Islamic manners of greeting one another



Communication is fundamental to human interaction and verbal communication is one of the main forms of human interaction. Through communication we express ourselves, we exchange ideas and thoughts that is a very important part of our lives. Greeting is a means of initiating communication with each other that is used across all cultures. It can be an ice-breaker that eases people into further conversations. It makes people more comfortable when they are greeted with a smile, it shows them that you wish well for them and signals openness and frendliness.

People greet each other in many ways depending on their values and where they come from. In this article, we will explore the Islamic manners when it comes to greeting each other. Greeting is more than just an ice-breaker in Islam. It is actually an act of ‘ibada as we are fulfilling an obligation from the Quran when we greet each other. The meaning of the Islamic greeting is also profound, it is a dua’ for person you are greeting.

Assalamu’ alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakaatuhu (May Allah’s peace, mercy and blessings be upon you).

It is important for us, as Muslims, therefore to learn the manners of greeting one another.

“O believers! Do not enter any house other than your own until you have asked for permission and greeted its occupants. This is best for you, so perhaps you will be mindful.” Quran 24:27

“…when you enter houses, greet one another with a greeting ˹of peace˺ from Allah, blessed and good….” Quran 24:61

It is sunnah to initiate the greetings of peace and waajib to return it.

“The rights of one Muslim over another are six.” It was said: What are they, O Messenger of Allaah? He said: If you meet him, greet him with salaam; if he invites you, accept the invitation; if he asks for advice, give him sincere advice; if he sneezes and praises Allaah, say Yarhamuk Allaah (may Allaah have mercy on you);
if he falls sick, visit him; and if he dies, attend his funeral.” – Prophet Muhammad, upon whom be peace.

“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,4:86)

If someone greets us by saying ‘Assalamualaikum’, we should try to reply with ‘“Wa ‘Alaykumus-salaam Wa Rahmatullah”

If we are greeted with “As-Salaamu ‘Alaykum Wa Rahmatullah” ; we should reply by saying , “Wa ‘Alaykumus-salaam Wa Rahmatullahi Wabarakatuh”

If someone says, “As-Salaamu ‘Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh” ; we should say , “Wa ‘Alaykumus-salaam Wa Rahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.”

“A man came to the Prophet SAWS and said: ‘As-Salaamu ‘Alaykum (Peace be upon you).’” [He said:] “So the Prophet SAWS said: ‘Ten’ Then another came and he said: ‘As-Salaamu ‘Alaykum Wa Rahmatullah (Peace be upon you, and the mercy of Allah).’ So the Prophet SAWS said: ‘Twenty.’ Then another came and said: ‘As-Salaamu ‘Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh (Peace be upon you, and the mercy of Allah, and His Blessings).’ So the Prophet SAWS said: ‘Thirty.’”

We can try and say “As-Salaamu ‘Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh” each time we greet anyone as we get 30 good deeds.

We should try and pronounce the salam clearly and write it in a way that’s close to the original arabic.

Correct – السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ
Assalaamu ‘Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuhu

Assalam o alykum
Salam walaykum
Slawlekum etc

Abu Umamah reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, the best people to Allah are those who are first to greet with peace.” – Source: Sunan Abi Dawud 5197

A few points to remember:

  1. It is recommended that the one who is arriving initiate the greeting.
  2. It is sunnah for the rider to greet the pedestrian, the pedestrian to greet one who is seated, the few to greet the many and the young to greet the old.
  3. It is recommended to greet young children (to train them from a young age to apply Islamic manners)
  4. The etiquette of greeting people who are awake in a place wherein some people are sleeping is to lower one’s voice such that only the people who are awake will be able to hear the greeting.
  5. It is forbidden to initiate the greeting of peace to the people of the book (jews and christians)
    If they initiate, say “wa ‘alaikum”
  6. It is permissible to greet someone who is praying. The one in prayer may respond with a gesture (but not with the utterance of the greeting). Gesturing with the hand or nod of the head is permissible as Prophet used both these gestures to respond to someone who greeting him while he was praying.

In a hadith Suhaib (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “I passed by the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) whilst he was praying. I greeted him with salaam and he responded with a gesture.” Sahih Muslim

  1. It is permissible to greet someone who is reciting the Quran and if one extends the greeting, the reciter must respond.
  2. It is disliked to greet someone who is relieving himself
  3. It is recommended to extend greetings of peace upon entering one’s home.
  4. It is also sunnah to convey greetings of peace on behalf of others
  5. Upon entering the masjid, one should first pray the two units of tahiyyatul masjid and then greet those that are in the masjid.
  6. When the Imam is delivering the khutbah, it is disliked to give greetings of peace.
  7. When one departs from a gathering, it is also sunnah for him/her to give greetings of peace.
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