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Assalamu alaikum,

I would like to know the meaning and the usage of Assalamu alaikum.

Jazaakallah Khair

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    -1: This is a general reference question IMO. You would probably get better results in sources aimed to be reference sources such as wiki – user44 Aug 13 '12 at 19:34
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Meaning of the Phrase

Salam comes from the root سلم which means peace, and usually translated as blessing.

Assalam is as+salam; the as here is the the definite article in Arabic. So, assalam can be translated as the blessing.

Alaikum means to you, upon you. The you here is plural.
Also, alaike means upon you (singular), alayna means upon us.

So, assalamu aleykum simply means peace/blessings be upon you.

There is also a version without the the article:
Salamun alaikum

Usage in Daily Life

Assalamu alaikum is used for greeting other people. Of course, it is not the only way of greeting. The reason why Muslims use it often is because it is mentioned in the Quran very often in the following verses. But it is not ordered to be said strictly in this phrase, one can use different phrases as well which carries the same meaning.

Saying it implies that you mean no harm to the one(s) who you say it to. When you say it, you state that you won't be giving any kind of harm to the receiver. Therefore, it is a promise of safety, and its role is important in the society.

Usage in Quran

Allah orders us to greet people before entering their residences:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَدْخُلُوا بُيُوتًا غَيْرَ بُيُوتِكُمْ حَتَّى تَسْتَأْنِسُوا وَتُسَلِّمُوا عَلَى أَهْلِهَا ذَلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ

O you who have believed, do not enter houses other than your own houses until you ascertain welcome and greet their inhabitants. That is best for you; perhaps you will be reminded.

Noor (24/27)

When someone greet us, it is obligatory for us to greet him:

وَإِذَا حُيِّيْتُم بِتَحِيَّةٍ فَحَيُّواْ بِأَحْسَنَ مِنْهَا أَوْ رُدُّوهَا إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ حَسِيبًا

And when you are greeted with a greeting, greet [in return] with one better than it or [at least] return it [in a like manner]. Indeed, Allah is ever, over all things, an Accountant.

Nisa (4/86)

Greeting is one way of how Allah rewards someone. When Allah greets someone, that means that person is safe of torments and punishments in akhirat (that doesn't necessarily mean that he will live an easy life in this world, "safety" is not safety from the hardships of this world). Allah only greets the good doers:

سَلَامٌ عَلَى نُوحٍ فِي الْعَالَمِينَ

Peace upon Noah among the worlds.

إِنَّا كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ

Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good.

Saffat (37/79-80)

,

سَلَامٌ عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ

Peace upon Abraham.

إِنَّا كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ

Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good.

Saffat (37/109-110) (37/109-110)

,

سَلَامٌ عَلَى مُوسَى وَهَارُونَ

Peace upon Moses and Aaron.

إِنَّا كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ

Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good.

Saffat (37/120-121) (37/120-121)

,

سَلَامٌ عَلَى إِلْ يَاسِينَ

Peace upon Elias.

إِنَّا كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ

Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good.

Saffat (37/128-131)

Mumins (firm believers) will be greeted in akhirat, so they will be safe on that day:

سَلاَمٌ عَلَيْكُم بِمَا صَبَرْتُمْ فَنِعْمَ عُقْبَى الدَّارِ

Peace be upon you for what you patiently endured. And excellent is the final home.

Rad (13/24)

The Cannah/Garden/Paradise will be a safe place for its inhabitants. They will be greeted there:

لَا يَسْمَعُونَ فِيهَا لَغْوًا إِلَّا سَلَامًا وَلَهُمْ رِزْقُهُمْ فِيهَا بُكْرَةً وَعَشِيًّا

They will not hear therein any ill speech - only [greetings of] peace - and they will have their provision therein, morning and afternoon.

Maryam (19/62)

When mumins (firm believers) come across with people who make empty and ill speech, they do not disturb their safty(unless being attacked - there are other rules in the case of attack):

وَإِذَا سَمِعُوا اللَّغْوَ أَعْرَضُوا عَنْهُ وَقَالُوا لَنَا أَعْمَالُنَا وَلَكُمْ أَعْمَالُكُمْ سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمْ لَا نَبْتَغِي الْجَاهِلِينَ

And when they hear ill speech, they turn away from it and say, "For us are our deeds, and for you are your deeds. Peace will be upon you; we seek not the ignorant.".

Qasas (28/55)

  • This answer is a nice try but needs some improvement. – Medi1Saif May 2 '16 at 6:38

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