Hi… then… Bye!!! This is the meaningless greeting of the West. One wonders what it really means? Is he asking you whether you are on a high? Whatever it may mean, no greeting is as comprehensive and perfect as the greeting which is derived from one of the attributes of Allah Ta‘ala, which is the greeting of the angels and will be the greeting of the Believers in Jannah — the beautiful greeting of As-Salaamu ‘alaikum.
As-Salaamu ‘alaikum means “Peace be upon you.” It is a prayer of peace, which encompasses every good for the one being greeted. It is also a declaration of safety and security towards the person being greeted, as if to say that the one being greeted is being told that his life, family and property are all safe from yourself. Thus you will not harm him, his family or property in any way.
The perfect greeting of Muslims, besides being a wonderful du‘aa for the person being greeted, also generates love between them. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: “You will not enter Jannah until you believe, and you cannot be (true) Believers until you love one another (i.e. you harbour no enmity and malice for others). Should I not show you something which, if you adopt, you will love one another? Make salaam common among you” (Saheeh Muslim #194). It is obvious that this benefit will be realized if the salaam is made with sincerity and not just uttered as a custom and formality.
Salaam should be made to every Muslim. Once Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was asked as to which was a more superior act among the practices of Islam. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied: “Feed people and make salaam to those who you know as well as those who you do not know” (Saheeh Bukhaari #12).
One should also endeavour to be the first to make salaam as it earns a greater reward and is also a means of eliminating pride.
Salaam is simple, costs nothing and takes a second or two. Yet the rewards are great and the blessings are gigantic. It would be a great tragedy if we deprive ourselves of such tremendous blessings. Let us therefore make salaam common among ourselves.
يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لِمَ تَلْبِسُونَ الْحَقَّ بِالْبَاطِلِ وَتَكْتُمُونَ الْحَقَّ وَأَنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ
“O people of the Book! Why do you confound (mix) the truth with falsehood, and conceal the truth when you know (the reality)?” (Surah Aal-‘Imraan v71)
This verse addresses the Jews and the Christians. They knew that Islam was the true Deen and that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was the true Nabi of Allah Ta‘ala, as the prophethood of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was clearly mentioned in their scriptures. However, they changed their scriptures in order to conceal the truth of Islam.
As parents, we need to ask ourselves, “Are we not also guilty of ‘confusing’ Islam and ‘hiding’ it from our children?” In madrasah, the child is taught that backbiting, photography, television, intermingling and music are all forbidden, but when the child returns home, these are all openly violated. Are we not confusing the minds of our little children when it comes to right and wrong and Islamic values? The little, innocent child is then corrupted as the parents’ behaviour teaches him that Islam is nothing major and does not have to be taken seriously – Allah Forbid!
If we are involved in any vice e.g. we have a television at home, and we do not yet have the courage to change our lives, then at the very least, we should speak to our children daily and explain to them that what we are doing is wrong. We should thereafter make istighfaar with the sincere intention of changing. In this manner, the children will at least realize that these sins are haraam and the guilt of committing these sins will remain. This will hopefully be a means of keeping the door of repentance open.