When I was in Middlesex County College, I didn’t see many Muslims. And while that saddened me, it also made me happy at the same time. I was happy/hopeful those missing Muslims were in institutions of higher education, but it was sad because I felt I couldn’t relate to a lot of people at my school. I transferred to Rutgers this fall, and I was shocked by how many Muslims I saw. It’s an amazing feeling, because it lets me know that I’m not the only one who is a Muslim and looks a little different. But for some reason, I’ve noticed only a few Muslims actually say salaam.
To be honest it hurts a bit when I see a fellow Muslim sister, and she just walks on by, making sure she doesn’t make eye contact. It gives me the feeling that “Yes, we’re both Muslim, but that doesn’t mean I have a bond with you or that I even want to identify with you.” Maybe I’m being dramatic, but that’s the feeling I get. It’s important to give salaams to your fellow Muslims—even if you don’t know them, and here are my personal reasons why:
- It creates a sense of community and belonging.
- It reminds you of your religion.
- You’ll be rewarded, Insha’Allah.
Next time you see a fellow Muslim, say salaam! Let them know they’re not alone, and there is a strong Muslim support system right here on campus. We should all do our part in spreading a little peace and love every day, and that can be as simple as showing a smile and expressing salaam.
And if you need any more convincing, remember our beloved Prophet ﷺ said, as narrated in Tirmidhi:
السَّلامُ قَبلَ الكَلامِ
“The greeting of peace before the speech.”
So until next time, wa-salaamu ‘alaykum.