بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
[Note #1: So I was Internetless for 5 days. The last time that I sat that long in front of a PC without the Internet was….the 90s when the Internet first came out. I think I need to take more breaks away from this thing…]
[Note #2: Okay, it seems that most of you voted for the Lord of the Worlds series for Ramadan. If anyone wants one of the other two series mentioned, then please do say so ASAP. I’ll decide at the end of this week, insha-Allah.]
Reply to what, you ask?
Reply to the salaam (greeting of peace, of course).
The virtues of initiating the salaam (i.e. saying Assalamu Alaikum) are many and these are quite well-known, alhamdulillah. [This article states that it is a recommendation whereas this one states that it is an obligation.]
However, many people seem to be unaware of the importance of replying to the salaam.
وَإِذَا حُيِّيتُم بِتَحِيَّةٍ فَحَيُّوا بِأَحْسَنَ مِنْهَا أَوْ رُدُّوهَا ۗ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ كَانَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ حَسِيبًا
“When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it, or (at least) return it equally. Certainly, Allah is Ever a Careful Account Taker of all things.” [Surah An-Nisa (4) : 86]
Imam Ibn Kathir (rahimahullah) says in his tafsir (explanation) of this ayah (verse): “Therefore, the better Salam is recommended, while returning it equally is an obligation.”
So, when a Muslim greets us with “Assalamu Alaikum”, we are obliged to reply to it with “Wa Alaikum Assalam” and encouraged to add “Wa Rahmathullahi” or “Wa Ramathullahi Wa Barakathuh”.
If a Muslim greets us with “Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmathullah” we are obliged to reply with “Wa Alaikum Assalam Wa Rahmathullah” and encouraged to add “Wa Barakthuh”.
If a Muslim greets us with “Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmathullahi Wa Barakathuh”, we are obliged to reply with “Wa Alaikum Assalam Wa Rahmathullahi Wa Barakathuh”.
It seems that in today’s fast-paced twitter-oriented blackberry-addicted world, people have forgotten this act completely.
Brothers and sisters, these might seem like little things but these little things add up to a lot. Not replying to the salaam is a sin (even a delayed reply is a sin) so if we keep doing this with everything (whether it be email, facebook, twitter, blog posts, live conversations, etc), the sins will keep piling up.
However, if we reply properly, then we’ll be increasing in good deeds.
So please, when someone sends you an email that starts with “Assalamu Alaikum”, start your reply with “Wa Alaikum Assalam”. And if you are replying to an online article that starts with “Assalamu Alaikum,” start your reply with “Wa Alaikum Assalam.” [Please don’t say “wasak” or something like that. Type the whole thing out!]
Please don’t think that this is something that will waste your time, rather this will put more barakah (blessings) in your time – just like everything else that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) came with.
So…please remember to reply to the salaam.
PS. That includes any comments that are submitted to this blog. [Although I think you might have figured out that part already…]
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
…or “Wa Alaikum Assalam” (depending on whether you initiated the salaam or returned it).
1) Why should we say it?
Well, here are some reasons.
2) To whom should we say it?
Well, to every Muslim as it is their right. However, if a man is greeting a woman whom he is not a mahram to, or vice-versa, then that has a special ruling.
A reminder: It doesn’t matter whether you know the person or not. One of the signs of the Last Day is that people will greet only those whom they know:
إن من أشراط الساعة إذا كانت التحية على المعرفة
The Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Verily, from the signs of the Hour is that the greetings will (only) be extended to acquaintances.” [As-Silsilah As-Saheehah, No. 648. Shaikhs Al-Albani, Ahmad Shakir and Muqbil Al-Wadiee (rahimahumullah) all authenticated it. You may check the Dorar results here.]
Subhan Allah, how many of us are guilty of this?
Tip: Try and initiate the salaam to a Muslim stranger (man to a man and woman to a woman) and see the response. You’ll see why the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) suggested spreading the salaam as a way of loving one another.
Also, read this short article on why initiating the greeting is more rewarding than reply to it.
3) Don’t be stingy.
Huh, you say?
What I mean by that is: Please use this greeting liberally. Use it to start your emails, your SMS messages, your phone conversations (can we get rid of “hello”?), etc. Oh and please remember to reply to it (in emails, SMS messages, comments on any of my posts, etc).
What I also mean by that is: Please type the whole thing and not “ASAK” or “As”. I’m sorry but that is not “Assalamu Alaikum”.
I have one question to the people who abbreviate this greeting: Do you think that you will get the same reward for typing “Asak” or “As” as someone who took the time and effort to type out the whole greeting? Just a thought…