Understanding the Meaning of Salaam; Quranic Greetings to the Inhabitants of Jannah

by in Soul on 31st January, 2020

The Salaam of a Lifetime; Quranic Greetings to the Inhabitants of Jannah

Their greeting the Day they meet Him will be, “Peace.” And He has prepared for them a noble reward. [33:44]

The virtuous greeting is a joyous greeting. When we receive salaam from a fellow Muslim, it can instantly bring us joy. It’s important that we ask ourselves, ‘what is our understanding of the salaam?’ The salaam is much more than just a greeting, it is a prayer; Assalaamu alaykum – peace be upon you. It is a dua between the respective parties to Allah AWJ. It is also:

 An expeller of sins:

The Messenger of Allah () said, “Two Muslims will not meet and shake hands without having their sins forgiven (by Allah) before they depart.” [Abu Dawud]

 It is a bond builder between Muslims and a means to His Jannah: 

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah () said, “By Him in Whose Hand is my life! You will not enter Jannah until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another. Shall I inform you of something which, if you do, you will love one another? Promote greetings amongst yourselves.” [Muslim]

Anas bin Malik (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah () said to me, “Dear son, when you enter your house, say As- Salamu ‘Alaikum to your family, for it will be a blessing both to you and to your family.” [At-Tirmidhi].

 It is of the great acts of faith: 

Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin Al-‘as (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: A man asked the Messenger of Allah (): “Which act in Islam is the best?” He () replied, “To give food, and to greet everyone, whether you know or you do not.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

SubhanAllah, it can be described as all of the above but is also not limited to just these descriptions. The weight of the salaam is heavy, and yet this is the worldly salaam. What then of the salaam that will welcome us into the everlasting peace and perfection of Allah SWT’s Gardens inshaAllah?  Our minds, powerful as they may be, cannot even begin to imagine the overwhelming joy of receiving this salaam. This salaam is different. 

This salaam is a comfort from Allah to the believers: 

“O reassured soul, Return to your Lord, well-pleased and pleasing [to Him]. And enter among My [righteous] servants. And enter My Paradise.” [89:27-30]

Tranquility of the soul as it returns to its Lord while it is radiyah (pleased with itself, completely content) and mardiyah (while Allah SWT is pleased with it as well). Allahu Akbar! Imagine the moment when Allah SWT expresses His pleasure and contentment with you. May Allah SWT make it our reality on that Day. A reminder of the saying of our beloved Prophet Muhammad  () when he informed us: 

 “Whoever loves the meeting with Allah, Allah too, loves the meeting with him; and whoever hates the meeting with Allah, Allah too, hates the meeting with him.” [Sahih Bukhari]

May Allah SWT make us and our loved ones amongst the souls who long to meet Allah AWJ and who Allah AWJ will meet with His reciprocated and more magnificent love.   

This salaam is the fulfillment of a promise:

And Paradise will be brought near to the righteous, not far, [It will be said], “This is what you were promised – for every returner [to Allah] and keeper [of His covenant]. Who feared the Most Merciful unseen and came with a heart returning [in repentance]. Enter it in peace. This is the Day of Eternity.”

 [50:31-34]

“And came with a heart returning [in repentance]” Hard as we try, we are not perfect, we will make mistakes, we will disappoint but our Lord does not demand perfection. The best of us are the ones who when they do wrong turn back to Allah SWT and repent. And we ask, as our beloved () used to ask: Allahumma ya Muqallib al Quloob thabbit qalbi ‘alaa Deenik.” – O turner of hearts, keep my heart firm upon Your religion.”

And those who believed and did righteous deeds will be admitted to gardens beneath which rivers flow, abiding eternally therein by permission of their Lord; and their greeting therein will be, “Peace!”

 [14:23]

Indeed, those who have said, “Our Lord is Allah ” and then remained on a right course – the angels will descend upon them, [saying], “Do not fear and do not grieve but receive good tidings of Paradise, which you were promised. We [angels] were your allies in worldly life and [are so] in the Hereafter. And you will have therein whatever your souls desire, and you will have therein whatever you request [or wish] As accommodation from a [Lord who is] Forgiving and Merciful.”

 [41:30-32]

The angels are comforting the servants of Allah SWT. They are their allies across the worldly and heavenly lives; they love the dwellers of paradise as does Allah SWT and all the other inhabitants of Jannah.  Our beloved Prophet () told us:

“If Allah loves a person, He calls Gabriel, saying, ‘Allah loves so and so, O Gabriel love him’ So Gabriel would love him and then would make an announcement in the Heavens: ‘Allah has loved so and-so therefore you should love him also.’ So all the dwellers of the Heavens would love him, and then he is granted the pleasure of the people on the earth.”         [Sahih Bukhari]

We ask Allah SWT that we have husn al-khatima and that we are of those who are described as in the Quran as:

The ones whom the angels take in death, [being] good and pure; [the angels] will say, “Peace be upon you. Enter Paradise for what you used to do.” [16:32]

This salaam is an assurance of the safety and freedom from fear, worry and any grievances:

“O My servants, no fear will there be concerning you this Day, nor will you grieve, [You] who believed in Our verses and were Muslims. Enter Paradise, you and your kinds, delighted.”

[43:68-70]

Indeed, the righteous will be within gardens and springs. [Having been told], “Enter it in peace, safe [and secure].” 

[15:45-46]

This salaam is a celebration:

But those who feared their Lord will be driven to Paradise in groups until, when they reach it while its gates have been opened and its keepers say, “Peace be upon you; you have become pure; so enter it to abide eternally therein.”  

[39:73]

Praise and celebration ensues, imagine this momentous occasion and the companions of Jannah will reply: 

“Praise to Allah, who has fulfilled for us His promise and made us inherit the earth [so] we may settle in Paradise wherever we will. And excellent is the reward of [righteous] workers.” – [39:74] The angels surround the throne of Allah SWT exalting Him and it will be said: “[All] praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds.” [39:75]

What a joyous occasion, may Allah SWT make us of its participants! 

Their call therein will be, “Exalted are You, O Allah,” and their greeting therein will be, “Peace.” And the last of their call will be, “Praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds!” 

[10:10]

Have you ever had that overwhelming feeling where the only thing you could say is Alhamdulillah? Perhaps you were worried about something, maybe waiting anxiously on some news, or even been working extremely hard on something and were waiting to see its results. Whatever the case may have been, the moment was and is powerful. So when I think of this verse and the verses like it, that tell us the last thing the people of Jannah will be calling out is the praise of Allah SWT, I think to myself how we cannot even begin to imagine what a triumphant and powerful moment this is. May Allah SWT make us amongst the callers this day who proclaim in truth “Praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds!” 

This salaam is a new beginning:

Gardens of perpetual residence; they will enter them with whoever were righteous among their fathers, their spouses and their descendants. And the angels will enter upon them from every gate, [saying], “Peace be upon you for what you patiently endured. And excellent is the final home.” 

[13:23-24]

May Allah SWT surround us with our loved ones, the ones that are with us and the ones that are no longer with us. This life is only fit for the ‘experience’ of love. In this life it is temporary and restricted, while in Jannah it is everlasting, lived through eternity and not limited in any shape or form. Love in its purest state, the highest of its highs without any of its lows. Bliss. It is constant and perpetual, filling the hearts desire, through the mercy of Allah SWT. We ask Allah SWT to guide our loved ones and us and reunite us in the most honorable of reunions, in His Firdaus. 

And We will have removed whatever is within their breasts of resentment, [while] flowing beneath them are rivers. And they will say, “Praise to Allah, who has guided us to this; and we would never have been guided if Allah had not guided us. Certainly the messengers of our Lord had come with the truth.” And they will be called, “This is Paradise, which you have been made to inherit for what you used to do.”

 [7:43]

A life unlike before. An eternity where there is no such thing as ill will or negative feelings, where there is only overwhelming joy and happiness. Bliss is everlasting, not momentary, nor fleeting. It is the eternal state. 

This salaam is a call home, to the Home of peace:

  “For them will be the Home of Peace with their Lord. And He will be their protecting friend because of what they used to do.” [6:127]

“And Allah invites to the Home of Peace and guides whom He wills to a straight path” [10:25]

This salaam is different. This salaam is a reward beyond the scope of what is deserved and only measurable by His utter and infinite mercy!  This salaam is a guarantee of undying delight and fulfillment! This salaam is the welcome into a manifestation of peace and perfection, His Jannah! This is the salaam of a lifetime!  

So when we hear the verses of the Quran that speak about the greetings of Jannah, we should be reflective, hopeful and ask Allah SWT that we receive these glad tidings. We extend our salaam on this Earth amongst our fellow brothers and sisters and long for the salaam of Jannah. 

We ask Allah SWT, The Entirely Merciful, The Especially Merciful, that He make us, our families and our loved ones amongst those who are greeted with such magnificent greetings. We ask Allah, the Source of Peace and Perfection, to enter into the peace and perfection of His Jannah. Ya Allah, Ya Salaam. We ask for such a gracious greeting. We long for such a gracious greeting. We do our best and ask Your forgiveness for our shortcomings for such a gracious greeting. One that is only attained through Your extreme and never-ending mercy. Ya Arhamur Rahimeen!

Fadumo Hassan

Fadumo Hassan

I am a Somali-Canadian student who is an avid journaler and hobby writer. I like to write about my reflections on life, Quran and religious stories. My Twitter: @FadumoInaHassan