BENEFITS OF “AS-SALAAMU ALAIKUM”
Rasulullah (SAW) said: “The best of the two persons is the one who begins with salaam.” (Related by an-Nawawi)
1) “As-Salaamu Alaikum” is a means of immense reward:
A man passed by Rasulullah (SAW) while he was sitting with others, and said “As-sala’amu ‘alaykum.” Rasulullah (SAW)) said, “He will have ten Hasanat.” Another man passed by and said “As-Salaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah (peace be upon you and the mercy of Allah).” Rasulullah (SAW) said, “He will have twenty Hasanat.” Another man passed by and said “As-Salaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu (peace be upon you and the mercy of Allah and His blessings).” The Rasulullah (SAW) said, “He will have thirty Hasanat.”
2) “As-Salaamu Alaikum” is an aspect of Imaan:
Once a man asked Rasulullah (SAW) about which aspect of Islam was best. Rasulullah (SAW) replied: “Feeding the hungry and saying salaam to those you know and those you don’t know.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
3) “As-Salaamu Alaikum” is a means of entering Jannah:
Rasulullah (SAW) said: “You will not enter Paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another. Shall I not tell you about something which, if you do it, you will love one another? Spread salaam (the greeting of peace) among you.” (Muslim)
4) “As-Salaamu Alaikum” gets rid of sins:
Rasulullah (SAW) said, “When two Muslims meet (give salaam), and shake hands, they are forgiven their sins before they part (with each other).” (Abu Dawud)
5) “As-Salaamu Alaikum” is the greeting of the people of Jannah:
وَسِيقَ ٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّقَوۡاْ رَبَّہُمۡ إِلَى ٱلۡجَنَّةِ زُمَرًاۖ حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا جَآءُوهَا وَفُتِحَتۡ أَبۡوَٲبُهَا وَقَالَ لَهُمۡ خَزَنَتُہَا سَلَـٰمٌ عَلَيۡڪُمۡ طِبۡتُمۡ فَٱدۡخُلُوهَا خَـٰلِدِينَ (٧٣)
“Then, those that feared their Lord shall be driven in companies into Paradise . When they draw near its gates will be opened, and its keepers will say to them: “Salaamun ‘Alaikum” (Peace be upon you), you have done well. Enter and live in it for ever.” (Surah Zumar 39:73)
6) Even Allah says “As-Salaamu Alaikum”:
Allah sends His Salaam upon the people who believe in Him, especially the prophets such as Nuh, Ibrahim, Isma’eel, Musa, etc.(Surah as-Saffat) as well as other pious people.
Jibraeel came to house of Rasulullah (SAW) and Khadijah (RA) was there. Jibraeel said: “Allah sends his salaam to Khadijah.” Rasulullah (SAW) said: “O Khadijah, Allah is sending His salaams to you.” She said, “Allah is As-Salaam. And upon you O Jibraeel, be as-salaam and upon you Rasulullah be as-salaam.” (Bukhari)
It is obligatory to return the greeting of “As-Salaamu Alaikum”:
“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 & [say “Yar ha’mu kallaah”] when he sneezes.” (Bukhari, Muslim)
We should say “As-Salaamu Alaikum” when we enter our homes:
“When you enter houses, greet (with peace) one another with a salutation from Allah, blessed and good. As such Allah makes clear to you His verses so that you understand.” (Surah an-Nur 24: 61)
“As-Salaamu Alaikum” is also to be said at time of leaving:
Rasulullah (SAW) said: “When one of you joins a gathering, he should greet those present; and when he leaves them he should salute them, because the first salutation is not better than the last one.” (Abu Dawud and Tirmithi)
Why would you want to give up something beautiful for something ugly?? When it comes to the matters of Dunyaa, we do our utmost to give our families and friends the best. Yet when it comes to greetings, we forget the most beautiful and comprehensive greeting “As-Salaamu Alaikum”, which is also a prayer, a prayer of peace and blessing, of security and protection from all harm and all evil, a blessing that Allaah Himself sends down to His beloved slaves, a greeting of the people of Jannah itself.
Remember: The head should NEVER be bent or bowed as a sign of greeting. We bend our heads only to Allah. It must also be emphasized that other body gestures in any form or shape (for example, raising eyebrows, extending the arms, smiling, winking, etc.) cannot replace the beautiful greeting of “As-Salaamu Alaikum”.