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Assalam-O-Alaikum! Friends I want to ask a question a part of which has already been asked before. Is my saying "salam" to non-Muslims sin? And the part which is asked before is How to return salam to non-Muslims.. I want answer for the first one not the second!

I have a friendly nature and I say Salam a hundred times a day to people passing by the way, travelling with me, entering a shop etc. So you can say it has become my habit which I can't avoid! No problem I would have said "Hello or Hi etc." to non-Muslim people in England or America but I live in Pakistan and Christians here don't say Hello or Hi. Even when the meet each other they say "Assalam-O-Alaikum!" Now many Christians live in my neighbourhood and when I have to pass through way to somewhere I say Salam to them as I say to a Muslim! Am I doing something sinful. I can't avoid saying Salam to them because:

  • I don't want them to feel as minority! I don't want them to feel bad about us Muslims.
  • I love old people! When I see some aged human I can't stop myself greeting him! As a respect I say Salam to them and they reply me well!
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Assalam-O-Alaikum is an Arabic phrase meaning "Peace be on you". So applying the same logic of your question, can it be sin to say "Peace be on you" in English? Obvious answer is no.

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First I will post the opinion of most Sunni scholars and then my opinion.

Most scholars say it is forbidden to initiate salam on non Muslim in accordance with the following hadith, unless it is needed (to get their attention, etc..):

وَعَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ‏- رضى الله عنه ‏- أَنَّ رَسُولَ اَللَّهِ ‏- صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏-قَالَ: { " لَا تَبْدَؤُوا اَلْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَى بِالسَّلَامِ, وَإِذَا لَقِيتُمْ أَحَدَهُمْ فِي طَرِيقٍ, فَاضْطَرُّوهُ إِلَى أَضْيَقِهِ" } رَوَاهُ مُسْلِم ٌ 1‏ .‏

“Do not start by saluting the Jews and the Christians (when you meet them), and if you meet any of them on the road, force him to go to the narrowest part of the road (i.e. do not give them positions of authority among you.)” Related by Muslim.

However, personally I think that such hadith is invalid (or weak at lease) as we know the prophet PBUH holds the template of exemplary actions. Pushing people to narrow roads is definitely not one of them. Such hadith if anything shows the Prophet PBUH as someone with no respect to non Muslims.

  • Thank you but do you have any hadith or fatwa which backs up your thought? – Rehan Ullah Sep 6 '15 at 16:16
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    Many scholars classify sahih hadith as weak and vise versa. Hadith should never be given the level of Quran as the prophet PBUH warned us. – user12537 Sep 6 '15 at 17:47
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    @AmericanMuslim thats not apropriate word to use for any hadith whether sahih or daeef (I throw out of the door),,why Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him used those words what were the conditions whats the depth inside this ,those were the days of Jihad or not ,it is a Muhaddith and faqih who knows more better. – Faqirah Sep 6 '15 at 21:57
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    I just read the first Article of a series about this hadith which seems to be a fabrication of Sohayl ibn abi Salah سهيل بن أبي صالح who lived during the (end of the) Umayyad dynasty this hadith has been used as a pretext for fighting non-Muslims and adopted later by most fuqaha' hespress.com/writers/286087.html – Medi1Saif Dec 1 '15 at 13:03
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    Part 2 of the above mentioned article is online now hespress.com/writers/287457.html – Medi1Saif Dec 21 '15 at 8:52

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