With regards to the student of knowledge not holding back from giving salaam, Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah comments:
Therefore I enjoin on you the spreading the salaam amongst yourselves such that you attain friendship and love and brotherhood and cheerfulness upon the face and happiness in the heart – along with abundant reward with Allaah, the Majestic and Most High.
As for nowadays, the people meet each other in the environment of the university, then, with great regret, you will not find giving salaam to each other.
And it may be that some of them say: the people are many in number – if I were to initiate the salaam with everyone I meet – and I were to meet, for example, one hundred men when walking around – then do I give salaam one hundred times?
We say: fear Allaah and obey Him as much as you are able to – just as we say, for example, commanding the good and forbidding the evil is something obligatory. However, if we were to walk in the marketplace we would find this person has his garment hanging too low (below his ankles), and this one is smoking and this one trims his beard, and the like of that, is it obligatory that we stop at each one and we advise him?
This (would be) difficult and would contain hardship; however we fear Allaah and obey Him as much as we are able to.
And I say: the spreading of salaam occurs (only) a little amongst the students at the University (and) other than the students at the University – such that nowadays, only a few of the students at the masaajid will spread the salaam. And all of this is either (a result) of ignorance or of being negligent.
So upon us, O brothers, is that we mould ourselves to have the manners of Islaam, seeking the reward of Allaah, the Majestic and Most High, (seeking) the rectification of our community.
(Quoted in Wasaayaa wa tawjeehaat li tullaab il ‘ilm pages 184 to 185, translated by Nasser ibn Najam)