Have you ever been in an unfamiliar place where everyone else is a stranger to you? Do you remember the awkwardness and unease that you felt then? How did you break the ice? For me it has always been as simple as a salaam with a smile. Just that! And it always works. A few words can break barriers between people, spread love and initiate a sincere and true friendship and companionship (by which I imply only the halaal ones).
And do you know why?
Only because it is the most amazing Sunnah of our Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
A man asked the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “What is the best thing in Islam?” He (pbuh) said, “Feeding others and giving the greeting of salaam to those whom you know and those whom you do not know.” (Bukhaari: 12, 28, 6236 ; Muslim:39)
The most simple, yet classified as among the best things in Islam is the Greeting! Saying salaam to those whom you know and those you know not!
Lingusitically, Salaam means peace; it implies harmlessness, protection and safety from evil and from faults. When we say Asalam Aalikum, it means ‘may peace descend upon you’. When you say salaam, you mean to say that ‘you are safe from me, and you will not recieve any evil from me’. It is an elegant prayer or duaa in itself. When you greet someone, you are actually praying for their safety and well being. Subhan Allah, how awesome is that.
Why take off the time and greet people we see everyday and also those we do not know, won’t that be weird? Is that what you are thinking? Yeah I know 😉
There is nothing without benefit in our beautiful Religion. Here is why you and me should revive this Sunnah and make it a daily habit.
Saying Salaam brings immense reward
To keep your count of good deeds ever growing, saying salaam is the easiest way to earn some extra reward points everyday. Like everyday, you will be adding some brownie points to your scale that would be weighed on the Day of Judgement, wherein every single point will count. You dont want to miss on that, do you? The Prophet (pbuh) explained the reward earned by the one who says salaam.
Abu Hurayrah (ra) narrated that a man passed by the Messenger of Allaah (pbuh) whilst he was sitting with some others, and said “Salaam ‘alaykum (peace be upon you).” The Prophet(pbuh) said, “[He will have] ten hasanaat (rewards).” Another man passed by and said “Salaam ‘alaykum wa rahmat-Allaah (peace be upon you and the mercy of Allaah).” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “[He will have] twenty hasanaat.” Another man passed by and said “Salaam ‘alaykum wa rahmat-Allaahi wa barakaatuhu (peace be upon you and the mercy of Allaah and His blessings).” The Prophet (pbuh) said, “[He will have] thirty hasanaat.”
Bukhaari in al-Adab al-Mufrad (586)
2. Salaam is a means of entering Jannah
That is where everyone of us wants to be eventually, in Jannah, amidst green gardens and white streams. This is the easiest way there, take it 🙂
The Prophet (pbuh) said: “You will not enter Paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another. Shall I not tell you about something which, if you do it, you will love one another? Spread salaam (the greeting of peace) among you.” (Muslim)
3. Salaam will take off your sins
Wouldn’t you want to get rid of all those piling sins that we accumulate everyday. Of course you do! Well Allah has an easy way for you. Say Salaam to others 🙂
The Prophet (pbuh) also said,“When two Muslims meet (give salaam), and shake hands, they are forgiven their sins before they part (with each other).” (Abu Dawud)
4. Salaam is the greeting of the people of Jannah
Everyone of us wants the best. Same is with the greeting. Salaam is the greeting of Jannah and it should suffcie for you to say it. You may greet with a Hello, a Good Morning and so on. Although they have the same function, but do they earn you rewards, or get you rid of your sins. I think not!
“Then, those that feared their Lord shall be driven in companies into Paradise. When they draw near its gates will be opened, and its keepers will say to them: “Salaamun ‘Alaikum” (Peace be upon you), you have done well. Enter and live in it for ever.” (Surah Zumar 39:73)
5. Salaam is one of the beautiful names of Allah
Allah swt is As-Salaam, the Giver and Source of all peace and security. He swt is Perfect in all sense and the Only One who can give you peace, the inner peace as well as safety from all evils. Just by saying salaam, you are mentioning His Name, remembering Him swt, making a sort of Dhikr.
Anas reported that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), said, “As-Salaam (peace) is one of the Names of Allah Almighty which Allah has placed in the earth. Therefore give the greeting among yourselves.” Al-Adab Al-Mufrad 989
6. It is a means of reconcilation, spreading love and friendship
Well, this is what I began with. Salaam is an ice breaker, a reconciler, a means to spread love and friendship. Islam teaches us to love each other, in words and in deed. Saying salaam to those whom we know and those whom we know not, out of sincerity towards Allah will only foster love and friendship, thereby removing any friction and anxiety that there might be.
7. Saying Salaam when entering your home
When you enter your home, say salaam whether or not there is someone in there. It is a Sunnah and has ben ascertained to have immense Blessings for you and your family.
“When you enter houses, greet (with peace) one another with a salutation from Allah, blessed and good. As such Allah makes clear to you His verses so that you understand.” (Surah an-Nur: 61)
8. It is obligatory to return the Salaam
Saying salaam first is a Sunnah but returning the salaam is Fard; an obligation, a right and a duty as commanded by the Prophet (pbuh).
The Prophet (pbuh) said: “The Muslim has five rights over his fellow-Muslim: he should return his salaams, visit him when he is sick, attend his funeral, accept his invitation, and pray for mercy for him [say “Yarhamuk Allaah”] when he sneezes.” (Bukhaari:1240 ; Muslim:2792).
You should either reply with the same, as walaikum salaam (and peace to you too) or with something better like walaikum salaam wa rahmat allahi wa barkaatahu (peace be upon you too and the mercy of Allaah and His blessings).
In our fast paced life, we have forgotten this beautiful Sunnah. We seldom say salaam to our own Family, whom we see day in and day out. Everyday we pass by so many people without acknowledging them, so much for even a glance. We are occupied, ever, either with our phones, commute, work, life, anything and everything! Sometimes I feel like we have forgotten to actually live. Khair in sha Allah, may Allah swt make it easy for all of us. We must not despiar! 🙂 The Name of our Religion, Islam is taken from the very word Salaam. Islam means peace and Submission.
May Allah swt help us all to revive this beautiful Sunnah and imbibe it in our daily life. May He swt make it a means of us entering Jannah and drawing near to Him. May He the Salaam always keep us in His preotection and safety and grant us the much sought peace. Ameen 🙂