Is it a sin not to convey the greetings of a person? What is the decree about conveying a person’s greeting to others?

Details of the Question

Many people sometimes tell me to give their regards to my mother but I do not convey almost any of them; I sometimes forget; when I remember, I ignore it. Will I be held responsible in the hereafter?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Manners of greeting:

Abu Hurayra narrates: The Messenger of Allah said,

"The rider should first greet the pedestrian, and the pedestrian the one who is seated and a small group should greet a larger group." (Bukhari, Isti'dhan, 4-7; Muslim, Salam, 1; Ibn Hanbal, III/444)

Hz. Jabir narrates the following hadith:  

"When two pedestrians meet, the one who greets first gets more rewards."

-Salam (greeting) is an important instrument to establish bonds of love among Muslims. It is sunnah to greet a person and it is fard to answer a greeting. The Prophet (pbuh) told us to expand greeting and to greet every Muslim, whether we know or not, and he gave us the glad tiding that we would go to Paradise since our belief would become perfect with it. Therefore, the young should greet the old, the rider should greet the pedestrian, the walking people should greet the sitting people, the ones coming from behind should greet the ones in front of them and one person should greet more than one person.  

One should answer a greeting in a better way. If a person says, "as-salamu alaykum", he should be answered as "wa alaykumus-salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu".

It is makruh to greet a person who is not in a position to answer the greeting. One should not greet a person who is eating, performing a prayer, reading the Quran and listening to the sermon in the mosque.

One should not greet (say as-salamu alaykum to) unbelievers. One should not greet a person who violates Allah's order openly and insists on it.

If one person from a group answers the greeting, the others in the group will not be held responsible. 

It is necessary to accept the greeting from a person who conveys it, to answer a greeting in a letter by writing an answer or by words when one reads it.

It is a virtuous deed to greet the household while entering home and while leaving.

When one enters an empty place (room/house) he should greet by saying "as salamu alayna wa ala ibadillahis-salihin".

Salam is a good prayer that a believer says for another. Simple words cannot replace the original salam, which means, "Allah's peace, mercy and blessing be upon you." –When two Muslims meet, they shake hands, say salawat for the Prophet (pbuh) and ask about each other’s health. Allah forgives such people before they leave each other.

It is wajib to convey the greeting to the person that it is sent to. However, if he says "alaykum salam" to the person who sends the greeting, it does not become wajib for him to convey the greeting.

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