The prophet (SAW) was the highest example of humility. Being of such a great status, and at the same time, demonstrating how humble he was as a slave of Allah (SWT). One of the ways that he taught us to please Allah (SWT) and remain humble is to convey “salaam”. Now, we know that “salaam” is a greeting of peace among people and not just a welcome of hello, but it is also a prayer for peace for a person, and all of mankind is in need of peace, and “salaam” is also a name of Allah (SWT). When we say “salaam”, it is also a form of zikr of Allah. When we say “Assalaamu Alaikum” we get a reward, but if we increase it and say, “Warahmatullah” it gives us more reward, and if we say “Wabarakatuh” is gives us even more. Whenever people meet, the first of them that says salaam gets closer to Allah (SWT). The hadith says that whenever two people meet and one of them says salaam first, that person gets a higher position in the view of Allah (SWT) because he said it first. Another hadith says that a person in the habit of saying salaam first, Allah (SWT) cleanses his heart from arrogance. The prophet (SAW) had a habit of saying salaam first no matter who he came across, even though the etiquette is that the younger one should say salaam to the older one. If a younger person comes across an older person, it is our responsibility to say salaam first because that other person is older than us. But, the prophet (SAW) would not wait for the youngsters to say salaam first, and he would instead say salaam.
The prophet (SAW) also taught us that when we say salaam, this salaam is not reserved for people that we know, but rather, it is for anyone we come across. One of the signs of the Day of Judgement is that people will only say salaam to people that they know. Other than that, they will not say salaam. It tells us that one of the marks and habits of a Muslim is that we say salaam to any Muslim that we come across. The prophet (SAW) also taught us that salaam is one of the things that increases love amongst people. In a beautiful hadith of sahih Muslim, it is mentioned, “You will not enter Jannah until you are true believers, and you will not be true believers until you love one another.” Is this not amazing? In order to be a believer in the sight of Allah, he says, “You need to have love for other believers in order for your Iman to be complete.” If you do not like other believers, there is a problem in your Iman in the sight of Allah. You cannot be true believers if you do not have brotherhood amongst one another. Then, he asked the sahaba, who, by this time, were wondering on how to make brotherhood, “Should I tell you of something, that when you start doing it, you will love one another?” They said, “Of course. Please tell us.” He said, “Spread salaam.”