On the Excellence of the Greeting and the command to make it common practice

Riyad as-Salihin (The Meadows of the Righteous)

by Imam Nawawi

131. Chapter: On the Excellence of the Greeting and the command to make it common practice

Allah Almighty says, "O you who believe! Do not enter houses other than your own until you have asked permission and greeted their inhabitants" (24:27)

and the Almighty says, "And when you enter houses greet one another with a greeting from Allah, blessed and good." (W24:59; H24:61)

The Almighty says, "When you are greeted with a greeting, return the greeting or improve on it," (W4:85; H4:86)

and the Almighty says, "Has the story reached you of the honoured guests of Ibrahim? When they entered his dwelling and said, 'Peace!' He said, 'Peace!'" (51:24-25)

845. 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr ibn al-'As reported that a man asked the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, "Which aspect of Islam is best?" He said, "Feeding people and greeting those you know and those you do not know." [Agreed upon]

846. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "When Allah Almighty created Adam, He said, 'Go and greet those' - a group of the angels who were seated - 'and listen to how they greet you. It is your greeting and the greeting of your descendants.' He said, 'Peace be upon you.' They said, 'Peace be upon you and the mercy of Allah,' adding 'the mercy of Allah.'" [Agreed upon]

847. Abu 'Umara al-Bara' ibn 'Azib said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, instructed us to do seven things He instructed us to visit the sick, to join funeral processions, to bless people who sneeze, to help the weak, to help the wronged, to accept invitations, to return the greeting, and to fulfil our oaths." [Agreed upon]

848. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "You will not enter the Garden until you believe and you will not believe until you love one another. Shall I tell you something the doing of which will give you love of one another? Make the greeting common practice among you." [Muslim]

849. Abu Yusuf 'Abdullah ibn Salam said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, 'O people! make the greeting common practice, provide food, maintain ties of kinship and pray while people are asleep and you will enter the Garden in safety.'" [at-Tirmidhi]

850. At-Tufayl ibn Ubayy ibn Ka'b said that he used to visit 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar and would go with him to the market. He said, "When we went to the market, 'Abdullah did not pass by anyone selling poor quality merchandise or other commodities or a needy person or anyone else without greeting them." At-Tufayl continued, "I visited 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar one day and he asked me to go with him to the market. I said to him, 'What will you do in the market when you will not stop to sell nor seek any goods nor barter with them nor sit in any of the assemblies of the market? I say, let us sit down here and talk.' He said, 'Abu'l-Batn '- and at-Tufayl had a pot belly (batn) - 'we go out in the morning for the sake of the greeting. We greet whomever we meet.'" [Malik in al-Muwatta']