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Question 062: Why shouldn’t we greet fellow Muslims with Salam on Ashura day? Is it a cultural tradition or there’s an Islamic justification to this?

Answer 062: There is a tradition narrated from Ali bin Ibrahim from his father from al-Nawfeli from al-Sakooni, from Imam Sadiq (as) that the Holy Prophet (pbuh) says: Greeting with Salam (peace) is recommended and voluntary, but responding to it is obligatory.[1] The Prophet (s) also says: Do not give answer to one who doesn’t initiate saying Salaam before his speech.[2]

Arabic version of this hadith is as follows:

السَّلَامُ تَطَوُّعٌ وَ الرَّدُّ فَرِيضَةٌ.

  1. Greeting is one of the desirable acts that have been recommended. It is not makrooh (abominable) to greet someone from this perspective. However, according to some religious authorities (maraje’), if not doing an action such as shaking hands is considered in common view as a way of mourning and expressing grief, it is better not to do it.[3]
  2. Imam Baqir (as) was asked about how we should console each other on the Day of Ashura? The Imam answered: Say: May God increase our rewards as a result of what has befallen us through Hussein’s sufferings. May God make both you and us men who seek vengeance for him together with his great successor (wali), the Imam, the Mahdi from the family of Muhammad (a).[4]

The Arabic version of this recommendation:

“أعظَمَ اللهُ اجورَنابمُصابِنابِالحُسَینِ،وَجَعَلَناوایّاکُم مِنَ الطّالِبینَ بِثارِهِ مَع وَلیّهِ الامامِ المَهدیِّ مِن آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ”

  1. The word ‘Salaam’ has been mentioned 22 times and the word ‘Assalam’ 7 times in the holy Quran. Some of the verses in which the word has been mentioned are as follows:

– When they entered into his presence, they said,” Peace!”” Peace!” He answered,”[5]

– Certainly Our messengers came to Abraham with the good news, and said,” Peace!”” Peace!” He replied.[6]

– Peace is to me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I am raised alive.”[7]

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answer:

Index: Ways to Greet in Islam with Muslims and Non-Mahram, answer 369.

Index:  Lamentation: Normal mourning for Imam Hussain (as), answer 049.

[1] . Kulainy, Muhammad bin Yaqoub, al-Kafi, Vol. 2, Pg. 644, H. 1.

[2] . Ibid, H. 2.

[3] . Tabrizi, Jawad, New Isteftaat, vol.1, p. 454, Qom, first edition (date and place of publication not known).

[4] . Tusi, Muhammad bin al-Hasan, Mesbah al-Mujtahid wa Selah al-Muta’abbed, p. 772, Fiqh al-Shi’ah, Beirut, first edition, 1411 A.H.

[5] . Surah adh-dhariyat, verse 25.

[6] . Surah Hood, verse 69.

[7] . Surah Mariam, verse 33.

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