Hi… then… Bye!!! This is the meaningless greeting of the West. One wonders what it really means? Is he asking you whether you are on a high? Whatever it may mean, no greeting is as comprehensive and perfect as the greeting which is derived from one of the attributes of Allah Ta‘ala, which is the greeting of the angels and will be the greeting of the Believers in Jannah — the beautiful greeting of As-Salaamu ‘alaikum.
As-Salaamu ‘alaikum means “Peace be upon you.” It is a prayer of peace, which encompasses every good for the one being greeted. It is also a declaration of safety and security towards the person being greeted, as if to say that the one being greeted is being told that his life, family and property are all safe from yourself. Thus you will not harm him, his family or property in any way.
The perfect greeting of Muslims, besides being a wonderful du‘aa for the person being greeted, also generates love between them. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: “You will not enter Jannah until you believe, and you cannot be (true) Believers until you love one another (i.e. you harbour no enmity and malice for others). Should I not show you something which, if you adopt, you will love one another? Make salaam common among you” (Saheeh Muslim #194). It is obvious that this benefit will be realized if the salaam is made with sincerity and not just uttered as a custom and formality.
Salaam should be made to every Muslim. Once Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was asked as to which was a more superior act among the practices of Islam. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied: “Feed people and make salaam to those who you know as well as those who you do not know” (Saheeh Bukhaari #12).
One should also endeavour to be the first to make salaam as it earns a greater reward and is also a means of eliminating pride.
Salaam is simple, costs nothing and takes a second or two. Yet the rewards are great and the blessings are gigantic. It would be a great tragedy if we deprive ourselves of such tremendous blessings. Let us therefore make salaam common among ourselves.