Message No : 35Sr.No : 166/752
Question By : Er. Ahmad Rais Siddiqi

ASAK Janaab Qasmi saheb

Thanks to informations given by Professor and Dr. Khalid Omar Siddiqi about wishing a non muslim.Could you pl let me know that if a hindu friend very friendly wishes a muslim friend by saying namaskaar or Ram Ram ji or jaisiaRam etc etc than how should a muslim friend reply his close and lovely friend?
I believe that the intention is most important but not the words only because no one knows that what is there in his heart when ,a person wishes another person.
A lovley low voice with la fine tone having any menings can attract a person rather than replying in your own words iether assalaam or waas salaam, where many people still donnot exatly understand the correct meanings of these words.
Many people even donnot like to wish in any form, so it is very important to fisrtly have a desire to really wish by clear and open heart than just few words
pl let me know that how should a muslim reply to a hindu or a hindu should reply to a muslim by saying namaskaar or RamRam or JaisiaRam to a reply of assalaam o alaikum?
Wassalaam and Khudahafiz

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Science and sports writer


Reply By : Mohd. Shihabuddin Qasmi
Designation : Mufti, ODI, MMERC, Mumbai 

In the name of Allah, All Gracious, All Merciful
Wa Alaikumossalam
Dear Brother in Islam,
The answers to your questions are as follows:

There has always been a particular form of greeting, expressing love and affection in every civilized society while meeting each other. Before arriving Islam, Arabs used to greet each other saying, may God grant coolness to your eyes, good morning, good evening and like these kinds of greeting forms. It is narrated on the authority of Imran Bin Husain (RA) that, ¡°Before Islam we used to ¡°May God grant coolness to your eyes¡± while greeting one another. When from the darkness of perversion we emerged into the light of Islam, these formulas of salutations were forbidden, and in their place, we were taught to say, Assalamo Alaikum (May peace be on you). (Mishtaat Babun Assalam 399)

Today, Hindus greet each other saying Namaste, Namashkaar, Ram Ram and like these forms of greeting. European and so-called modern people greet each other with that of pre-Islamic greeting forms such as Good morning, Good afternoon, Good evening and Good night. But as a little reflection will show, Assalamo Alaikum is the best form of salutation. Since, it is a complete formula of greeting, which not only expresses love and affection but also carries remembrance of Allah Almighty. It reminds us that we all are in need of Allah Almighty. We can do noting without His favour. This greeting form is an excellent Dau¡¯a for a Muslim brother as well as a kind of promise to prevent him from the mischief of your tongue and hands. Had Muslims pronounced this greeting understanding its meaning and practising accordingly it would be sufficient for amending whole Muslim society. (Ma¡¯ariful-Qur¡¯aan, Suratun-Nisaa Vol: 2) Therefore, the Prophet of Islam (SAW) put great emphasis on making Salaam common on widest scale. It is related by Abdullah Bin Anas (RA) that the Prophet (SAW) said, ¡°O, people! Worship Allah, the Beneficent, feed His bondmen and spread Salaam much, and you will reach heaven in safety.¡±

Some basic and important teachings of Islam regarding greeting are stating therein:

Forms of greeting
a) Masnoon greeting form is Assalamo Alaikum WA Rahmatullahi WA Barakaatuhu/Assalamo Alaikum.

b) Ghair Masnoon greeting form is Salaamon/Tasleem and all other forms, which do not contradict with the teachings of Islam but have not been reported from the Prophet of Islam (SAW). One who wishes with these kinds of greeting forms will be deprived of virtues.

c) Haraam is such greeting, which contradicts the doctrine of Islam. Likewise, every salutation form, which imitates the greeting form of other religion, is forbidden.

Whom should be greeted
Every Muslim should be greeted whether acquainted or stranger. Abdullah Bin Umar (RA) narrated that once a person asked the Prophet (SAW) what a more superior act in Islam? The Prophet (SAW) replied, ¡°Feed the bondmen of Allah and greet to those you know as well as to those you do not.¡± (Agreed upon)

Greeting a non-Muslim
It is related on the authority of Abu Hurairah (RA) that the Prophet of Islam (SAW) said, ¡°Do not precede them (Jews and Christians) in greeting and whenever you meet them on the way force them on walking along a side¡±. (Abu Dawd Badun Fee Assalami Aaa Ahliz-Zimmah)

Based on the above-motioned Hadith, Ulama have different opinions concerning the greeting of a non-Muslim with Assalamo Alaikum/Assalamo Ala Manitta¡¯al-Huda. Some Ulama permitted in case of necessity while other prohibited. (Aalamgiri Kitaabun Al-Karahyyaat) Therefore, some other form of salutation which does not contradicts the teachings of Islam and used for greeting in society should be adopted to greet a non-Muslim. Such as Aadaab, good morning etc.

How to reply a non-Muslim¡¯s greeting
If a non-Muslim greets a Muslim with Assalamo Alaikum, the Muslim should say only Wa Alaik/Hadakallah in reply. (Abu Dawd Badun Fee Assalami Aaa Ahliz-Zimmah)
But if a non-Muslim greets a Muslim with Nameste, Ram Ram and like these religious form of greeting the Muslim should not pronounce these forms of greeting in reply. He should reply with other forms of greeting which do not contradict to Islamic teachings and used for greeting in society as well.

Greeting with Nameste
Nameste, Namoshkaar, Ram Ram and Jaisiri Ram are religious forms of greeting in Hinduism. Therefore, a Muslim is not permitted to use these kind of forms for greeting. The Prophet of Islam (SWA) is reported as having said, ¡°He is not from us who adopts imitation of other people. Do not imitate Jews and Christians. Jews greet with indication of fingers while Christians with palm.¡± (Tirmizi Babun Ma Ja¡¯ Fee Karaahatil-Isharatil-Yaad Fee-Ssalaam Vol 2: P 99)

And Allah know the best,

Mohd. S

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