Author Topic: Usage of 'Salaam' as greeting. Can be substituted.  (Read 1570 times)

Man of Faith

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Usage of 'Salaam' as greeting. Can be substituted.
« on: May 31, 2015, 03:35:09 AM »
Hi,

I was involving my mind in some philosophical thinking and I have often pondered in recent years what is the best English substitute for saying 'salaam' as a greeting. It suddenly occured to me while thinking what I would say in Swedish and it is 'Var h?lsad' and "Med (v?nlig) h?lsning" which means "be healthy" and "healthiness (on you)" in English and in its turn is exactly what 'salaam' means, so I felt relieved I can continue to speak (one of) my language(s) without much reflection. No need for Arabic/Semitic loan words, even if distantly the English and Swedish word may be related to salam. In a search for etymology I found that "h?lsa/health" is related to 'whole' and which is actually the meaning of the root Siin-Lam-Miim used in salam as salam means pristine/sound/whole (salam does not mean submission but it is a falsehood). E'SLAM means Being Sound and MU - SLEM means "One of Soundness" (probably firstly in reference to mental sanity).

Okay. That was for the Swedish formal greeting together with background information, but in fact hi and hello also have an etymological background in 'whole'. Hello means 'Be whole' from German root of languages 'hel' which means whole in English and holy also stems from whole which means as a greeting that you wish people holiness/wholeness, i.e. to be perfectly sound/pristine. Hi is probably a colloquial form of the same. Hol-y is probably when something is definitely whole. Health comes from the word 'hel' which in return comes from whole in English.

During the Roman contact with the Middle-East the greeting 'salaam' was likely encountered and a Latin/Greek form invented and in its turn spread to other cultures through languages.

The word salam is hence not translated accurately from the ground as 'peace' but 'sound/health' although 'be at peace' is a possible effect of being healthy, especially mentally sane. Because of the unworldly alignment of the human spirit separated from the body, mental sanity is more important than anything for a human. One thing is for what you cannot do with your body, but what you cannot do with your mind is disastrous because it expresses itself in what the body can do.

A conclusion is that saying 'hello' or 'hi' in English, or 'hej' in Swedish, is not so bad and is in fact "islamic" and no need to think any further and complicate things. It could be worth using the more formal/polite greetings to be even more "islamic". Hail is an outdated greeting, but it is equivalent to salaam.

But as a final thought. Any greeting is fine as long as it is a polite (sound/salam) one. No need to complicate things with an Arabic word in the middle of your mother tongue.

The next question is on how to refer to your faith. How do you say "I believe in/adhere to Islam"? However of course, due to the meaning of salam it is: "I believe in being sound". Do you see how pathetic and deluded the sectarians look in this light? "I am a Muslim = I am a sound person".

You see there is no longer any label or title for a religion but by saying Muslim you say you are... what? SOUND (sane or proper)

So who is not Muslim?

Daesh/IS, for can they be tagged as sound through their incompatibility with GOD's (Be As It's) main attributes: "AL-RAHMAN AL-HEEM" which means "Benevolent(ly) Merciful".

Salaam
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Zulf

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Re: Usage of 'Salaam' as greeting. Can be substituted.
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2015, 05:06:25 AM »
Peace bro,

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But as a final thought. Any greeting is fine as long as it is a polite (sound/salam) one. No need to complicate things with an Arabic word in the middle of your mother tongue.

I believe so too. When you address somebody with an intention of peace or well wishing... then this is good enough. I further believe that the only way your form/words of your greeting matters, is in relation to what effect it has on the just established line of communication. If your words have a peace-promoting effect, putting the other party at ease an comfort, then this is all you need. This can of course be done in so many different ways in different languages.

Now let's move on to سلام علیکم. This is of course a wonderful greeting, provided you know what it means. Unfortunately, it has come to mean something else, or at least it's subconscious connotations are not necessarily so wholesome. Now I'm specifically relating to a sort of "global" and "multicultural" setting that this world is more and more becoming. I feel that the conventional greeting of salam, as done by Muslims, rather functions as to show that the greeters are belonging to the same club. It's like a code word for "I too belong to your privileged class of chosen and superior people, unlike the rest of the heathens of this society". In this sense, all sorts of religious greetings have a great potential to become an instrument, albeit perhaps unconsciously, of separation and division. And this is really rotten.

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The next question is on how to refer to your faith. How do you say "I believe in/adhere to Islam"? However of course, due to the meaning of salam it is: "I believe in being sound". Do you see how pathetic and deluded the sectarians look in this light? "I am a Muslim = I am a sound person".

It's very important for people to have a sense of belonging. When people have not reached a sense of belonging to All There Is, and all people in the world, then people resort to sectarianism. When people declare their religion by telling what they are, they are either saying 1) "I'm as good as you, we both belong to the inner circle, or 2) "I'm better than you, and proudly so." Of course, this also sucks.

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You see there is no longer any label or title for a religion but by saying Muslim you say you are... what? SOUND (sane or proper)

People generally(?) fail to understand that communication is all about getting the message across. If you put a label on yourself, which gets totally misunderstood, then we have the usual case and combination of 1) you failing to communicate properly, and 2) leaving other other party in ignorance and misconception.

Friende!
If you name me, you negate me.

runninglikezebras

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Re: Usage of 'Salaam' as greeting. Can be substituted.
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2015, 10:00:18 AM »
@MoF

Your theory about the etymology of hello is incorrect.  The german root 'hal' in the german 'hallo' is not from the german word for whole but from the imperative of holā which means 'to fetch'.   It is an encouragement to take action eg when wanting to cross a river and calling the ferry man.

It also occurs in old french as 'hol?' which means 'hey there'.

As you can see none of them have any root meaning of 'whole'.

Peace

Man of Faith

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Re: Usage of 'Salaam' as greeting. Can be substituted.
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2015, 11:06:36 AM »
Hello runninglikezebras,

You should do your homework better. Read up on:
http://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/hallo#English
http://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/hela#Old_English

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Etymology
From Middle English halou, halow, halloo (interjection used to call attention), representing Old English hēlā, ǣlā, ēalā (?O!, alas!, oh!, lo!?), equivalent to hey +‎ lo.

Source: From http://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/hallo#English

Sure hello is a more modern form of the old hail, but it sure contains 'hal' even if a compound. Hi is a colloquial form of that greeting probably a "lazy" interjection stemming from 'hy' of Middle English from hail. Same as we Swedes say "hej". "Hej P? dig". Of course there are few who reflect upon what they actually are saying. I am going to formally use "Var h?lsad" in my own language which very close to salaam.

It does not make my previous post invalid either with suggestions on substitutes of something other than 'salaam' to be used as a greeting.

You sure have a habit of criticizing all that I do. I am eagerly awaiting your response with the common opposition of yours.

Med h?lsning
Man of Faith
(What is an English equal containing 'hal' to sign letters?)
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runninglikezebras

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Re: Usage of 'Salaam' as greeting. Can be substituted.
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2015, 11:39:36 AM »
 :nope:

I did my homework.  Linking a wiki page is your understanding of homework?

I did not speak about the rest of your post, but your etymology of the german 'hallo' in it was wrong.  If you look at some proper references you will see.

You are still misunderstanding the etymology.  It's not from the old hail either.  The occurence in english language is borrowed from either old french or old german.  'hola' meaning to fetch in old german.  In old french it's either from allons, or ho l? meaning hey there.  So again, I stress there is no etymological root for hello meaning whole. 

I'm not focused on criticizing you.  I just noticed an etymological mistake in it.  Apparently you have a habit of making a lot of those if you feel I'm targeting you.

Sources:
http://www.etymologiebank.nl/trefwoord/hallo
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=hello
Peace

Man of Faith

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Re: Usage of 'Salaam' as greeting. Can be substituted.
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2015, 11:52:21 AM »
Hello Zulf,

Thanks for your post.

Salaam and Salam Aleikum sure are doctrinal words so more than people saying it because of what it means. Quran says people should greet each other salaam, but it does not mean it has to be done with that Arabic word but an equivalent that means it. Instead they are exclusive used as adjectival phrases in Quran (in the raw form) which are only true if you fill the attribute used in the word. Anyone can say they are a Muslim, but to live up to the attribute they need to act accordingly.

It is also due to ignorance and the flow of fuel to the sectarian fire that they take a belonging by a label or title. People are simply not aware or knowledgeable what the words Salam, Islam and Muslim mean and see them as "copyrighted" labels to their respective sects.

Like I mentioned in the previous post, Islam as per Quran is supposed to be used: "I believe in soundness" or "I believe in sanity".

Quran has a passage saying: "The one who is sound (muslim) and is realized in Allah..." With what I suggest it takes another turn.

You see there is no religion at all, not even a label, but one can say they believe in sanity or "are sane". Personally I have a conscious problem of on what to refer to myself as, but I am going to try to move over to non-Arabic as much as possible retaining the the translated meanings. I think it is also okay to say "I have faith" alone. My motto is: "Everything is possible, nothing is impossible". It may have been what has taken me this far today. Someone who has this as a motto always believe that also anything can possibly be not as it is supposed to be even if it seems obvious to others. It brought the corruption/amateurish interpretations of Quran into the light for me.

The present problem I have is how I am going to go on about the discovered phenomenon of Allah because the 'Rabb ' we know is not separate from ourselves but the huge crowd is heavily indoctrinated on a separate idol called Allah, GOD or Jehova etc while the Scriptures explain that GOD is (who) "Be As It". The phenomenon 'Rabb' is a Platform which sustains and people are like nodes of a network interconnected with it through their ascended spirits. It is alive, self-aware and powerful, but the one who is realized in Allah is as it and in the Unity (wahed). That is why prophets just seem to appear to know something out of the blue because they utilize the Unity in their conscious presence. It is like better having access to subconscious memory banks.

I know I tend to move off-topic, but well it is the same grand topic anyways and not blabber except to some people.

Fare thee well friend
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Man of Faith

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Re: Usage of 'Salaam' as greeting. Can be substituted.
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2015, 01:23:27 PM »
Hello runninglikezebras,

Well, you have a very argumentative nature. Well, stubbornness is good, if what you say is right.

You want more sources from my part which are not Wiki?

Here you have from Websters from 1913:

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Webster's dictionary from 1913 traces the etymology of holloa to the Old English halow and suggests: "Perhaps from ah + lo; compare Anglo Saxon Healā."

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The Old English verb, hǽlan (1. wv/t1b 1 to heal, cure, save; greet, salute; gehǽl! Hosanna!), may be the ultimate origin of the word.[23] Hǽlan is likely a cognate of German Heil (meaning complete for things and healthy for beings) and other similar words of Germanic origin.
Bill Bryson asserts in his book Mother Tongue that "hello" comes from Old English h?l b?o ?u ("Hale be thou", or "whole be thou", meaning a wish for good health) (see also "goodbye" which is a contraction of "God be with you".

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=hello

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1883, alteration of hallo, itself an alteration of holla, hollo, a shout to attract attention, which seems to go back to at least c. 1400.

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=holla&allowed_in_frame=0

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Holla
As an urban slang form of holler (v.) and meaning "greet, shout out to," it was in use by 2003.

http://www.spanishdict.com/answers/242974/what-is-the-origin-of-the-word-hola

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Etymology From Spanish hola, and this from Arabic wa-Allāh

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Hola comes from the Arabic and it means Peace be upon (with) God. This has evolved into Peace be with you, which is a very romantic and polite way of saying Hello.

Thanks for making me dig deeper.

http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/188517/what-are-the-origins-of-hi-hey-hello

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To muddy the waters, other etymologies for hola exist. etimologias.dechile.net cites the Spanish word "Hola" as having a Classical Greek origin in ούλε (Good health, used by Homer : Odyssey Chapter 24 verse 402). This Greek word appears to share PE roots with German heil which is also a greeting meaning health (cognate with English hale).

Like I said, the origin has likely traveled afar and has its root in Middle-Eastern exposure.

It is not as obvious as you make it look, runninglikezebras.

My bet is the version that is Hal (whole) + Lo with 'lo' as a call interjection morpheme. It is likely a colloquial form alike "Hail you there". "Lo" is a well known word to use to call someone's attention.

To make things worse lo may be from Old English 'la' and is not surprising if it would have a root that is influenced by Arabic primitive morphemes you "As Be" which 'la' means on a primitive level. Arabic uses 'ya' to address a person, but it does not mean the influence must be just that and Arabic is not the oldest language.

Hal-lo is still like I said an interjection which is whole + lo used to gain attention. Whole because the person is animate and lo as a way of addressing the person.

Arabic etymological search is what I am most interested in, but this was a little interesting.

By the way, 'hal' goes further back into Latin and Greek.

Please let us stop the hello topic as it gets tiring. There is no gain in proving it true or false. I think it has deeper roots than in French and I actually think the renowned lexicons that you quoted are wrong in this case. We will be stuck in recurring circular reasoning for little to gain and a waste of discussion when there are more important topics such as a proper interpretation of Quran. Let us agree to disagree on 'hello'.

Salaam
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