The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to greet boys and begin with Salam out of his perfect modesty; moreover it is the habit of the Pious Predecessors (may Allah show mercy to them all). Imam Muslim reported in his Sahih on the authority of Yasar who said: "I was walking with Thabit Al Bunany that he happened to pass by children and he greeted them. And Thabit reported that he walked with Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) and he happened to pass by children and he greeted them. And Anas reported that he walked with Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon. him) and he happened to pass by children and he greeted them." [Sahih Muslim No. 2168].

Starting with Salam is an emphasized Sunnah, so if Muslims were in a group, one of them is enough to start with Salam, but if they all start with Salam, it will be better. Raising the voice with Salam is a Sunnah so that people would hear and the Hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him) would be effective: "Spread salutations among yourselves." When a Muslim greets some people where some are awake and others are asleep, he should lower his voice so that the awake would hear and in order not to disturb the asleep; and that is a high Islamic manner. The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to come back at night and would greet his family where his voice would not disturb someone asleep but in the same time made the awake hear. [Reported by Muslim in his Sahih within a long Hadith: Sahih Muslim No. 2055].

It is part of the Sunnah to start with Salam before speaking because of the Hadith which states: "Whoever starts talking before Salam, do not answer him." [Reported by Ibn As-Sunny in `Amal Al Yawm Wa Al Laylah No. 210, and Al Albany graded it as good in As-Silsilah As-Sahihah No. 816].

Whenever a Muslim says the reported form of Salam his reward shall be doubled; ten good deeds for every good saying. Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhy reported on the authority of `Imran ibn Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: "A man came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said: 'As-Salamu `Alaykum (Peace be upon you).' The Messenger of Allah replied. Then the man sat, and the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Ten. Then another came and said: As-salamu `Alaykum warahmatullah (May Allah's Peace and Mercy be upon you). The Messenger of Allah replied. Then the man sat, and the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Twenty. Then another came and said: As-salamu `Alaykum warahmatullah wabarakatuh (May Allah's Peace, Mercy, and Blessings be upon you!). The Messenger of Allah replied. Then the man sat, and the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Thirty." [Sunan Abu Dawud No. 5195 and Sunan and At-Tirmidhy No. 2689, and Al Albany (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) graded it as authentic in Sahih At-Targhib No. 2710].

A Muslim should not add more words to Salam such as to say: "Wamaghfiratuhu Wamardatuhu" because the Sunnah form of Salam has ended to "Wabarakatuhu." If this addition had been good, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) would have guided us to it. Imam Malik reported in Al Muwatta' on the authority of Muhammad ibn `Amr ibn `Ata' (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: "I was sitting with `Abdullah ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) when a Yemeni man came in. He said: 'Peace be upon you, and the mercy of Allah and His blessing' (as-salamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu), and then he added something more to that. Ibn `Abbas said (and at that time his eyesight had gone): 'Who is this?' People said: 'This is a Yemeni who has come to see you,' and they introduced him. Thereupon, Ibn `Abbas said: 'The greeting ends with the word blessing.'" [Muwatta' Malik No. 2758].

Of the rulings of Salam is that greetings should not be said only to the people whom you know, but a Muslim should greet the people whom he knows and the people whom he does not, as we have mentioned the Hadith of `Abdullah ibn `Amr (may Allah be pleased with him) earlier. It was reported in the Sunnah that one of the portents of the Hour of Judgment is to salute only the people whom you know. It was reported in Al Musnad with a good chain of narration on the authority of Al Aswad ibn Yazid who narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "One of the portents of the Hour is to salute only the people whom you know." [Al Musnad (1/ 387), and Al Albany (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) graded it as authentic in As-Silsilah As-Sahihah No. 648].

In another narration: "A person greets another only if he knows him."

Of the rulings of Salam is not to start the Jews and the Christians with Salam because of the Prophet's saying: "Do not initiate the Jews and the Christians with Salam." [Sahih Muslim No. 2167].

If the Jews and the Christians start you with Salam, it is enough to greet them in return with: "Wa `Alaikum (and upon you too)" because of the Hadith that was reported in Sahih Al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim on the authority of `Abdullah ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) who narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "If the people of the Scripture greet you, they say: As-Samu `Alaykum [i.e., Death is on you]. So, you should say: Wa `Alaikum (and upon you too)." [Sahih Al Bukhari No. 6257 and Sahih Muslim No. 2164].

As for saluting the people who love seditions and whims, there is a disagreement among scholars regarding saluting them in return, so you may see the proofs to that.

If an innovator [in religion] is a disbeliever according to his heresy and scholars judged him as a disbeliever, it is not permissible to salute him because the same ruling of starting the disbelievers with Salam is applied to him.

However, if he is an innovator but his heresy does not make him a disbeliever, in such a case initiating Salam or answering it in return is permissible as long as he is a Muslim and likewise disobedient Muslims.

It is permissible not to initiate Salam on some people for a purpose such as achieving a benefit or warding off an evil, so it will be like a punishment to them and to others or protecting oneself from getting affected by them or for other objectives.

As for setting apart, cutting the ties, and abandoning Salam without a legal reason, it is something which Allah does not love for His Servants.

We ask Allah to gather all Muslims on the truth and guidance, to harmonize between their hearts on goodness and piety, and to guide all of us to the Straight Path.

 

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#1 Episode: 92 Hadiths reported about Salam (greetings) (2/2)Anja 25 Rajab 1439 AH
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