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Salaam Alaikum السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ Meaning, How to Use It in Your Life, Definition, and Origin

“Salaam Alaikum” is a greeting in the Arabic language. It is used often as a greeting or response to another person’s greeting. It is commonly used in the Arab world in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Iraq. It is also a common greeting in the Indian subcontinent

Muslims around the world use this phrase to greet friends and family members. It’s a traditional expression of respect and a sign of friendship.

In this article, you’ll know the meaning of salam, besides its origins and traditions. Keep reading

Salam Alaikum Pronunciation

Salam Alaikum Definition in Islam

Salam is an Arabic word that means literally peace. It’s used for greeting people in many Muslim countries. People say this sentence, meaning “peace be upon you” in English. Muslims also use it to bid farewell to their loved ones when leaving them.

Also, during Taslim, the last part of a prayer. They turn their faces right and left, saying it also. More intriguing, Salamy is also the name of a type of bread, meat, or vegetable dish in some Arab countries. In Islam, Salam means peace, safety, and love.

Salaam-Alaikum muslim greeting

Why Muslims Say ‘As-Salam alaikum’?

Slam is a symbol of love and peace. Currently, it’s used as a type of formal or informal traditional greeting. However, it has great virtues in Islam, and prophet Mohamed urged his nation to spread salam among people regardless of who they’re as saying salam can unify hearts and melt the snow between people.

Saying this Arabic greeting should be for people who know and who you don’t know. Prophet Mohamed warned that one of the precursors of the nearness of resurrection is the restriction of greeting to only the people we know.

Also, salam is a duty a Muslim should perform toward his brother- in religion- as Prophet Mohamed said:

Muslim’s narration is, “There are six rights of a Muslim upon a Muslim: When you meet him, greet him; when he invites you, respond to him; when he seeks counsel, give him advice; when he sneezes and praises Allah, say to him: ‘May Allah have mercy on you (Yarhamuk-Allah)’; when he is sick, visit him; and when he dies, follow his funeral”. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Most importantly, salam is a greeting for people of the paradise and it’s the greeting of angles, so people should use it for its great merits in Islam

Translation of “as-salaam alaikum” in Arabic

This sentence is translated to Arabic into السلام عليكم which means peace upon you or السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته which means god’s peace and mercy upon you

The Origin of Salaam Alaikum

The use of the phrase took roots in the Quran and the Hadith, the two holy books in Islam. According to history, the first one to say this phrase was Adam, peace upon him

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “When Allah created Adam (ﷺ), He said to him: ‘Go and greet that company of angels who are sitting there – and then listen to what they are going to say in reply to your greetings because that will be your greeting and your off-springs.’ Adam (ﷺ) said to the angels: ‘ as-salamu alaykum (May peace be upon you).

They replied: ‘As-Salamu ‘Alaikum wa Rahmatullah (May peace be upon you and the Mercy of Allah).’ Thus adding in reply to him: ‘wa Rahmatullah (and the Mercy of Allah)’ to his greeting.”[Al- Bukhari and Muslim].

How do I respond to As Salaam Alaikum?

Quran instructs us that whenever someone greets us, we shall greet him back in the same manner or even better. Allah SWT said And when you are greeted with a greeting, greet with a better greeting than it or return it in a like manner. Surely Allah is the Best Accountant over all things. Surah An-Nisa (86).

  • Waalaikumsalam is one of the responses to this phrase, which means peace upon you too.
  • people can also say: ay, Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakaatu, translated to may God bless you with mercy and abundance/ barka in your life.

What Is assalamu alaikum in English?

Salam is an Arabic word that means peace. This word is used in many cultures and religions, including Hebrew and Christianity. In some Arab countries, it is also used as an alternative for hello in English

What does Waalaikumsalam Mean?

as-salamu alaikum is the greeting used in the middle east and is the equivalent of “hello” in English. Waalaikumsalam is the response to it.

It is a greeting used by Muslims to greet each other and is done by saying “Assalamualaikum” while bowing your head and touching your forehead to your shoulder. “Waalaikumsalam” is a similar greeting in Arabic.

What Does Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh Mean?

It is the Islamic phrase of greeting that is used as a salutation when visiting someone’s home and means “May God bless you and make you safe.”

It’s also a greeting that Muslims say to one another. It means “Greetings from the presence of Allah, the Most Merciful and The Most Kind.” Muslims usually say this after saying hello or good morning.

History for Assalamu Alaikum

The kings of Al-Hira, the Ghassanid kings, and other kings of the pre-Islamic used to greet each other by saying one of those phrases: may you be safer and more pleasant, have a good morning, and live a thousand years.

subordinates and laypeople used similar phrases to exchange greetings when they gather, including ( may you’re Blessed the morning) or (may you’re Blessed the evening, according to the time of day they meet.

Islam repealed that greeting and replaced it with salam. When(Umair bin Wahb) approached the Messenger of God, saying: (Enjoy the morning), Prophet Mohamed said “God has honored us with a greeting that is better than yours, Umair. It’s Salaam AlaiKum, the greeting of the people of Paradise.”

Read also: Inshallah meaning in Islam: All you want to learn

Greeting Non-Muslims

Many people have a misunderstanding the hadith by the prophet Mohammed that forbids Muslims from greeting other religious people.

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

  • However, the hadith is only applied when there’s a war not in the peaceful times as Islam ordered Muslim people to treat Jews and Christians with tolerance and peace should they don’t wage a war against them.
  •  Prophet Mohamed said: if one of the People of the Scripture (i.e. Christians and Jews) greets you saying As-Salaamu `alaykum, then say (to him): and upon you. Reference: ( Source : Al-Bukhari, Muslim)
  • And in Quran, Allah said to Mohamed: tolerate them, (O Prophet), and say to them: “Peace to you.” For soon they shall come to know.
  • Al-Bayhaqi narrated a story in his book (branches of faith) that Aba Imama was saying salam to everyone who goes by whether he’s Muslim, Christian, old, or young man and when people asked him why he did that, he said: it’s in Islam faith to spread peace.
  • So we can conclude that Islam doesn’t forbid us to greet people from other religions with salam salaam alaikum or respond to their greeting as long as they don’t initiate war or harm us.

How to Use as-salamu alaykum During Prayer?

Taslim or say is one of the rituals of prayer that’ can’t be completed without it.

The scholars had different opinions about the way Taslim is performed

The Shafi’is and Malikis hold the opinion that the worshiper begins the Taslim, his face is confronting The qibla (the direction towards the Kaaba) then he turns and says this sentence

Al-Nawawi, may God have mercy on him, said:

“.. It’s a Sunnah is for a Muslim to turn his face right and say salam then repeat that on the left side right

Traditions of as-salamu alaykum among Muslims

The Muslim can say this phrase alone when greeting someone or he can expand it into assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh, which is better and more virtuous

Perophet Mohamed said: When a man meets his Muslim brother then he should greet each other (source: Tirmidhi ).

Who Should greet First?

Also, there are three traditions that Arab people are accustomed to when greeting:

  • The young man should greet the old one as a kind of showing respect
  • The horse-rider should greet the walker so he could throw safety in his heart
  • The man should start greeting the women without shaking hands
  • The individual should start greeting the group generally (example: a teacher greets a group of student

Also, there are 5 situations in which greeting isn’t allowed in the context.

  • In the bathroom
  • when calling for prayer
  • during Friday sermon
  • when praying Allah or telling Azkar
  • During Hajj (pligirimage and Umrah)


Salam Alaikum is a beautiful Arabic greeting that can be translated to mean “peace be unto you”. Muslims use this greeting as a way to acknowledge the peace and beauty of Allah. When used in your daily life, Salam Alaikum can help you to remember the importance of peace and compassion.

Muslims believe that by using this greeting, we are asking Allah for His peace and blessings. The Salam Alaikum greeting is just one of the many ways that Muslims show their love and respect for Allah. We hope that you will use it in your own life as a way to spread peace and compassion. As-salaam Alaikum!

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