Obligation of Replying to Salaam

Published on Monday, 23 April 2012 18:09 in Fatawa - Read 4984 times

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Question: What is the ruling of the learned Ulama in this case: A few people are seated in one place together and a person came to them and said, “As Salaamu Alaikum” In Answer the replied “Adaab Arz” or “Tasleemat” or “Bandagi” or one person raised his hand up to his forehead and did not answer anything verbally. Now, did the person fulfill the Fard-e-Kifaayah or not?

The Answer: No (The obligation was not fulfilled) and all of them are sinful until any one of them does not say Wa Alaikumus salaam or Wa alaik or As salaamu Alaikum. The words mentioned above, such as bandagi, tasleemaat, Adaab etc. are not words of salaam. Just to raise the hand is meaningless unless the words of salaam are mentioned with it. It is in Raddul Muhtaar from Zaheeriyah as follows: “The words of salaam in all places is “As Salaamu Alaikum” or saying it with the tanween and with the exception of this, all the other ways of the ignorant is not regarded as salaam.”

I say that the reply will not be fulfilled, since the answer to salaam will be salaam alone or with extra words of salaam such as mention of mercy and blessings, and this is on the basis of the command of Allah, ‘When salaam is being conveyed to you with salaam, then you too reply to the salaam with a good salaam or return the same’ It must be noted that this manner that has been adopted, be it words or signs, then they will either be regarded as salaam or not. In the second case (if it is not salaam), then one will not be relieved from the responsibility of replying to the salaam. In the first instance, this new way that has been adopted is neither salaam and not is it better than salaam for that which has been newly established cannot be better than what has been mentioned in the Sharia and the responsibility of fulfilling the Waajib-e-Kifaayah (that which was compulsory upon every one of them).

It is in Mirkaat Shareef as follows: “It has been proven correctly from Hadith-e-Mutawaatira that to make salaam with words (verbally) is sunnat and the reply is waajib in the same manner (verbally).”

It is in the Hadith Shareef that the Holy Prophet Sall Allaho Alaihi Wa Sallam said, “He is not from us, who imitates others. Do not imitate the jews or the Christians for the greeting of jew is by raising the finger and the greeting of the of the Christian is by raising the palm of the hand.” This has been narrated by Tirmizi from Abdullah ibn Umar (radi Allahu anhu) and he has also said that the narration is Daeef. Allama Ali Qaari says that this has been mentioned possibly due to research based on narration of Amr bin Shuaib on the authority of his father who narrated from his grandfather and it is true that there has been difference of opinion regarding this before, but the thing to have confidence in here, is that this is actually a Hassan narration. This is especially since Suyuti has narrated this Hadith in Jaame Sagheer from Ibn Amar thus the difference of opinion has ended and the difficulty has been alleviated.

I say, ‘May Allah have mercy on Ali Qaari. Suyuti has given the reference of this Hadith to be Tirmizi thus the situation has been corrected and the issue has been resolved. Thus, there is no real weakness in Tirmizi as has been assumed, for the majority of the Ulama including Tirmizi have quoted the narration of Amar bin Shu’aib from his father who narrated from his grandfather that clearly the Prophet (Sall Allaho Alaihi Wa Sallam) said. “Disapproval is permissible”. The reason that the narration is said to be of weak transmission is because the narration is from Ibn Lahi’a. Tirmizi says, ‘Qutaiba bin Lahi’a narrated a Hadith to me from Amar bin Shu’aib who narrated from his father who narrated from his grandfather that verily the Prophet (Sall Allaho Alaihi Wa Sallam) said (as per Hadith). Tirmizi said that the transmission of this Hadith is weak and still narrated it.

Ibn Mubaarak narrated this Hadith from Ibn Lahi’a and he did not remove it. And it is evident that in the book of Nikah under the topic regarding that person who marries a woman and then gives her talaaq before he is intimate with her (Makes Dukhool). The Hadith being mentioned has thus been narrated with the same merits. This Hadith is not Sahih Hadith. Ibn Lahi’a’s Hadith has been made Daeef and due to this, in numerous other places it has been regarded as Daeef (weak chain of transmission). It is towards this which we are being pointed here. Yes, it is clear according to me, that the Hadith if ibn Lahi’a is not less meritorious than a Hassan narration and Munaawi has stated this narration in Tayseer as being Hassan. Thus, if with raising the hand etc. the words of salaam were also mentioned, then it would have been regarded as salaam. Tirmizi narrated a Hadith. He says that Suwaid narrated a Hadith to me. From him, Abdullah ibn Mubaarak reported, from him, Abdul Hamid Bahraam. It is evident that he heard from Shahr bin Khushab, he says, that he heard Asma bint yazeed narrate this Hadith that verily Rasoolullah (Sall Allaho Alaihi Wa Sallam) one day passed by the Musjid and a group of females were seated there. He (Sall Allaho Alaihi Wa Sallam) greeted them by using his hand.” Abdul Hameed did so with his hand (to show how it was done). This Hadith is regarded as Hassan. Hazrat Imam Nawawi says that this Hadith is applicable based on this, that the Prophet (Sall Allaho Alaihi Wa Sallam) combined both the use of the hand and words (of salaam) and the proof of this, is the narration of Abu Dawood and in this narration (of Abu Dawood), it has been mentioned that they replied to the salaam of Nabi (Sall Allaho Alaihi Wa Sallam).

After presenting this narration, Allama Ali Qaari has mentioned that there is no objection even if the words of salaam were not present, since it is not necessary according to sharia to say salaams (aloud) to females when passing by them. As for the issue of the Prophet (Sall Allaho Alaihi Wa Sallam) making salaam, then, this is from amongst the unique attributes of the Prophet (Sall Allaho Alaihi Wa Sallam). Thus, he was blessed with the right to either make salaam or not to make salaam or he could show a sign (by use of the hand) or not (in other words it was as he pleased). It must be also noted that in some cases, by raising the hand does not necessarily mean that one is intending salaam, but it can be done as an action of humility as well.

I (Aala Hazrat) say, that the crux of all that has been mentioned, is this that the salaam was not really fulfilled and there is no difference in their first statement and in that which was mentioned afterwards except that there has been an issue of the showing of a sign that was mentioned. In other words, the issue of humility being mentioned and the testimony of Hazrat Asma (radi Allahu anha) that the Prophet (Sall Allaho Alaihi Wa Sallam) that the Prophet (Sall Allaho Alaihi Wa Sallam) conveyed salaams. Now, if we do not accept that this was combined with verbal salaam, then one will have to accept that just by showing the sign is salaam and it is also a fact that just by making a sign is not regarded as salaam in the Sharia. It is thus compulsory to accept about what is mentioned above, in other words there was a combination of salaam and the sign (for the hand raising). Ponder upon it, possibly there is such a bearing in his statement that I am not able to understand it. And Almighty Allah has complete knowledge of all things.

كتبه عبده المذنب احمد رضا عفى عنه

بمحمّد 

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