Giving the salaam to the one reciting the Qur’aan

source: silsilat ul-ahādīth us-sahīha ~ the series of authentic narrations ~ hadīth no. 3285
‘Uqbah bin ‘Aamir al-Juhani (radi Allaahu ‘anhu) said: “We were sitting in the masjid reciting the Qur’aan; then the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) entered and gave us the salaam, and we returned him the salaam…”
Shaykh al-Albānī (rahimahullaah) comments:
“I say: this hadeeth has some fiqh (understanding), which is that it is legislated to give the salaam to the one who is sitting and reciting the Qur’aan. So in it, there is a refutation of the one who holds that that is disliked, which – along with being a mere opinion – opposes this hadeeth and the generality of his (صلى الله عليه وسلم) statement: ‘Spread the salaam amongst you.’[1] And if it has been authentically established that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) had silently approved[2] the Companions’ (actions) when they gave him the salaam while he was praying in Masjid Qubaa’, and he replied to them by a gesture with his noble hand,[3] then all the more reason why it is legislated to give the salaam to the one reciting the Qur’aan outside the prayer; and the reply then will be verbal, not a gesture, as is obvious to the people of understanding. And this was the opinion of (Imaam) an-Nawawee (rahimahullaah).”
[1] Saheeh Muslim #54
[2] from the word iqraar, i.e., silent approval
[3] Saheeh Abi Daawood #860