Sin-Lam-Mim (Arabic: س ل مS-L-M; Hebrew: שלםŠ-L-M; Maltese: S-L-M) is the triconsonantal root of many Semitic words, and many of those words are used as names. The root itself translates as "whole, safe, intact".

Salam "Peace"

Arabic Salām (سَلاَمٌ), Maltese Sliem, Hebrew Shalom (שָׁלוֹם), Ge'ez salām (ሰላም), Syriac šlama (ܫܠܡܐ) are cognate Semitic terms for "peace", deriving from a Proto-Semitic *šalām-. The word salām is used in a variety of expressions and contexts in Arabic and Islamic speech and writing. Al-Salam is one of the 99 names of God in the Qur'an, and also a male given name in conjunction with abd. Abd Al-Salam translates to Slave of Al-Salaam (i.e. Slave of Allah the All-Peacable.)

In Hebrew, the equivalent of the word is Shalom. It is also the root word of the names Solomon (Süleyman), Selim, etc.

The Koine Greek New Testament text uses eirēnē (εἰρήνη) for 'peace',[1] which perhaps represents Jesus saying 'šlama'; this Greek form became the Northern feminine name Irene. In the Epistles, it often occurs alongside the usual Greek greeting chairein (χαίρειν) in the phrase 'grace and peace'. However, comparison of the Greek Septuagint and Hebrew Masoretic Old Testament texts shows some instances where shalom was translated instead as soteria (σωτηρια, meaning "salvation").

Arabic, Maltese, Hebrew and Aramaic have cognate expressions meaning "peace be upon you" used as a greeting:

  • Arabic As-Salamu ʿAlaykum (السلام عليكم), this expression is used to greet others and is an Arabic equivalent of "hello". The appropriate response to such a greeting is "and upon you be peace" (wa `alaykum as-salām).
  • Hebrew שלום עליכם shalom aleichem.
  • Maltese sliem għalikhom.
  • Neo-Aramaic ܫܠܡܐ ܥܠܘܟ šlama 'loukh, classically ܫܠܡܐ ܥܠܝܟ, šlāmâ ‘laik.



"Shalom" (in blue) and "Salām" (in green) mean "peace" in Hebrew and Arabic respectively and often represent a peace symboland is also the cover of a Israeli rap group single called "Shalom, Salam, Peace".


In Arabic:

  • Salam "Peace"
  • As-Salamu Alaykum "Peace be upon you"
  • Islam "submission, entrusting one's wholeness to another"
  • Muslim "One who submits"
  • Taslim — "receiving SLM" — to receive a salutation or becoming submitted
  • Mostaslim — "wanting to receive SLM" — no longer seeking opposition/conflict, the one who is submitted
  • Salem — "subject of SLM" — its SLM, "the vase is SLM", "the vase is whole/unbroken"
  • Musalam — "undisputed"

In Hebrew:

  • Shalom
  • Mushlam (מושלם) — Perfect
  • Shalem (שלם) — whole, complete
  • Lehashlim (להשלים) — to complete, fill in
  • Leshallem (לשלם) — to pay
  • Tashlum (תשלום) — payment
  • Shillumim (שילומים) — reparations
  • Lehishtallem (להשתלם) — to be worth it, to "pay"
  • Absalom (אבשלום) — a personal name, literally means "Father [of] Peace".

In Aramaic:

In Amharic:

  • Selam "peace"; also a common greeting
  • Selamta "welcome"

In Maltese:

  • Sliem
  • Sellem to greet, to salute'

In Akkadian[2]:

  • Salimatu "alliance"
  • Salimu "peace, concord"
  • Shalamu "to be(come) whole, safe; to recover; to succeed, prosper".
  • Shulmu "health, well-being"; also a common greeting

Islam "Piety, Faith"

The word إسلام Islām is a verbal noun derived from s-l-m, meaning "submission" (i.e. entrusting one's wholeness to another), which may be interpreted as humility. "One who submits" is signified by the participle مسلم, Muslim (fem. مسلمة, muslimah).[3]

The word is given a number of meanings in the Qur'an. In some verses (ayat), the quality of Islam as an internal conviction is stressed: "Whomsoever God desires to guide, He expands his breast to Islam."[4] Other verses connect islām and dīn (usually translated as "religion"): "Today, I have perfected your religion (dīn) for you; I have completed My blessing upon you; I have approved Islam for your religion."[5] Still others describe Islam as an action of returning to God—more than just a verbal affirmation of faith.[6]

History in 2nd millennium BC

Letter Rib Addi Louvre AO7093

(an example Amarna letter in cuneiform)

In the 2nd millennium BC, besides the Akkadian language usage of s-l-m, and Babylonian usage, there was a specific form of "shulmani" in the Amarna letters. A small number of the 382-letter corpus of the letters discussed the exchange of exchanged "peace gifts", namely greeting-gifts (Shulmani) between the Pharaoh and the other ruler involving the letter. The examples are Zita (Hittite prince), and Tushratta of Mitanni. Also, Kadashman-Enlil of Babylon, (Karaduniyash of the letters).

Šalām, (shalamu) is also used in letter introductions, stating the authors health: an example letter EA19, from Tushratta to Pharaoh states:

"...the king of Mittani, your brother. For me all goes well. For you may all go well."--(lines 2-4)(an 85-line lietter)[7]

Given names

  • Salam
  • Salman
  • Selim
  • Shlomi (Hebrew: שלומי or שלמי)
  • Shlomo, Solomon (Hebrew: שלומה )
  • Shlomit, Salome (Hebrew: שלומית)
  • Suleiman


  1. Lk 24:36; Jn 20:19,26; vide NA27 per sy.
  2. Huehnergard, J. (2005). A Grammar of Akkadian. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns.
  3. Entry for šlm, p. 2067, Appendix B: Semitic Roots, The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th ed., Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2000, ISBN 0-618-08230-1.
  4. Qur'an 6:125, Qur'an 61:7, Qur'an 39:22
  5. Qur'an 5:3, Qur'an 3:19, Qur'an 3:83
  6. See:
  7. William L. Moran. "The Amarana letters". p. 43.. 

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at S-L-M. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.