For the Muslim populace:

Why do we say, “Hello?” When we pick up our phone/cellphone? Isn’t Assalam-o-alaikum a better greeting than ‘hello’? This board at Tariq road’s chowrangi reminded me this fact again.

33 Comments so far

  1. verysmart (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 4:45 pm

    come one now.. this will lead to a lot of mudrasa talk.. I appreciate your concern, I vote for Helloo…

    By the way .. can someone please update us of all the construction activities going around in the city, like all the underpasses and overhead bridges… just soem pics taken from mobile phones shall be more than enough.. perdesis will be more than grateful… I miss karachiiii

  2. Zain (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 5:05 pm

    I’ve heard a lot of people sayin “Hello-Salam-o-alaikum… :)

    I don’t see any issue with this so I also vote for “Hello”…

  3. IllusionFS (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 5:11 pm

    totally agree with you. Assalama Alaikum should be the way to greet.

  4. Wahidi (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 5:15 pm

    very right…
    The dictionary says that hello and hi are simply expressions of greetings…..”meaningless” expressions of greetings…..atleast by saying Assalam Alaikum, you send your prayer to the person.
    My personal opinion is that we simply tend to refrain from saying Assalam Alaikum Warahmatullahi because its too long….and being lazy we stick to a 2 letter meaningless greeting!!….not ignoring the “socialite aspect” of the 2 letter greeting in todays generation.

  5. Mansoor 'Manny' Siddiqui (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 5:58 pm

    Afreen, why did you choose this topic? How many times do you actually say Assalam-o-alaikum when you answer you phone?
    Let people make their own choices about the religion, faith, good and bad; don’t influence them by any means, specially when it comes to religion.
    A request to the authors: Could you all please refrain from religious posts? Thanks.

  6. hameed (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 6:06 pm

    except muslims and jews, anybody knows any other greetings from other parts of the world which contains a religious context?

  7. ANON (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 6:17 pm

    What if there is a non-Muslim at the other end. How do we feel when someone greets us with Namaste?

  8. YO YO (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 7:21 pm

    “hello” sayers should not feel demonized or religiously policed. After all its just a reminder not the law of the land.
    Its nice to be reminded that we have a better option than saying hello. But this should not be made into an issue of right or wrong. Its something maybe we can adopt with time.

  9. danny (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 7:22 pm

    Personally I have no issues if someone says Namaste to me — I actually make it a point to say Namaste to parents of my Indian friends since I believe an informal Hi/Hello is not polite.

    Coming to other religious greetings, my Indian gujarati friends frequently use “Jai Shri Krishna” as a greeting (Krishna is one of their gods). This is similar to the “Ya Ali Madad” that Ismailis use.

  10. Arifa (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 7:29 pm

    I am sure this will sound dumb, but I think most people associate Cell- phones with western technology and feel the need to communicate the same way when using it, or, maybe they feel Hello sounds friendlier than Asalamu-alaikum. I perosnally respond to whatever the person on the other end says or take my name when answering the phone and thanks to caller ID I know when to say the right greeting word.

  11. mansoor (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 8:18 pm

    western maybe.. Hello is just smaller and much simpler to say. i’ve known ppl who take issue when being greeted with ‘salam’ (dont shorten it, use the whole greeting etc.) and some even take take issue with Asalaam-o-alaikum as they say that one should use “aslaam-o-alikum wa rehmatulaahi wabaraqataho”… while all these greetings are much better and should be used often, hello comes across as much simpler and conveys the same greeting.

    p.s. da the same reason people have different signatures for their bank accounts (long ones) while use smaller ones or initials for their regular usage.

  12. verysmart (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 8:49 pm

    Afreen.. see thats wht i was talkign abt.. u opened the hells gate :)

    My point was.. ur suggestion is a good one.. let everyone continue using whtever they want to… however telling them about another option is a cool thing to do

  13. Mansoor 'Manny' Siddiqui (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 8:59 pm

    Most of the authors on KMB don’t respond back to the questions/comments posted by the readers! This thread is a fine example.


    Suggestion to KMB authors: Don’t start a topic unless you are willing to comment back. The most probably reasons you are not writing back:

    You don’t have enough information about that topic
    You wanted to “chirakna oil on fire” and run away
    You just wanted to increase your post count

  14. zahra (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 9:46 pm

    MANSOOR/MANNY (you can tell from your nickname that you’re a totaly LOSER)

    as for your first post, please keep your hypocritical secular-lets-exclude-all-religion talk acquired from equally hypoicritical western sources OUT….of YOUR HEAD, that is. i mean you can express your opinion, but you dont have to be convinced by this BS.

    religion is embedded in our culture and heritage and by extension…the very fabric of our socities. why should we brush it under the carpet??? i dont think any KMB blogger should preach here but wasnt afreen just trying to bring to light something she noticed in society? and then doesnt she have a right to an opinion?

    as for your second post, like your first—- you ARE DOWNRIGHT RUDE, MAN!!!! why are you suspicious of everyone?? i mean ok she should have responded by now, but by questioning her integrity COS of that you have put your own integrity into question.

    why cant we be more polite and civilized when discussing divergent view points?? (by its ok to call someone a loser, hehe!! just kidding, my apologies)

    peace, salam, shalom…?!

  15. Mansoor 'Manny' Siddiqui (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 10:10 pm


    Please don’t respond to this post of mine because I don’t want to start a war of words and thats why I am not replying to your previous message the way you did.

    All I want to say is

    Everyone is entitled to their opinions, whether be about the religion, faith, politics, etc. But considering the religious intolerance in our society and the lack of religious harmony, its not adviceable to discuss such issues or even raise your opinion about on public forums like this. (An example; if that topic had not been posted, we would not have these arguments going on here)
    Authors should have courage to respond back to their own posts atleast. The one of the reasons most of the authors don’t respond back is that they are afraid of letting everyone know how they think, or hide their religious and/or political affiliations, etc.

  16. Xill-e-Ilahi (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 10:30 pm

    courage? did it ever occur to you that maybe your comments don’t merit a response?

  17. YO YO (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 10:32 pm

    MANNY..This is not a religious issue…you are making it one. Its just a friendly reminder nothign else. I dont see any disharomony this post is going to cause.

  18. TEE BEE (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 10:40 pm

    totally agree with Mansoor…lets just leave the religion to each individual…let each person decide what he wants to do…why impose ur beliefs on someone??????

  19. Faisal Siddiqui (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 11:17 pm

    I dont see a problem with ‘Hello’.

    I think its merely a signal rather than a greeting to the party at the other end that their phone has been picked up.

    when you pick up the phone and say HELLO, i think it carries a different meaning than when you say Hello or SALAm or Hi to someone when physically meeting them.

    its the same as a ‘PING'(Networking Term). If you recieve a call and pick up ur phone and no one speaks at the other end, dont u say HELLO a couple of times before hanging up. You are literally pinging to check if there is someone at the other end.

    after you are done pinging, you can convey ur greeting, salam, namastae, shalom or whatever.

  20. Mahwash (unregistered) on June 30th, 2006 @ 12:55 am

    Its a very good suggestion. I have taken up the habit of saying “asalamoalaikum” when I pick up the phone for past couple of years.
    I think people should suggest things like that.. and people SHOULD NOT take offense when this is done. After all dont we suggest we should make Karachi a better place by doing this and that?. Why is that some people get sooo defensive when someone makes a “religious” comment? Would it degrade your status or make you less of a “Muslim” if you accept that this is something you dont do ??

    Anyways the fact is it is much better than “Hello” because its a form of zikr too. No harm in saying Allah’s name one more time. Not to mention you get sawab for giving the other person a dua.

    We all can use little acts that earn us sawab in our lives.

  21. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on June 30th, 2006 @ 9:57 am

    @zahra:is it mandatory to offend a person who is not agreed with you?

    On telephone I would refrain to say Salam because i am not sure who is on other side.’Hello’ is not a religious term so applicable for every one but yes when i meet my friends personally then sure i say Salam rather hello and its my personal experience that it brings good outcome.

    For sake of the site,lets drop this issue,you are free to say Salam,Shalom,Aloha etc etc its not going to harm your belief.

    Shalom All

  22. Poo Poo Head (unregistered) on June 30th, 2006 @ 10:07 am

    Afreen that was a good point. I would try to do that now consciouly and guess what ? when ever I’d do that, you’d get a bonus point and its like an MLM. You are the root of that tree.

    On the side note, there was nothing to argue on this. I really don’t know why people become so defensive when it comes to religion. In rationale, salam is always better than hello/hi because when you say salam then you also get w’salam which we all need every time. I follow logic and logic says when ever I could salam , I should avail it but at the end it comes to one’s beliefs probably so its a choice , if you think that you dont need peace from Allah every time then its also cool. We will meet our destinies soon.

  23. mansoor (unregistered) on June 30th, 2006 @ 11:19 am

    one of my habits is to say hello when the connection is being made.. when the other person responds, then i start of the convo with salaam.

    faisal: the ping example is a very good one!

  24. Umer Zaman (unregistered) on June 30th, 2006 @ 11:34 am

    Its just a greeting
    watever ur more comfortable with should be it..
    as someone mentioned earlier, CLI has made life much easier… so ur aware of who is calling and then its your own decision wat you wanna say..
    We all say AOA ocassionally to show our respect, it would be nice if we would say it more often but wat difference does it make to anyone else…

    and yes we can have a conversation here without offending the other person, just be a lil polite before you comment here. You cant really tell what the first person was thinking when he posted the thread/comment.. maybe he just said it as it came in his/her head.. or maybe there was a motive behind it..

  25. turab (unregistered) on June 30th, 2006 @ 12:03 pm




    AWAZ NAHIEN AARAHI HAI!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. Umer Zaman (unregistered) on June 30th, 2006 @ 3:54 pm

    Isnt it annoying that nowadays using cell phones can be such a pain..
    one of the parties wont be able to hear anything, you end up calling twice or thrice and ofcourse ur being charged for every call

  27. Ramla A. (unregistered) on July 1st, 2006 @ 2:05 pm

    I started saying Assalam-o-Alaikum, inspired by a rather characterless person (in my opinion) who did that. At that time I was a teenager doing A-levels and rather un-Pakistanized. I found myself a little shameful that someone who was otherwise not a great example of good character to me, said Salaam. And I did not. So I decided to learn.

    That was years ago; it’s taken me years of practice and understanding. I used to greet, until lately, friends according to their religion or dispositions, until I realized that I had lost my identity for the sake of pleasing.

    Now I use AoA with Muslims, without bothering about their pre-dispositions. I am who I am, and if anyone is to mould themselves, then why, on earth, should *I* say Hi or Shalom or Namaste? I do use Hi or Hello with non-Muslims, though, as is the prescribed Muslim custom. And the purpose is to greet, not start wars.

    Assalam-o-Alaikum has given me a very strong sense of identity and gained me respect. Now, I want to start getting used to Bismillah.

    JazakAllah, Afreen!

  28. xia (unregistered) on July 2nd, 2006 @ 12:48 am

    good post.

    I am impressed by some of the comments from people whom I thought would have least interest in this topic. To the wanna-be secular minded termites in our society, get over it.

    I used to say salamualaekum in very low voice when I used to see someone at the mall or other places of business. Mostly, because I was shy and I used to think that people would think whatever about me (I am surrounded by kuffars most of the day). But as I sat down one day in one of the religious lecture, the sheikh asked a question. What are we ashamed of? Are we ashamed that we obey Allah subhanawatala? Are we ashamed that we are muslims? are we ashamed that we pray 5 times a day? What is there to be ashamed of? This made me change myself completely.

    Think about it. A hindu who worships a cow or a rat or any other such thing, does it with pride. And you, a muslim, the best of the best is ashamed to say that you worship one Allah and ashamed of greeting people the way Mohammad sallalhualaehe wasalam taught us to?

    I do not know the reasons behind many of the people who are against saying Assalaamualaekum, but my reason was what I described above. I got over it and I hope it helped others inshaAllah.


  29. verysmart (unregistered) on July 2nd, 2006 @ 5:50 am

    Thats a lot of religious Sermon talk from someone who Spells his name X I A (for the sake of being Fashionable), i am sure your father must have put it like “ZIA” in your birth certificate!!!!
    The WANNA BE TERMITES are the ones who are driving the world right now in the civilized parts (from where you learnt to spell your name with an X) Thanks a lot i aitn Ta

  30. verysmart (unregistered) on July 2nd, 2006 @ 5:55 am

    Thats a lot of religious Sermon talk from someone who Spells his name X I A (for the sake of being Fashionable), i am sure your father must have put it like “ZIA” in your birth certificate!!!!
    The WANNA BE TERMITES are the ones who are driving the world right now in the civilized parts (from where you learnt to spell your name with an X) Thanks a lot we are not mudarsa minded, and guess wht 85% of us dont even want to be ever, people like you are the result of Gen XIA-UL-HAQ’s (he would have liked to spell it that way too) brain washing, with vield women on TV (gosh what were we thinking, Radio is better than having such a TV show)and people like you are the ones who havent learnt to recover from it.
    Pakistan is supposed to be a Muslim State, not an Islamic State, we messed that up in 1970’s

  31. Sheysrebellion (unregistered) on July 2nd, 2006 @ 4:13 pm

    I vote for hello

  32. Umer Zaman (unregistered) on July 3rd, 2006 @ 12:38 pm

    muslim or not, being a good human matters more..
    If you say AOA and ur blessing someone and if the other person appreciates it or not i guess its pretty okay..
    but as i said, it varies from case to case, person to person, situation to situation..

  33. Yaakhi (unregistered) on July 6th, 2006 @ 1:26 am

    I agree AoA should be the way to go!

    and down with the secular fundamentalists who terrorize anyone with any sort of moderate religious opinion. this ilk speak of “enlightened moderation” and worship the President but are complete hypocrites when it comes to being tolerant of anyone who isn’t a fully committed gora.

    even wonder why? they are all mostly confused defence burgers who are stoned 24/7

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