عن أسماء بنت يزيد -رضي الله عنها-: أن رسول الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم- مَرَّ في المسجد يوما، وَعُصْبَةٌ من النساء قُعُودٌ، فَألْوَى بيده بالتسليم. وهذا محمول على أنه -صلى الله عليه وسلم- جمع بين اللفظ والإشارة، ويؤيده أن في رواية أبي داود: فسلم علينا.
[ضعيف.] - [رواه الترمذي وأحمد وابن ماجه.]
المزيــد ...

Asmā' bint Yazīd (may Allah be pleased with her) reported that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) passed through the mosque one day, and there was a group of women sitting in the mosque. He raised his hand to offer greetings. This is understood to mean that the Prophet (may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) greeted them with both words and signal. Another narration in Sunan Abu Dawūd supports this as it reads: "He greeted us."

Explanation

Meaning of the Hadīth: The Prophet (may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) passed through the mosque one day and found a group of women sitting. He greeted them by waving with his hand. It is understood that the Prophet (may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) did not greet them by waving alone without pronouncing words. This understanding is supported by the narration in Sunan Abu Dawūd referred to by An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy upon him), which clearly indicates that he greeted them verbally. Perhaps the Prophet (may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) combined between waving with his hand and greeting them verbally because he was far from them. Extending Salām to Mahram women is an act of Sunnah, and returning the greeting is obligatory. Also, it is permissible for the man to extend Salām to a group of women according to the apparent meaning of this Hadīth, on condition that one is safe from temptation. However, man should not greet a woman if she is alone. Unless the woman is old and not attractive, and in such a case there is no harm to greet her as temptation is not expected. If a man is worried about being attracted to her, then he should not greet her. For this reason people are accustomed to not greeting a woman on meeting her in the market, and this is the sound opinion. However, if you went to your house where there are women of your acquaintances and greeted them, then this is no problem as long as there is no possibility of temptation. So, it is permissible for the man to greet women whenever there is no temptation. Otherwise, one should not greet. The same ruling applies to women when they meet men. An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy upon him) said: "A man is allowed to greet women if they are in a group. Also, it is recommended for the man to greet a non-Mahram woman if she is old and sexually undesired, and she is recommended to do so as well. Whoever greets first, it is obligatory that the other returns the greeting. If the woman is young or is old and desirable, however, a non-Mahram man should not greet her, nor should she greet him; and whoever greets first, the other does not deserve a response."

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