When you greet your family in the morning, set the loving intention for them to have a peaceful day by saying, “As-salaam alaikum”. This replaces the obnoxious greeting of “HELLo,” the inelegant “Hi,” or the presumptive "Good Morning." Islam is rooted in peace, and peace is the most refined and appropriate way to acknowledge other Muslims.
When you need someone’s attention, try saying, “As-salaam alaikum”. It sounds much more refined than “hey” and much more tranquil than “pardon me”. Phrases such as “excuse me” are used for crass disruptions such as flatulence or acts of clumsiness. Certainly, our presence doesn’t warrant the same type of wording. The offer of peace is a much better way to announce oneself and request a person’s attention.
When your family departs from you, say “As-salaam alaikum”. They leaving the paradise of home and are stepping into a world of insanity in which they are guaranteed to experience chaos and evil. Life is filled with surprises and variables. America, in particular, is filled with dangers. We never know what to expect. One is not guaranteed to make it back safe and sound, but our life and death are all for Allah. Let your family begin their daily journey with a sincere prayer for their peace and safety.
When Muslims call you, answer the phone by saying, “As-salaam alaikum.” If they text, respond with, “Walaikum alaikum.” Be sincere enough to spell it out in its entirety. Abbreviating our Arabic greeting (ASA/WAS) conveys laziness, apathy, and insincerity. Being careless in how we handle each other is the way of the West, not the way of the Muslim. We should not be careless in our greetings; “As-salaam alaikum” is truly a prayer, if understood. In a world where people don’t communicate as much as we should, give thanks for people who care enough to pick up a phone or even send a thoughtful text. Never take believers for granted.
When your loved ones return home, embrace them and say, “As-salaam alaikum.” Use these words to help them transition from the stress of the outside world into the sanctuary of your home. This reminds your family that you, the matriarch, the feminine force in your household, have created an atmosphere of serenity at home for their enjoyment. Invite them to leave their troubles at the door. Hang up your husband’s jacket. Silently thank Allah that everyone was blessed to return home safely. Remember that the peace you extend is medicine for their souls. It is a blessing for all who enter.
Whenever we have lacked refinement in behavior or engaged in a harsh disagreement, we should quickly make amends by returning with the words “As-salaam alaikum” and a sincere apology, if necessary. In a family, there must never be “winners” and “losers”. You are not enemies. Their loss is your loss (and vice versa). You are not opponents; you are one. Disagreements arise, but arguments need not occur. Conversations should not devolve into savagery if there is sincere love and respect. Peace should not be broken because of mere differences of opinion. Remember you are Believers. We have the same goal – to live the life of a righteous Muslim. Aim to be the one to reestablish peace, and if you’re not, accept the offer graciously when it is extended to you. Never be the aggressor, be the peacemaker.
Before retiring for bed say, “As-salaam alaikum.” “Goodnight” is okay, but it lacks the virtue of the Muslim’s benediction of peace. Let the last words your loved ones hear be a sweet supplication for pleasant dreams, harmony, and well-being throughout the night.
“As-salaam alaikum” creates a heavenly atmosphere which wise Muslims enjoy daily.