرِفْ.

Someone humbly asked in the court of the Noble Messenger صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ"What Islamic traits are the best?" The Prophet صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ said, "Feed the poor, and greet those whom you know and those whom you do not know.”

(Bukhari)

We learn from the aforementioned Hadith that whenever we go somewhere, ride a bus, visit a hospital, enter a restaurant where Muslims are sitting not doing anything, wherever we find a gathering of Muslims, we should pay Salam to them. These two words are quite light on the tongue but they carry immense blessings and benefits in the world and the hereafter.


7. Some of the blessed companions of the Holy Prophet صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ used to visit the market only to pay Salam. Sayyiduna Tufail Bin Ubayi Bin Ka’b رَضِیَ اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَنْہ reports that when he would go to visit Sayyiduna Abdullah Bin Umar رَضِیَ اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَنْہُم, he would take him to the market. The narrator further states: When we would start walking, Sayyiduna Abdullah رَضِیَ اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَنْہ would pay Salam to every junk dealer, shopkeeper or poor person that he passed by. Sayyiduna Tufail رَضِیَ اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَنْہ says: One day, I went to Sayyiduna Abdullah and he asked me to accompany him to the market. I said: What is your business at the market? You neither stop at any shop for purchasing nor do you ask about any goods, nor bargain nor sit in the market gatherings. I humbly request you to stay right here with us and we will talk. He replied, “We go there only for the purpose of paying Salam; we pay Salam to whomever we meet.”

(Riyad Al-Saliheen)

8. We should make it a habit to say Salam before starting a conversation. The Beloved Prophet صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ said:

السَّلَامُ قَبْلَ الکَلَامِ

“Salam is before the conversation”

(Jami Al-Tirmidhi)

9. The young should say Salam to the old, the pedestrian to the one who is seated, a small group to a large group and the rider to the pedestrian. The Holy Prophet صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ said:

“The rider should first greet the pedestrian, the pedestrian the one who is seated, a small group a larger group and the young should greet the old.”

(Muslim)

10. When you enter your home, pay Salam to the residents of the house. This causes blessings to enter the house. If you enter an empty house, say “السلام علیک ایھا النبی”. It means, “Peace be upon you O Prophet!” Sayyiduna Mulla Ali Qari رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہ says: The blessed soul of the Noble Prophet صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ resides in the house of every believer.”

(Sharh-ul-Shifa)

Sayyiduna Anas رَضِیَ اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَنْہ narrates that the Holy Prophet صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ said: O son! When you enter your house, say Salam as it will be a cause of Barakah (blessings) for you and your family. Make sure to say Salam when you enter the house and also when you leave the house. Sayyiduna Qatada رَضِیَ اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَنْہ narrates that the Holy Prophet صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ said: “Greet your family with Salam when you enter the house, and when you leave the house, leave your family with Salam.”

(Mishkaat)

May Almighty Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ enable us to reap the blessings of this beautiful Sunnah of the Holy Prophet صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ and spread Salam amongst our Muslim brothers!

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