Firstly to say Salam alaikum to another Muslim is the correct way to great a Muslim. In answer, we should either greet with an equal greating such as wa alaikum salam or with a better (sweeter) greeting, such as wa alaikum ma salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu. “When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it, or (at least) return it equally”
How to say and return Salams
CAN YOU TELL ME A DETAIL INFORMATION ON THE IMPORTANCE OF SAYING SALAAM AND SAYING WAALAIKUM-AS-SALAAM
Praise be to Allaah.
All people have the custom of greeting one another, and every group has its own distinctive greeting that distinguishes them from other people.
The Arabs used to greet one another with the words “An’im sabaahan” or “An’imu sabaahan” [equivalent to “Good morning” – Translator], using words derived from “al-ni’mah”, which means good living after the morning. The idea was that because the morning is the first part of the day, if a person encounters something good in the morning, the rest of the day will be good too.
When Islam came, Allaah prescribed that the manner of greeting among Muslims should be “Al-salaamu alaykum,” and that this greeting should only be used among Muslims and not for other nations. The meaning of salaam (literally, peace) is harmlessness, safety and protection from evil and from faults. The name al-Salaam is a Name of Allaah, may He be exalted, so the meaning of the greeting of salaam which is required among Muslims is, “May the blessing of His Name descend upon you.” The usage of the preposition ‘ala in ‘alaykum (upon you) indicates that the greeting is inclusive.
Ibn al-Qayyim said in Badaa’i' al-Fawaa’id (144):
“Allaah, the Sovereign, the Most Holy, the Peace, prescribed that the greeting among the people of Islam should be ‘al-salaamu ‘alaykum’, which is better than all the greetings of other nations which include impossible ideas or lies, such as saying, ‘May you live for a thousand years,’ or things that are not accurate, such as ‘An’im sabaahan (Good morning),’ or actions that are not right, such as prostrating in greeting. Thus the greeting of salaam is better than all of these, because it has the meaning of safety which is life, without which nothing else can be achieved. So this takes precedence over all other aims or objectives. A person has two main aims in life: to keep himself safe from evil, and to get something good. Keeping safe from evil takes precedence over getting something good…”
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) made spreading salaam a part of faith. Al-Bukhaari (12, 28 and 6236), Muslim (39), Ahmad (2/169), Abu Dawood (5494), al-Nisaa’i, (8/107) and Ibn Hibbaan (505) narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar that a man asked the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “What is the best thing in Islam?” He said, “Feeding others and giving the greeting of salaam to those whom you know and those whom you do not know.”
Ibn Hajar said in al-Fath (1/56):
“i.e., do not single out anybody out of arrogance or to impress them, but do it to honour the symbols of Islam and to foster Islamic brotherhood.”
Ibn Rajab said in al-Fath (1/43):
“The hadeeth makes the connection between feeding others and spreading salaam because this combines good actions in both word and deed, which is perfect good treatment (ihsaan). Indeed, this is the best thing that you can do in Islam after the obligatory duties.”
Al-Sanoosi said in Ikmaal al-Mu’allim (1/244):
“What is meant by salaam is the greeting between people, which sows seeds of love and friendship in their hearts, as does giving food. There may be some weakness in the heart of one of them, which is dispelled when he is greeted, or there may be some hostility, which is turned to friendship by the greeting.”
Al-Qaadi said in Ikmaal al-Mu’allim (1:276):
“Here the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was urging the believers to soften their hearts. The best Islamic attitude is to love one another and greet one another, and this is achieved by words and deeds. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) urged the Muslims to foster love between one another by exchanging gifts and food, and by spreading salaam, and he forbade the opposite, namely forsaking one another, turning away from one another, spying on one another, seeking out information about one another, stirring up trouble and being two faced.
Love is one of the duties of Islam and one of the pillars of the Islamic system. One should give salaams to those whom one knows and those whom one does not know, out of sincerity towards Allaah; one should not try to impress other people by giving salaams only to those whom one knows and no-one else. This also entails an attitude of humility and spreading the symbols of this ummah through the word of salaam.”
Thus the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) explained that this salaam spreads love and brotherhood. Muslim (54), Ahmad (2/391), and al-Tirmidhi (2513) narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“You will not enter Paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another. Shall I not tell you about something which, if you do it, you will love one another? Spread salaam amongst yourselves.”
Al-Qaadi ‘Ayaad said in al-Ikmaal (1/304):
“This is urging us to spread salaam, as mentioned above, among those whom we know and those whom we do not know. Salaam is the first level of righteousness and the first quality of brotherhood, and it is the key to creating love. By spreading salaam the Muslims’ love for one another grows stronger and they demonstrate their distinctive symbols and spread a feeling of security amongst themselves. This is the meaning of Islam.”
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) also explained the reward earned by the one who says salaam, as was reported by al-Nisaa’i in ‘Aml al-yawm wa’l-laylah (368) and al-Bukhaari in al-Adab al-Mufrad (586) and by Ibn Hibban (493). They reported from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that a man passed by the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) whilst he was sitting with some others, and said “Salaam ‘alaykum (peace be upon you).” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “[He will have] ten hasanaat (rewards).” Another man passed by and said “Salaam ‘alaykum wa rahmat-Allaah (peace be upon you and the mercy of Allaah).” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “[He will have] twenty hasanaat.” Another man passed by and said “Salaam ‘alaykum wa rahmat-Allaahi wa barakaatuhu (peace be upon you and the mercy of Allaah and His blessings).” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “[He will have] thirty hasanaat.”
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) commanded us to return salaams, and made it a right and a duty. Ahmad (2/540), al-Bukhaari (1240), Muslim (2792), al-Nisaa’i in al-Yawm wa’l-Laylah (221) and Abu Dawood (5031) all reported that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The Muslim has five rights over his fellow-Muslim: he should return his salaams, visit him when he is sick, attend his funeral, accept his invitation, and pray for mercy for him [say “Yarhamuk Allaah”] when he sneezes.”
It is clear that it is obligatory to say salaam and return salaams, because by doing so a Muslim is giving you safety and you have to give him safety in return. It is as if he is saying to you, “I am giving you safety and security,” so you have to give him the same, so that he does not get suspicious or think that the one to whom he has given salaam is betraying him or ignoring him. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told us that if Muslims are ignoring or forsaking one another, this will be put to an end when one of them gives salaam. Al-Bukhaari (6233) reported that Abu Ayyoob (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘It is not permissible for a Muslim to forsake his brother for more than three days, each of them turning away from the other if they meet. The better of them is the first one to say salaam.’”
This is a brief overview of the importance of giving and returning salaam.
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islam-qa.com
To great a non-muslim in answer to him:
Is it permissible for a Muslim to great a non-Muslim first?.
Praise be to Allaah.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about the ruling on greeting non-Muslims. He replied as follows:
Greeting a non-Muslim first is haraam and is not permitted, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do not initiate the greeting with the Jews and Christians, and if you meet them in the street push them towards the narrowest part of it.” But if they greet us we have to respond to them, because of the general meaning of the verse in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it, or (at least) return it equally”
The Jews used to greet the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) by saying, “Al-saam ‘alaykum ya Muhammad (Death be upon you, O Muhammad),” praying that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would die. So the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The Jews say ‘al-saam ‘alaykum (death be upon you),’ so if they greet you, then say, ‘Wa ‘alaykum (and also upon you).’”
If a non-Muslim greets a Muslim by saying “al-saamu ‘alaykum,” then we should respond by saying “wa ‘alaykum (and also upon you).” The fact that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said “wa ‘alaykum” indicates that if they were saying “al-salaamu ‘alaykum (peace be upon you),” then peace will also be upon them, i.e., whatever they say to us, we say to them. Hence some of the scholars said that if a Jew, Christian or other non-Muslim clearly says “al-salaamu ‘alaykum,” it is permissible for us to say “ ‘alaykum al-salaam (upon you be peace).”
Similarly it is not permissible to initiate a greeting such as Ahlan wa sahlan (welcome) and the like, because that is a kind of honouring them. But if they say something like that to us, then we should say something similar to them, because the greeting should be returned in like manner and each person should be given his due. It is well known that the Muslims are higher in status before Allaah, so they should not humiliate themselves in front of non-Muslims by greeting them first.
So, in conclusion, it is not permissible for us to greet non-Muslims first, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade that, and because this is a humiliation for the Muslim when he starts to honour a non-Muslim. The Muslim is higher in status before Allaah, so he should not humiliate himself in this manner. But if we are greeted then we should return the greeting in similar terms.
Similarly it is not permissible for us to greet them first with words such as Ahlan wa sahlan (welcome), Marhaban (hello) and so on, because that is a kind of honouring them, so it is like initiating the greeting of salaams with them. Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 3/33.
If there is a need to greet a kaafir first, there is no sin in that, but it should be something other than the greeting of salaam, such as saying Ahlan wa sahlan or How are you, etc. In that case the greeting is for a reason, not to honour him.
See al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah, 25/168.
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Zaad al-Ma’aad (2/424), concerning greeting a kaafir first:
A group of scholars said: It is permissible to greet him first if that serves a purpose, or for fear of his harm, or because of blood ties, or for a reason that requires that.
And Allaah knows best.
Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com
WHEN A NON-MUSLIM SAYS SALAAM U ALAIKUM(GREETS YOU) HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO RESPOND?
Praise be to Allaah.
Muslim reported in his Saheeh (14/144) from Anas ibn Maalik that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When the People of the Book say salaam to you (greet you by saying al-salaamu alaykum), say ‘Wa ‘alaykum’ (and unto you).’” According to another report, he was asked, “The People of the Book say salaam to us. How should we respond?” He said, “Say, ‘Wa ‘alaykum.’” According to another report (14/164), he said, “When the Jews greet you, they say ‘al-saam ‘alaykum (death be upon you). So say ‘ ‘alayk (upon you).’” According to another report he said, “So say, ‘wa ‘alayk’ (and upon you).” According to another report (14/146) a group of Jews asked for permission to enter upon the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and they said, “Al-saam ‘alaykum (death be upon you).” ‘Aa’ishah said, “Bal ‘alaykum al-saam wa’l-la’nah (No, death be upon you and curses)!” The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “O ‘Aa’ishah, Allaah loves gentleness in all things.” She said, “Did you not hear what they said?” He said, “I answered, ‘Wa ‘alaykum (and unto you).’” According to another report, he said, “I answered, ‘ ‘alaykum’” – without the “waw” (i.e., wa meaning “and”). According to the last hadeeth (14/148), he said, “Do not initiate the greeting of salaam with the Jews and Christians, and if you meet one of them on the road, push him to the narrowest part of it.”
All of these reports were narrated in the Saheeh of Imaam Muslim.
Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in his commentary (14/144-145):
The scholars agree that the greeting of the People of the Book should be returned, if they greet us with salaam, but we should not say to them, “Wa ‘alaykum al-salaam (and upon you be peace).” We should say only “ ‘alaykum (upon you)” or “wa ‘alaykum (and upon you).” Ahaadeeth have been narrated by Muslim both with and without the “wa” (“And”), but most of them include it. On this basis, there are two meanings, one of which is the apparent meaning: if they say “ ‘Alaykum al-mawt (death be upon you)”, then one should say, “Wa ‘alaykum (and also on you)” – meaning that we and you are alike, we are all going to die. The second meaning is that this is a waw that is used to start a new idea or phrase, not to connect it to the previous sentence or to reiterate the same idea. This implies: and upon you be what you deserve of condemnation. The phrase without the wa implies: but rather death should be upon you. Al-Qaadi said: some of the scholars, including Ibn Habeeb al-Maaliki, preferred to use the phrase without the wa, so that it would not have the implication that these people are like the Muslims. Others said that it should be used with the wa as it appears in the majority of reports. Some of them said: he should reply “ ‘alaykum al-silaam (and upon you be stones) – but this is da’eef (weak). Al-Khattaabi said: most of the muhadditheen (scholars of hadeeth) reported it with the wa (wa ‘alaykum), but Ibn ‘Uyaynah reported it without the waw. Al-Khattaabi said: this is what is correct, because if the phrase is used without the waw, this means that what they are saying is returned specifically and exclusively to them, but if the waw is used, it implies commonality with them in what they are saying. This is the view of al-Khattaabi. But the correct view is that it is permissible either to use the waw or omit it, as both have been mentioned in saheeh reports, but including the waw is better, as it appears in most of the reports. There is nothing wrong with that, because al-saam means death, which will come to us and to them, so there is no harm in including the waw. The scholars differed as to returning the greeting of salaam when a kaafir initiates it or initiating the greeting. Our opinion is that it is haraam to initiate the greeting, but we have to return their greeting by saying “Wa ‘alaykum” or just “ ‘alaykum.” Our evidence with regard to initiating the greeting is the hadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), “Do not initiate the greeting with the Jews and Christians” and his command to reply by saying, “Wa ‘alaykum.” What we have mentioned as our madhhab or point of view is also the opinion of most of the scholars and the majority of the salaf… It is permissible to initiate the greeting when addressed to a group composed of both Muslims and kaafirs, or one Muslim and a number of kaafirs, but he should intend the greeting to be directed towards the Muslim(s) among them, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) greeted an assembly that included a mixture of Muslims and mushrikeen.
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islam-qa.com
Meaning of: Subhanahu wa ta'ala
This is an expression that Muslims use whenever the name of Allah is pronounced or written. The meaning of this expression is: "Allah is pure of having partners and He is exalted from having a son."
Muslims believe that Allah is the only God, the Creator of the Universe. He does not have partners or children. Sometimes Muslims use other expressions when the name of Allah is written or pronounced. Some of which are: "'Azza Wa Jall": He is the Mighty and the Majestic; "Jalla Jalaluh": He is the exalted Majestic.
From our own Islamway:http://english.islamway.com/bindex.p...article&id=237
To Befriend or Not to Befriend? THAT is the Question!
The Prophet peace be upon him said: “A person is on the path of his intimate friend, so let each of you look carefully at whom he takes as an intimate friend.”
What is the real meaning of a friend? I’m sure if we ask ourselves this question, not many of us will be able to answer it the correct way. Most people view friends as people who keep your secrets, someone to talk to on the phone, someone you trust, someone whom you can have fun and hang out with. But this kind of friendship is not even close to the kind of friendship mentioned in the Quran.
Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala says: “And the believing men and the believing women are protecting friends to one another. THEY COMMAND WHAT IS RIGHT AND FORBID WHAT IS WRONG AND THEY ESTABLISH THE SALAH AND PRODUCE THE ZAKAH AND THEY OBEY ALLAH AND HIS MESSENGER.” (9:71)
Now what more of a friend do you want than that? Subhan'Allah. The kind of friendship we had in mind is nothing like the friendship Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala wants. “...They command what is right and forbid what is wrong..” Who from our friends do we find doing this? Any? If not few… The kind of friendship I see people having is actually quite the opposite. I see people laugh at the wrong, and ignore what is right.
Rarely if not never, have I seen a friend tell another friend. “Sister/Brother fear Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala for what you are doing is haram.” Just how much do our friends affect us? Here is a hadith to find out…
The Prophet peace be upon him said: “The example of a good friend and a bad friend is like the seller of Musk (perfume) and the blacksmith. If you go to the seller of perfume, you will either leave (happy) buying perfume, or you will leave will the smell of the musk. And If you stand by the blacksmith you will burn your clothes, or you will leave with the *smell of* the stink of his work.”
So when you are with the good friend you will learn from him, or some of his goodness will rub off on you. *leaving you relaxed* While when you are with the bad friend, you will be like him, or you will leave with some of his bad habits. Sadly, we are missing out on the true friendship. But that’s not even the worst part; the worse thing is that most Muslims would rather have the company of non Muslims instead of their brother/sister in Islam. Nevertheless Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala’s advice that we should prefer people of like mind to ourselves over non believers is crystal clear:
“Let not the believers take the unbelievers as Auliya (supporters, friends, helpers) instead of the believers, and whoever does that will never be helped by Allah in any way, except if you indeed fear a danger from them.” (3:2
May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala guide us all.
So as for the believing men and woman who command each other with good, and forbid the bad, they will have a great reward in the hereafter, and they will be thanking each other in Jannah, insha'Allah. But as for the men and woman, whose friendship is only based on worldly matters, those so-called friends who laugh and encourage each other when they do wrong, and take faith as a joke, for them is a painful torment.
Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala warns the Muslims against such friendships… "On the day when the wrongdoer will bite upon his hands (from regret), he will say, ‘O would that I had taken a path with the Messenger, O Woe to me! Would that I had never taken so-and-so as an intimate friend; he certainly lead me astray from the remembrance after it had come to me and Shaytan (Satan) is to man ever a deserter in the hour of need" (25:27-30)
Subhan Allah, they will be the best of friends in this world, but in the hereafter they will be the worst of enemies to each other. In the hellfire, one will call to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala and say "Oh Allah, this person (the friend from the world) took me by my hand to the haram, Ya Allah… Ya Allah… Double his punishment! And curse him with a mighty curse! Subhan Allah!! How painful the hellfire, and yet that person is still wishing it to be worse for his friend (from the world). But then Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala will double BOTH their punishments…
Subhan Allah, see these ‘friends’ they weren’t really friends in the world, and as you can see they won’t be friends in the hereafter. Now it is your turn to decide, you can either command your friends with the good, and forbid the evil, which may not be very easy, but your friend will thank you for it in Jannah, or would you rather be from those who bite their hands from regret….Be careful when choosing your friends…
May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala make us from those who hear the advice and put it into action!