Question:

One of my friends had committed a lot of ẓulm on me (financially, physically and emotionally). I do not find in my heart to feel anything positive about him. Whenever I see him and he makes salām to me, I feel like not replying to him instead me heart yearns to hit him with my shoes. Please tell me if I am religiously obligated to reply his salām.

Answer:

Bismillāhi Taʿālā

As-salāmu ʿalaykum wa-raḥmatullāhi wa-barakātuh,

Good Ikhlāq (character) is one of the basic qualities of a muslim. A muslim despite being maẓlūm does not leave his quality of good character. While the ẓulm you have mentioned is recognized and it must have been so severe that it has shifted your hearts leaning towards hatred, yet as a muslim it is desired that you maintain your composure, reflect upon your heartily feelings and turn towards positive progress.

Salām is not only a shi‘ār of Islām but a sanctioned ḥaqq of a Muslim. Rasūlullāh ﷺ has mentioned in one of the aḥādīth that every muslim has five rights upon another. One of these rights was a reply to salām when he greets you. [1]

You are a maẓlūm and as a maẓlūm you should worry about not spoiling the rewards you have accumulated for ākhirah. By denouncing someone’s salām you may incur the spoiling of his rights for that salām, and this will show as your bad deed which will consume your good deeds. 

At the same time also be mindful of how you will retaliate in such situations. It may happen that in the heat of the moment, you say or do something to him which may weigh heavy in the scales of ākhirah. Who knows how much it may lower the rewards you posses. Remember, everything will be weight in hereafter. 

Nonetheless, you should seek a state of contentment where ẓulm which was caused to you are accepted and sent forth for hereafter. If Allah opens your heart towards forgiveness, then perhaps seek towards forgiving him even. Remember that in this case you will be rewarded ever more. 

And if the doors of forgiveness do not come easy to you, then do not let hatred of past cloud and overshadow your heart from the present. Let not that hatred rule and govern your thoughts, instead relinquish his matter to Allah and actively opt to respond with goodness. May Allah grant you contentment and ease, Amīn.

And Allāh Taʿālā Knows best,

Was-salāmu ʿalaykum, 

Muftī Faisal al-Mahmudi

 

[1]
أن أبا هريرة، قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: «حق المسلم على المسلم خمس» ح وحدثنا عبد بن حميد، أخبرنا عبد الرزاق، أخبرنا معمر، عن الزهري، عن ابن المسيب، عن أبي هريرة، قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: " خمس تجب للمسلم على أخيه: رد السلام، وتشميت العاطس، وإجابة الدعوة، وعيادة المريض، واتباع الجنائز "
صحيح مسلم 4/ 1704