Is it permissible to delay returning salaams because of enmity?

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One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
There is personal enmity between me and another person. If he greets me with salaam, is it permissible for me to respond after he has gone away, or do I have to return his salaam immediately?
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Praise be to Allaah.

The Hanafis and Shaafa’is are of the view that it is obligatory to return the salaams immediately. 

Ibn ‘Aabideen said: delaying returning the salaam for no valid reason is makrooh tahreeman (very makrooh or disliked to the point of being almost haraam). The sin is not lifted by returning the salaam, but by repentance. 

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

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