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Greeting Unbelievers


Scholars have two different views on this question. The first view makes clear that it is not permissible for a Muslim meeting an unbeliever to start by offering the greeting of peace. If the unbeliever starts by saying assalamu alalikum (i.e. ‘peace be to you’), the Muslim may reply by saying wa alaikum (i.e. ‘and to you’). He may also give the reply in full, wa alaikum assalam, (i.e. ‘and peace be to you too’), if he is certain that when the unbeliever says the greeting he is clearly meaning it. This is the view of the majority of scholars, including Ibn al-Qayyim. Among contemporary scholars who subscribe to this view are Shaikh Abd al-Azeez ibn Baz and Shaikh Salih al-Fawzan