Peace! The whole world’s hankering after it. Today we have peace conventions, peace rallies, peace slogans, and yet, there is no peace. We are insecure in our own minds, in our own homes, in our own homeland.
Amazing though it may sound but we don’t really need to go into that much hullabaloo to get peace in our lives. That is because its perfect recipe was given by a great leader years ago. A new state had just been formed, he entered it and said,
“Spread Salaam...” *1
Just like that! So simple.
Yes, you guessed it. The great leader was none other than our beloved Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alaihi wassalam.
Salaam is the salutation that Muslims greet each other with, when they meet. In effect, they say: Assalam u ‘alaykum, which means ‘peace be upon you’.
This great leader didn’t just state, ‘say’ salaam, rather he said, ‘spread’ salaam. Do you see the depth in his choice of words? Spread means to disseminate widely. Imagine that! Imagine us wishing peace to any and everyone we met. Would there be any discord or bad feelings left, let alone insecurities? Because if you just had to wish peace to everyone, you couldn’t hate them at the same time. That would be a contradiction in and of itself. Today we’re scared of our own neighbors. We don’t even know them. Why? We never talked to them. If we followed the rule of saying salaam to everyone, we’d come to know them, right? Communities would come together and unite peacefully. But alas! Where does salaam stand today?
According to scholars, it is obligatory to reply to the greeting of salaam. If you don’t reply, it’s a sin. Because we have been ordered in the Quran,
“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]. Indeed, Allah is ever, over all things, an Accountant.” (An-Nisa 86)
Etiquette of Salaam
> When you meet someone, it is the right of the other person that you initiate it.
> Pronounce it properly. Do not mumble.
> Say it loudly. It should be loud enough to wake a sleeping person.
> Don’t say it as if to show arrogance in front of the other person. Mean it.
Benefits of Salaam
> One of the best things is that you get reward just by saying such a simple thing as Salaam. Isn’t that cool? You get 10 or 20 or 30 rewards depending on how you say it. *2
> You can enter Paradise! Isn’t Paradise our ultimate goal? Imagine getting the thing you strove for and wanted all your life through Salaam, forever and ever. *3
> Through Salaam, you come to love one other. Lovely, yeah? ❤ *4
Know that Salaam is one of the Names of Allah. You’re taking His Name! It should connect with your heart. Say it beautifully. 🙂
*1 “O people! spread Salaam, feed the hungry, be in touch with your kin, and pray while people are asleep (at night), you shall enter paradise peacefully.” [Tirmidhi]
*2 Imran bin Husain (radi Allahu anhu) reported: “A man came to the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) and said, ‘As-Salamu Alaikum’ (peace be upon you). The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) responded to his greeting and the man sat down. The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam said, ‘Ten’ (meaning the man had earned the merit of ten good acts). Another one came and said, ‘As-Salamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah’ (peace and the mercy of Allah be upon you). The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) responded to his greeting and the man sat down. The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, ‘Twenty.’ A third one came and said, ‘As-Salamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu’ (peace and the mercy of Allah and His blessings be upon you). The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) responded to his greeting and the man sat down. The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, ‘Thirty.’” [Tirmidhi]
*3,4 Abu Huraira RA narrated: Allah’s Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wassalam said, “You will not enter Paradise until you believe; and you will not believe until you love one another. Shall I not guide you to a thing which if you do, you will love one another? Spread (the greeting of peace) Salaam amongst yourselves.” [Muslim]