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I wanted to ask you about the way the Bohras do salaam to their elders to greet them

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

 

One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

As-salaam Alaikum Br. Burhan,

First of all, I , from the very bottom of my heart would like to express my utter appreciation for the tremendous task you and your forum have undertaken. I read your answers regularly and am gaining more knowledge about the true ISLAM. I would like to thank you for your excellent efforts in propagating the Truth. May Allah Azzawajal grant you and your fellow members the best in this life and the hereafter.

I wanted to ask you about the way the Bohras do salaam to their elders to greet them when they meet them. They kiss the hands and then the knee portion of their elders` legs. What is the right way to perform salaam, or rather is this the way to greet somebody who is elder to you? What is the sunnah of the Prophet (SAWS)? Please provide a detailed answer at your earliest.

Jazak-Allah Khairan
brother in ISLAM

 

(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)

 

Answer:

 

How to do salaam to elders?

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

 

May Allah Subhanah reward you with the best of this world and the Hereafter for your kind comments of encouragement for our humble efforts in the propagation of the Truth. If our humble and modest efforts have helped even one brother or sister get closer to Allah and His Deen of Truth, then we would consider ourselves indeed fortunate to have been given this opportunity by the Lord Most Merciful to serve in His Cause. We hope, beg, and pray the Merciful Lord accepts our humble and weak efforts, forgives us our shortcomings, and saves you, us, and all the believers from the torment of the Hell Fire. Ameen.

 

Your Question: What is the right way to perform salaam, or rather is this the way to greet somebody who is elder to you? What is the sunnah of the Prophet (SAWS)?


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 33 Surah Ahzab verse 21: There is indeed the best example for you to follow in the Messenger of Allah, for every such person looks forward to Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much.

 

In the annuls of human history, there is none who loved, respected, honored, and revered another human being more than the love, respect, honor and reverence the family and the noble companions had for the Messenger of Allah (saws)! Whenever the believers came to meet the Prophet (saws), or when the Prophet (saws) met them; they first and foremost exchanged the greetings of Peace and the absolute most they would do is shake each others hands.

 

Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 888 Narrated by Anas ibn Malik

A man asked the Prophet (saws): O Messenger of Allah (saws)! When any one of us meets a Muslim brother or a friend, should he then bow his head (as a sign of courtesy to him)? He (saws) said: No. The man said: Should he embrace and kiss him? He (saws) said: No. The man then asked: Should he clasp his hands? He (saws) said: Yes.

 

Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 4679 Narrated by Al-Bara' ibn Azib

The Prophet (saws) said: "Two Muslims will not meet and shake hands without having their sins forgiven them before they separate.

 

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 8.279 Narrated by Qatada

I asked Anas bin Maalik (who served the Prophet (saws) in his (saws) house for ten years), "Was it a custom of the companions of the Prophet (saws) to shake hands with one another?" He said, "Yes."

 

Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 4681 Narrated by Abu Umamah

Allah's Messenger (saws) said, "The perfect way for one of you to visit an invalid is for you to put your hand on his forehead or on his hand and ask him how he is; and the perfect way for you to greet one another is to shake hands."

 

The Prophet (saws) never ever shook the hand of a non-mehram woman; and there is mention in the authentic Sunnah that when he (saws) would meet his beloved daughter Fatimah, he (saws) would occasionally kiss her forehead and she would occasionally kiss his hand. Thus there is absolutely no harm if a parent kisses the forehead of their children or grand-children; and there is no harm if the children occasionally kisses their parents hands.

 

But in general, the absolute best way to greet another is to declare the greetings of Peace and shake their hand; and if one is an elder, one should show respect and reverence to them with ones attentive character, kind words, subdued voice, and obedience to what is just.

 

Usamah ibn Shuraik narrated: "I came to the Prophet (saws) and found him with his companions. They (the companions) were calm and serene in the Prophets presence as if there were birds perched over their heads! I greeted them and sat down.

 

Your Question: I wanted to ask you about the way the Bohras do salaam to their elders to greet them when they meet them. They kiss the hands and then the knee portion of their elders` legs.

Beloved brother in Islam, the greetings amongst our Bohra sect brethren has more to do with the pagan and Hindu culture they live amongst rather than with the correct etiquettes taught by the Messenger of Allah (saws).

 

I have witnessed them, men and women alike, kissing their elders hands and knees, and even kissing the feet and bowing down in full sajdah to their priests; regardless of whether the elder is a mehram or a non-mehram! The believers used to meet the Messenger of Allah (saws) and be in his presence every single day, but nowhere in any authentic tradition is it mentioned that the believers would kiss the knees, or the feet, or (Allah forbid) bow down to the Messenger of Allah (saws) in prostration!

 

Touching or kissing the knees or the feet, and the bowing down in prostration to another human being in reverence is the practice of the pagans and the idolators; not of those who sincerely believe in Allah and the Last Day!

 

If one trusts, obeys, and follows the guidance and commands of Allah and His Messenger (saws), one can be assured of never ever being misled; but if one believes, obeys and follows any other guidance, other than that of Allah and His Messenger (saws), one can be assured of being led astray.

 

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

 

Your Brother in Islam,

 

 

Burhan


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