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Excellence of Assalamu Alaikum Greetings | Riyad-us-Saliheen

Assalamu Alaikum is a beautiful Muslim greeting that holds deep respect in Islamic culture. This expression, which translates to “Peace be upon you”, is not only used as a formal or informal address but also carries immense spiritual and social value. In this article, we'll explore why Assalamu Alaikum continues to be important and meaningful today. 

What does the Quran say about greetings?

Allah says in whats translated:

O believers! Do not enter any house other than your own until you have asked for permission and greeted its occupants. This is best for you, so perhaps you will be mindful. (The Clear Qur'an 24:27)

There is no restriction on the blind, or the disabled, or the sick. Nor on yourselves if you eat from your homes, or the homes of your fathers, or your mothers, or your brothers, or your sisters, or your paternal uncles, or your paternal aunts, or your maternal uncles, or your maternal aunts, or from the homes in your trust, or ˹the homes of˺ your friends.

There is no blame on you eating together or separately. However, when you enter houses, greet one another with a greeting ˹of peace˺ from Allah, blessed and good. This is how Allah makes His revelations clear to you, so perhaps you will understand. (The Clear Qur'an 24:61)

(When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it, or (at least) return it equally.)The Clear Qur'an 4:86)
Has the story of Abraham’s honoured guests reached you ˹O Prophet˺?˹Remember˺ when they entered his presence and greeted ˹him with˺, “Salam!” He replied, “Assalamu Alaikum˺!” ˹Then he said to himself,˺ “˹These are˺ an unfamiliar people.” (The Clear Qur'an 51:24,25)

The Book of Greetings Riyad-us-Saliheen

(When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it, or (at least) return it equally.) meaning, if the Muslim greets you with the Salam, then return the greeting with a better Salam, or at least equal to the Salam that was given.

Therefore, the better Salam is recommended, while returning it equally is an obligation. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Raja' Al-`Utaridi said that `Imran bin Husayn said that a man came to the Messenger of Allah and said, "As-Salamu `Alaykum".

The Prophet returned the greeting, and after the man sat down he said, "Ten." Another man came and said, "As-Salamu `Alaykum wa Rahmatullah, O Allah's Messenger." The Prophet returned the greeting, and after the man sat down he said, "Twenty."

Read Collection From Riyad-us-Saliheen With Commentary

Then another man came and said, "As-Salamu `Alaykum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuh." The Prophet returned the greeting, and after the man sat down he said, "Thirty."

This is the narration recorded by Abu Dawud. At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa'i and Al-Bazzar also recorded it. At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Gharib". There are several other Hadiths on this subject from Abu Sa`id, `Ali, and Sahl bin Hanif.

When the Muslim is greeted with the full form of Salam, he is obliged to return the greeting equally. As for Ahl Adh-Dhimmah the Salam should not be initiated nor should the greeting be added to when returning their greeting. Rather, as recorded in the Two Sahihs their greeting is returned to them equally.

Abdullah bin Salam reported: I heard Allah's Messenger (pbuh) saying' "O people, exchange greetings of peace (i.e, say: Assalamu Alaikum to one another), feed people, strengthen the ties of kinshship, and be in prayer when others are asleep, you will enter Jannah in peace." {At-Tirmidhi - Hasan sahih}

Assalamu Alaikum Expresses Respect and Friendship among Muslims Across the Globe.

Assalamu Alaikum is not only a respectful way to interact with fellow Muslims but also a universal sign of brotherhood between all followers of the Islamic faith.

When people meet each other by saying Assalamu Alaikum they are affirming each other’s dignity and expressing their friendship and goodwill.

By using this phrase, Muslims honor one another regardless of race or class, as it is seen as equality among members of the global Ummah (community).

The phrase also serves to remind all believers that Allah is always with us, watchful and merciful when we strive for peace and solidarity.

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