The Story Behind As-Salam Alaikum

salam alaikum


This article will tell you How Muslim greet each Other. Why do they say” As-Salam Alaikum” and how do they say it in different Countries.

How do Muslim Greet each Other?

Muslims greet each Other with an Islamic greeting,”As-Salam Alaikum” which means ( May Allah’s peace , mercy and blessing be upon you )

Response of Salam

Quran learning
Way to say "As-Salam Alaikum" to Muslims in different countries? 13

Salam is responded by the greeting,”Wa-Alaikum-as-Salaam” (“and upon you the Peace”)/walaikum salam

Islamic Greetings:


Why do Muslims Say “As-Salam alaikum”

  • The greeting of Peace,”As-salamu Alaikum” was taught by Allah to the first Man he created on Earth-Prophet Adam(A.S).And the reply of As-salamu Alaikum was taught to Adam and his Progeny by the angels.Islam asks us to greet People with a salutation and then return it with a better one.


“When you are greeted with a salutation then return it with a better one, or at least the same. *114 Surely Allah takes good count of everything.”(4:86)

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Hadeeth explaining the Verse:

The Prophet said, “Allah created Adam in his image, sixty cubits (about 30 meters) in height. When He created him, He said (to him), ‘Go and greet that group of angels sitting there, and listen what they will say in reply to you, for that will be your greeting and the greeting of your offspring.’ Adam (went and) said, ‘As-Salamu alaikum (Peace be upon you).’

They replied, ‘As-Salamu ‘Alaika wa Rahmatullah (Peace and Allah’s Mercy be on you).’ So they increased ‘wa Rahmatullah’ The Prophet added, ‘So whoever will enter Paradise, will be of the shape and picture of Adam. Since then the creation of Adam’s (offspring) (i.e. stature of human beings) is being diminished continuously up to the present time.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 74, Number 246)

Way to say "As-Salam Alaikum" to Muslims in different countries? 15
  • “As salamu Alaikum” is a greeting from Paradise.On the day, A Muslim will meet his lord,the Salutation will be “salam”.Allah the Almighty says:(Their salutation on the day that they meet Him shall be, Peace)[Al-Ahzab: 44]
  • Almighty Allah says about the angels:(And the angels will enter in upon them from every gate (saying)*:(“Salamun Alaikum” (Peace be on you)
  • If the believer meets [another] believer, and gives him the salaam, and takes hold of his hand and shakes it, their sins fall off as the leaves of a tree[At-Tabarani from Hudhaifa]
  • Allah says in Surah Anam,(Say: Peace be on you)[Al-An’am: 54]

The muslim greeting of salam is a mercy of Allah.

Who Should greet First?

In Islam the One who greet first is Praised.Either you are younger than the other Person or you are Older than him,You should compete in greeting first.

  • Narrated Abu Umama, Allah’s Messenger, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, said:The person nearest to Allah is one who is the first to offer greeting[Abu Dawood]
  • The most miserly of all people is one who is miserly with greetings[Ad-Dailami from Abu Huraira]
  • If the believer meets [another] believer, and gives him the salaam, and takes hold of his hand and shakes it, their sins fall off as the leaves of a tree[At-Tabarani from Hudhaifa]

How Muslims greet Salam in different Countries:

Having lived in Saudi Arabia,I have met people of various ethenicity.At first I was surprised at their way of greeting each Other but after having observed many different people,I came to a conclusion that the way of greeting have been influenced by the culture of the Country but the Islamic greeting is the same:-A warm smile and “Salam alaikum”. Let us see How different People of different Countries greet each Other(Same Sex only) :-

British and Americans

On meeting someone for the first time, a british normally shake hands  or even just smile and greet Salam.  If it’s a friend or casual acquaintance,they would hug or make one kiss on the cheek.


You can See Arabs greeting each other with “Salamu Alaikum”.They kiss each other’s cheek.Don’t be surprised if you see them greeting each other with nose kiss, cheek kisses or forehead Kisses.It is in their culture.Well,they do this only among themselves and rarely with people with other ethenicity.


In India, the greeting is accompanied by raising the right hand to the chest (arz hai “regards”; adaab “respect”) or a simple handshake or hug, the shorter greeting “Salam” is used in informal situations. Goodbye is supplanted by a “Khuda hafiz” (secular/less formal or to an acquaintance) or “Allah hafiz” (less secular/generally to strangers, formal), both of which mean “May God keep you safe”.

An Indian may raise his hand in adaab but these days,this adaab is vanishing.They would shake hands and hug while greeting you with salam


In Pakistan, the greeting is also associated with shaking right hands and is also often accompanied with a hug when meeting infrequently (only between the same gender). In some places, people put a hand on their heart as they shake your hand and greet. Also, the full greeting of ‘As-salam-o-alaikum’ is preferred versus the shorter greeting of ‘Salam’.The pakistanis would shake your hand and hug you greeting you with Peace.


In Indonesia, the greeting is usually accompanied with a kind of two-handed “handshake”.

In Indonesia’s Javanese/Sasak culture, a remnant of feudalism is retained, where an elder’s proffered right hand is taken and pressed briefly against the forehead. Some may instead briefly kiss the hand or the main ring. This is very common for young children to greet older relatives (of their parents’ age, though, on occasion, if very polite children, younger).

When you meet an Indonesian who is younger than you,they may kiss your hand or press your hand against their forehead on greeting Salam.


Afganis usually greet each other with Salam by holding and shaking both hands and wishing “Salam alaikum.A warm Welcome is usually associated with hugs.


Kissing (on the cheek) is only for family and close friends. Hugging is for family, close friends, or a friend you haven’t seen for a long time. You shake hands when you’re formally introduced or you just got acquainted.

There’s also the customary beso-beso (placing one’s cheek to the other or air kisses ) between women in some circles. Between men and women, this has been adopted over time but beso-beso between men in the Philippines is a no-no. A firm handshake would do just fine.

Well,I hope you liked the article.Do leave a comment if you have a different opinion and feel free to share your Own views.

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