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Non-Islamic Greetings

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Question: Is it permissible to used non-Islamic greetings like ‘Hi,’ ‘Shalom’ or ‘Namaste’?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

Engaging in a non-Islamic ritual is forbidden. If non-Muslims only ever used these words as a religious greeting in one’s culture and locality, it would be sinful.

If, however, it was something used between faiths and just became a cultural norm, then it is fine.

Look at the word ‘Good bye’ for example. Originally it is Christian prayer: ‘God be with ye.’ Nowadays, it does not carry any religious significance, so it is ok to use.

So, if it is normal for Muslims and non-Muslims to say ‘Namaste,’ then it would be permissible to use it because it is no longer a religious rite. However, Muslims should be saying ‘Assalamu Alaikum to each other and not ‘Hi’ and ‘Bye.’

Please also see:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/context-hadith-whoever-imitates-people-is-of-them/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/is-giving-the-greeting-salam-obligatory-or-recommended/

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years, he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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