Replying to the greeting “السلام عليكم” of the woman on the telephone

Reference: al-Muntaqaa min Fataawa Shaykh Saalih al-Fowzaan – Volume 3, Page 300, Fatwa No.441

Question: Is there any legal (Sharee’ah) prohibition in replying to the greeting (as-salaam) of the woman on the telephone or in any other [circumstance], or [her] replying to the greeting (as-salaam) of the man on the telephone?

Response: There is no harm in a man replying to the greeting (as-salaam) of the woman on the telephone or in any other [circumstance], and [likewise] a woman replying to the greeting (as-salaam) of the man so long as they protect themselves against [any] fitnah; And this is based upon the general command of the Prophet (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) in replying to the greeting (as-salaam).

Likewise, there is no harm in a telephone conversation between a man and a woman [so long as they remain] within the constraints of necessity.

As for a dubious conversation or a conversation in which there is fear of fitnah, then that is not permissible because it is a means to that which is prohibited (haraam). Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says:

{ …then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease (of hypocrisy, or evil desire for adultery, etc.) should be moved with desire, but speak in an honourable manner}, soorah al-Ahzaab, aayah 32
Abu 'Abdullaah, Mohammed Akhtar Chaudhry

About Abu 'Abdullaah, Mohammed Akhtar Chaudhry

- from London, UK. He is a graduate of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, having graduated from the Institute of Arabic Language, and later the Faculty of Sharee'ah in 2004.