Wa alaykumu s-salam

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Wa alaykumu as-salam or Wa ‘alaykum al-salaam (وعليكم السلام ﻭﺍﻟﺮﺣﻤﺔ ﺍالله ) is an Arabic greeting often used by Muslims and Arabs around the world translating nearly to "And unto you peace", but is often considered the equivalent to "hello" or "good day" in English. It is the standard response to the As-salamu alaykum greeting.[1][2] The greetings are intentional communications to acknowledge someone's presence, or to make someone feel welcomed. They are used prior to a conversation and are said to be good manners. The greeting is considered an important Islamic duty and obligation. Salam has been a standard salutation among the members of the Nation of Islam. The greeting is regularly exchanged during Muslim lectures and sermons.[1] Extended forms include "Wa alaykumu s-salam wa rahmatullah" (May the peace and mercy of Allah be with you too) and "Wa alaykumu s-salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh" (May the peace, mercy, and blessings of Allah be with you too).

Literary meaning[edit]

"Salam" literally means "peace". The word "Islam" is also derived from it. In a wider sense "salam" means harmlessness, safety and protection from evil and from faults. As-Salaam is also one of the Names of Allah.[3]

Use for non-Muslims[edit]

Religious scholars differ as to whether Muslims may initiate the saying of Salaam to members of other faiths.[4] The Quran says: "When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it, or (at least) return it equally" [al-Nisa’ 4:86][5] Therefore, if a Non-Muslim greets a Muslim, and says, "As-salamu alaykum", then the Muslims should say, "Wa ‘alaykum al-salaam"[6] Replying To Salam is an Islamic duty.

Islamic rulings related to the use of Salam[edit]

It is also preferred to use the greeting when arriving and also when leaving. It was reported that Abu Hurayrah said “When one of you joins a gathering, let him say salaam. When he wants to get up and leave, let him say salaam. The former is not more important than the latter.” (Hasan hadith reported in Jāmi` al-Tirmidhi)[7]

According to hadith the Islamic prophet Muhammad was asked who should "begin" the salam greeting and he said:

"The one who is riding should greet the one who is walking and the one who is walking should greet the one who is sitting and the smaller group should greet the larger group." (Saheeh - Al-Bukhaari, 6234; Muslim, 2160)[8]

It is also stated that one should give the Salam greeting upon entering a house. This is based upon the verse of the Qur'an:

"But when you enter the houses, greet one another with a greeting from Allah (i.e. say: Assalaamu ‘Aleykum — peace be on you), blessed and good." (Al-Noor 24:61)[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b ""As-Salaam-Alaikum" and "Wa-Alaikum-Salaam"". Ccnmtl.columbia.edu. Retrieved 2013-07-27. 
  2. ^ "Islamic Phrases: Assalamu alaikum". Islam.about.com. 2013-07-15. Retrieved 2013-07-27. 
  3. ^ "Etiquettes of Greeting". Iris.org.nz. Retrieved 2013-07-27. 
  4. ^ "Rules of Greeting non-Muslims in Islam (Saying Salaam/Replying Salaam)". virtualmosque.com. 2008-06-05. Retrieved 2016-07-02. 
  5. ^ http://quran.com/4/86
  6. ^ "Islam Question and Answer - Returning greetings to kaafirs falls into three categories". Islamqa.info. Retrieved 2013-06-29. 
  7. ^ Sheikh Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid. "Is it mustahabb for one who gets up to leave a gathering to say salaam to those who are still sitting?". 
  8. ^ As Salaamu Alaikom?
  9. ^ "Surat An-Nur [24:61] - The Noble Qur'an - القرآن الكريم". Quran.com. Retrieved 2013-07-27.