As-salāmu ʿalaykum (Arabic: السَّلَامُ
عَلَيْكُمْ [asːaˈlaːmu ʕaˈlaikum]) is a greeting in
Arabic that means "peace be upon you". The greeting is a standard
salutation among Muslims, whether socially or within worship and other
contexts.  The typical response to the greeting is waʿalaykumu
as-salām (وَعَلَيْكُم السَّلَام [waʕaˈlaikumu
sːaˈlaːm]; "and upon you, peace").
This greeting appears in greatly abbreviated forms in many languages
from Malagasy to
Urdu as some variant of salām (سَلَام; cf.
Persian سلام [sæˈlɒːm]).
1 Grammatical variants
2 In Islam
3 Usage by non-
4 See also
6 External links
The expression uses the second person plural masculine, even when used
to address one person. It may be modified by choosing the appropriate
enclitic pronoun to address a person in the masculine and feminine
singular form, the dual form, or the feminine plural form. The
conjugations are as follow (note: according to the standard
pronunciation rules of Classical Arabic, the last short vowel in each
word is not pronounced unless it is followed by another word):
masculine singular as-salāmu ʿalayka (عَلَيْكَ)
feminine singular: as-salāmu ʿalayki (عَلَيْكِ)
dual: As-salāmu ʿalaykumā (عَلَيْكُمَا)
feminine plural: As-salāmu ʿalaykunna (عَلَيْكُنَّ)
A third-person variant, ʿalayhi as-salām "peace be upon him", is
used in reference to prophets.
Part of a series on
Umrah (and Hajj)
Zina (illicit sex)
Hirabah (unlawful warfare)
Comparison with kashrut
Prisoners of war
It is also preferred to use the greeting when arriving and also while
leaving. It was reported that
Abu Hurairah said "When one of you joins
a gathering, let him say 'Peace'. When he wants to get up and leave,
let him say 'Peace'. The former is not more important than the latter"
(Hasan hadith reported in Jāmiʿ at-Tirmidhi).
According to hadith,
Muhammad was asked who should begin the greeting
and he said, "The one who is riding should greet the one who is
walking and the one who is walking should greet the one who is sitting
and the smaller group should greet the larger group" (Ṣaḥīḥ
al-Bukhārī, 6234; Muslim, 2160).
It is also stated that one should give the Salam greeting upon
entering a house. This is based upon a verse of the Quran: "But when
you enter the houses, greet one another with a greeting from God
blessed and good" (
Shortening the greeting to acronyms, such as A.S., As'kum (in
Malaysia), or AsA is becoming common amongst Internet users in chat
rooms and by people using SMS. This trend is similar to writing (S) or
SAWS in place of ṣallā llāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam.
Usage by non-
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In Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, and Iran, Salām is used.
Albania and Kosovo, a dimunitive form in the Albanian language,
Selamun Alejkem or Selamun Alejqum is rarely used, the 'q' being a
voiceless palatal stop typical of Balkan Turkish and Thracian Turkish
In Amharic, the native
Amharic term Selam is used in place of Tadias,
which is the equivalent of "What's up".
Turkey and Kazakhstan, many religious people use this statement and
shake hands and it is the same for saying "goodbye"; more secular and
non-religious people say Selam as an equivalent to "Hello" or "Hi".
However, many Turks pronounce it differently as "Selamün aleyküm".
In Pakistan, the greeting is also associated with shaking right hands
and is also often accompanied with a hug when meeting infrequently
(only between the same gender). In some places, people put a hand on
their heart as they shake your hand and greet. Also, the full greeting
is preferred versus the shorter greeting, "salam".
In India, the greeting mostly among Muslims is accompanied by raising
the right hand to the chest (arz hai "regards"; adaab "respect") or a
simple handshake or hug, the shorter greeting "Salam" is used in
informal situations. Goodbye is supplanted by a "Khuda hafiz"
(secular/less formal or to an acquaintance) or "Allah hafiz" (less
secular/generally to strangers, formal), both of which mean "May God
keep you safe".
In Bangladesh, Assalamu alaykum is a simple greeting.
In Uzbekistan, Assalomu aleykum is used as an informal greeting.
In Indonesia, the greeting is usually accompanied
with a kind of two-handed "handshake", whereby the shaker's palms
remain closed, and the fingers alone open to admit the other's
proffered hand – which briefly touches the proffered's fingers or
fingertips alone. In this way more adherent males and females may
greet though touching – but remain true to the Islamic or cultural
teachings forbidding physical contact between the genders.
Occasionally, the right hand will touch the left breast or heart area
after this. In Indonesia's Javanese/Sasak culture, a
remnant of feudalism is retained, where an elder's proffered right
hand is taken and pressed briefly against the forehead. Some may
instead briefly kiss the hand or the main ring. This is very common
for young children to greet older relatives (of their parents' age,
though, on occasion, if very polite children, younger).
Chechnya and other parts of Caucasus, Salam Aleykum is used to say
Senegal which has a majority of
Islam with Sufi-orientation, it is
a common greeting. Spelled and pronounced in Wolof: "(a)sala
maaleykum", and the reply "maa lekum salaam."
In Xinjiang, China, "Essalam eleykum" is used as a greeting by
Uyghurs, and the reply is "We'eleykum essalam".
Names of God in Islam
^ ""As-Salaamu-Alaikum" and "Wa-Alaikum-as-Salaam"".
Ccnmtl.columbia.edu. Retrieved 2013-07-27.
Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid. "Is it mustahabb for one who gets
up to leave a gathering to say salaam to those who are still
^ "As Salaamu Alaikom?". Archived from the original on
2010-11-20. [dead link][unreliable source?]
An-Nur [24:61] - The Noble Qur'an - القرآن
الكريم". Quran.com. Retrieved 2013-07-27.
Audio clip for Salam
A brief illustrated guide to understanding Islam
LivingHalal.com Islamic audio project