Greet other Muslims whether or not you know them

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  • Publish date:01/11/2009
  • Section:FATWA FOR ALL
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Dear Sheikh. I used to go to pray in a small mosque where I live, the problem is that the people who pray there have no respect whatsoever towards you. If they don't know you and you say Assalaamu Alaikum, they turn their face to the other side, but if they know you they smile at your face, talk to you, greet you and as soon as we finish the prayer they sit with each other and start to talk loudly, laughing, joking as if they are not at the mosque. I kept telling them to go outside and let us do Nawaafil but no one listens. Even the Imaam has said it, but they think they know better, and to be honest, I do not want to go to the mosque or to greet them as I was brought up to greet any Muslim in the mosque. At the same time I do not want them to look at me as if I am desperat to talk to them. What should I do? 
All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.  
It is a religious obligation for a Muslim to greet another Muslim with 'Salaam' and respond to the one who greets him with ‘Salaam’. A Muslim should greet other Muslims whether or not he knows them as confirmed in the Sunnah . Also, it is not permissible for a Muslim to raise his voice in the mosque even when mentioning Allah if this disturbs other praying people.
Therefore, if the people whom you referred to in the question did what you said, then they are wrong, so one should continue to advise them and greet them altogether with one Salaam, as there is no necessity to greet each person separately.
You should continue to do this great moral act upon which you were raised as it is the right of a Muslim on his Muslim brother, and the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: The better amongst the two is the one who starts greeting the other with Salaam.
Finally, it should be noted that you should not abandon the congregational prayer in that mosque just because of this, but it is permissible for you to go to another mosque. 
Allah Knows best.
Fatwa answered by:The Fatwa Center at Islamweb

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