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In Sura Anam, ayat 54 Allah clearly instructs us to say "SALA-MUN-ALY-KUM" but we from our childhood all say "AS-SALA-MU-ALIKUM". Why and from where has this come into our practice?

Can anybody help me to understand this?

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As an Arabic language rule, when there is the words (letters) "AL" at the initial part of a word, if the first letter is “s” (س), then the word "AL" would changes to "A" (We recite “A” instead of “AL”). Perhaps it could be say that “A” (AL) SalamonAlaikom is the complete (more complete) shape of SalamonAlaikom that both forms of them are correct.

On the other hand, I can mention that the letter “A” (Al) could be compare with the word "THE" in English. In fact it could has the role of "THE" in English. And by noticing to the mentioned-above point we can say that both of them relatively or even completely convey the same purpose.

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