I just read that it is disliked to give salaams to someone who is openly disobeying. Does this mean I should not give salaam to sisters who do not wear the hijab?
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,
The word Salam is one of the names of Allah Almighty and is included in the Islamic greeting ‘Assalamu Alaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh’ (May the peace of Allah descend upon you and His Mercy and Blessings).
It is an Islamic greeting, by which one expresses his/her respect and regard for the one whom the Salam is given. As such, it is disliked (makruh) to give Salams to the one who sins openly, for he/she has no regard of the injunctions of Shariah, thus he/she is not entitled to any respect and deference.
Imam al-Haskafi al-Hanafi (Allah have mercy on him) states:
“It is disliked (Makruh) to give Salams to the openly disobedient, and if he is not openly disobedient, it will not be disliked.”
The great Hanafi jurist, Allama Ibn Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) explains the above statement:
“One should not give Salams to a deceitful clown/comedian, neither to the one who slanders others or gazes at the faces of strange women, neither to the openly disobedient…..until their repentance is known.” (Radd al-Muhtar ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar, 6/415, Kitab al-Hazr Wa al-Ibaha)
However, at times, the one from whom Salam is avoided may feel very offended, thus lead to hatred, enmity, hostility and the breach of many other Islamic injunctions. At times, this may also entail disgracing and severely humiliating a fellow Muslim.
Therefore, if this is the case, then one should give Salams on the basis that he/she is after all a believer. This will create love, mercy, and compassion between the Muslims, give a chance to advice others, provide an opportunity to invite the openly disobedient to the right path, prevent enmity and hatred amongst Muslims and save us from pride and arrogance.
If there is a situation where a particular Muslim is involved in sinning openly, and there is a very high possibility that he will abstain from his evil ways if giving him Salams is avoided, then you may avoid giving Salams.
However, this should not be a general thing; especially when there may be a risk that the sinful person may leave Islam altogether due to being alienated by other Muslims. This will help create a healthier atmosphere between the Muslims especially in these times of trails and tribulations.
And Allah Knows Best
[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Leicester , UK