For believers, greeting is one of the ways to present their best wishes to one another. As it is stated in the Qur’an believers are greeted with “Salam” while entering Paradise (Surat al-Araf, 46) and they greet one another there. (Surah Yunus, 10) Both of the situations exemplify the importance of greeting for Muslims in the morality of the Qur’an.
Our Prophet (saas) drew attention to the importance of greeting with his following hadith:
"… Narrated from Abu Hurayr: (ra): Our Prophet (saas) stated: “By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, you cannot enter Paradise as long as you do not have faith. You do not attain mature faith unless you love one another. Shall I show you something; when you do it you love one another. Spread greeting one another among you." (Sunan Ibn Majah /Volume 1/ p. 116, hadith no: 68)
The following are the situations about which Muslims need to be meticulous about greeting, as a form of worship in the hadith and the verses:
The Morals of Greeting and Receiving Greetings
In the wicked morality which is spread among unbelievers, not receiving a greeting, pretending not to hear, are showed as a display of superiority. They frequently resort to such attitudes with wicked intentions such as oppressing those they, in their own shallow thinking, consider to be inferior in terms of social status, making them “come to their senses” etc.
People who are distant to the morality of religion generally wait for the other party who greets and, according to their thinking, consider it as humiliating. The fact is however, greeting, which is a manifestation of one’s will for goodness is a trait believers display as a form of worship. For this reason believers do not wait for others to greet them but they greet them first and they comply with this order of Allah whenever it is necessary.
Displaying a good attitude without waiting it from the other party and engaging in a good deed is a sign of superior morality. In one hadith our Prophet (saas) explains the beauty of this morality as follows:
"A believer gives relief to his brothers in religion. A hypocrite, on the other hand, remains distant and gives trouble to his brother. A believer is hasty in greeting. A hypocrite, on the other hand, expects to be greeted first. “ Hz. Enas (ra.) (Ramuz al-Ahadith, p. 231)
As is stated in the verse, “When you are greeted with a greeting, return the greeting or improve on it. Allah takes account of everything.” (Surat An-Nisa’, 86), it is obligatory for a person to respond the greeting of a person with a better one or, at least, with an equal attitude. For this reason believers respond a greeting with a much better one, because no matter what his position may be, receiving a greeting is a command related in the Qur’an. Having faith in Allah renders the attitudes and behaviors of people perfect.
Greeting the household while entering homes
“...when you enter houses greet one another with a greeting from Allah, blessed and good. In this way Allah makes the Signs clear to you so that hopefully you will use your intellect.” (Surat an-Nur, 61)
In this verse in Surat an-Nur, Allah commands believers to greet one another while entering houses. However while greeting one another Allah reminds believers that they should greet one another with the intention of wishing others to lead a good life in compliance with the Qur’an and the morality of the Qur’an. For this reason believers should be cautious about the intention of greeting.
In Paradise there is a verbal greeting to believers from All Mighty Allah
Allah gives believers the glad tidings of an infinite Paradise. However there is a fact which is often disregarded; believers are rewarded with a beautiful life not only in the Hereafter but also in this world. Allah relates this glad tiding in the Qur’an as follows:
What is with you runs out but what is with Allah goes on forever. Those who were steadfast will be recompensed according to the best of what they did. Anyone who acts rightly, male or female, being a believer, We will give them a good life and We will recompense them according to the best of what they did. (Surat an- Nail, 96-97)
No doubt the beautiful life in this world and the Hereafter is the manifestation of Allah’s beautiful name, as-Salam – the all Peace. A believer who leads a beautiful life and earns rewards in return for his/her good deeds in this world enters Paradise in the Hereafter in compliance with the verse, “return to your Lord, well-pleasing and well-pleased!” (Surat al-Fajr, 28)
Allah’s attribute of as-Salam is also His greeting to those who enter Paradise. In Surah Ya Sin verse 58, Allah relates that He will grant a verbal greeting to the people of Paradise thus: "Peace!’ A word from a Merciful Lord.)" No doubt the greeting of Allah is one of the greatest glad tidings for believers.
"... Abdullah ibn Omar (ra) narrated: Our Prophet (sav) said: Give more greeting and spread it among you, give food (to the needy) and be brothers as Allah commands you." (Ibn Majah, Volume 9, p.6, hadith no: 3252)