Q. How do I respond to my non-Muslim staff who great me with Assalaamu Alaikum?
A. As a general rule, a Muslim should not initiate the official greeting of a Muslims Salaam with non-Muslims. One of the main reasons being that the official greeting of Muslims –Salaam, is a Dua (supplication) that encompasses a Dua of peace for this world (Dunya) and the hereafter. (Aakhirah) which is applicable to Muslims and not to non-Muslims. (Badaai-us-Sanaai 5/128)
A Muslim may greet a non-Muslim with a customary greeting instead. (For e.g. by saying Hi, Good Day/Afternoon/Evening etc.)
If there is a need to make Salaam to a Non-Muslim, Salaam should be made with the following words:
“السلام على من اتبع الهدى”
Transliteration: Assalaamu Ala Manittaba’al Huda
Translation: May peace be upon the one who follows the guidance.
In the case where a Non-Muslim makes Salaam to a Muslim, a Muslim should reply with the words:
Translation: And to you to; or
“هداك الله الاسلام “
Transliteration: Hadaakallahul Islaam
Translation: May Allah guide you.
Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ismaeel Bassa
This answer was collected from TheMufti.com, which is a fatwa portal managed by Mufti Ismaeel Bassa from South Africa.