A’ishah, the Holy Prophet's (S) wife, was with the Holy Prophet (S), when a Jew entered. Instead of saying ‘As-Salamun Alaykum’ (peace be unto you), he said, “As-Sam Alaykum” (death be unto you).
It wasn’t long before another Jew arrived. He also greeted the Prophet (S) in the same way, “As-Sam Alaykum”, instead of ‘As-Salamun Alaykum’. It became clear that this was not an accident, rather it was intentional in order to verbally abuse the Holy Prophet (S).
A’ishah was enraged by these remarks and shouted out at them, “Death be upon you all! and...”
The Holy Prophet (S) said, “O A’ishah, do not utter such abusive words. If these words were embodied into shapes, they would appear very ugly. When gentleness, moderation and patience are applied to anything, they beautify it. On the other hand, if anything is deprived of these attributes, its beauty would become obscured. Thus, why did you become furious and agitated?”
A’ishah said, “O Messenger of Allah, did you not see how insolently these people are saying such words instead of ‘Salam’?”
“Yes, I did, but in reply I said, ‘Alaykum’ (upon you) and it seemed sufficient for them.”1
- 1. Wasa’il, v. 2, p. 212.