Answering written salaam may be done orally
Fatwa No: 354028

Question

Assalaamu alaykum. May Allaah reward you for all the good that you do and increase you in goodness. I noticed that you never answer the Salaam greeting in your fatwas although most questions do start with it, and it is known that answering it is obligatory. Or is that not the case when giving fatwa? May Allaah bless you.

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.

Some scholars stated that answering the Salaam in writing is the same as answering it orally, which means that it is obligatory to answer the written Salaam. But it is not obligatory to answer in writing; rather, it is permissible to answer orally.

Ibn Hajar Al-Haytami  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “As for the addressee, he has to answer immediately. If the greeting of Salaam was sent to him by someone else, then he is obliged to answer orally. If the greeting with Salaam was in writing, then he must answer either in writing or orally…

So it is possible that the Mufti answered the greeting orally.

It should be noted that there is an automatic reply system on our website that answers with the Salaam to the questioner and tells him that his question, number such-and-such, was received.

Allah knows best.

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