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Importance of Giving Salaams

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Written by Moulana Yusuf Motala

Introduction

All praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds and peace and blessing be upon the best of creation who was sent down as a mercy for the worlds His beloved Prophet Muhammad Peace & Blessings Be Upon Him. Here we present a compilation of virtues of the Islamic greeting, Salaam 

Offering Salaam Is An Islamic Duty

It has been narrated from Hazrat Ali May Allah be pleased with himthat the Rasullah Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himsaid, "Commonly in Islam there are six rights of a Muslim upon a Muslim: when he meets him he should give him salaam; when he invites him (to a meal) he should accept it; when he sneezes he should bless him; when he falls ill he should visit him; when he dies he should accompany his funeral and he should prefer for him that which he prefers for himself." 

 Replying To Salaam Is A Duty Of A Muslim

Nasai narrates from Hazrat Abu Hurairah May Allah be pleased with himthat the Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himsaid, "There are rights of a Muslim over a Muslim: Responding to salaam, visiting the sick, following the bier (A platform upon which the corpse rests), accepting an invitation (to a meal) and blessing a person who sneezes." 

This narration has been narrated in Sahih Muslim in these words, "There are six rights upon a Muslim". The Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himwas asked, "What are these O’ Prophet of Allah?" The Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himreplied, "When you meet him, give him salaam, when he invites you, (to a meal) accept it, when he seeks counseling from you give him counseling and when he sneezes and says Alhamdulillah, bless him, when he falls ill visit him and when he dies accompany his funeral." 

Warning Upon Not Replying To The Salaam

It has been narrated from Abdur Rahmaan ibn Shayba; he says the Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himsaid, "A rider should give salaam to a walking person, a walking person should give salaam to a seated person, a small group should give salaam to a larger group, whoever then responds to salaam, it is for his benefit, and he who does not respond to salaam, is not from amongst us." Ibn Sunni has narrated this and also Imam Bukhari in his book Al Adabul Mufrad. On these bases Allama Nawawi in his commentary of Sahih Muslim has said, "To commence salaam is Sunnah and to reply is Wajib." Similarly Hafiz ibn Abdul Bar says, "It is an unanimous agreement of the Muslims that to commence Salaam is Sunnah and to reply is Wajib." 

The Virtue of Commencing Salaam

It has been narrated by Abu Umamah that the Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himsaid, "Whoever commences Salaam is very close to Allah and His Messenger Muhammad (Peace & Blessings Be Upon Him)" Ibn Sunni has narrated this. 

In Imaam Ahmad’s narration there is, "The closest to Allah, the most glorious and eminent one, from amongst all the people is the one who commences salaam." 

Similarly Tabrani narrates from Abu Darda, who says that we asked the Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Him, "O Prophet of Allah, we meet each other, so who from amongst us should give salaam first?" The Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himreplied, "The one who is the most obedient to Allah from amongst you." 

Reward For Giving Salaam

It has been narrated by Saalim that the Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himsaid, "He who says Assalaamu Alaikum (Peace be upon you) ten rewards are written down for him, and he who says Assalaamu Alaikum wa rahmatullah (Peace be upon you and Allah’s mercy) for him twenty rewards are written down and he who says Assalaamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh (Peace be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessing) thirty rewards are written down (for him)." 

In support of this Hadeeth we find a narration by Ibn Umar in Musannaf-Abdul-Razzak; It has been narrated in this Hadeeth that a person came in the presence of the Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himand said, "Assalamu Alaikum." The Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himreplied, "Ten." Then a second Sahabi came and said, "Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullah." The Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himreplied, "Twenty." Then a third Sahabi arrived and said, "Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh." Upon this the Holy ProphetPeace & Blessings Be Upon Himsaid, "Thirty." That is to say upon three words thirty rewards will be written down. 

What is Salaam?

Imam Baihaqi narrates in discontinuation from Ibne Abbas, that As-Salaam is amongst Allah’s names and also this is the greeting of the dwellers of Paradise. 

Imaam Bukhari in his Al-Adabul-Mufrad narrates from Hazrat Anas that the Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himsaid, "As-salaam is indeed a name from the names of Allah, which Allah has placed upon the Earth, therefore spread salaam amongst yourselves in abundance." 

The Manner of giving Salaam

Abu Yala narrates from Hazrat Abu Hurairah May Allah be pleased with himthat the Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himsaid, "When anyone of you decides to offer salaam he should say ‘Assalaamu Alaikum’, because Allah, the most Glorious and Eminent one is As-salaam, for this reason do not commence with anything before saying Allah’s name." 

Conduct With The Person Who Does Not Say Salaam

It has been narrated from Ibn Umar, that the Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himsaid, "He who speaks without firstly giving salaam, then do not answer him (to what he has to say)." 

Spread Salaam

Hazrat Abdullah ibn Salaam says, "When the Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himarrived in Madinah, the people lost no time in arriving in the presence of the Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Him. I was amongst the people who had arrived to see him. When I looked with thoughtfulness at the Holy Prophet’s Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himradiant face, I realized with certainty that this is no face of a liar." 

Abdullah ibn Salaam says, "The very first thing which I heard the Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himsay was, ‘O’ People, spread salaam and feed the people, keep good relations with your kith and kin and at nightfall engage yourself in salaah while others are asleep, for you will enter Paradise safely." 

In Mu’atta, Tufail ibn Abi Shayba regarding Ibn Umar radiyallahu anhuma says that one day when I came to Abdullah ibn Umar, he asked me to go to the market (with him). I asked, "What are you going to do in the market? You do not go to any salesman, or ask about any goods or its price nor do you want to sit in any market gatherings, so stay here with us, we will talk here." 

Abdullah ibn Umar then said, "O Abu Battan, (he called him Abu Battan because Tufail ibn Abi had a large stomach) we are going to the market for the cause of giving salaam." 

Similarly Ibn Sunni has narrated about Abu Imaam Baa’ali that he said to Muhammad ibn Ziyaad, "O my nephew the Holy ProphetPeace & Blessings Be Upon Himhas commanded us that we spread salaam." 

A Rider Should Give Salaam To A Walking Person

It has been narrated by Fudhala ibn Ubaid that the Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himsaid, "A rider should give salaam to a walking person, a walking person should give salaam to a standing person and a small group of people should give salaam to a larger group." 

Similarly it has been narrated by Hazrat Jabir May Allah be pleased with himthat the Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himsaid, "An elder person should give salaam to a younger one, one person should give salaam to two, a small group of people should give salaam to a larger one, a rider should give salaam to a walking person, a passer-by should give salaam to a standing person and a person who is standing should give salaam to a seated person." 

Likewise it has been narrated by Abu Hurairah May Allah be pleased with himthat the Holy ProphetPeace & Blessings Be Upon Himsaid, "A rider should give salaam to a walking person and a walking person should give salaam to a seated person and when a small group of people pass by a larger group they (the smaller group) should give salaam." 

Similarly it has been narrated by Jabir May Allah be pleased with himthat the Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himsaid, "A rider should give salaam to a walking person and a walking person should give salaam to a seated person, but if two walking persons meet each other, then whoever commences salaam first from the two, is superior." 

Similarly it is narrated by Hazrat Abu Hurairah May Allah be pleased with himhe the Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himsaid, "A younger person should give salaam to an elder person, a by-passer to a seated person and a small group of people to a larger group." 

Giving And Replying To Salaam From One Person Is Sufficient

It has been narrated by Hazrat Ali that the Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himsaid, "The salaam of a person, from a passing group of people, will be sufficient on behalf of all the group, likewise if one person from those who are seated replies to the salaam, it will be sufficient on behalf of all the rest." 

Giving Salaam To The Children

In Sunan-e-Abu Dawood, it has been narrated by Hazrat Anas May Allah be pleased with himthat, "The Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himcame by us at the time when I was a child together with other children and greeted us all with salaam. Then the Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himtook hold of my hand and sent me on an errand (with a message). The Holy ProphetPeace & Blessings Be Upon Himwas waiting in the shade of a wall until my return." 

Similarly Imaam Muslim, Imaam Ahmad, Imaam Tirmidhi and Imaam Darami narrate from Hazrat Yasaar May Allah be pleased with himthat he said, "I was walking with Thabit Binai when he passed by some children. He conveyed salaam to them, and began to say that once he was walking with Hazrat Anas May Allah be pleased with himand when he passed by some children he also greeted them with salaam. Hazrat Anas then narrated a Hadeeth, that he was walking with the Holy ProphetPeace & Blessings Be Upon Himand when they passed by some children, the Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himgreeted them with salaam." 

Similarly Imaam Nasai narrates from Hazrat Anas May Allah be pleased with himthat when the Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Him would set out to meet the Ansaar, he would greet their children with salaam, and would place his blessed hands upon the children’s heads and make dua for them. 

Similarly Imaam Bukhari and Ibn Sunni narrate that Hazrat Anas has related that the Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himsuddenly came upon some women, children and some servants who were returning from a wedding. The Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himgave salaam to them and said, "In the name of Allah, I love you all." 

The Correct Words Of Salaam

Abu Tameema narrates from a Sahabi who reported, "I said ‘Alaikas Salaam (Upon you be peace) O’ Messenger of Allah." 

The Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himsaid, "Alaikas Salaam are the words of the deceased person’s salaam. When one of you meets his fellow brother, he should say Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah." 

The Manner Of Greeting The Dead In The Grave Yard

It has been narrated by Hazrat Abu Huraira that the Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himcame towards the cemetery and said, "Alaikas Salaam (Upon you be peace), O’ people of this abode, from amongst the believers, verily, if Allah wishes, we are going to join you in a short while." 

In another narration it has been narrated thus, that when the Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himpassed by the graves, he would say, "Salaam be upon you, O’ people of this abode from the believing men and believing women, Muslim men, Muslim women, pious men, pious women, indeed if Allah wishes, we will join you." 

The first narration has been narrated by Imaam Abu Dawood and the second narration has been narrated by Allama Suyuti in his book Jaame-us-Sageer. 

Giving Salaam To The People Of A Gathering

It has been narrated by Hazrat Abu Huraira that the Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himsaid, "If any one of you enters any gathering, he should give salaam. He should then remain seated to that extent he has in his mind, and when he decides to return, he should again give salaam. The reason being that the first salaam is not more rightful than the second, that is, he gives the first salaam and not the second." This narration has been narrated by Imaam Abu Dawood, Imaam Tirmizi and Ibne Sunni. 

Reply To A Third Person’s Salaam

A person from (the tribe of) Banu Tameem narrates from his father who narrates from his paternal grandfather that he arrived in the presence of the Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himand said, "My father sends salaam upon you." 

The Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himreplied, "Wa Alaika Wa’alaa Abeekas Salaam (Peace be upon you and your father)." Imaam Abu Dawood, Nasai and Ibn Sunni have narrated this. 

Similarly it has been narrated by Hazrat Aisha radiyallahu anha that the Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himsaid, "Jibraeel sends salaam upon you." 

Hazrat AishaMay Allah be pleased with him replied, "Wa Alaihis Salaam Wa Rahmatullahi Wabarakatuh (Peace be upon him and Allah’s mercy and blessings). You (O’ Prophet) can see things which we cannot." 

Similarly Imaam Bukhari and Imaam Muslim have related Abu Huraira’s narration, he says, Jibraeel the trustworthy arrived in the presence of the Noble Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himand said, "This is Khadija, who is coming, she has with her a utensil in which there is curry (or he said food, or drink). When she arrives give, her salaam from her sustainer and myself, and give her glad tidings of a house in Paradise which will be hollow in which there will be no loud noise (din) nor weariness." 

Ibne Sunni has narrated this narration in more detail. It is narrated by Amr bin Wahb that Hazrat Khadija set out in search of the Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himin the upper part of Makkah Mukarrama. Hazrat Khadija had the Holy Prophet’sPeace & Blessings Be Upon Himfood with her. Jibraeel the trustworthy met Hazrat KhadijaMay Allah be pleased with him in the form of a man and questioned her regarding the Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Him. Hazrat Khadija began to tremble and thought that, probably he is from those who are out to harm the Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Him

Hazrat Khadija May Allah be pleased with himmentioned this incident to the Holy ProphetPeace & Blessings Be Upon Him. The Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himreplied that he was Jibraeel the trustworthy. He has informed me that he has met you and he has also told me that you have food with you and that is Hees (a sweet dish). Hazrat Jibraeel the trustworthy has said, "Give salaam to Khadija from Allah the most glorious and eminent one, and give her glad tidings of a house in Paradise which will be hollow in which they will no loud noise (din) nor weariness." 

Hazrat KhadijaMay Allah be pleased with him said, "Allah the exalted is Himself As-Salaam (The Giver of peace) and peace comes from Him, Salaam be upon Jibraeel, he is the messenger of Allah. Salaam be upon you and salaam be upon all those who are listening but Shaitan. 

O’ Prophet of Allah, what is the hollow house in Paradise wherein they will be no loud noise (din) nor weariness?" 

The Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himreplied, "It will be a secure house made out of pearl." 

Giving Salaam Even After A Short Separation

It has been narrated by Anas May Allah be pleased with himthat the companions of the Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himwould walk together and when a tree would come in their way they would separate towards the left and right. Then on meeting each other, one of them would greet the other with salaam. 

Salaam Upon The Noble Prophet Sallallahu Alaihe Wasallam At The Time Of Entering A Masjid.

Hazrat Abu Huraira May Allah be pleased with himnarrates the saying of the Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Him, "When anyone amongst you enters a Masjid" or he said, "When anyone amongst you arrives at a Masjid, he should send salaam upon the Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himand say, ‘Allahumma aftahli abwaba rahmatik’, (O Allah, open the doors of your mercy for me) and when he comes out of the Masjid he should also then send salaam upon the Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himand say, ‘Allahumma a’ithni min ash-shaytaan ir-rajee’ (O Allah give me refuge from the accursed Shaytaan). In the narration of Ibn Majah these words have been narrated, ‘Bismillahi was-salaamu ala rasullullahi’ (I begin in the name of Allah, Salaam be upon Allah’s Messenger)." 

The Virtue Of Giving Salaam In One’s Own Home And Then Setting Out

It has been narrated by Abu Umamah Al Ba’ali from the Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himthat he said, "There is no one like he who performs wudhu thoroughly and then washes both his hands, feet and face, then gargles his mouth and performs his wudhu in the manner in which Allah has commanded him but sins which he has committed by talking or walking towards are wiped away, such that sins committed by his limbs are forgiven. When he walks towards the Masjid he gets one reward for every step he takes. His salaah remains an extra bonus for him, that is when he enters upon his family, greets them with salaam and lies down upon his bed, for him is the reward of a full nights worship." 

Likewise it has been narrated by Abu Umamah al-Ba’ali that the Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himsaid, "They are three people under the care of Allah the most glorious and eminent one; one who goes out in the path of Allah as a Muslim soldier is in the care of Allah until Allah takes his soul away. He will be entered into paradise or Allah will return him with reward and booty which he has gained. The second person who is also in the care of Allah until Allah takes his soul away, is he who walks towards the Masjid. Allah will enter him into Paradise or make him return, giving him reward and booty which he has gained. The third person who is in the care of Allah is he who enters his own home and gives salaam." Ibn Sunni has mentioned both of these narrations. 

Imaam Bukhari in his book Al-Adabul Mufrad has mentioned a narration, "There are three types of people who are all in all in the care of Allah. If they stay alive they will find a life of sufficiency and if they pass away they will enter Paradise. One is he who enters his own home by giving salaam, is in the care of Allah the most glorious and eminent one. The second person who is in the care of Allah the most glorious and eminent one is he who goes out towards the Masajid. The third person who is in the care of Allah, is he who goes out in the path of Allah." 

Also Ibn Sunni relates a narration of Abu Huraira that he said, "It is the saying of the Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Him that definitely there is an illumination and light for Islam, like a pathway which is well lit. That a Muslim should worship Allah and must not associate anything with him. He must carry out Fardh Salaah, give Zakaah, perform Hajj of Baitullah, keep the fast of the auspicious month of Ramadan and enjoin right conduct and forbid indecency. To give salaam to your household when you enter upon them, and to give salaam upon those Muslims you pass by. If they reply to your salaam then the angels will return salaam upon them and if they do not answer to your salaam, the angels will reply to your salaam, and curse them or they will stay quiet with them. Whoever has let go of one of the above mentioned then he has let go of a part of Islam and whoever throws them all away has thrown Islam behind his back." 

Likewise a narration of Sahih Muslim is narrated from Miqdad ibn Aswad May Allah be pleased with him, he says we three companions arrived in the presence of the Holy ProphetPeace & Blessings Be Upon HimThen the Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himtook us to his household (family), there were three goats there. He (The Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Him) told the three of us to take the milk and distribute it amongst ourselves whenever we needed it. Miqdad May Allah be pleased with himsays, "We obeyed the command and would leave a portion for the Holy ProphetPeace & Blessings Be Upon Him." Hazrat Miqdad May Allah be pleased with himsays that the Holy Prophet Peace & Blessings Be Upon Himwould come at night and would give salaam in such a manner that it would not wake a sleeping person but would be heard by a person who was awake. Then he would go to the Masjid to pray his salaah and then would drink his own portion. 

source: Darul Uloom Bury, United Kingdom http://www.inter-islam.org/

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