Words to be used for offering Greetings

Imam Al-Nawawi’s Riyad-us-Saliheen
Chapter 132
Words to be used for offering Greetings

It is recommended for the one offering greetings to say: `As-Salamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu’. The reply is `Wa `Alaikum us-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu.’

851. `Imran bin Husain (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: A man came to the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and said: “As-Salamu `Alaikum (may you be safe from evil). Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) responded to his greeting and the man sat down. The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Ten (meaning the man had earned the merit of ten good acts).” Another one came and said: “As-Salamu `Alaikum wa Rahmatullah (may you be safe from evil, and Mercy of Allah be upon you).” Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) responded to his greeting and the man sat down. Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Twenty.” A third one came and said: “As-Salamu `Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu (may you be safe from evil, and the Mercy of Allah and His Blessings be upon you).” Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) responded to his greeting and the man sat down. Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Thirty.”
[Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi].

852. `Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said to me, “This is Jibril (Gabriel) who is conveying you greetings of peace.” I responded: “Wa `Alaihis-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu (may he be safe from evil, and the Mercy of Allah and His Blessings be upon him).”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

853. Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) used to repeat his words thrice so that the meaning thereof would be fully understood, and whenever he came upon a gathering of people, he would greet them. He would repeat Salam thrice.
[Al-Bukhari].

854. Al-Miqdad (May Allah be pleased with him) reported in course of a long Hadith: We used to reserve for the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) his share of the milk, and he would come at night and offer greetings in such a manner as did not disturb those asleep and was heard only by those who were awake. In fact, the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) came and offered greetings as usual.
[Muslim].

855. Asma’ bint Yazid (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) passed through the mosque one day and there was a group of women (about ten of them) sitting in the mosque. He raised his hand to offer greetings.
[At-Tirmidhi].

856. Abu Juraiy Al-Hujaimi (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I saw Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and said: “Alaikas-Salamu ya Rasulallah! (Upon you be peace, O Messenger of Allah)!” He said, “Do not say: `Alaikas-Salamu (Upon you be peace).’ This is the Salam to the dead.”
[Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi].