Assalam Alaikum - The Islamic Greeting (2023)

Why Muslims from all over the world use the same greeting.

Islam covers every aspect of life, it is not a religion that can be bought out and polished on a Sunday or for specific celebrations. Islam, through the words of God in the Quran, and the traditions of Prophet Muhammad, offers advice and guidance from dawn til dusk, from birth until death. Islam even teaches the believers the best way to greet each other; it is a complete way of life.

What exactly does the word Islam mean? It is an Arabic word that comes from the root, sa -la –ma, meaning peace. However, it is a descriptive word that entails more than tranquility and calmness, it also encompasses the concepts of safety, security and submission. In fact, Islam could be said to mean submission to the One God through who comes, safety, security, peace and harmony. The word Muslim also derives from the same root, so too does the Islamic greeting - Assalam.

In previous articles we have discussed the fact that all believers are linked together by various means. Most importantly is the belief that there is no god but God and that Muhammad is his messenger. This is what distinguishes believers from non-believers. However, believers are also reminded of the bonds between them whenever they greet one another. The Islamic greeting of peace - Assalam, encourages believers to be a worldwide community unencumbered by tribal or nationalistic loyalties and bound together by peace and unity.

Prophet Muhammad suggested we greet those we do not know as well as our friends and acquaintances [Al-Bukhari & Muslim].

»أن رجلاً سأل النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: أي الإسلام خير؟ قال: تطعم الطعام ، وتقرأ السلام على من عرفت ومن لم تعرف» البخاري ومسلم

Thus believers try to establish peace and friendly relations by greeting and meeting one another. When Muslims of any nationality, ethnicity or color meet they will greet each other as family. Believers also have rights over one another.

«The Muslim has five rights over his fellow-Muslim: he should return his salaams, visit him when he is sick, attend his funeral, accept his invitation, and pray for mercy for him when he sneezes» [Al-Bukhari]

»حق المسلم على المسلم خمس: رد السلام، وعيادة المريض، واتباع الجنائز، وإجابة الدعوة، وتشميت العاطس«البخاري

The Islamic greeting is Assalam Alaikum (May God’s peace be upon you). The response to this is wa Alaikum Assalam (and may His peace also be upon you). It is more than a greeting; it is also a prayer or supplication. These brief Arabic words let Muslims know that they are among friends, not strangers. A few words of greeting reveal so much.

{When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it, or (at least) return it equally. Certainly, God is Ever a Careful Account Taker of all things.} [Quran 4:86]

{وَإِذَا حُيِّيتُم بِتَحِيَّةٍ فَحَيُّوا بِأَحْسَنَ مِنْهَا أَوْ رُدُّوهَا ۗ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ كَانَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ حَسِيبًا} النساء: 86

Transliteration: Waithahuyyeetum bitahiyyatin fahayyoo biahsana minhaaw ruddoohainna Allaha kana AAalakulli shayinhaseeban

Better Islamic greetings include, Assalam Alaikum wa Rahmatullah, which means, May the peace and mercy of God be upon you, and Assalam Alaikum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuh, which means, May the peace, mercy, and blessings of God be upon you. Greeting in return with something better would be, for example, after hearing the words Assalam Alaikum you would respond, wa Alaikum Assalam wa Rahmatullah.


Making that small effort to greet others with peace and blessings at every opportunity increases rewards. Each time a believer says the words Assalam Alaikum or responds to this greeting, his bank of good deeds is increased.

«One day a man passed by the Prophet Muhammad while he was sitting with some men, and said “Salam Alaikum”. The Prophet said “He will have 10 rewards”. Another man passed by and said “Salam alaikum wa rahmatullah”. The Prophet said he will have 20 rewards”. Another man passed and said “Assalam alaikum wa rahmat ullaah wa barakaatuh”. The Prophet said, and he will have 30 rewards» [At-Tirmidhi]

»أن رجلاً جاء إلى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال: السلام عليكم، قال قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: عشر . وجاء آخر فقال: السلام عليكم ورحمة الله، فقال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: عشرون: ثم جاء آخر فقال: السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته، فقال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: ثلاثون» صحيح الترمذي

In addition, throughout the Quran, God repeatedly points out that this is the Islamic greeting. God assures us that struggling to please Him will result in peace and security in Paradise, and when the believer enters paradise he will be greeted by the words Assalam Alaikum.

{And those who believed (in the Oneness of God and His Messengers and whatever they brought) and did righteous deeds, will be made to enter Gardens under which rivers flow, - to dwell therein forever (i.e. in Paradise), with the Permission of their Lord. Their greeting therein will be, salam (peace!).} [Quran 14:23]

{وَأُدْخِلَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِمْ ۖ تَحِيَّتُهُمْ فِيهَا سَلَامٌ} إبراهيم: 23

Transliteration: Waodkhila alla




manoo waAAamiloo al




ti jann


tin tajree min ta

(Video) Can A Muslim Wish Salam To A Non Muslim






ru kh


lideena feeh




ni rabbihim ta


iyyatuhum feeh





{Salam Alaikum for you persevered in patience! Excellent indeed is the final home!} [Quran 13:24]

{سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُم بِمَا صَبَرْتُمْ ۚ فَنِعْمَ عُقْبَى الدَّار} الرعد: 24

Transliteration: Sal


mun AAalaykum bim


abartum faniAAma AAuqb





(Video) Muslim Greetings| Muslim greetings saying Assalam o Alaikum | learn how Muslim greet and why?

{When those who believe in Our Ayat (proofs, evidence, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) come to you, say, “Assalam Alaikum” (peace be on you); your Lord has written (prescribed) Mercy for Himself, so that if any of you does evil in ignorance, and thereafter repents and does righteous good deeds (by obeying God), then surely, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.} [Quran 6:54]

{وَإِذَا جَاءَكَ الَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِآيَاتِنَا فَقُلْ سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمْ ۖ كَتَبَ رَبُّكُمْ عَلَىٰ نَفْسِهِ الرَّحْمَةَ ۖ أَنَّهُ مَنْ عَمِلَ مِنكُمْ سُوءًا بِجَهَالَةٍ ثُمَّ تَابَ مِن بَعْدِهِ وَأَصْلَحَ فَأَنَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ} الأنعام: 54

Transliteration: Waithajaaka allatheena yuminoona biayatinafaqul salamun AAalaykum kataba rabbukum AAalanafsihi alrrahmata annahu man AAamila minkum sooan bijahalatin thumma taba min baAAdihi waaslaha faannahu ghafoorun raheemun

{Those whose lives the angels take while they are in a pious state (i.e. pure from all evil, and worshipping none but God Alone) saying (to them), Assalam Alaikum (peace be on you) enter you Paradise, because of that (the good) which you used to do (in the world).} [Quran 16:32]

{الَّذِينَ تَتَوَفَّاهُمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ طَيِّبِينَ ۙ يَقُولُونَ سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمُ ادْخُلُوا الْجَنَّةَ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ} النحل: 32

(Video) The Islamic greeting is Assalamu Alaikum

Transliteration: Al-Allatheena tatawaffahumu almalaikatutayyibeena yaqooloona salamun AAalaykumu odkhuloo aljannata bimakuntum taAAmaloona

{But when you enter the houses, greet one another with a greeting from God, As-salamu Alaikum - peace be on you, blessed and good.} [Quran 24:61]

{فَإِذَا دَخَلْتُم بُيُوتًا فَسَلِّمُوا عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِكُمْ تَحِيَّةً مِّنْ عِندِ اللَّـهِ مُبَارَكَةً طَيِّبَةً} النور: 61

Transliteration: faithadakhaltum buyootan fasallimoo AAalaanfusikum tahiyyatan min AAindi Allahi mubarakatantayyibatan

{And those who kept their duty to their Lord will be led to Paradise in groups and when they reach it the its gates will be opened and the keepers will say, Salam Alaikum, you have done well, so enter here to abide therein.} [Quran 39:73]

{وَسِيقَ الَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا رَبَّهُمْ إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ زُمَرًا ۖ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا جَاءُوهَا وَفُتِحَتْ أَبْوَابُهَا وَقَالَ لَهُمْ خَزَنَتُهَا سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمْ طِبْتُمْ فَادْخُلُوهَا خَالِدِينَ} الزمر: 73

Transliteration: Waseeqa allatheena ittaqaw rabbahum ilaaljannati zumaranhattaithajaoohawafutihat abwabuhawaqala lahum khazanatuhasalamun AAalaykumtibtum faodkhuloohakhalideena

Prophet Muhammad reiterated God’s message when he said, «You will not enter Paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another. Shall I tell you about something which, if you do it, will make you love one another? Spread salams amongst yourselves» [Muslim].

«لا تدخلون الجنة حتى تؤمنوا . ولا تؤمنوا حتى تحابوا. أولا أدلكم على شيء إذا فعلتموه تحاببتم؟ أفشوا السلام بينكم»رواه مسلم

(Video) Learn Arabic - Arabic in 3 Minutes - How to Greet People in Arabic

By Aisha Stacey


What is the full greeting for assalamualaikum? ›

السَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ ٱللَّهِ وَبَرَكاتُهُ‎ (as-salāmu ʿalaykum wa-raḥmatu llāhi wa-barakātuhu, “Peace be upon you as well as God's mercy and blessings.”)

What is the response to salam Alaikum? ›

"Wa-Alaikum-Salaam," meaning "And unto you peace," was the standard response. Muslim ministers and audiences regularly exchanged the salutation at the beginning and end of lectures and sermons.

What is the full Islamic greeting? ›

Traditional greeting between Muslims is Assalamu alaikum (peace be upon you) to which the response is wa alaikum salaam(and unto you peace).

What is Assalam o Alaikum in English? ›

As-salamu alaykum (Arabic: ٱلسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ, as-salāmu ʿalaykum, Arabic: [ː.mu ʕa.laj.kum] ( listen)), also written salamun alaykum and typically rendered in English as salam alaykum, is a greeting in Arabic that means 'Peace be upon you'.

What do Muslims say after Assalamu alaikum? ›

The polite response to the phrase is wa alaikum assalam, which means “and upon you be peace.” A related phrase is alayhi assalam (masculine) or alayha assalam (feminine).

Can non Muslims respond to Assalamu alaikum? ›

The proper reply by non-Muslims is 'Wasalamualaikum' which in Arabic means 'Peace be also with you'. 'Nobody should have a monopoly over the Arabic language and I say to all of you present here, Muslim and non-Muslim to reply appropriately in Arabic if you choose to.

How do Muslims say goodbye? ›

مع السلامة Ma'a salama

It's the most common way of saying goodbye in Arabic. The phrase ma'a salama is recognized in most Arab-speaking countries. It is also very versatile and you can use it in most situations, formal and informal.

Do you say salam alaikum when you leave? ›

Answer. Praise be to Allah. If a man joins a gathering it is Sunnah for him to give salaams to people in this gathering, and when he wants to get up and leave, he should give them salaam once again before he leaves.

How do Muslims say thank you? ›

1. Shukran (شكراً) Shukran is used in all Arabic-speaking countries, in both formal and informal settings, and is understood widely among speakers of all dialects of Arabic. It comes from the root verb shakara (شكر) meaning “to thank”.

How do Muslims say good morning? ›

Sabah el kheir ( صباح الخير ) “Good morning”

It can be used in informal and formal situations. You would reply with Sabah el noor (see below) or Sabaho.

How do Muslims say hello and goodbye? ›

Literally meaning "peace", shalom is used for both hello and goodbye. A cognate with the Arabic-language salaam.

What means Bismillah? ›

Bismillah (Arabic: بسم الله) is a phrase in Arabic meaning "in the name of Allah". It is also the first word in the Qur'an, and refers to the Qur'an's opening phrase, the Basmala.

What is difference between salam and Assalam? ›

Al ال Definite article . When combined with “s — س" its pronunciation is stressed like in double letters , having the “shaddat ّ” as equivalent , so “Al Salam" becomes “Assalam” . السلام vs السّلام . At the end of the “m م" ، there is a diactric “dammat ُ" denoting a subject in a nominative sentence مبتدأ .

How do you respond to Alhamdulillah? ›

When any one of you sneezes and says 'alhamdulillah [praise be to Allah]', it becomes obligatory upon every Muslim who hears him to respond with: “Yarhamuk Allah [may Allah have mercy on you]'.

What is salam in English? ›

a salutation meaning “peace,” used especially in Islamic countries. a very low bow or obeisance, especially with the palm of the right hand placed on the forehead.

How do you greet someone in Arabic? ›

Common ways to greet someone include:
  1. As-salaam 'alykum – This is arguably the most common greeting. It means, “peace be upon you”. ...
  2. Ahlan (hello). This can be used for anyone at any time of the day. ...
  3. Marhaba (Welcome) It comes from the word “rahhaba” which means “to welcome”.

Is Assalamu Alaikum correct? ›

It is correct to say Assalamu Alaikum (السلام عليكم); it is not correct to pronounce Salamu Alaikum (سلامعليكم).

Who should say Salaam first? ›

Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The rider should first greet the pedestrian, and the pedestrian the one who is seated and a small group should greet a larger group (with as-Salam-u-'Alaikum).

What does ma salaam mean? ›

Ma Salama means good bye . it also means peace be with you.

How do you say goodnight in Islam? ›

The phrase تصبح على خير tiSbaH 'ala khair is the closest equivalent to the way people use the phrase “good night” in English. It is used as a way to say farewell in the evening.

What do Muslims say before leaving the toilet? ›

Bismillaah, Allaahumma inni a'oodhu bika min al-khubthi wa'l-khabaa'ith (In the name of Allaah, O Allaah, I seek refuge with You from evil and from the male and female devils).”

What do Muslims say when entering a house? ›

In the Name of Allah we enter, in the Name of Allah we leave, and upon our Lord we depend [then say As-Salaamu 'Alaykum to those present]. بِسْمِ الله…

What does Inshallah mean in Islam? ›

For Muslims, the term — which translates to “If God wills” — is auspicious: If you want something to happen, you should say inshallah before you say anything else about it.

How do you say all thanks is to Allah? ›

Alhamdulillah (Arabic: ٱلْحَمْدُ لِلَّٰهِ, al-Ḥamdu lillāh) is an Arabic phrase meaning "praise be to God", sometimes translated as "thank God".

How do you greet a good day in Arabic? ›

9. – Naharak sa'eed – “Good day”

How do you greet morning in Arabic? ›

صباح الخير Sabah El Kheir is the most common way of saying good morning in Arabic. It means good morning, and can be used on all occasions, formal and informal, and is understood in all dialects.

What are the 3 ways to greet in Islam? ›

  • Use the phrase "As-Salam-u-Alaikum" ("Peace be unto you").
  • This is pronounced “as-saa-laam-muu-ah-lay-kum.”
  • You might also choose to use the longer greeting of "As-Salam-u-Alaikum wa-rahmatullahi wa-barakatuh" ("Peace be unto you and so may the mercy of Allah and his blessings”).

What do Muslims say before eating? ›

When meal is ready: "Allahumma barik lana fima razaqtana waqina athaban-nar. " (Translation: O God! Bless the food You have provided us and save us from the punishment of the hellfire.)

What language is inshallah? ›

inshallah, Arabic in shāʾ Allāh, Arabic-language expression meaning literally “if God wills.”

What is Astaghfirullah? ›

(Islam, literally) In the literal sense, "I seek forgiveness from Allah"; a short prayer of redemption. (Islam) An expression of guilt or shame.

Can salam be given to non Muslims? ›

It is well-known that the Islamic greeting is one of peace. It uses the word Salam, which is one of God's names. Hence, it should not be offered to a non-Muslim.

When should you say mashallah? ›

With Muslim families, you must say "mashallah" with every compliment lest someone think you are jealous and have the evil eye. Whereas in some cultures talismans, such as the popular Turkish Nazar, are used as defence against the eye, in the region it is held that Allah is the only protector against its evil.

How do you reply to Shukr? ›

The correct response to shukran is afwan. Afwan has two meaning depending on the context it's used, not at all or you are welcome.

Why do Arabs say Alhamdulillah? ›


Muslims and Arabs use the phrase alhamdulillah to express contentment with their lot in life, and the term is roughly equivalent to "thank God". Literally it means "all praise is to God", and the opening chapter of the Quran, known as al-Fatiha or "The Opening", starts with the exclamation.

How do you say Assalamu alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh in Arabic? ›

Assalamu'alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ May the peace, mercy, and blessings of Allah be with you. 22ndCenturyMuslimah.

Why do Muslims say salam? ›

The words of greeting which Islam has exhorted its followers to use at the time of meeting are as-Salam-u-'Alaikum which have a deep spiritual and moral significance behind them Since the predominant feature of Islamic faith and practice is peace within and peace without, it has, therefore, been made a watchword which ...

How do you give salam properly? ›

Traditionally, the Salam greeting is reserved for those of the Muslim faith, so if you are not Muslim, you might not receive this greeting.
Greet a Muslim as they would greet one another.
  1. Use the phrase "As-Salam-u-Alaikum" ("Peace be unto you").
  2. This is pronounced “as-saa-laam-muu-ah-lay-kum.”


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