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Keep Allah’s blessing to yourself.

December 18, 2009

I started to respond to a comment on another thread but this really deserves its own post.

Why do Muslims greet non-Muslims with “Assalamu alaikum”?  Is it a test to identify any Muslims present or to see if I’ve been properly trained to reply in a nice politically correct guilticultural way?

While some might tell you that it’s just a peaceful greeting, it is actually “a shortened form of the grand greeting: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh (Peace be unto you and so may the mercy of Allah and His blessings).”  It is not a generic greeting.  It’s a Muslim greeting intended to wish Allah’s blessing on other Muslims.

I’m not Muslim.  Don’t use it with me.

I don’t respond to it with the desired reply.  If it’s on the phone, I just keep repeating “hello” until the person clues in that I’m not Muslim and then we can just continue our conversation normally.  If it’s in person, I also reply “hello” and pretend as if I didn’t even hear anything different.

Don’t get all defensive.  I don’t respond to “God bless you” or “I’ll pray for you” either.  Keep your religious greetings and blessings to yourself.

Thank you.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. afshana permalink
    June 4, 2010 3:36 am

    well then people shouldn’t wish ME merry Christmas either…but they do…

  2. Michele permalink*
    June 4, 2010 7:45 am

    In Saudi Arabia? Seriously?

    I don’t consider “Merry Christmas” to be any more religious than “Happy Valentine’s day” or “Happy Halloween”. Although Christmas obviously is a Christian holiday, it has also become a cultural/secular holiday in many parts of the world. Santa is not Christian.

    Honestly, being wished “Eid Mubarak” while at an Eid party is expected. I just don’t return the wishes. If I go to a Muslim grocery store here in Canada, I expect a Muslim greeting as well but I don’t return it.

    Any other time here it feels like a test of my religion (or lack thereof). In fact, it is definitely a test if I don’t respond the first time and they keep trying. Maybe I need to learn to say “I’m an infidel” in Arabic.

  3. afshana permalink
    June 4, 2010 7:16 pm

    no not in Saudi but i lived in England, USA and Canada for more than half my life…

    well i DO consider Christmas a Christian celebration (not Valentine’s or Halloween though so i did not mention them)…wishing someone good morning, or in case of Muslims Salaam is one human being polite to another..nothing more nothing less…no one is “testing” your faith…the majority of them will only say “Assalamualaikum” which means peace be on you and the word Allah does not come into it…

  4. Michele permalink*
    June 4, 2010 7:50 pm

    The “testing” is when they repeatedly say it while peering at me with an expectant look … waiting for me to reply in kind. Not going to happen.

  5. afshana permalink
    June 4, 2010 10:24 pm


    getting angry at a greeting…sheeesh…

  6. Michele permalink*
    June 5, 2010 8:43 am

    Angry? That’s a bit strong. Definitely annoyed.

  7. crazybengal permalink*
    June 5, 2010 10:19 am

    I’m not greeting anyone in arabic…I wonder if we all started greeting muslims in hebrew?

  8. crazybengal permalink*
    June 5, 2010 10:21 am

    I’m jewish and I don’t even like being greeting with Shabbat Shalom on Fridays. I don’t care that it’s Shabbat. And I don’t care if you care that it’s Shabbat.

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