Gesturing Salam by waving or bowing – Permanent Committee

What is the ruling on gesturing Salam (Islamic greeting of peace) by waving?

A: Salam should be pronounced and not gestured, for this is the greeting of the Jews. The Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade it, unless the one being greeted is far away or deaf; hence, one should wave along with offering Salam.

May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet, his family and Companions!

Q 5: Allah has facilitated means of transportation for us, including cars. I frequently meet people while driving and offer the Salam (Islamic greeting of peace), but some are not aware that I greet them except when I waive with my hand while uttering the Salam. Am I to blame if I raise my hand, given that I know this is forbidden?

A: There is no harm in waving during offering the Salam in this case. It was narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) greeted a group of women and waved with his hand. He (peace be upon him) meant, and Allah knows best, to make them understand that he was greeting them. However, it is not permissible to substitute Salam by waving.May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet, his family and Companions!

Q 3: Is it permissible for children to bow when greeting or meeting their elders to show respect or honor them?

A: Scholars are unanimous that it is impermissible to bow to any creature. Bowing should only be to Allah to express His glorification. Prophet (peace be upon him) is reported to have prohibited bowing to other than Allah. In the Hadith reported on the authority of Anas (may Allah be pleased with him), a man asked him: O Messenger of Allah, should a person bow when he meets his Muslim brother or friend? He said: No. (Related by Al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah.

May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions!

Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’

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