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GREETING A NON MUSLIM WITH THEIR GREETINGS

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by DarulUloomTT.net

As Salaamu Alaikum,

QUESTION:

Is compulsory in front of those people whom we greeted with Namaste? Message Body: My dad have a habit to greet his Hindu friends and other Hindus with Namaste and we know that Namaste is Shirkiya greeting and the meaning is “I bow down to you” and Hindus use this greeting with bad beliefs that they think god resides in every human being which is Kufr…. My dad greeted many people with this greeting and we don’t remember how much, recently one young 16-17 years old Hindu girl greeted him with Namaste and dad also replied her with Namaste while knowing that this is wrong, I stopped him… Tell me repeating kalma-e-shahadah  i.e renewing the faith (tajdeed-e-iman) is necessary in front of that young Hindu girl or not, if yes so he greeted many people including my doctor and it will be awkward because that girl won’t understand anything plus she and her mom might feel bad because we greeted and criticizing this in front of them…. please tell me what do.

Wa Alaikum As Salaam,

ANSWER:

Greeting a person with ‘Namaste’ is wrong for a Muslim, since it is religious greeting of those of the Hindu religion, and it has the meaning which you have mentioned. Therefore, it is not permissible for a Muslim to use this as a greeting or a response to a greeting. However, simply uttering it without any belief or attributing significance to it, does not make a person an unbeliever or a Mushrik. I think your father also was not conscious of what it meant and what message it conveys. Therefore, there is no need for him to renew his faith by repeating the Kalima Shahadah. But seeing that it does not have a good meaning for the Muslim, out of pre-caution, he can recite the Kalima Shahadah for his own peace of mind. There is no requirement for him to recite it in front of any of those people he said ‘Namaste’ to.

(Kitabul Fatawa Vol. 1 pages. 323,324 Zam Zam Karachi 2007)

And Allah Knows best

Mufti Waseem Khan

10/02/2020

This answer was collected from DarulUloomTT.net, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Waseem Khan from Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago.

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