I was having a really bad day when this amazing sister I know sent me a message;
Sister: Asalaamu ’Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatuhu
Me: Wa alaiki salam
Sister: Respond with better or at least equal
Me: *Rolls my eyes* Wa alaiki salam Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatuhu
As I thought of the incident just before bed, I realised that it was not just something small.
In the Quran, Allah (SWT) says,
وَإِذَا حُيِّيتُم بِتَحِيَّةٍ فَحَيُّوا بِأَحْسَنَ مِنْهَا أَوْ رُدُّوهَا ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ حَسِيبًا
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. [4:86]
Meaning that it is recommended to respond with better but it is obligatory to respond equally. So it was not just a small silly thing. It was a huge deal. It is an order from Allah.
“What is meant by salaam is the greeting between people, which sows seeds of love and friendship in their hearts, as does giving food. There may be some weakness in the heart of one of them, which is dispelled when he is greeted, or there may be some hostility, which is turned to friendship by the greeting.”[Al-Sanoosi said in Ikmaal al-Mu’allim]
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
The narration in At-Tirmidhi is: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) was asked: “O Messenger of Allah! When two persons meet, who should greet the other first?” The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “The person nearest to Allah (i.e., one who is more obedient and therefore closer to Allah will say: As-Salam first.”
So, we should say Salaam first any chance we get, to those we know and those we do not know. And should someone else say Salaam first, we should always respond equally or with better. SubhanAllah! How perfect our Deen is.
To my darling sister, May Allah reward you for having my back. Ameen.
Until next time,
Asalaamu ‘Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatuhu
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