Saying 'Allah and the Prophet greet you'

Q: We were once in a gathering where the house owner welcomed his guests saying "May Allah and the Prophet greet you". He kept on repeating this phrase until one of the people objected and said that this phrase should not be said; it is a greeting said by misled groups of people. (Part No. 26; Page No. 363) Please advise in detail concerning the ruling on this phrase while mentioning the evidence of Shari`ah (Islamic law), so that everyone benefits.

A: Welcoming guests using the mentioned phrase is a habit acquired by some people. What is prohibited about it is asking the Prophet (peace be upon him) to greet the people, although he cannot do so after his death. What was reported from him (peace be upon him) is that Allah returns his soul to him so that he replies to those who send peace and blessings upon him. Greetings are only made by living people, not dead ones. If he says: "May Allah greet you", or any such lawful phrase, that will be better. Allah (Glorified be He) has greeted the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his Ummah (nation) by sending peace and blessings upon them. He (Exalted be He) says, He it is Who sends Salât (His blessings) on you, and His angels too (ask Allâh to bless and forgive you) until His saying, Their greeting on the Day they shall meet Him will be "Salâm Peace (i.e. the angels will say to them: Salâmun ‘Alaikum)!" Blessings sent by Allah to His slaves is His mercy and praise of them among the angels, while peace is the greeting of Mu'minun (believers) among themselves in this world and in Jannah (Paradise). Ibn Kathir said in his Tafsir (explanation of the meanings of the Qur'an), "It seems that the meaning of the Ayah is that the greeting made to them by Allah (Exalted be He) when they meet Him is peace. Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says, (It will be said to them): Salâm (peace be on you) - a Word from the Lord (Allâh), Most Merciful. Al-Qurtuby said, "It was claimed that this greeting is made by Allah (Exalted be He), and that it means keeping them safe from (Part No. 26; Page No. 364) harm or secure against fear.Thus, it is permissible for a Muslim to say to his Muslim brother "May Allah greet you." May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.