Home Quranet Chapter 11 Is it permissible to ignore a greeting?
Is it permissible to ignore a greeting?
Chapter 11

وَإِذَا حُيِّيْتُم بِتَحِيَّةٍ فَحَيُّواْ بِأَحْسَنَ مِنْهَا أَوْ رُدُّوهَا إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ حَسِيبًا (سورۃ النساء, آيۃ 86)

When a (courteous) greeting is offered you, meet it with a greeting still more courteous, or (at least) of equal courtesy. Allah takes careful account of all things (Surah 4, Verse 86)

 

Because of sanctions by the high-school teachers association, the teachers cancelled the end-of-year party of the ninth graders. The class teacher explained the situation to his pupils and added that this decision affected the entire school and not only them. The pupils were not convinced and decided to punish the teacher. When he entered the classroom for the next lesson and greeted them, they did not. The teacher did not hesitate and quoted to them:
"When a (courteous) greeting is offered you, meet it with a greeting still more courteous, or (at least) of equal courtesy. Allah takes careful account of all things". "Now I will greet you again and we'll see what you do", he said. This time they greeted him in chorus.

 

Explanation: a greeting is an act of mutual respect which should be nurtured. It is hard to imagine a relationship without greetings, and this custom is of profound importance in interpersonal relations. It is not surprising that the pupils chose to punish their teacher in this manner. On another occasion, a pupil who received a grade he considered unsatisfactory, stopped greeting the teacher. A good teacher takes care to maintain good relations with her pupils. She not only greets them at the beginning of the lesson but also spends the first few minutes asking how they are and if they have any special problems. The Quran emphasizes the need to be generous and to give no less than one receives. So if someone greets you, says the Quran, your reply should be at least as courteous if not more so. A lesser greeting can be regarded as offensive.