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Ethics & Values New Muslims

The Neglected Value of Greeting

How important is greeting? What moral and social impacts does it have? How do Muslims greet each other?  How can we make it a habit?

In this age of technology and science, moral values and religious teachings taught in order to promote a refined society largely are neglected by all nations, and most unfortunately, Muslims are one of them.

Islamic greeting

Greeting in Islam not only increases friendship, harmony and respect, it simultaneously signifies fulfilling the rights of du`aa’

These moral downfalls are leading the Ummah toward the ditch of destruction; thus, it’s time we examine our attitude and improve it. Each community has words of greeting that are used when members of a community meet. Such greetings are to express courtesy and promote positive feelings.

The Islamic Greeting

The greetings granted to Muslims by the Qur’an hold the highest spiritual as well as moral values among the greetings of other nations.

Prior to Islam, it was common among the dwellers of the Arabian Peninsula to say, “Hayak Allah” (May Allah grant you life) and “Sabah Al-khair” (Good morning).

A person once came into the presence of Al-Husayn ibn `Ali and said, “Kayfa anta? `Aafak Allah” (How are you? May Allah keep you safe). Al-Husayn immediately corrected him in the best manner, nicely giving him the basic teaching of Islam and responding with the following words, “Assalamu qabal al-kalaamu, `aafak Allah” (Say Salam prior to talking, may Allah protect you). He then taught: Don’t give permission to anyone until he says Salam.

At another place, Al-Husayn described the reward of Salam very precisely in these words: “There are 70 good deeds in Salam: 69 for the one who says it and only one for the person who responds. One who doesn’t reply to Salam is a miser” (Bihaar Al-Anwaar, Vol. 17, Qum).

The Qur’an directs us to respond Salam in a more courteous manner:

And when you are greeted with a greeting, greet with a better (greeting) than it or return it; surely Allah takes account of all things. (An-Nisaa’ 4:86)

Proud and arrogant people never initiate saying Salam, considering it below their dignity to reply. They only slightly move their head and smile instead of saying “Wa`alaykum assalam” They are misers of the worst class, as per Prophetic traditions.

Al-Husayn said, “The greater miser is the one who displays misery in reciting Salam”. Not only this, but the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) declared in crystal clear terms, “Whoever does not reply ‘Salam’ is not from us,” while one hadith notes, “The principal of humility begins with Salam.”

Greeting in Islam not only increases friendship, harmony and respect, it simultaneously signifies fulfilling the rights of du`aa’ (supplicatory prayer) for Muslims. Additionally, As-Salam is one of the Names of Allah.

Salam is highly recommended when visiting the graves:

Salaam upon you, O people of the graves, from the believers. You preceded us and we shall meet you, Insha’Allah).

How to Say Salam?

One hadith recommends reciting Salam in a manner that each one can hear clearly. The one who initiates the Salam first is closest to Allah. Hadith literature provides us with glorious teachings in this regards.

When someone questioned who should initiate Salam, the Prophet answered, “The one who (wish to) is closer to Allah. A rider should greet a pedestrian, a pedestrian should greet one who is sitting and a small group should greet a large number.”

Salam should be offered to all Muslims, irrespective of whether they are acquaintances or strangers. Saying Salam aloud to everyone in a gathering is sufficient, as it’s unnecessary to greet each person individually. However, it’s incorrect to greet only a particular person in a gathering. Additionally, always convey Salam cheerfully.

In this regard, the following conversation is worth mentioning and available in the sacred scriptures. When Yahya met Isa (peace be upon them), he began by saying, “Salam,” and was answered with, “Salam.” Whenever Yahya met `Isa, Yahya always was happy and smiling, but `Isa was sorrowful, as if he resembled a crying person.

`Isa asked Yahya, “You smile like a happy person, as if you’re secure and protected,” to which Yahya replied, “You display such sorrow, as if you’ve given up all hope.” Then the commandment appeared, “The one who smiles the most is the dearest to Me.”

If a person is at a distance where Salam may not be heard, then Salam can be offered with a hand signal.

When?

However, it’s undesirable to recite Salam when a person is engaged in the following activities:

  • While performing salah (prayers)
  • While one is engaged in tasbeeh (glorifying and praising Allah) or dhikr; gathering for remembering and thanking Allah.
  • During khutbah (sermon), sitting together to study or listen to lectures.
  • While one is busy in reciting the Qur’an
  • During adhan; to repeat the wordings of adhan at the beginning of each prayer. It is a call to pray together in the Mosque.
  • While doing du`aa’ (supplicatory prayer)
  • While occupied in discussion or research of religious sciences
  • While a judge is delivering a verdict
  • While eating or drinking
  • While reciting talbiyah during the Hajj .

Unpleasant Practices

If one says, “Convey my Salam to your parents,” don’t reply on behalf of your parents, as you aren’t authorized and have no right to do that. An amazing practice prevalent on written invitations is, “Salam from our late parents.”

Does anyone have the power to visit, meet and hear Salam from the deceased and then forward it to others? All credit goes to the silly writer who designed such a text and which others blindly follow.

Another unpleasant practice very common today is using “Hi” instead of Salam in email and SMS prior to beginning a conversation.

Salam is also done by embracing a person and drawing him close to you upon meeting him after returning from a journey or after a long absence. Using both arms, hug the person around the neck and shoulders and draw him toward your chest. Men may practice this Sunnah with men and women can do it with women.

Always say Salam when visiting or telephoning others and care should be taken not to visit or phone anyone during times of rest or salah.

Additionally, never enter a home – no matter whose it is – without permission. To ask permission to enter, ring the bell and when the person of the house enquires as to who’s there, say Salam aloud and give your name, instead of saying, “Me,” as the Prophet instructed.

If you realize the one inside has heard your ring or voice and is purposely ignoring it, then repeat the ring three times. If there’s no permission or answer, then as per the Hadith, you must return.

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Source: www.irfi.org

Dr. Qazi Shaikh Abbas Borhany is an attorney, a religious scholar and a member of Pakistan’s Ulama Council. He received a doctorate in the United States at NDI and a Shahadat Al-Aalamiyah in Najaf, Iraq.

 

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Conversion Stories New Muslims

From Buddhism To Islam: Why??

Learn how and why this Chinese Buddhist successful young woman left Buddhism and embraced Islam. Here is a part of the story:

I’m sad to say I was not as blessed or fortunate as my co-panelists; to be one of those people who actually search for answers in life. In fact, I think I was the opposite.

And my fear is that there’re too many people like me outside in this world who feel they are very complete the way they are…life is good, there’s nothing really wrong, so why should I search! So, all the questions about God, no-God, the purpose to life, life after death.

I was born into a wonderful Chinese Buddhist family. It was not Buddhist in the true sense as I later learned. My mom grew up praying to the idols as because my grandmother told her to and probably my grandmother was taught by her great grandmother to. She didn’t really know why, and when I started asking her, ‘Mother, what is the purpose of life?’ she wouldn’t be able to answer me because she wouldn’t really know. She was just taught and got used to do it.

My life was very smooth; doing well at school, getting a good job, buying a good car, buying a nice house, having kids…you are happy. That’s the mantra.

So, I was gauging my life as being successful, because according to this mantra my life was good. Everything was alright. Nothing in my life was wrong. I am well-educated, earning money, I have my own home, and my own car. My job was in fact very  interesting. I was travelling, meeting people. Why should I think about “Why I am here?” “What is the purpose of life?”

I had no emptiness in my life. I frankly, sadly, never looked for something else. I actually never felt I need to look for something. To me religion was something needed for spiritual fulfillment, and it was looked for by people who felt empty inside, who needed answers.

I didn’t have any of that, so I thought I was fine.

When I was in university I decided I since I was born Buddhist I should find more about my religion. So I joined the Buddhism society and I learned about Buddhism and I thought yes, it makes sense. Buddhism is a very practical kind of religion, it teaches you about principles of life, detachment, but there was one thing that was missing though. It didn’t bother me, but it was missing. I didn’t realize it was missing. When I was young from the time my mom would make me kneel before the altar and pray I always believed in God. I didn’t know how but I knew there was a God. I never believed there was no God. And Buddhism didn’t answer that. It didn’t help me know who God was. Buddhism doesn’t deny God but never deals with the Creator.

Years later Allah destined, alhamdulillah, that I would be introduced to a Muslim who was a himself a revert. He was running some Islamic classes in English in his center. And I was surprised as I saw a Chinese man teaching Islam in English. I went to the classes and I found Chinese people, Indians. And finally I was shocked to discover what I discovered about Islam. It answered questions that I never thought to ask myself. And when I had the answers to these questions I realized that I couldn’t find the answers anywhere else!

So, I am a lawyer and I’m trained to think logically, I’m trained to ask a lot of questions and I’m trained to never be satisfied with or accept anything that is illogical or shady.

Listen to the whole story in the video here…



 

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