Wednesday 11 October 2023

Etiquettes of Greeting (Hadith Prophet Muhammad ﷺ)

The word "Islam" literary means peace. That is religion is embodiment of peace and Allah commands its servants not only to be peaceful but also exhibits peace to others so that entire surroundings beam with a feeling of tranquility, love for others in the overall ambit of peace. That is another thing that the media in general portrays an otherwise face of Islam in the garb of Islamophobia and terrorism.

We have shared many a reference s from Qur'an and Hadiths attributed to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ that ask believers to exhibit peace by respecting and loving others. And how do we do it? The very greeting of Muslims "As-salām u ʿalaykum (ٱلسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ)", instead of mere good morning or simply Hi, means peace be upon you. The complete phrase is as-salāmu ʿalaykum wa-raḥmatu -llāhi wa-barakātuhū (ٱلسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ ٱللَّٰهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ, that is 'Peace be upon you, as well as the mercy of God and His blessings'.

And once someone has been greeted, he is bound to reply: Wa ʿalaykumu as-salam (وَعَلَيْكُم ٱلسَّلَامُ), that is "peace be upon you - too."  Rather it is much better to pronounce the complete return greeting as "Wa ʿalaykumu as-salāmu wa-raḥmatu -llāhi wa-barakātuhū" (وَعَلَيْكُمُ ٱلسَّلَامُ وَرَحْمَةُ ٱللَّٰهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ, "And upon you be peace, as well as the mercy of God and his blessings").

Now who should take the lead to greet another person? The etiquette is mentioned in a Hadith as mentioned in Sahi al-Bukhārī  (Book 79 - Asking Permission /  كتاب الاستئذان / Chapter 78: The younger person should greet the older one / باب  تَسْلِيمِ الصَّغِيرِ عَلَى الْكَبِيرِ) as Hadith 6234, given herein under:

Narrated by Abu Huraira:
Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, "The younger person should greet the older one, and the walking person should greet the sitting one, and the small number of persons should greet the large number of persons."

Arabic Text:
وَقَالَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ عَنْ مُوسَى بْنِ عُقْبَةَ، عَنْ صَفْوَانَ بْنِ سُلَيْمٍ، عَنْ عَطَاءِ بْنِ يَسَارٍ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ "‏ يُسَلِّمُ الصَّغِيرُ عَلَى الْكَبِيرِ، وَالْمَارُّ عَلَى الْقَاعِدِ، وَالْقَلِيلُ عَلَى الْكَثِيرِ ‏"‏‏.‏

The Prophetic explanation of the etiquette of greeting makes it simple and prevents any doubt in the mind of anyone as to how to greet the other. We should try to emulate the Prophetic guidance and greet others, even if the person greeted upon is a non-Muslim, for it would yield a positive effect on the recipient. In fact, the term "ٱلسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ ٱللَّٰهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ" has become so common around the world that even many non-Muslims too greet the Muslims with this Islamic phrase. 
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

You may refer to our reference page:  Etiquettes attributed to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ   for more etiquettes as taught to us by Prophet Muhammad ﷺ

Please also refer to our reference page: Sunnah and Hadith of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to know more about sunnah / Hadith of Prophet of Allah. You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.

Disclaimer: The material for this post has been collected from the references as given below. If anyone differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.

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