By Zainab Habib
The Islamic way – whenever Muslims meet,
They greet each other with salutations of peace
When God sent Adam (as) to greet the angels, He said:
“Their reply will be yours and your offspring’s as well.”
“Assalaamu ‘Alaikum” to the angels Adam (as) said
“Assalamu ‘Alaika wa Rahmatullah” they said
“Peace be upon you,” was what Adam (as)said
“Peace and God’s mercy be upon you” they said.
‘As-Salaam’ is God’s attribute, so when you say this
It’s a supplication as well as remembrance of Him.
It’s also a pact, this simple exchange
“We’ll steer clear of causing each other any pain.”
“Oh brother of mine, you’ll be safe from me.”
“No harm from my hand or tongue will there be.”
Our Prophet (saw) has told us, so we must do so
Greet those we know and those we don’t know
Of the rights Muslims have on each other, one is this
To greet them and answer the greeting they give
To not do so, amounts to being miserly
A good Muslim just can’t have this quality
This greeting is not only used by mankind
God will send greetings to those in Paradise.
And when the angels arrive to take a good soul,
They greet it so that it will feel reassured.
The doorkeeper of Paradise, this salutation he’ll give,
To all the good souls when they are entering it.
And from every gate, saying this, angels will enter too
“You were patient in the world, so peace be upon you.”
There’ll be no vain speech and no sinful talk
In Paradise, this greeting will be heard by all
Our Prophet (saw) said, we won’t enter Paradise
Unless we are believers and mutual love is its sign.
We should foster this love, work on making it strong.
And by greeting each other, our hearts will bond.
When Muslims exchange salutations of peace,
Ten blessings are written in favor of each.
The etiquette of this greeting should be known by us
No mumbling or shouting to make ourselves heard.
Cheerfully said or with a smile on your face,
A gesture will do for someone far away.
The young greet the old, the standing the seated
For those on conveyance, the pedestrian is greeted.
Never think twice to greet those you don’t know
It helps the affection between Muslims to grow.
On entering a house, speak this message of peace
If no people are there, there are those you can’t see.
It’s a source of blessings for the people in it
So when leaving the house once again do say this.
Send greetings of peace to even the dead
When you pass by graves, just don’t forget.
We’ve also been told of the occasions we should not,
Offer greetings of peace, so do give it thought.
If someone is busy doing some vital task
When the Quran is being read or there’s a religious talk.
The need to answer may distract their thoughts
For it’s hard to refocus when concentration is lost.
Or when someone is eating or answering nature’s call
Or brazenly doing something forbidden by God.
Greetings between Muslims – they’re important, you know why?
It’s what we Muslims are recognized by.
The person who greets first is closer to God
His lack of conceit make him dear to his Lord.
The command to greet has been issued by Him
Hence let it be done by every Muslim.
Our Prophet (saw) would greet every Muslim he met
And even told us the reward we can get:
“Assalaamu Alaikum” – 10 blessings
“Assalaamu Alaikum wa rahmatullah ” – 20 blessings
“Assalaamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuhu” – 30 blessings