Whether it is from Sunnah to say 'Salaam' thrice to group of people
Fatwa No: 339796

  • Fatwa Date:23-2-2017 - Jumaadaa Al-Oula 27, 1438
  • Rating:

Question

Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuhu, Shaykh. Is it from the Sunnah to say the 'Salaam' thrice when saying it to a group of people? I am asking because of the following hadith:
Anas, may Allaah be pleased with him, reported, “Whenever the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said something, he would repeat his words thrice so that the meaning would be fully understood, and whenever he came upon a group of people, he would greet them, and he would repeat his salutation thrice.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim (*hadith is not found in Muslim, editor)]
May Allaah reward you, Shaykh.

Answer

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  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

First of all, the hadeeth which you inquired about was reported by Al-Bukhari in his Saheeh, and it is not in Saheeh Muslim.

This hadeeth indicates that when the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) greeted the people with Salam, he used to do so three times.

Ibn Al-Qayyim  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him clarified the guidance of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) in the matter in Zaad Al-Ma’aad, as he said:

It was his guidance  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) to say the Salam thrice, as is related in Saheeh Al-Bukhari from Anas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him: 'When the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said something, he would repeat it thrice so that the meaning would be fully understood, and when he came upon a group of people and greeted them, he would greet them thrice.' Perhaps this was his guidance in greeting the large group of people for whom one greeting would not suffice to reach them all or maybe he did so to ensure that they all heard it when he thought that they did not hear the first greeting. Indeed, when he reached the house of Sa’d ibn ‘Ubadah, he greeted three times, and when no one answered him, he left. Otherwise, if his guidance had been to always greet three times, then his Companions would have greeted him in the same manner, and he would have greeted everyone whom he met three times, and when he entered his house, he would have also greeted them three times. However, if someone looks at his guidance, he will see that this was not the case and that he only repeated the Salam occasionally, when needed.

Allah knows best.

Related Fatwa