May God forgive me and guide me regarding any sign that would have been misinterpreted in this study and elsewhere. May He always guide us to a better understanding of His profound scripture so we can purify ourselves and increase our knowledge.
We are going to deal, among other things, with pronouns. Pronouns are obviously used to clarify who or what we are talking to or about, in order to be precise and avoid confusion. For example, we are experiencing growing confusion in modern societies when it comes to the ever increasing number of deviant pronouns. If one single person wants or demands to be called “they” for instance, it is a corruption of human languages and it spreads confusion in society and can even be dangerous and lead to accidents because a message was misunderstood. This is what the enemy does: he spreads chaos in the world, and one way to assess if a society is corrupted is to study the degree of corruption of the languages in use. Unfortunately, we are going to see that the corruption of pronouns is also present in the world of Islam.
When Muslims greet people saying “Salam” (Peace), it reflects the inherent message of Islam that we are meant to convey in the world. God commanded us to greet people in a very specific manner in the Quran which we are going to study. Tragically, the degree of corruption of Islam in the world is so pronounced in every way that even for such a simple thing as greeting each other, Muslims are completely unaware that their greeting is either never correct or not always correct from a Quranic point of view, and therefore corrupted.
There are several reasons for such blindness:
1. Most of the time, the most obvious nonsense goes unnoticed, especially when it is in plain sight.
2. People follow the crowd blindly.
3. The Quran establishes the truth and blatantly points at their mistakes, they open their eyes, but they cannot see because they assume that what they inherited from their parents and religious authorities which rely upon hadiths attributed to the holy prophet Muhammad is the essence of the truth and cannot be questioned. But what if hadiths teachings blatantly contradict the Holy Quran? What should take precedence? Hadiths attributed to the prophet written down for the first 200 years after the death of Muhammad (Muslim and Bukhari hadiths and other hadiths, with the exception of hadiths reported by imam Malik 100 years after Muhammad’s death), or the Quran alone which was written down during the prophet’s lifetime?
1. What is the greeting decreed by God in the Quran?
The first question we need to ask yourself is: “When you meet believers, how do you greet them exactly?”. Now, let’s compare with the Quran:
وَإِذَا جَآءَكَ ٱلَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِـَٔايَٰتِنَا فَقُلْ سَلَٰمٌ عَلَيْكُمْ كَتَبَ
رَبُّكُمْ عَلَىٰ نَفْسِهِ ٱلرَّحْمَةَ أَنَّهُۥ مَنْ عَمِلَ مِنكُمْ سُوٓءًۢا
بِجَهَٰلَةٍ ثُمَّ تَابَ مِنۢ بَعْدِهِۦ وَأَصْلَحَ فَأَنَّهُۥ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
(6:54) And when those who believe in our revelations [lit. “verses”] come to you, then say: “Salamun ‘alaykum!” (سَلَٰمٌ عَلَيْكُمْ = May Peace be upon you!). Your Lord has decreed Mercy unto Himself, so that whoever among you commits evil out of ignorance, then repents thereafter and reforms, then indeed, he will find Him Forgiving, Most Merciful.
As we can see, greeting believers using the proper expression is a Quranic command and 6:54 defines it as “Salamun ‘alaykum!”, not as “Assalamu ‘alaykum!”, expression almost universally used throughout the Muslim world. The following verse is another example that true believers are required to greet people properly:
يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ لَا تَدْخُلُوا۟ بُيُوتًا
غَيْرَ بُيُوتِكُمْ حَتَّىٰ تَسْتَأْنِسُوا۟ وَتُسَلِّمُوا۟
عَلَىٰٓ أَهْلِهَا ذَٰلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ
(24:27) O you who believe, do not enter homes other than your homes, unless you have requested permission and have greeted its inhabitants. It is preferable for you, that you may reflect.
فَإِن لَّمْ تَجِدُوا۟ فِيهَآ أَحَدًا فَلَا تَدْخُلُوهَا حَتَّىٰ
يُؤْذَنَ لَكُمْ وَإِن قِيلَ لَكُمُ ٱرْجِعُوا۟ فَٱرْجِعُوا۟
هُوَ أَزْكَىٰ لَكُمْ وَٱللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ عَلِيمٌ
(24:28) And if it appears to you that no one is inside, do not enter, until permission has been granted to you. And if you are told to leave, then leave. It is purer for you, and God is aware of everything you do.
1.2 The second valid Quranic greeting: “Salam!”
وَلَقَدْ جَآءَتْ رُسُلُنَآ إِبْرَٰهِيمَ بِٱلْبُشْرَىٰ قَالُوا۟
سَلَٰمًا قَالَ سَلَٰمٌ فَمَا لَبِثَ أَن جَآءَ بِعِجْلٍ حَنِيذٍ
(11:69) Assuredly, our messengers came to Abraham conveying good news; they said: “Salaman!” (Peace!) He replied: “Salamun!”; and it didn’t take long before he brought a roasted calf.
إِذْ دَخَلُوا۟ عَلَيْهِ فَقَالُوا۟ سَلَٰمًا قَالَ إِنَّا مِنكُمْ وَجِلُونَ
(15:52) When they introduced themselves to him, they said: “Salaman!” (Peace!). He replied: “We are apprehensive of you.”
2. What is the greeting in the afterlife?
“Salamun ‘Alaykum” and “Salam” are valid Quranic greetings on Earth. We will use, God willing, the very same greetings in Paradise:
2.1 “Salamun ‘Alaykum!”
وَبَيْنَهُمَا حِجَابٌ وَعَلَى ٱلْأَعْرَافِ رِجَالٌ
يَعْرِفُونَ كُلًّۢا بِسِيمَىٰهُمْ وَنَادَوْا۟ أَصْحَٰبَ ٱلْجَنَّةِ
أَن سَلَٰمٌ عَلَيْكُمْ لَمْ يَدْخُلُوهَا وَهُمْ يَطْمَعُونَ
(7:46) And between the two (Heaven and Hell), there will be a rampart/separation, and over the highest part (Al ‘Arâf) will be men who will recognize each other from their distinctive marks; and they will call out the dwellers of paradise in the following manner: “Salamun ‘alaykum!” (May peace be upon you). And they won’t enter it, but will eagerly long [for it].
ٱلَّذِينَ تَتَوَفَّىٰهُمُ ٱلْمَلَٰٓئِكَةُ طَيِّبِينَ يَقُولُونَ
سَلَٰمٌ عَلَيْكُمُ ٱدْخُلُوا۟ ٱلْجَنَّةَ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ
(16:32) To those whom the angels cause to die while in a state of purity, they say: “Salamun ‘alaykum! (May peace be upon you!); enter paradise as a result of what you have achieved.”
وَسِيقَ ٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّقَوْا۟ رَبَّهُمْ إِلَى ٱلْجَنَّةِ زُمَرًا
حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا جَآءُوهَا وَفُتِحَتْ أَبْوَٰبُهَا وَقَالَ لَهُمْ
خَزَنَتُهَا سَلَٰمٌ عَلَيْكُمْ طِبْتُمْ فَٱدْخُلُوهَا خَٰلِدِينَ
(39:73) And those who reverenced their Lord will be driven to the Garden in groups until they reach it; its gates will have been opened and its guardians will tell them: “Salamun ‘alaykum!” (May peace be upon you!). You have done well, so enter and live therein forever!
The very same expression is used in the following verses, not as a greeting, but more as a prayer:
سَلَٰمٌ عَلَيْكُم بِمَا صَبَرْتُمْ فَنِعْمَ عُقْبَى ٱلدَّارِ
(13:24) “Salamun ‘alaykum” (May peace be upon you) for what you patiently endured. What an excellent abode your final destination is!
وَإِذَا سَمِعُوا۟ ٱللَّغْوَ أَعْرَضُوا۟ عَنْهُ وَقَالُوا۟ لَنَآ
أَعْمَٰلُنَا وَلَكُمْ أَعْمَٰلُكُمْ سَلَٰمٌ عَلَيْكُمْ لَا نَبْتَغِى ٱلْجَٰهِلِينَ
(28:55) Every time they come across [lit. “hear”] vain talk, they turn away from it, saying: “We are responsible for our deeds, and you are responsible for your deeds. Salamun ‘Alaykum! (May peace be upon you!); We do not aspire to behave like the ignorants.”
دَعْوَىٰهُمْ فِيهَا سُبْحَٰنَكَ ٱللَّهُمَّ وَتَحِيَّتُهُمْ فِيهَا
سَلَٰمٌ وَءَاخِرُ دَعْوَىٰهُمْ أَنِ ٱلْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلْعَٰلَمِينَ
(10:10) Their invocation therein will be: “Glory to You, O God!”. Their greeting therein will be: “Salamun!” (Peace); and their final invocation will be: “Praise be to God, Lord of the universe.”
وَأُدْخِلَ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ وَعَمِلُوا۟ ٱلصَّٰلِحَٰتِ جَنَّٰتٍ تَجْرِى
مِن تَحْتِهَا ٱلْأَنْهَٰرُ خَٰلِدِينَ فِيهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِمْ تَحِيَّتُهُمْ فِيهَا سَلَٰمٌ
(14:23) Those who believed and accomplished righteous deeds will be admitted into gardens wherein rivers flow. They shall abide therein forever, by the grace of their Lord. Their greeting therein will be: “Salamun!” (Peace).
تَحِيَّتُهُمْ يَوْمَ يَلْقَوْنَهُۥ سَلَٰمٌ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ أَجْرًا كَرِيمًا
(33:44) Their greeting the day they meet Him will be: “Salamun!” (Peace). And He has prepared for them a most honorable reward.
سَلَٰمٌ قَوْلًا مِّن رَّبٍّ رَّحِيمٍ
(36:58) “Salamun!” (Peace!): A word from a Most Merciful Lord.
3. Three reasons why the overwhelming majority of Muslims’ greetings are corrupted
3.1 “Assalamu ‘Alaykum!” (السلام عليكم) is not the same as “Salamun ‘Alaykum!” (سلم عليكم)
The Quran is the perfect Arabic language, why corrupt it?
وَلَقَدْ نَعْلَمُ أَنَّهُمْ يَقُولُونَ إِنَّمَا يُعَلِّمُهُۥ بَشَرٌ لِّسَانُ
ٱلَّذِى يُلْحِدُونَ إِلَيْهِ أَعْجَمِىٌّ وَهَٰذَا لِسَانٌ عَرَبِىٌّ مُّبِينٌ
(16:103) We are fully aware that they say, “It is nothing but a human being who is teaching him!” The tongue they refer to is a foreign language, while this is a pure Arabic tongue.
In all Arab countries, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, the United States, France, the United Kingdom,… and wherever else they may be around the world, the overwhelming majority of Muslims customarily greet each other the same way using the expression “Assalamu ‘alaykum” (السلام عليكم, lit. May the Peace be upon you!). One exception is Turkey where people do use the Quranic expression “salamun ‘alaykum!”, but we will see in the next section that it is often misused.
Some people may say that “Assalamu ‘Alaykum!” and “Salamun ‘Alaykum!” are almost the same, that it is not a big deal, but the Quran is divinely precise and it is the perfect Arabic language (16:103, 26:195). Why not simply submit precisely to God’s command? How hard is it to simply say “Salamun ‘Alaykum”?
3.2 Saying “Assalamu ‘Alaykum!” or even “Salamun ‘Alaykum!” to less than three people is a distortion of the pure Arabic language
It does not matter if Muslims speak to one, two, or more people, or if they greet a man or woman: They all repeat in unison the same greeting: “Assalamu ‘alaykum”.
The corruption is very simple: In “Assalamu ‘alaykum” (May the Peace be upon you), “alaykum” means “upon you” and the pronoun “kum” is the second person masculine plural, referring by definition to three or more people in Arabic. If you greet one or two persons (two calls for the dual plural in Arabic), why in the world would you use the regular second person plural (three or more)?!
One instance when it would be understandable you could say “Salamun ‘alaykum!” to only one or two persons present at the same time in front of you is when you greet people you are visiting in a home and you know in advance that there are at least three people living under the same roof and you intend to greet the entire family at the same time. This is of course not valid if you know in advance that only one or two people live in the house, or if you meet a friend in the street.
The degree of corruption in the Muslim world is so profound that the overwhelming majority of people are unaware of even the most obvious and absurd corruption.
In correct Quranic Arabic, if you choose to say “May Peace be upon you” instead of the more simple expression “peace” (salam), you should say:
– “Salamun alayka!” (سلم عليك, May peace be upon thee) if the person is a male.
– “Salamun alayki!” if the person is female.
– “Salamun alaykumâ!” (سلم عليكما) if you speak to two people, (males or females, the same “dual” pronoun is used).
– Your greeting “Salamun ‘alaykum!” (سلم عليكم, May peace be upon you!) is correct if and only if you speak to three or more people and at least one of them is male.
– The greeting “Salamun ‘alaykunna!” (سلم عليكن, May peace be upon you!) is what will be said to three or more females.
Other possible pronouns:
– Salamun ‘alayya (سلم على) = May peace be upon me.
– Salamun ‘alayhu (سلم عليه) = May peace be upon him.
– Salamun alayhi (سلم عليها) = May peace be upon her.
– Salamun alaynâ (سلم علينا) = May peace be upon us.
– Salamun ‘alayhim (سلم عليهم) = May peace be upon them (masculine, three or more people).
– Salamun ‘alayhunna (سلم عليهن) = May peace be upon them (feminine, three or more females).
– Salamun ‘alayhumâ (سلم عليهما) = May peace be upon them (dual form: two people, masculine or feminine)
Otherwise, one can then use the alternative Quranic greeting that is always valid regardless of how many people you are greeting: “Salam!” (سلم).
Some people try to evade the reality that their greeting is corrupted and typically claim that they say “Assalamu ‘alaykum!” (or “Salamun ‘alaykum!”) even to one person because they greet the angels surrounding the person as well. First of all it is not even true that they intentionally think about greeting the angels at the time they salute one person (they may claim it, but it is a lie). The example of how they finish their salât (when they pray by themselves) proves them wrong: Traditional Muslims turn their heads to the right and to the left and say every time: “Assalamu ‘alaykum…”, even when they pray by themselves; two angels are in charge of every human being according to the Quran, seated on the right and on the left (50:16-18), so, if they salute each one of them at the end of the prayer it should be “salam” or “Salamun ‘alayka” every time they turn their head to salute one angel. Again, this proves that their greeting is corrupted. The following confirms this issue:
Unlike in traditional Sunni Islam, the Quran makes the distinction regarding whom we are speaking to:
Abraham to his father:
قَالَ سَلَٰمٌ عَلَيْكَ سَأَسْتَغْفِرُ لَكَ رَبِّىٓ إِنَّهُۥ كَانَ بِى حَفِيًّا
(19:47) He said, “Salamun ‘alayka!” (سَلَٰمٌ عَلَيْكَ = May peace be upon thee! = second person singular). I will implore my Lord to forgive you; He has been Most Kind to me.
وَسَلَٰمٌ عَلَيْهِ يَوْمَ وُلِدَ وَيَوْمَ يَمُوتُ وَيَوْمَ يُبْعَثُ حَيًّا
(19:15) And Salamun ‘Alayhi (وَسَلَٰمٌ عَلَيْهِ = “May peace be upon him”) the day he was born, the day he dies, and the day he is resurrected.
There are two instances in the Quran where we do find the definite article “al” (the) associated with the word “salam” followed by the preposition “’alaa” (عَلَىَ = upon) are related to a human being.
وَٱلسَّلَٰمُ عَلَىَّ يَوْمَ وُلِدتُّ وَيَوْمَ أَمُوتُ وَيَوْمَ أُبْعَثُ حَيًّا
Jesus states that “the peace” shall rest upon his own soul the day he was born, the day he dies, and the day he will be resurrected. It is not a greeting (no, Jesus is not greeting himself!) and it is not a prayer either: he is on the contrary stating a fact, because God let him know in advance in 19:15 (quoted earlier) that he was going to be blessed “the day he was born, the day he dies, and the day he is resurrected”. We can also assert that because 19:33 is modeled the same way as 20:47 where we see that the word “al salam” (not “salam”) and the preposition “alaa” (عَلَىَ = upon) are also related to a human being:
فَأْتِيَاهُ فَقُولَآ إِنَّا رَسُولَا رَبِّكَ فَأَرْسِلْ
مَعَنَا بَنِىٓ إِسْرَٰٓءِيلَ وَلَا تُعَذِّبْهُمْ قَدْ جِئْنَٰكَ
بِـَٔايَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكَ وَٱلسَّلَٰمُ عَلَىٰ مَنِ ٱتَّبَعَ ٱلْهُدَىٰٓ
(20:47) Therefore, go to him (Pharaoh) and say: “Verily, the two of us (Moses and Aaron) are messengers of your Lord. Therefore, send forth the children of Israel with us, and afflict them not. Indeed, we have come to you with a sign from our Lord; the peace shall rest upon whomever follows the guidance!”.
In both 19:33 and 20:47, “al salaam” is used to state a fact, but it is not used for greeting someone or some people nor even prayers. It is a fact that “the peace shall rest upon whomever follows the guidance!”. My point is that you cannot use 19:33 and 20:47 to claim that it is also correct to say “assalamu ‘alaykum” to salute someone, because the Quranic context makes it clear that it is never used for a greeting nor even a prayer. As extensively proven in this article, the indefinite form “salamun” is consistently used to greet someone or as a prayer of peace.
We now have to ask ourselves why even for something as simple as greeting each other do traditional Muslims almost always get it wrong? Where exactly does it come from?
3.1 Corrupted hadiths
As usual, the corruption of Islam comes from hadiths, because in the minds of most Sunnis and Shias, hadiths de facto take precedence over the pure and perfect message of the Quran, even though they do not realize it or dare to admit it. Here are a few concrete examples of the origin of the corrupted Sunni greeting(s) which we proved contradicts the Quran:
Jami at-Tirmidhi 2689:
Narrated by Imran Bin Husain:
“A man came to the prophet (SAW) and said: “As salamu ‘alaykum”. So, the prophet said: “Ten”. Then another came and he said: “As salamu ‘alaykum Wa Rahmatullah (Peace be upon you and the mercy of Allah)”. So, the prophet (SAW) said “Twenty”. Then another came and said: “As salamu ‘alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh (Peace be upon you, and the mercy of Allah, and His blessings)”. So, the prophet (SAW) said” “Thirty”.
We see that according to hadiths it is correct to say to the prophet (just one person) “As salamu ‘alaykum”, even though the pronoun is in the second person plural (three or more people in Arabic). Obviously, not a single one of the three Quranic greetings is mentioned in the Quran. Do not look for any other reason for the absurd corruption of the Quranic greeting in Islam today.
Jami Al Tirmidhi 2721
…When a man meets his Muslim brother then he should say: “As salamu ‘alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh (Peace be upon you, and the mercy of Allah, and His blessings)”…
Again, we see here clearly that it is recommended to say “As salamu ‘alaykum” to one single person.
Jami Al Tirmidhi 2875
….Then he turned to the messenger of Allah (SAW) and said “As salamu ‘alaykum O messenger of Allah!”. The messenger of Allah said: “Wa ‘alaykum Assalam”….
Once more, we see that saying “As salamu ‘alaykum” to just one person is absolutely correct according to hadiths.
Sunan an-Nasa’i 1320
He asked Abdullah Bin ‘Umar about the prayer of the messenger of Allah (SAW). He said: “Allahu Akbar” every time he went down and “Allahu Akbar” every time he came up, then he said: “As-salamu ‘Alaykum wa rahmatullah” (peace be upon you and the mercy of Allah) to his right and: “As-salamu ‘Alaykum wa rahmatullah” (peace be upon you and the mercy of Allah) to his left.
In the light of the Quranic verses we studied earlier we see that “As-salamu ‘Alaykum” does not pass the test of the Quran (6:54, 7:46, 16:32, etc…). Therefore, we know that this hadiths is false and simply testifies to the fact that the Arabic language found in hadiths is tainted.
As studied earlier, the above hadiths contain one or two mistakes, because not only is it incorrect to use the second person plural pronoun “kum” for one single person in the light of the Quran, the Quran also tells us that we shall say “salamun” (for example “salamun ‘alayka”, “May peace be upon thee”) and not “As-salamu” with the article “al” when greeting someone.
What we are witnessing here is the true origin of the pronoun absurdity used in greetings in Sunni and Shia Islam. Their goal is not to follow the word of God (the Quran fully detailed), it is to primarily follow what they believe are the authentic words of the prophet. Obviously, the Quran forbids to follow “hadiths other than God and His verses”:
تِلْكَ ءَايَٰتُ ٱللَّهِ نَتْلُوهَا عَلَيْكَ بِٱلْحَقِّ
فَبِأَىِّ حَدِيثٍۭ بَعْدَ ٱللَّهِ وَءَايَٰتِهِۦ يُؤْمِنُونَ
(45:6) These are God’s verses which we truthfully recite unto you. Therefore, in which hadith other than God and His verses do they believe in?
4. The Quran warns us that one way to identify the enemies of Islam is that they do not greet people with the correct greeting decreed by God
أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى ٱلَّذِينَ نُهُوا۟ عَنِ ٱلنَّجْوَىٰ ثُمَّ يَعُودُونَ لِمَا نُهُوا۟
عَنْهُ وَيَتَنَٰجَوْنَ بِٱلْإِثْمِ وَٱلْعُدْوَٰنِ وَمَعْصِيَتِ ٱلرَّسُولِ وَإِذَا
جَآءُوكَ حَيَّوْكَ بِمَا لَمْ يُحَيِّكَ بِهِ ٱللَّهُ وَيَقُولُونَ فِىٓ أَنفُسِهِمْ لَوْلَا
يُعَذِّبُنَا ٱللَّهُ بِمَا نَقُولُ حَسْبُهُمْ جَهَنَّمُ يَصْلَوْنَهَا فَبِئْسَ ٱلْمَصِيرُ
(58:8) Haven’t you seen those who were enjoined from conspiring secretly, then insist upon conspiring? They conspire to commit sin, transgression, and disobedience towards the messenger. When they come unto you, they greet you in a way other than what God greets you therewith. And they say to themselves, “God will not punish us for our utterances.” Their only requital is hell, wherein they will burn. What a miserable destiny.
The above verse teaches us that true Muslims follow strictly God’s command and greet each other as God Himself commanded in the Quran. They say either “Salamun ‘Alaykum” (properly declined to the various persons singular or plural if need be) or simply “Salam”. They are not rebels who follow corrupted greetings (for example “Assalamu ‘Alaykum!”) based upon corrupted hadiths and do not care about God’s precise command, or people who are too lazy to even mention the word “Salam”. This is particularly true in the era of the internet where people write emails, messages on forums, social media etc… and do not even care to use the proper Quranic greeting.
The underlying message behind verse 58:8 is that the first sign to identify a true Muslim is when he or she introduces himself. Does He or she follow the Quran, or something else? This is not a mere detail, but a very revealing statement.
God is the Most Gracious, Most Merciful. Lots of sincere people are absolutely unaware that their greeting is corrupted because they are misled by the corruption that surrounds them. I pray that people who read this article will verify the Quranic verses pointed at for themselves, correct their greeting if necessary and spread the word around them. At this point, most traditional Muslims on Earth have lost the correct greeting, as if they were divinely prevented to say it correctly because there is a veil in front of them that keeps them from understanding the Quran. Their greeting simply happens to reflect their faith in general: It is corrupted.
5. Do we understand the depth of greeting someone?
وَإِذَا حُيِّيتُم بِتَحِيَّةٍ فَحَيُّوا۟ بِأَحْسَنَ مِنْهَآ أَوْ
رُدُّوهَآ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىْءٍ حَسِيبًا
(4:86) When you are greeted with a salutation, you shall then salute with a better salutation, or [at least] return the same, for indeed, God reckons all things.
We saw that the Quranic greeting decreed by God is specifically either “Salamun ‘alaykum” (properly declined to the various persons singular or plural if need be) or simply “Salam”. “A better salutation” does not mean that you have the option to use a different one because the way we greet people in pure Islam is already settled in the Quran fully detailed and we are commanded to submit to it (6:54). Therefore, a better salutation will depend on how much heart and sincerity we put into it.
Greeting someone saying “May peace be upon you!” from the bottom of our heart is spreading the message of peace around us. It turns us into messengers of Peace.
In this life and in Paradise, two valid greetings are used both by human beings and angels: “Salam!” (Peace) and “Salamun ‘Alaykum” (properly declined to the various persons singular or plural if need be).
When you meet someone who greets you saying “Assalamu ‘alaykum” and you simply answer “salam”, “Salamun ‘alayka” or “Salamun ‘alayki” (to a woman), some people will look at you as if you had some kind of a problem. This is the paradox of Islam today where corruption is considered the norm. Anyone who stands for the pure Quranic truth always faces the risk to be considered a dangerous innovator. Is it a crime to submit to God completely and follow the Quran to the letter? People’s opinions do not matter as long as we have God and His word (the pure Arabic Quran) on our side. We saw that the true origin of the corruption of the pure Islamic greeting literally found in the Quran originates from hadiths. By believing that they are authentic and infallible, Sunni and Shia Muslims perpetuate the blatant pronoun error “kum” (you = second person plural = three or more in Arabic) when addressing one or two people. People take for granted what they are taught and do not even notice the most obvious absurdities.
The Quran warns us that enemies of Islam do not use the proper greeting decreed by God in the Quran (58:8). Indeed, one of the ways to identify a true Muslim is how he or she introduces him or herself. This said, most Muslims are of course victim of the corruption of the Islamic society and are unaware at this point that their greeting is incorrect. It is therefore our duty to pass down the information regarding the correct greeting around us. You are welcome to ask native Arabic speakers and even experts of the Arabic language why they do not respect the pure Arabic language of the Quran when it comes to greet people (Salamun ‘alaykum = May peace be upon you, declined to the proper person) and say instead “Assalamu ‘Alaykum” (May the peace be upon you) even to one single person. I guarantee you that they will be caught off guard and will not have any valid argument to counter what you will have said. Some will claim that they also greet the angels next to us at the same time. It is not only false, it contradicts the precise way the Quran has been written, as proved earlier. Do they know better than Abraham who said “Salamun ‘alayka” (May peace be upon thee) to his father? do they know better than the angels who visited Abraham and simply said “salam!” (and certainly not “assalamu ‘alaykum”) when they were perfectly aware of the angels surrounding him? Do they know better than God who wrote the Quran in a perfect Arabic language (16:103, 26:195)? I don’t think so.
As true Muslims, we should not only greet people obeying literally to God’s command in the Quran, we should feel its profound meaning every time and act as messengers of Peace who spread God’s message in the world.
Published in 2011.
Updated on 3/1/2023.