“We almost always only greet strangers when we need something from them (time, directions, etc.).”
― Mokokoma Mokhonoana
The last couple of weeks have been like a whirlwind for me. I was busy trying to get my conference paper done and also make arrangements for my kids whilst my husband and I are away. Suffice to say that prior to my trip, everything were blurry events for me and I was on auto-pilot mode.
That mode continued until I reached Philadelphia. We were hungry after a 27 hours journey and we decided to venture out to find some food to feed our rumbling tummies. When I first stepped out from our hotel I was greeted by stranger who gave me the Salam. I must say I was pleasantly surprised. In Malaysia, somehow I don't get greeted by my fellow Muslim brothers or sisters while walking on the streets and I am equally guilty of not greeting them either.
The act of giving 'salam' has unfortunately become a forgotten ritual eventhough it is sunnah. One of the best acts in Islam is actually to greet another with salam.
"Feeding the hungry, and saying salaam to those you know and those you don't know." (Bukhari and Muslim)
Perhaps where I come from, where the inhabitants are pre-dominantly Muslim, we have taken the virtue of giving salam for granted.
"When two Muslims meet (give salaam), and shake hands, they are forgiven their sins before they part (with each other)." (Abu Dawud)
Throughout my entire stay, every time a fellow Muslim brothers or sister sees me, they greeted me with salam and I replied to them in kind, with a smile, and every time that happened, my heart felt a little bit lighter. Who would think that such a simple act can bring such tremendous joy?
I do believe that it is time for me to personally revive this forgotten sunnah. So let me start now.....Assalamualaikum wbt my sisters and brothers....