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Returning the Salam, With a Better Salam Print E-mail

Allah said,

﴿وَإِذَا حُيِّيتُم بِتَحِيَّةٍ فَحَيُّواْ بِأَحْسَنَ مِنْهَآ أَوْ رُدُّوهَآ﴾

(When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it, or (at least) return it equally.) meaning, if the Muslim greets you with the Salam, then return the greeting with a better Salam, or at least equal to the Salam that was given. Therefore, the better Salam is recommended, while returning it equally is an obligation. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Raja' Al-`Utaridi said that `Imran bin Husayn said that a man came to the Messenger of Allah and said, "As-Salamu `Alaykum''. The Prophet returned the greeting, and after the man sat down he said, "Ten.'' Another man came and said, "As-Salamu `Alaykum wa Rahmatullah, O Allah's Messenger.'' The Prophet returned the greeting, and after the man sat down he said, "Twenty.'' Then another man came and said, "As-Salamu `Alaykum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuh.'' The Prophet returned the greeting, and after the man sat down he said, "Thirty.'' This is the narration recorded by Abu Dawud. At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa'i and Al-Bazzar also recorded it. At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Gharib''. There are several other Hadiths on this subject from Abu Sa`id, `Ali, and Sahl bin Hanif. When the Muslim is greeted with the full form of Salam, he is obliged to return the greeting equally. As for Ahl Adh-Dhimmah the Salam should not be initiated nor should the greeting be added to when returning their greeting. Rather, as recorded in the Two Sahihs their greeting is returned to them equally. Ibn `Umar narrated that the Messenger of Allah said,

«إِذَا سَلَّمَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْيَهُودُ، فَإِنَّمَا يَقُولُ أَحَدُهُمْ: السَّامُ عَلَيْكَ، فَقُلْ: وَعَلَيْك»

(When the Jews greet you, one of them would say, `As-Samu `Alayka (death be unto you).' Therefore, say, `Wa `Alayka (and the same to you).') In his Sahih, Muslim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

«لَا تَبْدَأُوا الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَى بِالسَّلَامِ، وَإِذَا لَقِيتُمُوهُمْ فِي طَرِيقٍ فَاضْطَرُّوهُمْ إِلى أَضْيَقِه»

(Do not initiate greeting the Jews and Christians with the Salam, and when you pass by them on a road, force them to its narrowest path.) Abu Dawud recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

«وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ، لَا تَدْخُلُوا الْجَنَّـةَ حَتَّى تُؤْمِنُوا، وَلَا تُؤْمِنُوا حَتَّى تَحَابُّوا، أَفَلَا أَدُلُّكُمْ عَلَى أَمْرٍ إِذَا فَعَلْتُمُوهُ تَحَابَبْتُمْ؟ أَفْشُوا السَّلَامَ بَيْنَكُم»

(By He in Whose Hand is my soul! You will not enter Paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love each other. Should I direct you to an action that would direct you to love each other Spread the Salam among yourselves.) Allah said,

﴿اللَّهُ لاَ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ﴾

(Allah! none has the right to be worshipped but He) informing that He is singled out as the sole God of all creation. Allah then said,

﴿لَيَجْمَعَنَّكُمْ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَـمَةِ لاَ رَيْبَ فِيهِ﴾

(Surely, He will gather you together on the Day of Resurrection about which there is no doubt.) swearing that He will gather the earlier and latter generations in one area, rewarding or punishing each person according to his or her actions. Allah said,

﴿وَمَنْ أَصْدَقُ مِنَ اللَّهِ حَدِيثاً﴾

(And who is truer in statement than Allah) meaning, no one utters more truthful statements than Allah, in His promise, warning, stories of the past and information of what is to come; there is no deity worthy of worship nor Lord except Him.

﴿فَمَا لَكُمْ فِى الْمُنَـفِقِينَ فِئَتَيْنِ وَاللَّهُ أَرْكَسَهُمْ بِمَا كَسَبُواْ أَتُرِيدُونَ أَن تَهْدُواْ مَنْ أَضَلَّ اللَّهُ وَمَن يُضْلِلِ اللَّهُ فَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُ سَبِيلاً - وَدُّواْ لَوْ تَكْفُرُونَ كَمَا كَفَرُواْ فَتَكُونُونَ سَوَآءً فَلاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ مِنْهُمْ أَوْلِيَآءَ حَتَّى يُهَاجِرُواْ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَإِنْ تَوَلَّوْاْ فَخُذُوهُمْ وَاقْتُلُوهُمْ حَيْثُ وَجَدتُّمُوهُمْ وَلاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ مِنْهُمْ وَلِيّاً وَلاَ نَصِيراً - إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ يَصِلُونَ إِلَى قَوْمٍ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَهُمْ مِّيثَـقٌ أَوْ جَآءُوكُمْ حَصِرَتْ صُدُورُهُمْ أَن يُقَـتِلُونَكُمْ أَوْ يُقَـتِلُواْ قَوْمَهُمْ وَلَوْ شَآءَ اللَّهُ لَسَلَّطَهُمْ عَلَيْكُمْ فَلَقَـتَلُوكُمْ فَإِنِ اعْتَزَلُوكُمْ فَلَمْ يُقَـتِلُوكُمْ وَأَلْقَوْاْ إِلَيْكُمُ السَّلَمَ فَمَا جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ عَلَيْهِمْ سَبِيلاً - سَتَجِدُونَ ءَاخَرِينَ يُرِيدُونَ أَن يَأْمَنُوكُمْ وَيَأْمَنُواْ قَوْمَهُمْ كُلَّ مَا رُدُّواْ إِلَى الْفِتْنِةِ أُرْكِسُواْ فِيِهَا فَإِن لَّمْ يَعْتَزِلُوكُمْ وَيُلْقُواْ إِلَيْكُمُ السَّلَمَ وَيَكُفُّواْ أَيْدِيَهُمْ فَخُذُوهُمْ وَاقْتُلُوهُمْ حَيْثُ ثِقِفْتُمُوهُمْ وَأُوْلَـئِكُمْ جَعَلْنَا لَكُمْ عَلَيْهِمْ سُلْطَـناً مُّبِيناً ﴾

(88. Then what is the matter with you that you are divided into two parties about the hypocrites Allah has cast them back because of what they have earned. Do you want to guide him whom Allah has made to go astray And he whom Allah has made to go astray, you will never find for him a way.) (89. They wish that you reject faith, as they have rejected, and thus that you all become equal (like one another). So take not Awliya' from them, till they emigrate in the way of Allah. But if they turn back, take (hold of) them and kill them wherever you find them, and take neither Awliya' nor helpers from them.) (90. Except those who join a group, between you and whom there is a treaty (of peace), or those who approach you with their breasts restraining from fighting you as well as fighting their own people. Had Allah willed, indeed He would have given them power over you, and they would have fought you. So, if they withdraw from you, and fight not against you, and offer you peace, then Allah has made no way for you against them.) (91. You will find others that wish to have security from you and security from their people. Every time they are sent back to Fitnah, they yield thereto. If they withdraw not from you, nor offer you peace, nor restrain their hands, take (hold of) them and kill them wherever you Thaqiftumuhum. In their case, We have provided you with a clear warrant against them.)

 
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