On an Innovation People Fall into when Giving Salām to a Large Gathering
by The Albaani Site
The Imām said, “I want to remind some of our brothers present here that when they came in they would give salām to every person sitting down individually or to a lot of them, so when they would shake hands they would say, ‘As-salāmu alaikum, as-salāmu alaikum …’ and so on. What I wanted to remind you of, and reminders benefit the believers, is that when someone comes to a gathering the sunnah is for him to give salām in general to all present, saying, ‘As-salāmu alaikum wa raḥmatullāh,’ and if he is able to shake everyone’s hand individually, then without doubt that is more perfect a thing for him to do and more complete, and if he can’t, because there are too many people, then in such a case it’s enough for him to give salām [in general to all].
If he were to follow up on his salām by shaking everyone’s hands then it is not part of the sunnah whatsoever for him to [then go and say] say, ‘As-salāmu alaikum, as-salāmu alaikum, as-salāmu alaikum …’—this is an innovation [bidʿah] of this era which the past generations never knew, and I’m not saying just the Salafī generations but rather the Salafī and the Khalafī [the generations who came after the first three] ones. This kind of handshaking was not known except in this present generation.
And this is a reminder and reminders benefit the believers, this was something [I wanted to say] before any questions you might have …”
Silsilatul-Hudā wan-Nūr, no. 0836.