Message: Salaams. I am a recent revert to Islam through marriage. My parents are Hindus and their custom is when they meet they will say sita ram. I would like to know if its permissible to reply back to them sita ram because it’s my parents and I don’t want to be disrespectful to them and I don’t want them to think that because I am now Muslim I am forgetting where I came from.
Wa Alaikum Assalaam,
الجواب و بالله التوفيق
The greeting of ‘Sita-Ram’ is a religious greeting which has a special meaning and significance and are connected to beliefs that are shirk (polytheistic in nature), hence, it is not permissible for you to reply them by saying these words. Not replying them with these words would not bring about any form of disrespect since they know that you are a Muslim and will follow the teachings of Islam with respect to greetings etc.
It is not a matter of forgetting where you come from since you will always be their child and they will always be your parents. You must continue to show humility, love and respect to them which will make it clear to them that you have not disowned or neglected them. As for replying greetings or giving greetings, these do not cause any problems in maintaining good relations.
And Allah Knows Best.
Mufti Waseem Khan.