WHY IGNORE HER GREETING? NO I DIDN’T! SHE THOUGHT I DID.
Sanni K. Yusuf
I have heard people say so, but I have never seen people do as alleged. The allegation is becoming deafening and its accompanying effects really worrying. This stimulated me to make findings regarding the matter, but the results I got were rather dicey and seemingly confusing. While some said the allegation was true, others maintained that it was a mere figment borne out of suspicion and hate for the alleged. They say muslims in sunnatic outlook – beard, trousers, long hijab etc. don’t return or respond to the greeting by muslims who do not look like them. What! That is serious!
I find it out of place and preposterous that a muslim will deliberately ignore the teslim of a fellow muslim – a brother in faith, for that matter. What for? Whoever is guilty of such is apparently a sufferer of abject ignorance and a rejecter of Allah’s bounties. Perhaps such an ignoramus isn’t aware that greeting in Islaam is an act of worship; and that responding accordingly is obligatory.
“When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with that which is better, or (at least) return it equally.” Q4:86.
This verse lucidly shows that any form of greeting that is Islamically legit should be responded to exactly as initiated or even bettered. The verse, scholastically speaking, suffices a proof to appropriately reply to a non-muslim’s greeting, let alone a muslim, for that matter. I still can’t believe that such exists.
Without mincing words, the one who deliberately does not return the greeting by a fellow muslim, apart from incurring debts upon himself, is missing great rewards. Initiating the Islamic greeting – salaam alaykum, though voluntary by its ruling, is highly rewarding, as contained in the following words of the holy Prophet.
Narrated Abu Umaamah Al-Baahilee who said that the Messenger of Allah said: “The worthiest person to Allah is the one who initiates salaam to people.”(Saheeh Wa Da’eeful Jaami’is-Sageer: Hadeeth 2011). If extending salaam to muslims is sunnatically considered a worthy phenomenon, how much more returning it?
Greeting in Islaam even goes beyond the tongue. Some other body parts are equally involved to incur a fuller guerdon.
Narrated Hudhayfah bn-Alyamaan from the Prophet who said: “Verily, when a believer meets another believer and says salaam to him and handshakes him, his shortcomings are dispensed the way leaves of a tree are scattered.” (As-Silsilatus-Saheehah: 526). If mere initiation of greeting and handshake could result in expiation of sins, why then would a muslim whose understanding of Islaam is apt, and whose head isn’t paining him jettison such deliberately? I still can’t imagine the occurrence of this omen.
Greeting with salaam was legislated by Allah. Returning it appropriately, accordingly and correspondingly was obligated by Him. Therefore, going contrary to it, no doubt, is an unfortunate show of effrontery against Allah.
In Al-Jaami’u-s-Saheeh, it was reported by At-Tirmidhee that the Messenger of Allah said: “When Allah created Adam and blew in him soul, he (Adam) sneezed and said Al-hamdulillaah. He thanked Allah with His permission, then his Lord said to him: may my mercy be upon you, o Adam. Go to those angels, among whom are seated and say (to them): As-Salaam Alaykum; they replied: Wa alaykumus-salaam Warahmatullaah. He then returned to his Lord and He (Allah) said: verily, this has become your greeting and the greeting of your progeny.” Al-Jaami’us-Saheeh Sunanut-Tirmidhiy: 3368.
“…this has become your greeting and the greeting of your progeny,” so said our Lord. That was a command which was adhered to by the Prophet. Why will you do otherwise? What do you stand to gain ignoring your sister’s greeting? Don’t you belong to the progeny of Adam again? Aren’t you an adherent of Muhammad anymore? You had better change if you are culpable as alleged.
With the aforementioned verse and traditions, it should be clear to the allegers that refusal to return salaam by anyone can never be on account of religious understanding. May be there are mundane scores you need to settle between each other. You should therefore, stop alleging the sunnah for the shortfall of its adherent – they are human, and fallible, too. Stop making issues where there should be none. Challenge whoever you feel is doing that to you, maybe she/he has a reason that may even shock you and appeal to your mind.