It is sunnah to make ones greetings inclusive of everyone of those one knows and those one does not know A man once asked the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him], Which Islam is the best? the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, Feeding food [to others] and saying As-Salaam, both to those you know and those you don’t know. [Bukhari].

We are encouraged, in this Hadeeth, to spread greetings of peace because doing so entails benefits, perhaps the greatest of which are uniting the hearts of Muslims and keeping their hearts from rancour or hate for one another. On the other hand, it is not praiseworthy to give greetings of peace only to those whom one knows or only to those that have status in the society, the practice of which is one of the signs of the last Hour. Ibn Masood [RA] related that the Messenger of Allaah [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, Verily, from the signs of the Hour is when greetings will be for acquaintances [only). ,[Adab al-Mufrad ]. And in another narration: For a man to extend greetings of peace to another, only doing so because he is an acquaintance (i.e., he does not give greetings to Muslims he does not know) [Silsilatus-Saheehah]. It is recommended that the one who is arriving initiate the greeting This practice is widespread among the people, and it is supported by many revealed texts, which indicate that it is recommended for the person who is arriving, and not the person who is stationary, to initiate the greeting. We have hitherto mentioned the story of the three Companions [RA] who went to the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] how each of them gave a different greeting, and each received a different reward for his greeting [the person who gave the most complete received the reward of thirty good deeds]. Each one of them was arriving, so it was upon them to extend greetings first.

Similarly, if one passes by a person who is sitting, the former must initiate the greeting, regardless of whether he is the younger or older of the two, and regardless of whether the person sitting down is alone or is among a group of people sitting down. It is sunnah for the rider to greet [the pedestrian, the pedestrian to greet the one who is seated, the few to greet the many, and the young to greet the old There a number of authentic narrations that supports this ruling. One example is a hadeeth related by Abu Hurayrah [RA] in which the Messenger of Allaah [peace and blessings of Allaan ,. be upon him] said; The rider greets {greets here means to initiate greetings of peace] the walker, the walker greets the one who is seated, and the few greet the many. [Bukhari] And this wording is related by al-Bukhari: The young one greets the old, the passer-by greets the one who is seated, and the few greet the many [Bukhari]. Some scholars have discussed the reasoning behind those particular people initiating the greeting: the younger person greets his elder, because the latter has the right to be respected and honoured by the former, and it is good manners for one to respect and honour his elders. The rider situated higher than the walker situated higher physically and even financially since he can afford a mount; so by the rider having to initiate the greeting, he is made to show humility and is reminded that he should not be arrogant. The passer-by initiates greetings to one who is seated, because the situation of passer-by is likened to a person who enters upon the people of a household. And the few greet the many, because the rights of the many are and greater. [Fathul-Baaree]

Question: If two pedestrians meet one another, or if two riders meet one another, who should initiate the greeting?

Answer: Based on the previously mentioned hadeeth, the younger of the two should initiate the greeting. If they are of a similar age and equal in all respects, then the one who initiates the greeting is better of the two, for when the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] was speaking about two people who sever ties from one another, he said, And the better of the two is the one who initiates the greetings of peace. [Bukhari]. And in a hadeeth related by Jaabir [RA], the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, when two pedestrians gather, whichever of the two initiates the greetings of peace is the better one. [AI-Adab al-Mufrad]

Question: When two people are walking together and are separated momentarily by a barrier such as a tree or a wall is it legislated for them to give each other greetings of peace when they meet again?

Answer: Yes, it is recommended for them to give greetings of peace, even if the same situation is repeated over and over again. Abu Hurairah [RA] related that the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, When one of you meets his brother, he should give him greetings of peace and if they {then] become separated by a tree or a wall or a {large] stone {as they are walking] he should greet him when they meet again {after having passed the barrier that separated them! [Abu Daawood] It is recommended to greet young children. This is to encourage and train children from a very young age to apply Islamic manners. Anas ibn Malik [RA] reported that when he used to walk with the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] and when they would pass by a group of children, the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] would extend greeting of peace to them. [Bukhari]. By greeting children one not only .trains them to follow Islamic manners, but one also accustoms oneself to the qualities of humbleness and gentleness in dealings.

source: The Book of Manners by Fuad Ibn Abdul- AzeezAsh-Shulhoob


This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited


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