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Assalaamu Alaikum by Nayzak Assalaamu Alaikum by Nayzak
Assalaamu alaikum [Peace be to you],

Abu Hurairah (one of the companions of the prophet) quoted the Prophet Mohammed -peace be upon him- as saying: "A Muslim has a right against his fellow Muslim in six ways." He was asked what were these, the Prophet said:

(1)When you meet him, greet him;
(2) if he invites you, accept his invitation;
(3) if he seeks your advice, give him an honest and sincere advice;
(4) if he sneezes and praises God, bless him;
(5) if he falls ill, visit him; and
(6) if he dies, attend his funeral.'

All people have the custom of greeting one another, and every group has its own distinctive greeting that distinguishes them from other people.

The Arabs used to greet one another with the words "An'im sabaahan" [equivalent to "Good morning"], using words derived from "al-ni'mah", which means good living after the morning. The idea was that because the morning is the first part of the day, if a person encounters something good in the morning, the rest of the day is believed to be good too.

When Islam came, Allah [God] prescribed that the manner of greeting among Muslims should be "As-salaamu alaikum", and that this greeting should only be used among Muslims and not for other nations. The meaning of salaam (literally, peace) is harmlessness, safety and protection from evil and from faults. The name "As-Salaam" (meaning "The Peace") is one of the names of of Allah, may He be exalted, so the meaning of the greeting of salaam which is required among Muslims is, "May the blessing of His Name descend upon you." Using Allah's name in our greeting is a constant reminder of the special relation between a believer and Allah.

Muslims all over the world use the Islamic form of greeting, "Assalamu alaikum", which means peace be to you.

The very wording helps generate a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. It is also common in its shorter and longer forms to all Muslim communities wherever they happen to be. Thus, when two Muslims meet who are total strangers to each other, the moment they use this greeting, they immediately feel that they have common grounds, even when they do not speak each other's languages.

The Islamic greeting has different versions, the shortest of which is the one we have already mentioned. The rule in Islam is that when we are offered a greeting, we return it with a better one, or with its equal at least. God orders in the holy Qur'an:
وَإِذَا حُيِّيتُم بِتَحِيَّةٍ فَحَيُّوا بِأَحْسَنَ مِنْهَا أَوْ رُدُّوهَا ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ حَسِيبًا
"And when you are greeted with a greeting, greet with a better (greeting) than it or return it; surely Allah takes account of all things."

[Translation of 4:86]

The Arabic Calligraphy in the drawing is "Assalaamu Alaikum".

Peace be to you...
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Submitted on
March 15, 2011
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