Extending the greeting by a nod of the head

Visit our YouTube channel for more

Question: He also says, some people – [and] may Allaah guide them – when they pass by others who are seated or passing them, they nod their head towards them – intending [by doing so] to extend the greeting [of as-salaam ‘alaykum]; [so] should we respond to them [when they do this]?

Response: It is not obligatory to respond to the likes of this [greeting]; rather, it is [only] obligatory to respond to the one who [verbally] extends the legislated greeting, and that is by saying ‘as-salaam ‘alaykum’.

This is what is obligatory [upon the Muslim] to respond to.

As for him who only nods with his head or only [raises] his hand, then he is not to be responded to.

That is because [his action] is contrary to what has been legislated.

However, in this situation, it is befitting you explain to him the [correct and] legislated greeting is to say ‘as-salaam ‘alaykum’, just so he does not feel uncomfortable [about you not responding] nor hostility [towards him], and also that he benefits from this advice about the legislated [manner of] greeting.

And this is also [the advice which should be directed] to the one who greets you by saying ‘ahlan wa sahlan wa marhaban’, because this is [also] not the [correct and] legislated greeting; rather, the legislated greeting is [to say] ‘as-salaam ‘alaykum’, and the Muslim is [then] to respond to him by saying ‘wa ‘alaykum as-salaam’.

Translation originally published on 13 May, 2015

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. He currently resides in Birmingham, UK.

Related posts