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* تفسير Tafsir al-Jalalayn

{ وَإِذَا حُيِّيتُم بِتَحِيَّةٍ فَحَيُّواْ بِأَحْسَنَ مِنْهَآ أَوْ رُدُّوهَآ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ حَسِيباً }

And when you are greeted with a greeting as when it is said to you ‘Peace be upon you’ greet the one that greeted you with better than it by responding to him with ‘Peace be upon you and God’s mercy and blessings’ or return it by saying back to him what he said; in other words it is a duty to greet in one of these two ways the former being the preferred one. Surely God keeps count of He holds you accountable for all things and requites accordingly including things such as returning a greeting. The Sunna specifies that one should not return the greeting of an disbeliever an innovator a wicked person and of the one that greets a person who is in the act of relieving himself or one in the bath or one eating — indeed it is actually disapproved with the exception of the last. To the disbeliever who says ‘peace be upon you’ one should simply say ‘And upon you’.

Tafsir al-Jalalayn, trans. Feras Hamza
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