All praise be to Allah who cherishes those who obey and fear Him, and humiliates those who disobey His Ordinances. I praise Him, for there is no god but He and no lord but He. He commanded us to obey Him and seek His Pleasure, and forbade us to disobey Him, and commanded us to keep away from anything that entails His wrath. I send peace and blessings upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, Companions, those who follow his steps, follow his commands, avoid the things which he forbade, and stick to his guidance until the Day of Recompense.
We started our speech in the previous lesson by talking about the rights of a Muslim on his Muslim brother. We knew that the general rule of these rights is based on the religious bond of brotherhood upon which relationships among Muslims are built.
Many texts from the Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him)
have spoken about these rights and we mentioned the Hadith that was reported by Al Bukhari and Muslim that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "The rights of a Muslim on the Muslims are five: Answering the greeting, visiting the sick, following of funeral procession, answering the invitation, and saying "Allah bless you" to sneezers."
Another narration of Imam Muslim: "There are six rights of a Muslim upon a Muslim: When you meet him, greet him; when he invites you, accept his invitation; when he seeks counsel, give him advice; when he sneezes and praises Allah, say to him: May Allah have mercy on you (Yarhamuk-Allah); when he is sick, visit him; and when he dies, follow his funeral procession."
When we spoke about the first right which was: (Salam peace), we explained its virtues, ruling, and form. In this lesson we shall continue our speech about these rights and other rights.
Of the rulings of peace is: It should be uttered when a Muslim says: (Peace be upon you!) so as to let the other Muslim hears, and when a Muslim responds or greets back. As for Salam by waving with the hand, it is not considered part of greeting. So, it is wrong which some people do of greeting other by just waving their hands. If the situation needs to use the hand in greeting such as waving from the car to someone who is standing, a person should pronounce Salam along with the waving. Of the rulings of Salam is that a young person should greet the older, a walking should greet the sitting, the riding should greet the walking, and the few number of people should greet the large number. Al Bukhari (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) reported on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "The young should greet the old, the passer by should greet the sitting one, and the small group of persons should greet the large group."
It is part of the Sunnah to repeat Salam when two persons separate then meet at an entrance or an exit or when something obstructs their way and they separate then met. The proof to that is the saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him): "When one of you meets a brother (in Faith) he should greet him. Then if a tree or a wall or a stone intervenes between them and then he meets him again, he should greet him." Ibn Muflih (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) said in the book of Al Adab Ash-Shar`iyyah: "Its chain of transmission is good."
Ibn As-Sunnay reported from Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said: "The Companions of the Messenger of Allah used to walk and when they are obstructed by a tree or something, they would separate right and left and when they pass it and meet again, they would greet one another."
Of the rulings of peace is: If a Muslim is asked to deliver greetings to someone else, he should do so but first he should respond to the greeting. An-Nawawy (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) mentioned that if a message contains the word Salam, and a person reads the Salam, he should respond to the Salam as Al Wahidy and other scholars mentioned. `A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) reported that she said: "The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him)said: O `A'ishah, Gabriel sends his greetings to you. She said: I said: May Allah's Peace, Mercy, and Blessings be upon him!"
It is better when a person conveys Salam to someone else to respond to the sayer and the conveyer. Abu Dawud (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) reported from Ghalib Al Qattan from a person that he said: "My grandfather said: My father sent me to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and said: Go to him and give him Salam. Thereupon, I went to him and I said: My father sends his Salam. He (the Messenger) said: On you and your father be peace." A Muslim should be keen to spread Salam and declare it among Muslims so as to be their motto that is given to all people without distinction. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Spread peace among yourselves." `Ammar ibn yasir (may Allah be pleased with them) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "There are three qualities, any Muslim has these qualities has pure faith: Being fair even if against yourself, sending greetings to all Muslims, and spending even if a person is poor."
Dear Muslim brother, it should be noted that the rulings of Salam is attributed only to Muslims, but a non-Muslim should not be initiated by Salam. If a non-Muslim greets a Muslim, a Muslim should answer him as Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) said to the Prophet (peace be upon him): "The People of the Book offer us salutations (by saying as-Salamu- `Alaykum). How should we reciprocate them? He (the Messenger) said: Say: Wa `Alaikum (and upon you too)." However, if a Muslim enters a place where Muslims and non-Muslims are sitting, he may greet them with the intention of delivering greetings to Muslims only. Al Bukhari reported from Usamah ibn Zayd (may Allah be pleased with her) who narrated: "The Prophet (peace be upon him) passed by a session where Muslims and idol worshippers were sitting, then he greeted them."
We may end our talk about Salam by warning against some conditions in which greetings are undesirable, such as: When a Muslim is busy with urination or something like that whether in the open or in bathrooms, or if he is busy with Salah or Adhan (call to Prayer), and if a Muslims enters a masjid while the Imam is delivering the Friday sermon.
It is desirable for the one who enters a knowledge session or a session where the Qur'an is being studied not to greet them so as not to interrupt what they are doing, as some scholars mentioned. Any case similar to these cases and conditions takes the same ruling.
Dear honorable Muslim, those were some pauses with the rulings of greetings, however handshaking and hugging have other rulings that were mentioned in the books of Fiqh. It was reported that handshaking is desirable and the sins of the two persons who shake hands are forgiven as long as they shake their hands. So, a Muslim should seek the gates of rewards and hasten to good manners to attract the hearts of his Muslim brothers, overweigh his scale of good deeds, and to reach the Paradise and the pleasure of Allah. Then we move to another right of a Muslim brother which is: "When a Muslim invites you, you should accept."
Accepting the invitation increases intimacy and love among Muslims, increases kind relationships and convergence, purifies the hearts of hatred and ill-thinking, and filters the souls of worry. Therefore, the Law-Giver (Allah) exhorted to it and made it a genuine right for a Muslim to his Muslim brother. So, a Muslim should accept the invitation and share good occasions with his Muslim brothers whether he is a neighbor or a friend because sharing joys gladdens a Muslim, increases brotherhood, and by which Allah doubles the reward. Imam Muslim (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) reported from `Abdullah ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with them) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "When any one of you is invited to a feast, he should accept it. He may eat if he likes, or he may abandon (eating) if he likes." Imam Muslim also reported from `Abdullah ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with them) that he said: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "When any one of you invites his Muslim brother, he (the latter) should accept his wedding feast, or any other like it."
Al Bukhari and Muslim (may Allah bestow mercy on their souls) reported on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that he used to say: "The worst food is that of a wedding banquet to which only the rich are invited while the poor are not invited. And he who refuses an invitation (to a banquet) disobeys Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him)."
As for the ruling on accepting the invitation, the people of knowledge mentioned that accepting invitations is desirable except if it is a wedding banquet, which is obligatory unless there is an excuse to refuse the invitation. It should be noted that if the inviter is far away or the invited is fasting, he should accept the invitation even if he does not eat. On the other hand, accepting the invitation entails that the inviter should appreciate that response, welcome his guests, meet them with a smiling face, make them feel they are welcomed, and to invoke Allah for them because they accepted the invitation and exerted efforts to come because whoever does not thank the people for their kind favors will not thank Allah for His Favors as was reported in the Hadith.
Dear Muslim, following that Prophetic guidance strengthens brotherhood, clarifies the souls, increases intimacy and love among Muslims, and removes any harm or hatred in their hearts. So, a true Muslim should haste to accept invitations to revive the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him). I ask Allah (Glory be to Him) to increase intimacy, closeness, and love among Muslims and purify their hearts of all sins and evils, for He is All-Hearing, All-Responding and He is the One whose aid is to be implored. We shall continue our talks in the next lesson with Allah's Willing about the rights of a Muslim on his Muslim brothers.