Navigating Interfaith Communication: Respectful Exchange of Greetings
Bismillah hi rehmani Raheem.
I want to take a moment to address my Hindu and non-Muslim friends who may have wondered why I cannot reciprocate the greeting of “Namaste.” Similarly, we do not celebrate certain holidays such as Christmas, as it is associated with the Christian belief in the divinity of Jesus, which contradicts our belief in the oneness of Allah. While I appreciate the gesture and the respect it conveys, it goes against my beliefs as a Muslim.
As a Muslim, I prostrate only in front of Allah (God) who created everything. We believe that Allah is one and there is no God, and we cannot associate partners with Him. This belief is known as Tawheed and it is one of the pillars of Islam. Prostrating to anyone or anything other than Allah is considered shirk, which is a major sin in Islam. Therefore, I cannot use the greeting “Namaste” because it implies that I am prostrating to someone else besides Allah.
I want to emphasize that my intention is not to offend or disrespect anyone. I respect all religions and their beliefs. Islam teaches us to be respectful and kind to all people, regardless of their religion or background. However, as Muslims, we are obliged to follow our beliefs and principles, even if they are different from those of others.
When I say “Asalamualaikum”, it means “peace be upon you”. This is a greeting that we use among Muslims, but it can also be used with non-Muslims as a way of expressing goodwill and friendship. By saying “Asalamualaikum”, I am praying for your peace and well-being.
I hope this explanation helps you understand my perspective as a Muslim. I believe that we can coexist peacefully and respectfully, despite our differences. Let us continue to build bridges of understanding and friendship, and support each other in our common goal of creating a better world for all.
Thank you for taking the time to read my message. May Allah bless you and guide you towards the path of righteousness.