Can Salaam be given by a gesture?

Question:
What is the ruling on giving the salaams by a hand gesture?

Answer:
It is not permissible to give the salaams by a gesture, the salaams are only by speech, beginning and returning. As for giving the salaams with a gesture then this is not permissible. Because this resembles some of the kuffar and it opposes what ALLAH has legislated.

But if you signaled with your hand to a Muslim to let him know that you were giving him the salaams because he was far away, and you said the salaams then there is no harm in this because there has appeared proof for this. Similarly if a Muslim is busy praying then he should respond (to the salaams) with a (hand) gesture as has been authenticated in the sunnah of the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him.
Answer by Imaam ‘Abdul-‘Azeez Ibn ‘Abdullaah Ibn Baaz [d. 1420] (rahimahullaah)
Translated by Rasheed Barbee

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