Greetings are a common way for people to address other people in order to socialize, get close, or maintain the relationships. The common greeting among Muslims is Assalamu alaikum which comes from the Arabic phrase whose meaning is known as “peace be with you”. All Muslims across the world use this sentence to greet the other fellow Muslim. And as for the response of that greetings will be Wa alaikum assalaam which means “and upon you be peace”.
In Islam, greetings are the most basic and fundamental elements of good manners. If greetings conducted with a proper way, it will lead Muslims into a good social behavior and strengthen brotherhood or friendship in the Islamic framings. In the Quran verse, it is mentioned about the basic greetings in Islam:
“And when you are greeted with a greeting, greet (in return) with one better than it or (at least) return it (in a like manner). Indeeed, Allah is ever, over all things, an Accountant.” (QS. An-Nisa : 86)
It means that the basic greeting in Islam is not only saying Assalamualaikum but also it is better for us to give the extra words since it is equal to Du’a or prayer for the one we greet and vice versa. Read also proper rules of greeting in Islam.
What You Should Know in Performing Basic Greetings in Islam
So what are the other basic greetings in Islam that Muslims should know? Here they are:
1. Say Assalamualaikum
“But those who feared their Lord will be driven to Paradise in groups until, when they reach it while its gates have been opened and it keepers say, ‘Peace be upon you; you have become pure; so enter it to abide eternally therein.’ (they will enter).” (QS. Az-Zumar : 73)
When we meet fellow Muslims, we are recommended to say salaam. In salam, it is contained a prayer for our fellow Muslims. As Rasulullah said in the following hadith :
“The Muslims has five rights over his fellow-Muslim: he should greet him with ‘Salaam’, visit him when he is sick, attend his funeral, accept his invitation, and ask Allah to have mercy on him when he sneezes.” (Narrated by Bukhari)
Saying salaam is expected to strengthen the relationship, establish peace, and connect Muslim as the family even they don’t know each other.
2. The Younger One should Greet the Elder or the Noble One
It is a common custom to respect the noble or the elder people, including parents. Therefore, the younger Muslims should behave according to their position as the younger one. They must salute or greet the elder as the form of respect and follow His command, especially the parents who must be addressed with a great respect and kindness. Greet them sincerely and treat them as good as possible since there are a lot of Qur’an verses of respecting parents.
“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.” (Narrated by Bukhari)
“The young should greet the elderly.” (Narrated by Bukhari & Muslim)
Despite respecting the adult or elder people, Muslims also should aware of their position as mentioned in the above hadith. When we meet the others who are sitting or walking while we are riding we should give salaam to them. It is a basic manner for Muslims in greeting other people.
3. Be the First One who Greets
According to basic greetings in Islam, It would be better for Muslim to greet other people first if they met. Rasulullah said in the following hadith:
“The person nearest to Allah is one who is the first to offer greeting.” (Narrated by Abu Daud)
The hadith teaches us Muslims people to initiate greeting at the other Muslims fellow. Greet them sincerely with smiling, then Allah will love and give His blessing toward us. In Islam, if we are in the group and going to approach the other groups of people, one of us would be enough to greet them on the other’s behalves. In addition, it is also enough for one person of those groups to reply back. You may want to know about how to greetings in Islam in a proper way.
5. Shaking Hands while Offering Salaam
Rasulullah gives Muslims a custom of shaking hands while offering salaam to other people. He says in the following hadith:
“If the believers meet (another) believer, and gives him the salaam, and takes hold of his hand and shakes it, their sins fall off as the leaves of a tree.” (Narrated by At-Tabarani)
Another hadith also said as follows:
“If two believers meet and one of them offers salaam to the other, and they shake their hands, the more beloved to Allah will be he who offers heartier salaam to the other, and Allah will bestow one hundred mercies upon them, ninety mercies to the one who initiates salaam, and ten mercies to the shaker.” (Narrated by Al-Baihaqi)
Greeting by offering salaam gives Muslims many benefits especially if they also offer a shaking hand. The blessing and reward from Allah SWT are clear as mentioned in the above hadith. Besides, there is some law of handshake in Islam view that we can set as guidance in offering a shaking hand with others.
6. Offering Greeting Not Only to Muslim but to All People
Basic greetings in Islam also teach Muslims not only offering a greeting to fellow Muslims but also to all people regardless if they are non muslims. There is a hadith said as follows:
“The Prophet, all blessing of Allah be upon him, passed by an assembly containing a mixture of Muslims and Jews, he offered them salaam.” (Narrated by At-Tirmidhi)
Indeed, it is an Akhlaq of good Muslims to always bring peace among other people even they have a different view and religion. To maintain peace and brotherhood must become the first priorities of Muslim. Therefore, offering salaam to everyone will represent us as the good Muslims and Islam as the religion.
7. Greeting while Entering the House
Rasulullah SAW said in the following hadith:
“Dear son, when you enter your house, say Assalamualaikum to your family, for it will be a blessing both to you and your family.” (Narrated by At-Tirmidhi)
A greeting is not only offered when we met someone or other person but it is also offered when whenever we enter the house or building. Offering salaam will give a blessing both for us and for the people who live inside the house. Giving Salaam also informs our arrival to the people living in the house. But when the house is empty, a greeting is offered to salute yourself on Allah’s behalf and salute jinn who dwells the house. By offering the greeting, we will be blessed with peace and seeking protection from the devils or harmful influences in the house. Read also about importance of greetings in Islam.
8. To Spread Greeting
Another basic greeting in Islam is to spread it. It is our obligation to spread greeting since there are so many virtues and benefits contained in it. Make your own habit to greet or reply the greeting to one another. Perform greeting as many as you can whenever you meet the people or enter the house as what has been discussed before.
“You shall not enter Paradise so long as you do not affirm belief (In all those things which are the articles of faith) and you will not believe as long as you do not love one another. Should I direct you to a thing which, if you do, will foster love amongst you: give currency to (the practice of paying salutation to one another by saying) Assalamualaikum.” (Narrated by Muslim)
“When one of you meets his brother, he should salute him, then if he meets him again after a tree, wall, or stone has come between them, he should also salute him.” (Narrated by Abu Daud)
That is the basic greetings in Islam, we know that the virtues and benefits of greetings are tremendous. Offering the greeting has a little effort, just keep that as our usual habit to gain Allah’s blessing.