Q. One of my hindu colleagues at work once asked me about the proper way muslims greet each other. Since then he tells me Assalamu alaikum everyday. How should I reply? Is it wrong for me to say wa alaikum salaam. I know he doesn’t mean anything disrespectful when he greets me.
A. The greeting of ‘Salaam‘ is in reality a dua (supplication) in which you are praying to Allah to bless a person with peace and mercy.
Seeing that your colleague is not a Muslim, he is more deserving of being guided to the straight path. As such, when he says ‘Assalaam Alaikum’, you should reply with the words Haadikumullah’ which means ‘May Allah guide you’. You can also say ‘Wa Alaikum’.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Waseem Khan