Not a Fatwa —
But a Sunnah Maybe, Do You Think?
(Bringing Islam to the World One Concept at a Time!
Taking the Qur’an to Every Home and Heart that Needs It —
And which One Does Not?)
I don’t know what the Sahabah Kiram, Ridwaanullahi Alaihim, used to say to each other.
Or to Sayyidina Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
Or what he said to them.
I am perhaps too tired at this time, and my mind is registering a blank right now, to recall the reports of exactly what went on.
But I know this much: “Salaam” is a gift from Allah to his Khalq.
The Qur’an says:
Salaamun Qawulan Min Rabbir Raheem!
What amazing words! None better, or more profound, or more full of significance, for all of God’s Creation.
And it is Salaam from Allah that keeps the winds blowing; the waters gushing; the fires flaming; and the plants growing.
It is Salaam that keeps the animals on earth breathing; the stars in the sky twinkling; and all the worlds of Allah, every single one of them, running.
And Salaam is the greeting of Jannat — Paradise. Hear the Qur’an say it:
And also visit:
Wa Da’waahum Feehaa Salaam!
And Salaam is quintessential of the entire Culture of Paradise:
Laa Yasma’oona Feehaa Laghwan Illaa Salaamaa!
There shall be no nonsense and no idle talk in Paradise.
And Salaam is the welcome of the Guardian Angels to the People of Paradise:
Salaamun Alaikum Tibtum!
And I distinctly recall these words of the Qur’an: Salaamun Alaikum!
And I have a distinct and strong feeling, may Allah forgive me for being so vague and tentative about something so important, that the popular mode of greeting at the time of Rasulullah, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, was “Assalaamu Alaikum!”
And it is not “Salaam So-and-So!”
This is a kind of corruption mostly the Brit Little Boys introduced in Islam: “Salaam So-and-So!”
They did it before the iPhone and before even the Social Media took hold of our life and became the dominant mode of communication in our civilization.
And it bothered and pained me no end to see this happen. Even though the Qur’an itself uses that expression “Salaam” without “Al” as in “Assalaam,” and even though God Almighty himself uses it in that mode.
But when Allah says Salaam as in Salaamun Qawulan Min Rabbin Raheem, Allah does not restrict it to anyone. It is a message that covers everyone and everything.
It is an all-encompassing, and non-stop flow of Allah’s Mercy and Love and Salaam to each and all everywhere. Just as Allah says elsewhere in the Qur’an:
Wa Rahmatee Wasi’at Kulla Shayi’.
And a general, no-holds-barred Assalaamu Alaikum will fit that mold: Peace, love and joy to all!
And I also have this feeling that Muslims guarded, cherished and upheld that tradition throughout their checkered life of 1400 long years all across the world.
And I have pointed out before this that by doing that — by using Assalamu Alaikum in a general, non-directional and non-specific sense — you are filling the entire earth with Salaam. And the substitute, Hey Salaam So-and-So, does not quite cut it from that point of view.
What you are doing is instead of using the omnibus, one-size-fits-all, universal Salaam mode, you are cutting it down to the size of this one single individual whose name you are using first, and in whose direction you are sending this message.
At that time, I called Assalaamu Alaikum an exercise in Saturation Salaam. Now some of you, including those Brit Little Boys, are trying to fit that limitless ocean of Salaam into a tiny little vial of no more than a drop.
Even though that single drop is enough to flood the world many times over.
Anyway, people, let me repeat this one more time. I wish Muslims everywhere would make a conscious and concerted effort to stay put with what I think is the more Sunnah-Friendly and more traditional method of Islamic Greeting from our point of view.
And that means using a more general and more comprehensive mode of greeting Assalaamu Alaikum, without name or address specifications, rather than use all kinds of later innovations and modifications to the same including the Brit Salaam-So-and-So.
I cannot help thinking that one place where the target population was specified in the Hadith, to the best that I can recall at this time, was the Dead People — when you visit the graves.
Assalaamu Alaikum Yaa Ahlal Quboor Minal Muslimeena wal Mu’mineen!
And even there it was general enough to cover ALL MUSLIMS and MU’MINS!