Anas ibn Malik (R.A) narrates that a man asked the Prophet (S.A.W): “O Messenger of Allah (S.A.W)! When any one of us meets a Muslim brother or a friend, should he then bow his head (as a sign of courtesy to him)?” He (S.A.W) said: “No” The man said: “Should he embrace and kiss him?” He (S.A.W) said:” No” The man then asked: “Should he clasp his hands?” He (S.A.W) said: “Yes” [Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 888]
Shaking hands when meeting and saying Salaam is part of the etiquette of Islam and its good morals. Shaking hands dispels hatred, rancour and grudges among the Muslims. And like Salaam, this applies only to those of the same gender. Farouk Papa might be offended, but that’s okay, because subsequently, Allah will be pleased with you.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t only sport your modesty for Muslims. Laura or Laila, Yusuf or Joseph, keep your hands to yourself. Islam prohibits non-essential touching and physical contact with a person of the opposite gender, with the exception of certain immediate family members, as a sign of modesty, humility and chastity. In addition, it is a form of respect towards the other person by acknowledging no one has the right to touch them except for their nearest and dearest.
Living in the Generation of Corporate Enterprises, you’re more than likely to be faced with an extended hand. Your strength of character is determined by your ability to turn down the prospect. The way I see it, there’s a 50-50 chance their hand will be clammy (it’s probably the heat of the Fire). We’re just saving ourselves.
Then there are the other nitty-gritty details. Should I use one hand to greet? Two hands? I mean, it can get kind of awkward. You use one, they use two, and then you start feeling guilty for only proffering one. It usually haunts me for ages after that.
‘Musaafahah’ is an Arabic word for handshake which implies the placing one’s hand over his companion. Because of this, most of the scholars are of the view that shaking hands with one hand is the Sunnah. According to the Hanafi and Maaliki mathab, it is Mustahab to shake hands using both hands.
The fascinating thing is that this practice is not unique to Islam. Jewish, Hindu, and Buddhist faiths abide by similar rules (Or, are supposed to). And I say ‘fascinating’ because, really, shouldn’t that make them aware of the fact that they need to stop poking their hands into your personal space (If you’re the one doing the poking, stop. Just stop.)?
It was narrated that Ma’qil ibn Yassaar (R.A) said that Nabi (S.A.W) said: “For one of you to be stabbed in the head with an iron needle is better for him than that he should touch a woman who is not permissible for him.” [This hadith was narrated by al-Tabaraani in al-Kabeer, 486]
Before being bombarded with technicalities, yes, if (genuinely if) there is a need for touch to occur, it is permitted. If a member of the opposite gender was to faint or experience a seizure, a Muslim would be required to do whatever they could to help them, including touching them, if appropriate. Seriously, ONLY IF THERE IS A NEED. Because no, consoling her because her cat passed on, or his fish drowned is not a valid reason.
Remember, you take one step towards Allah, Allah takes ten steps towards you.
May Allah protect us all and grant us the ability to overcome our Nafs.
Love and Duas,