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wa-idhā
وَإِذَا
And when
ḥuyyītum
حُيِّيتُم
you are greeted
bitaḥiyyatin
بِتَحِيَّةٍ
with a greeting,
faḥayyū
فَحَيُّوا۟
then greet
bi-aḥsana
بِأَحْسَنَ
with better
min'hā
مِنْهَآ
than it
aw
أَوْ
or
ruddūhā
رُدُّوهَآۗ
return it.
inna
إِنَّ
Indeed,
l-laha
ٱللَّهَ
Allah
kāna
كَانَ
is
ʿalā
عَلَىٰ
of
kulli
كُلِّ
every
shayin
شَىْءٍ
thing
ḥasīban
حَسِيبًا
an Accountant.

Wa izaa huyyeetum bitahiy yatin fahaiyoo bi ahsana minhaaa aw ruddoohaa; innal laaha kaana 'alaa kulli shai'in Haseeba

Sahih International:

And when you are greeted with a greeting, greet [in return] with one better than it or [at least] return it [in a like manner]. Indeed, Allah is ever, over all things, an Accountant.

1 A. J. Arberry

And when you are greeted with a greeting greet with a fairer than it, or return it; surely God keeps a watchful count over everything.

2 Abdul Haleem

But [even in battle] when you [believers] are offered a greeting, respond with a better one, or at least return it: God keeps account of everything.

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

And when ye are greeted with a greeting, then greet back with one better than that or return that; verily Allah is of everything the Reckoner.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

When a (courteous) greeting is offered you, meet it with a greeting still more courteous, or (at least) of equal courtesy. Allah takes careful account of all things.

5 Abul Ala Maududi

When you are greeted with a salutation then return it with a better one, or at least the same. Surely Allah takes good count of everything.

6 Ahmed Ali

When you are greeted with a greeting, then greet with one fairer, or repeat the same greeting. For God takes account of all things.

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

And when you are greeted with some words, greet back with words better than it or with the same; indeed Allah will take account of everything.

8 Ali Quli Qarai

When you are greeted with a salute, greet with a better one than it, or return it; indeed Allah takes account of all things.

9 Ali Ünal

When (whether traveling or at home, or in war or at peace) you are greeted with a greeting (of peace and goodwill), answer with one better, or (at least) with the same. Surely God keeps account of all things.

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

And whenever you are greeted with a prayer greet you with a better prayer or (at least) return the same. Verily, Allâh takes account of everything.

11 English Literal

And if you were greeted with a greeting, so greet with better from (than) it, or return it, that God was/is on every thing counting/calculating.

12 Faridul Haque

And when you are greeted with some words, greet back with words better than it or with the same; indeed Allah will take account of everything.

13 Hamid S. Aziz

What ails you that you have become two parties regarding the hypocrites, when Allah hath cast them back for what they earned? Do you wish to guide those whom Allah hath led astray? Whoever Allah hath led astray you shall surely find for him no path.

14 Hilali & Khan

When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it, or (at least) return it equally. Certainly, Allah is Ever a Careful Account Taker of all things.

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

Whoever intercedes in a good cause has a share of it, and whoever intercedes in an evil cause has a portion of it. And Allah is ever Keeper over all things.

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

And when you are greeted with a greeting, greet with a better (greeting) than it or return it; surely Allah takes account of all things.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

When ye are greeted with a greeting, greet ye with a better than it or return it. Lo! Allah taketh count of all things.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

Answer a greeting in kinder words than those said to you in the greeting or at least as kind. God keeps account of all things.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

And when you are greeted with a greeting, greet with better than it, or return it. Allah is the Reckoner of all things.

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it, or (at least) return it equally. Certainly, Allah is Ever a Careful Account Taker of all things.

21 Wahiduddin Khan

When you are greeted by anyone, respond with a better greeting or at least return it; God takes account of all things.

22 Talal Itani

When you are greeted with a greeting, respond with a better greeting, or return it. God keeps count of everything.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

And when you are greeted with a greeting, as when it is said to you, `Peace be upon you', greet, the one that greeted you, with better than it, by responding to him with, `Peace be upon you, and God's mercy and blessings', or return it, by saying back to him what he said; in other words, it is a duty to greet in one of these two ways, the former being the preferred one. Surely God keeps count of, He holds [you] accountable for, all things, and requites accordingly, including things such as returning a greeting. The Sunna specifies that one should not return the greeting of an disbeliever, an innovator, a wicked person, and of the one that greets a person who is in the act of relieving himself, or one in the bath, or one eating -- indeed it is actually disapproved with the exception of the last. To the disbeliever [who says `peace be upon you'] one should simply say, `And upon you'.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

وَإِذَا حُيِّيْتُم بِتَحِيَّةٍ فَحَيُّواْ بِأَحْسَنَ مِنْهَا أَوْ رُدُّوهَا



When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it, or (at least) return it equally.

meaning, if the Muslim greets you with the Salam, then return the greeting with a better Salam, or at least equal to the Salam that was given. Therefore, the better Salam is recommended, while returning it equally is an obligation.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Raja Al-Utaridi said that;

Imran bin Husayn said that a man came to the Messenger of Allah and said, "As-Salamu Alaykum".

The Prophet returned the greeting, and after the man sat down he said, "Ten."

Another man came and said, "As-Salamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullah, O Allah's Messenger."

The Prophet returned the greeting, and after the man sat down he said, "Twenty."

Then another man came and said, "As-Salamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuh."

The Prophet returned the greeting, and after the man sat down he said, "Thirty."

This is the narration recorded by Abu Dawud. At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa'i and Al-Bazzar also recorded it.

At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Gharib".

There are several other Hadiths on this subject from Abu Sa`id, Ali, and Sahl bin Hanif. When the Muslim is greeted with the full form of Salam, he is obliged to return the greeting equally.

As for Ahl Adh-Dhimmah the Salam should not be initiated nor should the greeting be added to when returning their greeting. Rather, as recorded in the Two Sahihs their greeting is returned to them equally.

Ibn Umar narrated that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِذَا سَلَّمَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْيَهُودُ فَإِنَّمَا يَقُولُ أَحَدُهُمْ السَّامُ عَلَيْكَ فَقُلْ وَعَلَيْك

When the Jews greet you, one of them would say, `As-Samu `Alayka (death be unto you).'

Therefore, say, `Wa `Alayka (and the same to you).')

In his Sahih, Muslim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

لَاا تَبْدَأُوا الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَى بِالسَّلَامِ وَإِذَا لَقِيتُمُوهُمْ فِي طَرِيقٍ فَاضْطَرُّوهُمْ إِلى أَضْيَقِه

Do not initiate greeting the Jews and Christians with the Salam, and when you pass by them on a road, force them to its narrowest path.

Abu Dawud recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لَاا تَدْخُلُوا الْجَنَّـةَ حَتَّى تُوْمِنُوا وَلَاا تُوْمِنُوا حَتَّى تَحَابُّوا أَفَلَا أَدُلُّكُمْ عَلَى أَمْرٍ إِذَا فَعَلْتُمُوهُ تَحَابَبْتُمْ أَفْشُوا السَّلَامَ بَيْنَكُم

By He in Whose Hand is my soul! You will not enter Paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love each other. Should I direct you to an action that would direct you to love each other! Spread the Salam among yourselves.

إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ حَسِيبًا



Certainly, Allah is Ever a Careful Account Taker of all things.

Allah said