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As-salamu alaykum

As-salmu alaykum (Arabic:

2 In Islam

, IPA:

[slmu alajkum]) is a Muslim greeting in Arabic

that means Peace be upon you. The greeting is a
standard salutation among Muslims and is routinely
used whenever and wherever Muslims gathered and
interacted, whether socially or within worship and other
contexts. [1] The typical response to the greeting is
Waalaykumu s-salm (and upon you, Peace, IPA:

It is also preferred to use the greeting when arriving and

also when leaving. It was reported that Abu Hurairah said
When one of you joins a gathering, let him say 'Peace'.
When he wants to get up and leave, let him say 'Peace'.
The former is not more important than the latter. (Hasan
hadith reported in Jmi at-Tirmidhi)[2]
According to hadith, Muhammad was asked who
should begin the greeting and he said, The one who
is riding should greet the one who is walking and
the one who is walking should greet the one who is
sitting and the smaller group should greet the larger
group. (a al-Bukhr, 6234; Muslim, 2160)[3]

This greeting appears in greatly abbreviated forms in

many languages from Malagasy to Urdu as some variant
of salm (c.f. Persian, IPA: [slm]).

Grammatical variants

It is also stated that one should give the Salam greeting upon entering a house. This is based upon a
verse of the Quran: But when you enter the houses,
greet one another with a greeting from God blessed
and good. (An-Nur 24:61)[4]

The term uses the second person plural masculine, even

when used to address one person. It may be modied
by choosing the appropriate enclitic pronoun to address a
person in the masculine and feminine singular form, the
dual form, or the feminine plural form. The conjugations
are as follow (note: according to the standard pronunciation rules of Classical Arabic, the last short vowel in each
word is not pronounced unless it is followed by another

Shortening the greeting to acronyms, such as A.S.,

Askum (in Malaysia), or AsA is becoming common
amongst Internet users in chat rooms and by people
using SMS. This trend is similar to writing (S) or
SAWS in place of all l-Lhi alayhi wa s-salm.

masculine singular as-salmu alayka ()

3 Usage by non-Arabic speakers

feminine singular: as-salmu alayki ()

In Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, and Iran, Salm is used.

dual: As-salmu alaykum ()

In Amharic, the native Amharic term Selam is

used in place of Tadias, which is the equivalent of
Whats up.

feminine plural: As-salmu alaykunna ()

A third-person variant, alayhi as-salm peace be upon
him, is used in reference to prophets.

In Turkey and Kazakhstan, many religious people use this statement and shake hands and it is
the same for saying goodbye"; more secular and
non-religious people say Selam as an equivalent to
Hello or Hi. However, many Turks pronounce
it dierently as Selamn aleykm.

The indenite form salmun ( )may appear. A passage of the Quran describes the greeting of the angels towards the inhabitants of Paradise using this form: And
angels shall enter unto them from every gate (saying),
salmun alaykum, for that you persevered in patience!
Excellent indeed is the nal home!" (Ar-Ra'd 13:2324) This especially used in Turkey, where it appears in
Turkish as selamn aleykm.

In Pakistan, the greeting is also associated with

shaking right hands and is also often accompanied
with a hug when meeting infrequently (only between
the same gender). In some places, people put a hand
on their heart as they shake your hand and greet.
Also, the full greeting is preferred versus the shorter
greeting, salam.

In the closely related Hebrew, the cognate and roughly

equivalent greeting is shalom aleichem with the response
aleichem shalom.

In India, the greeting is accompanied by raising the
right hand to the chest (arz hai regards"; adaab respect) or a simple handshake or hug, the shorter
greeting Salam is used in informal situations.
Goodbye is supplanted by a Khuda haz (secular/less formal or to an acquaintance) or Allah
haz (less secular/generally to strangers, formal),
both of which mean May God keep you safe.

[1] ""As-Salaamu-Alaikum
Wa-Alaikum-asSalaam"". Retrieved 2013-07-27.
[2] Sheikh Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid. Is it mustahabb
for one who gets up to leave a gathering to say salaam to
those who are still sitting?".
[3] As Salaamu Alaikom?". Archived from the original on

In Uzbekistan, Assalomu aleykum is used as an informal greeting.

[4] Surat An-Nur [24:61] - The Noble Qur'an -

". Retrieved 2013-07-27.

Usage by non-Muslims

There is considerable debate in Islam regarding how a

Muslim is to respond when greeted by a non-Muslim
with Salaam Alaykum or as-Salaam Alaykum. At
least one opinion distinguishes between whether or not
the greeter is one of the People of the Book, i.e., Jews
and Christians. In this view, an appropriate response is
simply wa-Alaykum (and upon you).

6 References

In Bangladesh, Salm Aleykum is a simple greeting.

In Indonesia, the greeting is usually accompanied

with a kind of two-handed handshake, whereby
the shakers palms remain closed, and the ngers
alone open to admit the others proered hand
which briey touches the proereds ngers or ngertips alone. In this way more adherent males and
females may greet though touching but remain true
to the Islamic or cultural teachings forbidding physical contact between the genders. Occasionally, the
right hand will touch the left breast or heart area
after this. In Indonesias Javanese/Sasak culture, a
remnant of feudalism is retained, where an elders
proered right hand is taken and pressed briey
against the forehead. Some may instead briey kiss
the hand or the main ring. This is very common
for young children to greet older relatives (of their
parents age, though, on occasion, if very polite children, younger).


See also
Names of God in Islam
Peace be upon him (Islam)
Pax (liturgy)
Salam Pax
Shalom aleichem

7 External links
Audio clip for Salam
A brief illustrated guide to understanding Islam Islamic audio project

Text and image sources, contributors, and licenses



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