As-salamu Alaikum is a term spoken in the religion of Muslims in Arabic language which means “Peace be upon you” in English. Salam is considered to be a religious salutation in the Muslim culture for greeting each other.
When someone greets another person using the phrase As-salamu Alaikum, then the response to this particular greeting is in the form of wa Alaikum Assalam, that in English means “and peace be upon you too”.
The complete phrase is said to be Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh, which means in English that “peace be upon you as well as the mercy of God and his blessings”.
What is the Origin of As-salamu Alaikum?
The universal greeting of As-salamu Alaikum which is used by the Muslims has its evidence written in the holy book of the Quran. The term Islam is considered to be one of the names of Allah, which means the source of peace.
In the Quran, it is stated that Allah has instructed his believers that they should treat one another by always quoting in these particular words of peace:
“But if you enter houses, salute each other—a greeting of blessing and purity from Allah. Thus does Allah make clear the signs to you, that you may understand.” (24:61)
“When those come to you who believe in Our signs, say: ‘Peace be upon you.’ Your Lord has inscribed for Himself the rule of mercy.” (6:54)
Furthermore, the Quran states that “peace” is the greeting that angels will extend to believers in Paradise:
“Their greeting therein will be, ‘Salaam!’” (14:23)
“And those who kept their duty to their Lord will be led to Paradise in groups. When they reach it, the gates will be opened and the keepers will say, ‘Salaam Alaikum, you have done well, so enter here to abide therein.’” (39:73)
What is the Meaning of As-salamu Alaikum?
The phrase which is very popularly used by all the Muslim people for greeting one another, As-salamu Alaikum, is said both at the time of arriving and leaving at someone’s house or place.
It was reported by the famous Abu Hurairah that when a person joins a gathering, then he joins it by saying the words of peace to all the people present there. Also at the time of leaving the gathering, he or she should get up and say the words of peace.
This particular phrase has appeared more than 7 times in the holy book of the Quran, in the form of As-salamu Alaikum.
What are the Variations in As-salamu Alaikum?
A lot of variations are seen in the spelling and the pronunciation when one is greeting Assalamu alaikum to each other.
A table is given below which specifies the gender along with the type of greeting and response which is given by a person when he or she wishes each other As-salamu Alaikum.
|ٱلسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكَ||وَعَلَيْكَ ٱلسَّلَامُ|
|as-salāmu ʿalayka||wa ʿalayka s-salāmu|
|ٱلسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكِ||وَعَلَيْكِ ٱلسَّلَامُ|
|as-salāmu ʿalayki||wa ʿalayki s-salāmu|
|ٱلسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمَا||وَعَلَيْكُمَا ٱلسَّلَامُ|
|as-salāmu ʿalaykumā||wa ʿalaykumā s-salāmu|
|ٱلسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ||وَعَلَيْكُمُ ٱلسَّلَامُ|
|as-salāmu ʿalaykum||wa ʿalaykumu s-salāmu|
|ٱلسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُنَّ||وَعَلَيْكُنَّ ٱلسَّلَامُ|
|as-salāmu ʿalaykunna||wa ʿalaykunna s-salāmu|
This particular expression is very commonly used when someone is arriving on leaving at a gathering or visiting the house of someone. It is considered to be hello or goodbye which is used in English.
The holy book of the Quran always reminds its devotees and followers to reply whenever someone is greeting them with an equal or greater value. This particular fact is also written in Quran 4:86
“When a courteous greeting is offered you, meet it with a greeting still more courteous, or at least of equal courtesy. Allah takes careful account of all things” (4:86).
Such extended greetings include:
- As-salamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah (“May the peace and mercy of Allah be with you”)
- As-salamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh (“May the peace, mercy, and blessings of Allah be with you”)
What is As-salamu Alaikum in Islam?
According to several Hadith present in the religion of Islam, Prophet Muhammad was asked who should begin the greeting, to which he replied:
“The one who is riding should greet the one who is walking and the one who is walking should greet the one who is sitting and the smaller group should greet the larger group” (Sahih al-Bukhari, 6234; Muslim, 2160)
It is also stated in the holy book of the Quran that the Salam greeting should be given as soon as someone enters the house. This particular fact is also quoted in the holy book of Quran as follows:
“But when you enter the houses, greet one another with a greeting from God blessed and good” (An-Nur 24:61).
What are the Traditions Related to Assalamu alaikum?
The tradition of Assalamu alaikum was started by Prophet Muhammad when he used to greet the people by saying this particular phrase and also encouraged and motivated his followers and devotees to follow and do the same.
This particular tradition has helped immensely in bonding the Muslims together and converting them into one big family and also establish strong and unbreakable community relationships.
Prophet Muhammad once told all his devotees and followers that 5 responsibilities are present which each Muslim should fulfill towards his sisters and brothers in the Islamic religion.
These five responsibilities are:
- Greeting each other using the Salam phrase.
- Visiting each other’s house or place whenever someone is sick or weak.
- Attending a Funeral of your loved and dear ones.
- Accepting the invitation from your loved and dear ones.
- And last is asking the almighty Allah for having mercy on them, whenever they sneeze alone or in a public place.
It is believed that whenever a Muslim person, whether male or female enters into a public gathering, then he or she should be the one who greets or wishes the others first.
It was recommended by the people that the person who is entering the gathering should also treat all the persons who are sitting and it should also be kept in mind that the younger person should be the one who greets the elder person first.
Whenever there is an argument between two Muslims and then they cut off the ties between them, then the one who tries to re-establish all the contact and ties again using the greeting of Salaam is believed to receive the greatest blessings from the Allah Almighty.
In this context, some famous lines said by the great Prophet Muhammad are mentioned below:
“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? Greet each other with salaam.”
As-salamu Alaikum appearances in Quran
- Surah Al-An’am (6), Ayah 54:
وَإِذَا جَآءَكَ ٱلَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِآيَاتِنَا فَقُلْ سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمْ ۖ كَتَبَ رَبُّكُمْ عَلَىٰ نَفْسِهِ ٱلرَّحْمَةَ ۖ أَنَّهُۥ مَنْ عَمِلَ مِنكُمْ سُوٓءًۢا بِجَهَالَةٍۢ ثُمَّ تَابَ مِنۢ بَعْدِهِۦ وَأَصْلَحَ فَأَنَّهُۥ غَفُورٌۭ رَّحِيمٌۭ
“When those who have faith in Our signs come to you, say, ‘Peace!
Your Lord has made mercy incumbent upon Himself: whoever of you commits an evil [deed] out of ignorance and then repents after that and reforms, then He is indeed All-Forgiving, All-Merciful.’”
- Surah Al-A’raf (7), Ayah 46:
وَبَيْنَهُمَا حِجَابٌۭ ۚ وَعَلَى ٱلْأَعْرَافِ رِجَالٌۭ يَعْرِفُونَ كُلًّۢا بِسِيمَاهُمْ ۚ وَنَادَوْا۟ أَصْحَابَ ٱلْجَنَّةِ أَن سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمْ ۚ لَمْ يَدْخُلُوهَا وَهُمْ يَطْمَعُونَ
“And there will be a veil between them. And on the Elevations will be certain men who recognize each of them by their mark.
They will call out to the inhabitants of paradise, ‘Peace is to you!’ They will not have entered it, though they would be eager to do so.”
- Surah Ar-Ra’d (13), Ayah 24:
سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُم بِمَا صَبَرْتُمْ ۚ فَنِعْمَ عُقْبَى ٱلدَّارِ
“‘Peace be to you, for your patience.’ How excellent is the reward of the [ultimate] abode!”
- Surah An-Nahl (16), Ayah 32:
ٱلَّذِينَ تَتَوَفَّاهُمُ ٱلْمَلَائِكَةُ طَيِّبِينَ ۙ يَقُولُونَ سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمُ ٱدْخُلُوا۟ ٱلْجَنَّةَ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ
“Those whom the angels take away while they are pure. They say [to them], ‘Peace be to you! Enter paradise because of what you used to do.’”
- Surah Maryam (19), Ayah 47:
قَالَ سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكَ ۖ سَأَسْتَغْفِرُ لَكَ رَبِّي ۖ إِنَّهُۥ كَانَ بِي حَفِيًّۭا
“He said, ‘Peace be to you! I shall plead with my Lord to forgive you. Indeed, He is gracious to me.’”
- Surah Al-Qasas (28), Ayah 55:
وَإِذَا سَمِعُوا۟ ٱللَّغْوَ أَعْرَضُوا۟ عَنْهُ وَقَالُوا۟ لَنَا أَعْمَالُنَا وَلَكُمْ أَعْمَالُكُمْ سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمْ لَا نَبْتَغِي ٱلْجَاهِلِينَ
“And when they hear vain talk, they avoid it and say, ‘Our deeds belong to us, and your deeds belong to you. Peace is to you. We do not court the ignorant.’”
- Surah Az-Zumar (39), Ayah 73:
وَسِيقَ ٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّقَوْا۟ رَبَّهُمْ إِلَى ٱلْجَنَّةِ زُمَرًا ۖ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا جَآءُوهَا وَفُتِحَتْ أَبْوَابُهَا وَقَالَ لَهُمْ خَزَنَتُهَا سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمْ طِبْتُمْ فَٱدْخُلُوهَا خَالِدِينَ
“Those who are wary of their Lord will be led to Paradise in throngs. When they reach it, and its gates are opened, its keepers will say to them, ‘Peace be to you! You are welcome! Enter it to remain [forever].’”
As-salamu Alaikum is a term that is used by the Muslim religion followers for greeting someone when they are entering or leaving their house or gathering.
This phrase has also been used several times in the holy book of the Quran with various meanings and pronunciations.
It is believed to be started by the great Prophet Muhammad and has thus become the most common phrase used by the people of the Islamic religion.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
What does one reply when someone greets them with As-salamu Alaikum?
When someone greets you with the phrase As-salamu Alaikum, then the other person should always reply with the phrase MuAlaikumsalam. The meaning of this phrase is peace be also with you.
From which word has the term As-salamu Alaikum originated?
The term As-salamu Alaikum has originated from the term Salaam. The meaning of the word Salaam is peace and it has originated from the same roots from which the word Islam has come from.
What is the meaning of the term Mashallah?
The meaning of the term Mashallah is God has willed. Another meaning of this phrase is God willing. It has been derived from an Arabic phrase and is used to express joy, thankfulness, and praise.