“As-salaamu ‘alaikum! ”, The hijabi woman greeted me with a known glance and serene expressions.
Did she know me? I wondered.
She did not.
But she was a Muslim so we share a universal sisterhood do not we?!
It was June 2011 when I set my feet on the chest of Britain’s hub – London. Walking through the wide areas and making bee lines to ultimate destinations what amazed me then was the greeting of salaam from every Muslim that I saw there and happened to meet by fate. They did so without any recognition to me. The memory has been stuck with me because of the significance of the reward of it in Islaam and due to its utter negligence on our part particularly in the Southern Asian region of the world.
We have particular greeting statements in every religious culture of this world. The kind of greeting that we proceed to say to our fellow brothers represent the code of conduct of recognition for individuals to recognise being part of the same culture. It is a badge through which the circles familiarise with each other. Similar to the codes we use as part of Modern war strategy (it was invented by Prophet Muhammad sallalahu ‘alaihi wasallam). However , today, we are much contented being flooded with the western ideology of greeting. His and hellos (with unwanted jabbed enthusiasm) have seeped into our Islamic culture much normally. Salaam in Arabic means peace. Not much of us know that when we say assalaamu ‘alaikum we do not only bestow peace onto the greeted one but it means peace be to all of you (including the male and female individuals). The reward of complete greeting assalaamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu is 30 FOLDS. The reward of assalaamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullahi is 20 FOLDS and the reward of assalaamu alaikum is 10 FOLDS. The significance of it is fading away thus the obligation of its revival also lies on our shoulders alone.
Islam is a religion of peace and peace it teaches its followers to prevail.It is that immeasurable dimension a vital tool to spread that peace. Our Prophet Muhammad’s conduct was sincere in this regard. Dr. Muhammad Abdul Hai Aarfi in his book Ways of the Holy Prophet صلي الله عليه وسلم states:
It was a gesture of his hospitability that he was always the first to greet anyone coming to him with a salutation and also returned that salutation of his visitors.
When you say salaam to a Muslim brother it indicates:
A placard that indicates ana Muslim, I am Muslim
This shorter dua’ – prayer – by his speakers beseech before Allah that may the receiver receives all peace, rahmah -mercy- and barakah – blessing.
Imagine a brother greets you salaam , and you rspond out of a little more sincerity and zest in it, and bang! You get the reward my dear brothers and sisters. You have grabbed 30 folds! This is that greeting that we will be addicted to in Jannah. Inshaa Allah.
As Allah says it in Qur’an in Suratul Waqiah:
They will not hear therein ill speech or commission of sin –
And then He says:
Only a saying: “Peace, peace.”
The divine messages and prayers are proved right once done. And if no addiction of it is realized and practiced now then how can we assume that we will be having its craving in Jannah? When we do not comply this simple cum heavy in reward greeting in dunya?
As-salaamu ‘alaikum to you!