My Lord! Increase me in knowledge

Archive for January 2015

Many Muslims are of the belief that they should only say “Walaikum” when greeted by Non Muslims. If you analyse the hadith, it clearly is talking about a certain group of Jews who greeted the Prophet by saying “as-Sam-u-Alaikum” i.e Death be upon you. Which is why the Prophet replied with “Walaikum” i.e. And upon you too.

A’isha reported that some Jews came to Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) and they said: Abu’l-Qasim (the Kunya of the Holy Prophet), as-Sam-u-Alaikum (Death be upon you), whereupon he (the Holy Prophet) said: Wa Alaikum (On you too). A’isha reported: In response to these words of theirs, I said: But let there be death upon you and disgrace also, whereupon Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: A’isha, do not use harsh words. She said: Did you hear what they said? Thereupon he (the Holy Prophet) said: Did I not respond to them when they said that; I said to them: Wa’Alaikum (let it be upon you). (Hadith – Sahih Muslim, Book 026, Number 5386)

Even being greeted with “Death be upon you”, the prophet told Aisha, Do not use harsh words. If he wanted he would have replied with the same greeting – Death be upon you. But he omitted the word “Death” because he didn’t want to use harsh words even when retaliating. This is the character the Prophet wanted to set for us.

What the Quran Says

A. “When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it, or (at least) return it equally [Quran, 4:86]

B. “And the servants of (Allah) Most Gracious are those who walk on the earth in
humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say, ‘Salaam !’ (Peace).”’ [ Quran, 25:63]

C. “And when they hear vain talk, they turn away therefrom and say: ‘to us our deeds, and to you yours; Salaam u alaikum (peace be to you): we Seek not the ignorant. ‘ ” [ Quran, 28:55]


The conclusion that can be derived is that this rule cannot be applied to general non muslims. When a non muslim greet you with no wrong intention in his heart and finds out that we do not want to say the word “Peace” to him. We not only present the wrong image of Islam, we close doors to inviting them to Islam.


A more elaborate and well written article can be found here


Please comment and share your views/experiences related to the topic. To share or recommend a topic or article, email at

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 28 other followers