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If there is no one in the house should he still say salam?

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Publication : 15-01-2003

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Question

I have heard from many poeple here that when you enter your home you should say SALAM even if no one is at home (just say it to yourself). Is is right? is so what is the DALEEL for that?.

Answer

Praise be to Allah.

Saying salam when entering the house is mustahabb, not obligatory, whether there is anyone in the house or not. 

Abu Dawood (5096) narrated that Abu Maalik al-Ash’ari said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “When a man enters his house, let him say, ‘Allahumma inni as’aluka khayr al-mawlaj wa khayr al-makhraj. Bismillaah walajna wa Bismillaah kharajna wa ‘ala Allahi rabbina tawakalna (O Allah, I ask You for the best entering and the best exiting. In the name of Allah we enter and in the name of Allah we leave, and in Allah our Lord we put our trust),’ then he should say salam to his family.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 225. 

Al-Tirmidhi (2698) narrated that Anas ibn Maalik said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to me, ‘O my son, when you enter upon your family and say salam, it will be a blessing for you and the members of your household. Al-Albani said in Takhreej al-Mishkaat (4652): this hadeeth is hasan when all its isnaads are taken into account. 

These two hadeeth show that it is mustahabb for a man to greet his family with salam when he enters his house. 

With regard to it being mustahabb for a man to say salam to himself when entering a house where there is no one, the scholars quoted evidence for that. 

1 – The general meaning of the verse (interpretation of the meaning): 

“But when you enter the houses, greet one another with a greeting from Allah (i.e. say: As-salamu ‘Alaykum — peace be on you), blessed and good”

[al-Noor 24:61]

Al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said in his book al-Adhkaar (p. 49): 

It is mustahabb to say Bismillaah (in the name of Allah) and to remember Allah a great deal, and to say salam, whether there is any human being in the house or not, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“But when you enter the houses, greet one another with a greeting from Allah (i.e. say: As-salamu ‘Alaykum — peace be on you), blessed and good”

[al-Noor 24:61]

Al-Haafiz said: 

It comes under the general meaning of spreading salam, and saying salam to oneself when entering a place where there is no one, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“But when you enter the houses, greet one another with a greeting from Allah (i.e. say: As-salamu ‘Alaykum — peace be on you)…”

[al-Noor 24:61]

Some mufassireen – such as Ibn Jareer – interpreted the aayah as meaning “greet one another” [as in the translation of the meaning quoted here]. This is like the verse in which Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And do not kill yourselves (nor kill one another)”

[al-Nisa’ 4:29]

Al-Qurtubi said: The more correct view is to say that this is general and applies to everyone who enters a house. If there is a Muslim person in the house he should say “Al-salamu ‘alaykum wa rahmat-Allahi wa barakaatuhu (peace be upon you, and the mercy of Allah, and His blessings).” If there is no one there, he should say, “Al-salamu ‘alayna wa ‘ala ‘ibaad-Illaah il-saaliheen (peace be upon us and upon the righteous slaves of Allah).” If there is someone in the house who is not a Muslim, he should say, “Al-salam ‘ala man ittaba’a al-huda (peace be upon those who follow true guidance)” or “Al-salamu ‘alayna wa ‘ala ‘ibaad-Illaah il-saaliheen (peace be upon us and upon the righteous slaves of Allah).” 

2 – That is narrated from some of the Sahaabah. 

Al-Bukhaari narrated in al-Adab al-Mufrad (1055) that Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “When you enter an uninhabited house, say “Al-salamu ‘alayna wa ‘ala ‘ibaad-Illaah il-saaliheen (peace be upon us and upon the righteous slaves of Allah).” 

Al-Haafiz said: Its isnaad is hasan; and it was classed as hasan by al-Albani in Saheeh al-Adab al-Mufrad, 806. 

Mujaahid said: When you enter the mosque, say, “Al-salam ‘ala Rasool-Illaah (Peace be upon the Messenger of Allah),” and when you enter upon your family, greet them with salam, and when you enter a house in which there is no one, say “Al-salamu ‘alayna wa ‘ala ‘ibaad-Illaah il-saaliheen (peace be upon us and upon the righteous slaves of Allah).” 

Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 3/306. 

And Allah knows best.

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Source: Islam Q&A