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Is offering salam only to people we know a sign of doomsday?


Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.

Giving or offering salam among Muslims is the very reason love and care are nurtured and it is a part of the sign of the completeness of iman (faith) that will ultimately qualify us to enter Allah SWT’s paradise.

  • From Abu Hurairah RA, the Prophet PBUH said:

لا تَدْخُـلُوا الـجَنَّةَ حتـى تُؤمِنُوا، ولا تُؤمِنُوا حتـى تَـحابُّوا أوَلا أدُلُّكُمْ علـى شَيءٍ إذا فَعَلْتُـمُوهُ تَـحَابَبْتُـمْ؟ افْشُوا السّلامَ بَـيْنَكُمْ

“You will not enter Paradise until you believe, and you will not (truly) believe until you love one another. Shall I not tell you of something which, if you do it, you will love one another? Spread the greetings of Salam amongst yourselves.”

Sahih Muslim (81)

Scholars state that the ruling of spreading salam is an encouraged sunnah (سنة مستحبة) and is emphasized by the Prophet PBUH, and though there is a commandment of spreading salam, the commandment is not an obligation. This is the famous opinion among scholars.

According to the above question, there is a hadith in Musnad Imam Ahmad regarding the matter where it is stated:

  • From Abu Hurairah RA, the Prophet PBUH said:

إِنَّ مِنْ أَشْرَاطِ السَّاعَةِ أَنْ يُسَلِّمَ الرَّجُلُ عَلَى الرَّجُلِ، لَا يُسَلِّمُ عَلَيْهِ إِلَّا لِلْمَعْرِفَةِ

“Among the signs of Doomsday is when a person offers greet with salam to others and does not offer salam to another, unless it is a person that he knows.”

Musnad Ahmad (3848)[Syeikh Syu’ab al-Arna’outh state that the hadith is hasan (good)]

  • From Ibnu Mas’ud RA, he said, I heard the Prophet PBUH said:

إِنَّ مِنْ أَشْرَاطِ السَّاعَةِ أَنْ يَمُرَّ الرَّجُلُ فِي الْمَسْجِدِ لَا يُصَلِّي فِيهِ رَكْعَتَيْنِ، وَأَنْ لَا يُسَلِّمَ الرَّجُلُ إِلَّا عَلَى مَنْ يَعْرِفُ

“Among the signs of Doomsday is when a person walks in a door of a mosque and does not offer two rakaat of prayer and offer salam to others unless to the people that he knows.”

Narrated by Ibn Khuzaimah (1326)

The hadith is evidence on the sanctioning of offering salam to people we do not know to start a conversation and socialize with other Muslims, building a relationship for every Muslim is a brother to us and not to avoid others. (See: Fath al-Bari, 11/21). Hence, this is in accordance with the hadith of the Prophet PBUH where we are commanded to give salam not only to people that we know, but to others too.

  • From Abdullah bin Amr RA, the Prophet PBUH was asked what is the best trait of Islam, the Prophet PBUH answered:

تُطْعِمُ الطَّعَامَ، وَتَقْرَأُ السَّلاَمَ عَلَى مَنْ عَرَفْتَ وَعَلَى مَنْ لَمْ تَعْرِفْ

"Feed the people, and greet those whom you know and those whom you do not know."

Sahih al-Bukhari (6236)


As a conclusion, the hadith explains about offering salam only to people we know is included as one of the signs of doomsday. Furthermore, the practice of spreading salam in Muslims today is fading even though it is a beloved sunnah of the Prophet PBUH for its ability in strengthening the bonds of Muslims. Moreover, offering salam is a simple action which does not cost anything but a little energy of pronouncing it with a sincere heart. Lastly, may Allah SWT give us strength in practising the sunnah of the Prophet PBUH and protect us from the fitnah in the ned of times. Amin.


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