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Give importance of Islamic greetings

By: Ayatullah Shaheed Syed Abdul Husayn Dastaghaib Shirazi
Come out of self-seeking attitude. Take from Islam that which makes hearts united. Beginning from Salam greeting upto friendship (brotherhood in faith) and self-sacrifice. Do not give up these virtues. Whenever you meet any Muslim, greet him with Salam. What for is this Salam? The Arabic word Salam is based on the root letters Sa La Ma. It is a prayer or supplication. Salamun Alaikum means: I seek your safety and security from Almighty Allah. May you always be in peace. The Salam, which we recite during prayers, is: Peace be upon us and upon the righteous servants. Peace be upon you and the mercy of Allah and His blessings. How is it? Do you know its manners and discipline? Whenever you recite "Peace be upon us and upon the righteous servants," you must think of (and pray for) all Faithful men and women.
When you say: Peace be upon upon you. (As salaamu alaikum), if it be before a group pray for the entire congregation. If you are not in a congregation but are praying prayer alone, then you think of Kiraaman Kaatibeen (the angles who keep everyone’s account of deeds) and all the Messengers and Prophets. All wish peace for one another from the depths of hearts, which then become united. Hundreds, thus wish safety of all, especially the leader of the congregation prayer. While concluding the prayer, the first Salam makes you think towards your right and the second towards the left. There must be unity. There must be integration of hearts. Thus the aim of everyone becomes one. Personal interest (selfishness) is driven out. You wish safety of each and every Muslim. Your only goal and aspiration is that no Muslim should experience trouble anywhere in the world.
After this Salam, there is compliment. If one, in the meeting sneezes, it is recommended that a Faithful must pray and compliment him saying: Yarhamukallaah (May Allah have mercy on you) and the former also replies saying: Yaghfirullaahu (May Allah forgive you). Sneezing is a blessing. It makes one’s head light, which is a kind of safety for the brain. Due to this sneezing, man feels a sort of relief. It is also mentioned in one of the narration that the Master of the Age said that sneezing secures a man’s life for three days. Perhaps it means that it may protect the brain from apoplexy causing a sudden death. Some have taken it to mean patience, which is not correct. Truly sneezing is a blessing.
While associating with Muslims, give importance to cheerfulness, nicety of nature, love and good manners. Create amity and affection for one another. How graceful it is to host a believer can be imagined from the words of Imam Sadiq that: If the entire world turns into a morsel and if I put it into the mouth of a believer, I will think it insufficient and feel that I have not done anything.

Elements causing disintegration are prohibited
Islam has prohibited all those things, which cause hatred in hearts. It has prohibited everything, which distances one human from another. Rather, Islam has made it unlawful to cause grief to the heart of a Faithful, because it makes one close to and joining with Satan. We have told about this before. One of the prohibited matters, which cause disintegration and dispute and grief is mocking and derision. It is mentioned in the Holy verse under discussion: O Believers! O those who believe in Qur’an! And O those who say: The hour of reckoning is to arrive! We are addressing you, not Jews or Christians.
They have no belief or faith. It is you who say that Qur’an is truth, Judgment Day is true and Muhammad is true. O believer! We tell you that to mock and to make fun of a Muslim is unlawful. Such derision causes disunity, which, as its consequence, drives you away from God’s mercy. Woe unto the distancing which Satan brings between two of you. The men must not mock men, nor women should mock women. Arabic word ‘Istihzaa’ means to degrade or to make one lower. You utter a kind of word, which makes the other party degraded. It will be better if, here, I tell you some narrations in this connection.

Ummul Momineen Safiya, with Ayesha and Hafsa
Safiya, the wife of the Holy Prophet was the daughter of one of the nobles among the Jews, namely, Huyy Ibn Akhtab. After the Khyber fort was won by the hands of Amirul Momineen, Huyy was finally killed. This daughter of him had the honor of becoming a wife of the Holy Prophet. She herself had volunteered for this honor, which she was fortunate to get. Ever since Safiya entered the Holy home of the Holy Prophet. Ayesha and Hafsa used to taunt this poor lady telling her: O Jew! Your father was a Jew. This poor lady who had lost her father, was feeling happiness in the Holy House due to this honor, the two women wanted to sting her with taunts. They were mocking Safiya. So she made a complaint to the Holy Prophet. The Holy Prophet too became very sad and he told Safiya, "Why did you not reply: My father is Haroon as he was from the progeny of Prophet Haroon; that my grand uncle is Musa bin Imran and my husband is the Holy Prophet Muhammad Mustafa?" This example is regarding mocking and giving insulting titles.
Here is a believer, a faithful Muslim. Why do you mock him? Giving such titles is unlawful – You are as your father and mother were. Allah says: Do not mock and humiliate others as it is prohibited: O the one who mocks others! What do you know about a believer? May the one whom you are mocking is better than you in the sight of God. You look only at the outer side. What do you know, what is hidden inside? How many people are there who are not being considered worth any value by others on account of their outward appearance. Yet they are precious in the Sight of Allah. They are valuable in the view of God Almighty. How many people are there who sit on the ground, who do not have more than a pair of clothing and yet, in the sight of God, they are honorable, respectable, having ranks and whose prayer is acceptable to Almighty Allah.

The unknown Abdul Ghaffar who prayed behind Imam-e-Zaman
I remember one, the late Abdul Ghaffar, who lived in this very city of Shiraz about eighty or ninety years ago. He was in army uniform. Nobody knew about him. He used to live in a solitary room of Madressah Khan Shiraz.
None knew that he had acquired miraculous powers. He succeeded in praying behind Master of the Age. The only person who knew about this gentleman in Shiraz was the late Shaykh Mahdi Kajuri. This great man knew western sciences also. People knew him, as a scholar of western sciences, but only after it was too late, that is, only after his death. (Some old and aged gentlemen told me). This Shaykh comes to this Madressah Khan and says: O Muslims! Do you know what a precious pearl was this man (the late Abdul Ghaffar) and then tells them a little about his noble life and miraculous power?
Even today, his grave is seen there in the old graveyard of Shiraz. It is a place where God answers people’s prayers. Apparently there are writings of the late Shaykh Kajuri so that the faithful may go there and request Almighty Allah to fulfill their needs. It is written there: It is being witnessed that this gentleman was fortunate to see and perform prayer behind Imam Mahdi. This great and noble man had much recognition of Allah, even though, outwardly he used to wear army uniform and nobody recognized him.
I would like to give you an example.

May be he has friendship with God
How do you know? Maybe the one whom you are mocking and at whom you are looking with contempt is one of the friends of Almighty Allah? What do I know? Woe unto you if the one whom you mock is a friend of God. You mocked him or her without knowing and recognizing. Be, therefore, warned. Woe unto you if you offend a friend of God.
You say: Where is the friend of God? What do I know? None except God recognizes His friend. It is a hidden matter. Man should respect everyone. He must never mock anyone. He must never insult anybody. There is no open criterion, for example, the priestly turban. Even wonderful piety too is not the measure. The very first limit Piety is sufficient. I do not know who was it? If someone gives pain to the heart of a friend of God, he has, as if, given a challenge to fight with God. He is hated by God. There are many narrations to show this.

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