Advanced search
Last Updated: 2012/04/17
Summary of question
If a non-Muslim gives us salaams saying “Assalaamu Alaykum”, how should we respond?
If a non-Muslim gives us salaams saying “Assalaamu Alaykum”, how should we respond?
Concise answer

One of the issues that has been emphasized in our religious teachings is greeting other believers with salams. There are exceptions to this teaching though, greeting non-Muslims being one of them. In jurisprudential books, greeting non-Muslims has been deemed as makruh: "When responding to the greetings of a non-Muslim, keep it short [by saying 'alayk' or 'alaykum']."[1]

Of course, this depends on the degree of interaction the Muslims have with them; in certain cases it might not be the best thing to greet them coldly and without feeling; this may contradict other religious teachings.

An example of these teachings that have been mentioned in the hadiths is: In response to what the Jews would say to the prophet (instead of saying 'Assalaamu Alaykum', they would say 'Assaamu Alaykum' which meant 'death be upon you' instead of 'peace be with you'), he would say: 'Alayk' (which meant [the same] to you), and when he saw some of his wives retaliating with abusive language, he said to them: "إِنَّ الْفُحْشَ لَوْ کَانَ مُمَثَّلًا لَکَانَ مِثَالَ سَوْءٍ، إِنَّ الرِّفْقَ لَمْ یوضَعْ عَلَى شَی‏ءٍ قَطُّ إِلَّا زَانَهُ وَ لَمْ یرْفَعْ عَنْهُ قَطُّ إِلَّا شَانَه"[2] which translates into: "If cursing and abusive language were to be embodied, they would make a very ugly statue. Anything that kindness and gentleness are added to is adorned, and anything deprived of kindness and gentleness becomes ugly and unpleasant."

Therefore, with those non-Muslims whom we are not at war with, and due to necessity, we interact and have relations with, it is better to act in a way that doesn't give a bad impression of Muslims and religion.

This Question has no detailed answer.


[1] See: Fazel Lankarani, Muhammad, Ahkame Javanan, p. 182, Amir Qalam Press, Qum, 1427 AH; Tabatabai Yazdi, Sayyid Muhammad Kadhim, Al-Urwat al-Wuthqa ma'a Ta'liqat al-Fazel, vol. 1, p. 536, Aimmah Athaar Jurisprudential Center, Qum, without date of publication.

[2] Kulayni, Muhammad ibn Yaqub, vol. 2, p. 648, Daar al-Kutub al-Islamiyyah, Tehran, 1365 (solar).


Number of comments 0
Please enter the value
Example : Yourname@YourDomane.ext
Please enter the value
Please enter the value

Thematic Category

Random questions

  • Why do you limit the Ahlul Bayt (ع) to a few people?
    6827 Traditional 2011/08/15
    The limiting of the Ahlul Bayt (ع) to the fourteen infallibles is not a human decision; it is an exclusivity understood from the Divine words in the Verse of Purification and the traditions of the noble Prophet (ص
  • Is there any objection to wearing hair gel and does wearing the gel affect the wudhu?
    9759 Laws and Jurisprudence 2011/11/21
    One of the mandatory conditions that must be met during wudhu is that water should be made to reach all parts of wudhu. One of the parts of wudhu is the head which must be wiped with the wudhu moisture left on the palm of the right hand. However, ...
  • I would like to know if we can use nicotine patches for smoking cessation during the month of Ramadan.
    6317 Laws and Jurisprudence 2010/08/22
    These are the responses we acquired from the offices of the maraje’:The office of the Grand Ayatullah Khamenei:It isn't problematic.The office of the Grand Ayatullah Sistani:It isn't problematic.The office of the Grand Ayatullah Safi Golpaygani:Using patches of any sort is permissible, but all things that ...
  • Why is the dog a najis animal in Islam?
    25949 Philosophy of Religion and Law 2012/01/19
    One of the fundamental teachings of Islam is that all legal rulings are based on the real benefits and harms behind them. If there were no benefits or harms, there would be no commands nor prohibitions, and no ruling regarding the najasah and taharah of things in religion.
  • Are Abbas Bin Abdul Muttalib and his children unbelievers from the Shia perspective?
    17872 Exalted scholars 2010/04/20
    Abbas bin Abdul Muttalib was the respected uncle of the Holy Prophet (s). While he is not considered as part of the ‘Ahlul Bait’ he is one of those who are given special respect by the Shias. For example alongside with the ‘Ziarat’ that the Shias do for ...
  • Why is full hijab compulsory for Muslim women in Iran?
    7485 Laws and Jurisprudence 2011/12/11
    Hijab is one of the Islamic duties which existed in other religions also. It has been stated in the Holy Quran and in numerous traditions that a woman should cover all parts of her body except her face and hands up to the wrists. Therefore, the ...
  • Is it lawful to get a marital judgment from a non-Muslim government?
    6179 Laws and Jurisprudence 2007/01/07
    Referring to judicial arbitrators in non-Muslim and oppressive governments, and requesting their help is not permissible, save in cases where attaining one's right is dependent upon it, and there is no other way. And it is obvious that taking ...
  • What happened to Aisha, the wife of the Prophet of Islam (S) after the Battle of Jamal? Was she living under house arrest for a period of time?
    15743 History 2017/05/22
    Following the battle of Jamal, Imam Ali (AS) ordered his comrades to take Aisha to Abdullah bin Khalaf Khazā’ei’s house who along with his sons had been killed in the same battle while fighting for Aisha. As for whether or not this was a kind of house ...
  • What is the ruling of committing sin under compulstion?
    6878 Laws and Jurisprudence 2011/05/08
    According to religious teachings, religious duties are contingent upon one’s free will and choice, meaning that if one does something out of free will, he will deserve to be rewarded or punished. It is on this basis that one of the cases of exemption from ...
  • What is Musharakah?
    6318 Laws and Jurisprudence 2009/07/19
    In Islamic fiqh, the term musharakah is used for two meanings:1- For two or more people to have a joint ownership regarding anything that can be owned (let it be wealth, assets or even a right). One of the binding rulings regarding this type of ownership ...