Question: Assalamualaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh
Please explain the severity of writing Salams, Slmz, Salam Alaykum, Slms etc instead of writing Assalamu Alaykum. People think it’s no big deal when you tell them. From a scholarly point of view please elaborate why these abbreviations & versions of conveying Salam are incorrect?
Answer: Wa Alaikum As Salaam,In Islam, ‘Salaam’ (greetings) has been given great importance. In the Holy Quran, it is mentioned that Muslims have been instructed to give greetings when they enter their homes. In this regard, Allah says, “But when you enter your houses, give greetings of peace upon each other – a greeting from Allah, blessed and good.” (Surah An Nur (24) verse 61). Also, the Quran instructs believers to reply to greetings in the same words or in better words. About this, the Quran says. “When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it or return it equally, certainly Allah is the account taker of everything.” (Surah An Nisa (4) verse 86). In a hadith recorded by Imams Bukhari and Muslim, it is narrated from Abu Hurairah (R.A) that the Prophet ﷺ said that after the creation of Adam (A.S), the first instruction he was given was to go and greet the angels and listen to their reply. This will be the greetings of the children of Adam.It is narrated that on one occasion, the Prophet ﷺ was asked about what is the best action in Islam. To this, he replied, ‘To feed people and greet those you know and those you do not know’. (Bukhari, Muslim).
The Prophet ﷺ also mentioned that giving greetings to each other increases love and unity among people.With respect to the words of ‘the greeting in Islam’, it is established that while greeting a person, one should say, ‘Assalmu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatuhu’. This is the best way of saying the greeting (Salaam) and replying to it (i.e by including ‘Wa Barakatuh’ in the salaam).
About this, it is narrated in a hadith that a person came to the Prophet ﷺ and greeted him by saying ‘Assalamu Alaikum’ and then he sat. Upon this, the Prophet ﷺ said, ‘For him there are ten blessings’. Another person came and greeted with the words, ‘Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah.’ Upon this, the Prophet ﷺ said, ‘For him there are twenty blessings’. The Prophet ﷺ then explained that for one who says, ‘As Salaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatu’, will receive thirty blessings.’ (Abu Dawood;Tirmidhi).
From this, it is evident that the words of Salaams (greetings) established in Islam are ‘Assalamu Alaikum’, “Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah’ and ‘Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu.’
It is very clear from this discussion as to what the words of salaam (greetings) are, and the importance of giving salaams. In fact, many of the scholars have stated that that giving Salaam (greeting) is Sunnah Al Mu’akada (an emphasized Sunnah).
And Allah Knows best.
Mufti Waseem Khan.