'Assalamu Alaikum' - not an honorific address!


Muslims say Assalamu Alaikum in greeting. Shalom (synonym of salam in Hebrew) is also practiced among Jews and Christians. In this article, I will try to highlight the characteristics, common usage and real meaning of salam.

Conventional application

In Bangladesh the word assalamu alaikum is usually used to show respect to someone older or older (there are exceptions). Many forced salam from his subordinates. There are certainly exceptions to this. Older people can also greet younger people if they want.

Assalamu Alaikum sir, how are you?

Students use this phrase as a respectful address when they see teachers in schools, colleges, universities. In addition, the followers of Islam generally say Assalamu Alaikum when they see political leaders, high-ranking officials or local elders .

Assalamu Alaikum meaning

Assalamu Alaikum means peace be upon you. Arab Christians are also used to salam. Therefore, it may not be correct to say that it is addressed only to Muslims. However, Muslims all over the world practice salam as a virtue. Undoubtedly, one of the best addresses is to wish for the welfare of others.

It is narrated from Abu Huraira that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said,

"Allah created Adam and said, go greet the angels and listen to what they answer your greetings. This will be Salam for you and your children. Accordingly Adam went and said, "Assalamu Alaikum" (meaning: peace be upon you). The angels replied, “Wa-alaikums salam wa-rahmatullahi” (meaning: Peace and mercy of Allah be upon you). In this case the angels increase the word Rahmatullah.”

Reply to Salam

"Wa-alaikumus salam wa-rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu (وَعَلَيْكُمُ لسَّسلَامُ وَرَحْمَةُ اللَّهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ ,) means- "And upon you be peace and mercy of Allah and His blessings").

In the hadith, the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was once asked who should "begin" the greeting of Salam. In reply he said:

“A mounted person will greet a walking person, a walking person will greet a sitting person, and a small number will greet a large number” (Sahih al-Bukhari, 6234; Muslim, 2160).

In the Holy Quran , 

"But when you enter houses, greet your relatives with a greeting that is good and pure from Allah. Thus Allah explains His instructions to you in detail so that you may understand.” (An-Noor 24:61)

It is also said in the Quran,

"And when you are greeted (salutations), greet better than that or do the same. ” [Al-Nisa 4:86]


However, there is a difference of opinion on whether Muslims should greet non-Muslims or not. Some people think that non-Muslims ( Hindu , Christian, Buddhist, or anyone else) should not be greeted.

Some people think that salam should not be given because Rasulullah (SAW) said this about some bad people who were non-Muslims and who wanted the death of Muslims instead of peace. Everyone else can be greeted . Because, in another hadith it is said to greet everyone, known and unknown.

Clearing misconceptions

Narrated by Hazrat Abu Huraira (RA):

Rasulullah (s.a.w.s.) said, The younger shall greet the elder, the pedestrian the seated, and the few the greater. (Bukhari, Hadith: 6231)


This means that those who are younger in age should greet those who are older in age, and those who are less in number should greet those who are more in number. And when climbing something, he should salute the person walking, or, if someone walks, he should salute the person sitting.

Narrated by Hazrat Abu Umamah (RA): He said,

Rasulullah (SAW) was asked, O Messenger of Allah (SAW)! When two people meet, who will greet first? He said, "Whoever among them is nearer to Allah Ta'ala." (Tirmidhi, Hadith: 2694)


This means that the most pious will greet everyone. Therefore, everyone, whether young or old, can be greeted first. To know more, you can seek the help of a scholar or you can read the Qur'an, Hadith by yourself. 

No comments