At present in our society it is a common occurrence where we greet people with a ‘Hey’ or a wink, a smile, a nod and sometimes just a look with raised eyebrows. Unfortunately, we have forgotten the etiquette of greeting each other with Salaam.
Whether it was this situation ‘A few weeks ago a middle aged lady went past me, I smiled at her and said السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ and she merely looked at me and walked on’ or ‘a long lost friend who saw me after eons commenting on my physique in a negative way’, both these scenarios are one of many I and many others have faced time and time again and it leaves those enduring with a feeling of aversion.
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, Allah is ever, over all things, an Accountant. (Surah An-Nisa (4:86)
From the above verse we can infer that if we are greeted with السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ a suitable reply would be وَ عَلَيْكُمُ الَسَّلَامُ although, a more appropriate reply would be وَ عَلَيْكُمُ الَسَّلَامُ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ or وَ عَلَيْكُمُ الَسَّلَامُ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَاتُه
If we are greeted with السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ then a suitable reply would be وَ عَلَيْكُمُ الَسَّلَامُ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ although, a more appropriate reply would be وَ عَلَيْكُمُ الَسَّلَامُ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَاتُه
السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ means ‘May the peace of Allah be upon you’. السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ means ‘May the peace and mercy of Allah be upon you’. السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَاتُه means ‘May the peace, mercy and blessing of Allah be upon you’.
Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: Six are the rights of a Muslim over another Muslim. It was said to him: Allah's Messenger, what are these? Thereupon he said: When you meet him, offer him greetings; when he invites you to a feast accept it. when he seeks your council give him, and when he sneezes and says:" All praise is due to Allah," you say Yarhamuk Allah (May Allah show mercy to you); and when he fails ill visit him; and when he dies follow his bier. (Sahih Muslim 2162 b/ Book 26, Hadith 5379)
When we meet people more often than not we tend to only greet those we know, however, from the above hadith we can conclude that we should be greeting not only those we know but those we do not know as well. Let us all engage in this act today lest it fades away into nothingness tomorrow.
May this piece of writing serve as a reminder for me and you so that we may greet each other with Salam. For, it surely reinforces feeling of positivity, strengthens faith and the ties of kinship and friendship, whereby allowing love to grow deep and peace to spread amongst us.