Marhaba vs. Salaam



One of the biggest things i’ve noticed about people here is their greetings. No one anymore uses salaams as a greeting, rather they either say ‘Marhaba’ or ‘Hi’ or ‘Ahlan’ – and its driving me NUTS!

The definition of salaam is peace. And the definition of as alamualykum wa rahmatuallah – Peace be upon you.

Ibn al-Qayyim said in Badaa’i’ al-Fawaa’id (144):

“Allaah, the Sovereign, the Most Holy, the Peace, prescribed that the greeting among the people of Islam should be ‘al-salaamu ‘alaykum’, which is better than all the greetings of other nations which include impossible ideas or lies, such as saying, ‘May you live for a thousand years,’ or things that are not accurate, such as ‘An’im sabaahan (Good morning),’ or actions that are not right, such as prostrating in greeting. Thus the greeting of salaam is better than all of these, because it has the meaning of safety which is life, without which nothing else can be achieved. So this takes precedence over all other aims or objectives. A person has two main aims in life: to keep himself safe from evil, and to get something good. Keeping safe from evil takes precedence over getting something good…”

Imam alNanawi said that using salaam is sunnah wajibah. Obviously after saying salaam you can go on with the ‘good morning’ & ‘ahlan’ dealio. I feel like people really underestimate the power of the salam, the barakah it has to bring, and the value of it in Allah (swt)’s eyes. Salaam is bringing the peace and blessings of Allah, what better greeting between muslims do you want, and yet we tend to repalce it with hi/marhaba etc. And then when you wanna say ma’salaam or fee aman Allah etc, people say BYE. *insert loud scream + pulling of hair*

I competely refuse to say marhaba and stick to my salaam, but what is more outragging is when you say salaam and it is replied with maraha or ahlan. I wanna start a move with making little buttons/bookmarks/bags saying ‘and spread peace amongst you’. Even the angels will greet the people of jannah with salaam, what more do people want!

Sigh, maybe i’m blowing it out of proportion, but i ask Allah aslsaam to send down His mercy on our people and to allow them to fully benefit and realize the benefit of spreading the beautiful greeting of salaam amongst each other.

Has anyone else realized this in arab countires or between muslims in general?


4 responses »

  1. well put! ur not blowing it out of proportion, its been bothering me for the 2+ years i’ve been here. just dont give up, keep reminding yourself to say salam, eventually its contagious… nobody who realizes it blessings will leave it, its just a matter of ignorance.

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