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I am a 19 year old Muslim boy, my brother has rather very blessed habit of greeting everyone whenever he goes out and comes back, even if that going out is for 2-3 minutes. I love to respond to him by Waleykum Assala, but sometimes I am working or doing something else and kinda busy, and then he greets me, and I know that I have to respond to him, so I do respond to him, but at the same time I get very annoyed because of the disruption he causes.

I know that it is the best for me to greet him everytime, but if Allah SWT has given us any relief on this right of a Muslim brother, I would like to make use of that. Can anybody please tell me how often I must greet him back, or can I ignore it sometime?

May Allah bless you all :)

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When he initiates salam, if you alone are present then it is compulsory for you to respond to him. However if there are multiple people present then it is sufficient for any one of them to respond.

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Firstly:

The beginning of greet with the Salam is a desirable Sunnah, and its response is a duty (Wagb) in unanimous.

Secondly:

If the two Muslims meet, and each of them greets over to the other, then if they go for a while and then met again - even close - it is better to greet one of the other, even if repeated repeatedly.

Evidence of this is what Abu Hurayrah said in Hadith:

Quote

1- Narrated Abu Hurayrah:

A man entered the mosque while Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) was sitting in one side of the mosque. The man prayed, came, and greeted the Prophet. Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said to him, "Wa 'Alaikas Salam (returned his greeting). Go back and pray as you have not prayed (properly)." The man returned, repeated his prayer, came back and greeted the Prophet. The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Wa alaika-s-Salam (returned his greeting). Go back and pray again as you have not prayed (properly)....."

(Narrated by "Bukhari" in his "Saheeh") [1]


2- And also Narrated Abu Hurayrah from the Prophet Muhammad said:

When one of you meets his brother, he should salute him, then if he meets him again after a tree, wall or stone has come between them, he should also salute him.

Grade: Sahih Mauquf and Marfu' (Al-Albani)

(Narrated by "Abi Dawud" in his "Sunan") [2]


Summary

This repetition is one of the things that are desirable (Sunnah), and it isn't one of the duties (Wagbat).

It's enough for peace for the first time, it brings the origin of the Sunnah, and there is nothing wrong with it, Insha Allah.

Especially if there is one who works or busy such as your case, or in public places and the repetition of peace may let the people stop working every time to respond to him.

I hope my answer is clear.

And Allah knows best!

References

  1. [1] Sahih al-Bukhari (6251) - (Chapter: To reply a greeting saying, "Alaikas-Salam")
  2. [2] Sunan Abi-Dawud (5200) - (Chapter: Regarding when a man parts from another, then meets him again, he should greet him with the salam)
  3. Full answer in Arabic
  4. More info To reply a greeting saying, "Alaikas-Salam"

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