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Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: Do not greet the Jews and the Christians before they greet you and when you meet any one of them on the roads force him to go to the narrowest part of it.

Is this an authentic Hadith? Can someone explain this to me, why did Prophet Muhammad (SAW) say this?

  • Please give a relevant title to your question, that will inform readers what it is about and will better help get your question answered rather than meaningless pleading. – UmH Jun 26 at 17:43
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Yes, this hadith is authentic. It is reported in Sahih Muslim

"Do not initiate greetings with the Jews and Christians. When you meet any of them in the road, then make him take its narrowest path." (Sahih Muslim 2167)

However, there is a context to it.

Ibn Al-Qayyim said,

"It is said that this was in a specific situation, when they were marching to the tribe of Qurayzah" (Zād al-Ma’ād 2/388)

This Hadith is also quoted in the chapter of Military Expeditions

Verily, I am riding against the Jews tomorrow, so do not greet them with peace and if they greet you with peace, then say: And upon you. (Ibn Majah 3699; Authenticated by Albani)

There is a similar authentic narration in Musnad Ahmad:-

Verily, I will depart against the Jews in the morning, so do not greet them with peace and if they greet you with peace, then say: And upon you. (Musnad Ahmad 26695; Authenticated by Al-Haythami in Majma’ al-Zawāʼid 8/44)

So we can see that it said in a specific context.

Furthermore, there is enough evidence in the Hadith that it is prohibited to harm the people of the book who live peacefully with Muslims.

Ibn Hibbaan included a chapter in his Saheeh entitled, “The Fire is the lot of the one who says things to offend the People of the Book,” in which he quoted the hadith of Abu Moosaa, from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), who said: “Whoever says something offensive to a Jew or a Christian will enter the fire.” This hadith was classed as saheeh by Shu‘ayb al-Arna’oot in Tahqeeq Ibn Hibbaan, and by al-Albaani in as-Saheehah, no. 3093. (Source: Islamqa, Fatwa no.321731)

As far as the issue of greeting Non-Muslims is concerned, it is disputable. This website provides some apologetic arguments for greeting Non-Muslims:-

https://abuaminaelias.com/greeting-non-muslims-salaam/

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The hadith is Sahih. It is recorded by Imam Muslim in his Sahih under the heading باب النهي عن ابتداء أهل الكتاب بالسلام (The prohibition of initiating the greeting with the People Of The Book).

The Prophet ﷺ said it to teach what is proper and improper behavior.

Initiating greeting (salam) to a disbeliever is at least makruh, although many consider it forbidden, while some consider it permitted when there is a need, and some consider it permitted in general.

The reason is that it is hastening in showing them respect, approval and admiration. And that is inappropriate towards those who belie the Prophet and the Quran and have hostility towards them.

لا تجد قوما يؤمنون بالله واليوم الآخر يوادون من حاد الله ورسوله

You will not find a people who believe in Allah and the Last Day having affection for those who oppose Allah and His Messenger

Quran 58:22

يا أيها الذين آمنوا لا تتولوا قوما غضب الله عليهم

O you who have believed, do not make allies of a people with whom Allah has become angry

Quran 60:13

While initiating greeting without reason to a person is a form of showing them affection or friendliness, so it is inappropriate for a Muslim.

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