There are two views on offering unbelievers a greeting other than peace or starting with an ordinary greeting. One view permits offering a general greeting. The other forbids to start by greeting a non-Muslim

Offering a Greeting Other Than Peace to non-Muslims

Similar Questions

•    Welcoming unbelievers with a greeting other than peace;
•    Starting with an ordinary greeting to non-Muslims.

The Issue

A Muslim meets an unbeliever and gives him a greeting other than salam, such as ‘good morning’.


Scholars have two different views on this point.

The first view, which is endorsed by Ibn Taymiyyah as well as Shaikh Abdullah ibn Jibreen,[1]  says that this is permissible.


Such a greeting does not imply any acknowledgement of a higher position while prohibition applies to greetings that include a supplication for the blessing, safety and compassion. Hence although it is not proper to start by offering unbelievers such blessings this is normally not implied in general greetings.

The second view says that it is not permissible for a Muslim to greet a non-Muslim first, even with any greeting that does not imply peace. This is the view supported by Shaikh Salih al-Fawzan.[2]


The general import of the hadith that requires Muslims not to start by greeting Jews and Christians also encompasses other greetings, not merely the Islamic one of peace. Moreover, being the first to greet indicates heartfelt tenderness towards them, and a Muslim may not love unbelievers.


•    Salih al-Fawzan, Al-Muntaqa.
•    Abdullah ibn Jibreen, Al-Mufid fi Taqrib Ahkam al-Musafir.
•    Mut’ib al-Qahtani (ed.), Is'af al-Mughtaribin bi Fatawa al-'Ulama’ al-Rabbaniyyin.


  1. Ibn Jibreen, Al-Mufid fi Taqrib Ahkam al-Musafir, p. 144.
  2. S. al-Fawzan, Al-Muntaqa, vol. 1, p. 276.