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Friday, March 20, 2009

Knowledge is power

Knowledge is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as (i) expertise, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject, (ii) what is known in a particular field or in total; facts and information or (iii) awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation...


If we are muslims, compulsory for us to know how to spreading salaams...


Initiating salaams is considered 'Sunnah' or optional, returning the salaams after it is offered is considered 'wagib' or obligatory, based on the first Qur'anic ayah mentioned. Islam also encourages people to offer the first greeting as mentioned in the Hadiths mentioned previously.

The Prophet was asked about the most appropriate way to give salaams as shown in the following Hadith:

Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) says that a man asked the Prophet :

"O Messenger of Allah , when any one of us meets a Muslim brother or a friend then should he bow his head (as a sign of courtesy to him)?' He said: 'No.' The man said: 'Should he embrace him?' He said: 'No.' The man then asked: 'Should he clasp his hands?' He said: 'Yes." (Tirmithi)

Unfortunately, now in our community Muslims have adopted other methods of giving salutations, and as we can see in this Hadith, The Prophet was very precise about how salaams were to be given.

We as Muslims, should remember that Prophet Muhammad is the best example for us to follow in all aspects of our life, and we should be careful not to add anything new to the Deen of Islam, for fear of implying that the Prophet Muhammad did not complete his mission.


There are certain situations under which it is preferable not to offer salaam. These include; when a person is relieving himself, when one is having marital relationship, when someone is sleeping or when in the bathroom.

Offering salaam when someone is reciting the Qur'an is permissible but discouraged. The same rule applies to someone who is making du'a or one who is praying.


There are several etiquette's to be followed with respect to the exchanging of salaam. The Prophet (saws), for example said:

"The person who is riding should offer salaam to the one who is walking; and the one who is walking should greet the one who is sitting; and the smaller group should greet the larger one." (Bukhari and Muslim)

Aside from the situations mentioned in the Hadith, the one who enters a house should initiate salaam to those already there. Furthermore, if one enters his home, it is preferable to offer salaam, even if there is no one at home by saying "Assalaamu alayna wa ala ibadillahi assaliheen" (i.e. peace be upon us and the righteous servants of Allah). With respect to salaam between the young and the old, the young is expected to begin the greeting.

It is also considered improper for someone to meet a group of Muslims and offer salaam only to some of them. The greeting must be for all in the group. If a group of people offer salaam to an individual at the same time, he may reply only once to all of them.

The head should never be bent as a sign of greeting. We bend our heads only to Allah. It must also be emphasized that other body gestures in any form or shape (for example, raising eyebrows, extending the arms, smiling, winking, etc.), cannot replace uttering the words of salaam.

Salaam for someone at a distance can be offered by saying the salaam and waving the hand. Waving the hand alone, however, is not considered a salaam.

Salaam is not only confined to the time of meeting only but it extends to when separating as well.

Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him), relates that the Prophet said:

"When one of you joins a gathering, he should greet those present; and when he leaves them he should salute them, because the first salutation is not better than the last one." (Abu Dawud and Tirmithi)


Umar bin Khattab: "There are three ways of showing sincere brotherly love: give him the greeting of Salaam when you first meet him, make him comfortable, and call him by his favourite names."

Sa'id bin al-As: "I owe my sitting-companion three things: on his approach I greet him, on his arrival I make him welcome, and when he sits I make him comfortable."


There are two fundamental categories of human beings: Muslims and Non-Muslims. Any human being who chooses to submit to his Creator is called a Muslim and his way of life is Islam. A Muslim is a precious being in the sight of Allah. The Muslim gains special privileges, honour and dignity because of Islam. They are people (Muslims) who have achieved peace (Salaam) by accepting Peace (Islam). The salutation of Salaam is a special blessing of Allah for the Muslims. The first conclusion is that the Muslims should use Salaam to salute fellow Muslims because it is only befitting for them to do so.

It is below the dignity of the Muslim to use such expressions below their noble status. The Muslim should not degrade himself, by using Non-Muslim salutations; or his fellow Muslims, by saluting them with Non-Muslim salutation; and nor his Deen al-Islam, by adopting the ways of the Non-Muslims. The second conclusion is that Muslims should not use Non-Muslim salutations amongst themselves because these are unfit for them. The Muslims should not only refrain from using Non-Muslim salutations, but they should abhor such practices.

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