I never thought to reflect upon why most Muslims and many Arabs say “ASalamu alaikom.” In Arabic this would be spelled as “السلام عليكم.” The Alef Lam or the first two letters in this word make the word salam (meaning peace) a definite noun as opposed to indefinite. I guess many people seem to think there is not much common usage difference between saying it with these two letters in front of salam and not. However, when my dear brother Ali pointed out that in no place in the Quran is it spelled with the Alef lam in front and there are many places it is mentioned as Salam Alaikom, I began to ask myself why then the Alef lam? So I felt this warranted a blog post to share the knowledge of this with others.
It may be insignificant, but as far as I’m concerned, I would tend to prefer to say it how it is said in the Quran as opposed to another way which I have no idea where it originated from. I mean, I still can’t find someone to explain to me why we say ASalamu alaikom instead of the way it is written and recited in the Quran. So I have decided I will use the Quranic way of saying salam from now on, whether it makes any difference or not.
I love the Quran and I believe it to be a complete guide for all humanity and there is so much in it we can gain from. From the Quran is where Muslims learned we should say Salam Alaikom to each other in the first place. It is actually the greeting of the angels and this is alluded to in the Quran as well.
If someone reads this post and knows why so many people say it differently than how it is said in the Quran, please feel free to contact me via email or comment. If you would like to look further and share in what I have found regarding Salam Alaikom, here are the ayat from the Quran that Ali located for me, take a look at the transliteration if you can’t read Arabic letters and you will get the idea there too about the words salam alaikom (peace be upon you):
|6:54 - Asad - English / Muhammad Asad|
|Al-An’am (The Cattle) |
6:54 And when those who believe in Our messages come unto thee, say: “Peace be upon you. Your Sustainer has willed upon Himself the law of grace and mercy Asad(6,46) - so that if any of you does a bad deed out of ignorance, and thereafter repents and lives righteously, He shall be [found] much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.”
Waitha jaaka allatheena yuminoona biayatina faqul salamun AAalaykum kataba rabbukum AAala nafsihi alrrahmata annahu man AAamila minkum sooan bijahalatin thumma taba min baAAdihi waaslaha faannahu ghafoorun raheemun
|7:46 - Asad - English / Muhammad Asad|
|Al-A’raf (The Heights) |
7:46 And between the two there will be a barrier. Asad(7,36) And there will be persons who [in life] were endowed with the faculty of discernment [between right and wrong], recognizing each by its mark. Asad(7,37) And they will call out unto the inmates of paradise, “Peace be upon you!”-not having entered it themselves, but longing [for it].
Topics discussed in this Verse:
Wabaynahuma hijabun waAAala alaAArafi rijalun yaAArifoona kullan biseemahum wanadaw ashaba aljannati an salamun AAalaykum lam yadkhulooha wahum yatmaAAoona
Ar-Ra’d (The Thunder)
13:24 “Peace be upon you, because you have persevered!” How excellent, then, this fulfillment in the hereafter!
Salamun AAalaykum bima sabartum faniAAma AAuqba alddari
سَلاَمٌ عَلَيْكُم بِمَا صَبَرْتُمْ فَنِعْمَ عُقْبَى الدَّارِ (13:24)
An-Nahl (The Bee)
16:32 those whom the angels gather in death while they are in a state of inner purity, greeting them thus: “Peace be upon you! Enter paradise by virtue of what you were doing [in life]!”
Allatheena tatawaffahumu almalaikatu tayyibeena yaqooloona salamun AAalaykumu odkhuloo aljannata bima kuntum taAAmaloona
الَّذِينَ تَتَوَفَّاهُمُ الْمَلآئِكَةُ طَيِّبِينَ يَقُولُونَ سَلامٌ عَلَيْكُمُ ادْخُلُواْ الْجَنَّةَ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ (16:32)
19:15 Hence, [God's] peace was upon him on the day when he was born, and on the day of his death, and. will be [upon him] on the day when he shall be raised to life [again].
Topics discussed in this Verse:
Wasalamun AAalayhi yawma wulida wayawma yamootu wayawma yubAAathu hayyan
وَسَلَامٌ عَلَيْهِ يَوْمَ وُلِدَ وَيَوْمَ يَمُوتُ وَيَوْمَ يُبْعَثُ حَيًّا (19:15)
19:47 [Abraham] replied: “Peace be upon thee! I shall ask my Sustainer to forgive thee: for, behold, He has always been kind unto me.
Qala salamun AAalayka saastaghfiru laka rabbee innahu kana bee hafiyyan
قَالَ سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكَ سَأَسْتَغْفِرُ لَكَ رَبِّي إِنَّهُ كَانَ بِي حَفِيًّا (19:47)
An-Naml (The Ants)
27:59 SAY: “All praise is due to God, and peace be upon those servants of His whom He chose [to be His message-bearers]!” Is not God far better than anything to which men [falsely] ascribe a share in His divinity? Asad(27,54)
Quli alhamdu lillahi wasalamun AAala AAibadihi allatheena istafa allahu khayrun amma yushrikoona
قُلِ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ وَسَلَامٌ عَلَى عِبَادِهِ الَّذِينَ اصْطَفَى آللَّهُ خَيْرٌ أَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ (27:59)
Al-Qasas (The Narration)
28:55 and, whenever they heard frivolous talk, Asad(28,54) having turned away from it and said: “Unto us shall be accounted Our deeds, and unto you, your deeds. Peace be upon you - [but] we do not seek out such as are ignorant [of the meaning of right and wrong].”
Waitha samiAAoo allaghwa aAAradoo AAanhu waqaloo lana aAAmaluna walakum aAAmalukum salamun AAalaykum la nabtaghee aljahileena
وَإِذَا سَمِعُوا اللَّغْوَ أَعْرَضُوا عَنْهُ وَقَالُوا لَنَا أَعْمَالُنَا وَلَكُمْ أَعْمَالُكُمْ سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمْ لَا نَبْتَغِي الْجَاهِلِينَ (28:55)
Az-Zumar (The Groups)
39:73 But those who were conscious of their Sustainer will be urged on in throngs towards paradise till, when they reach it, they shall find its gates wide- open; Asad(39,75) and its keepers will say unto them, “Peace be upon you! Well have you done: enter, then, this [paradise], herein to abide!”
Waseeqa allatheena ittaqaw rabbahum ila aljannati zumaran hatta itha jaooha wafutihat abwabuha waqala lahum khazanatuha salamun AAalaykum tibtum faodkhulooha khalideena
وَسِيقَ الَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا رَبَّهُمْ إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ زُمَرًا حَتَّى إِذَا جَاؤُوهَا وَفُتِحَتْ أَبْوَابُهَا وَقَالَ لَهُمْ خَزَنَتُهَا سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمْ طِبْتُمْ فَادْخُلُوهَا خَالِدِينَ (39:73)