What do the scholars of the Dīn and muftīs of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: Who should one intend to give Salām to at the end of Salāh?
Questioner: Abrar from UK
بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب
When the Imām turns towards the right hand side to give Salām, he will intend to give Salām to the muqtadīs [i.e. the followers in Salāh] who are on the right hand side; and when turning towards the left hand side to give Salām, he will intend to give Salām to all the muqtadīs on the left hand side. Moreover, he will also intend to give Salām to Kirāmān Kātibīn and those angels who have been appointed by Allāh Almighty for the purpose of protection. Likewise, a muqtadī will also intend for the muqtadīs and those angels of that particular direction in each direction of Salām [i.e. right and left]. And if one is directly behind the Imām, then one should intend for the Imām in both directions. And if one is a Munfarid i.e. praying Salāh alone, then one should only intend for those angels.
Just as it is stated in Bahr al-Rā’iq,
“وَسَلَّمَ مَعَ الْإِمَامِ كَالتَّحْرِيمَةِ عَنْ يَمِينِهِ وَيَسَارِهِ نَاوِيًا الْقَوْمَ وَالْحَفَظَةَ۔۔۔وَأَرَادَ بِالْقَوْمِ مَنْ كَانَ مَعَهُ فِي الصَّلَاةِ فَقَطْ۔۔۔وَقَوْلُهُ نَاوِيًا الْقَوْمَ وَالْحَفَظَةَ يَعُمُّ الْإِمَامَ وَالْمَأْمُومَ۔۔۔أَنَّ الْمَأْمُومَ يَزِيدُ فِي نِيَّتِهِ نِيَّةَ السَّلَامِ عَلَى إمَامِهِ فِي التَّسْلِيمَةِ الْأُولَى إذَا كَانَ الْإِمَامُ عَنْ يَمِينِهِ أَوْ فِي الثَّانِيَةِ إنْ كَانَ عَنْ يَسَارِهِ أَوْ فِي التَّسْلِيمَتَيْنِ لَوْ كَانَ مُحَاذِيًا لَهُ؛ ۔۔۔أَنَّ الْمُنْفَرِدَ يَنْوِي الْحَفَظَةَ فَقَطْ۔”
“Making the intention of people and the protective angels, a muqtadī is to – just like in Takbīr Tahrīmah – give Salām to the right and the left actually with the Imām. People refers to only those individuals who are alongside a person in Salāh. Both the Imām and muqtadī will make the intention of people and angels. Yes, the muqtadī will also make intention of the Imām in the first Salām provided that he is on the right hand side. And if he is on the left, then he will make the intention in the second Salām. And if a muqtadī is directly behind the Imām, then he will make intention of the Imām in both Salāms. A munfarid is to make intention of the protective angels only.”
[al-Bahr al-Rā’iq Sharh Kanz al-Daqā’iq, vol. 1, pp. 351-353]
And it is stated in Bahār-e-Sharī’at, ‘In turning Salām to the right, the Imām should make the intention in addressing those muqtadīs who are on the right; and in Salām to the left, he should do so for those who are on the left – but he should not make the intention for females, even if they are part of the Jamā’ah [i.e. congregation].
Also, in both Salāms, he should make the intention for Kirāman Kātibīn and those angels, whom Allāh has appointed (for our protection), and we should not stipulate any figure in this regard. When making Salām, then in Salām to all sides (i.e. left and right), the muqtadīs too should make the intention of the muqtadīs on that particular side and they should make the intention for those angels as well.
They should make the intention of (Salām for) the Imām as well for the side where the Imām is; and if the Imām is in front of him, then in both Salāms, he should have the intention of (Salām to) the Imām as well. A munfarid should make the intention of (Salām for) those angels only.’
[Bahār-e-Sharī’at, vol. 1, part 3, pp. 536-537]
 Kirāman Kātibīn are the two angels appointed by Allāh Almighty to record our good and bad deeds; the one on the right records the good deeds of a person and the one on the left records the bad deeds.
واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری
Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by Haider Ali Madani
Read the original Urdu answer here: [Q-ID0824] When we give Salam at the end of our Salah, who are we actually giving Salam to?