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Fatwas Regarding Shaking Hands With Women

It is not allowed for a woman to shake the hand of a non-mahram man

Question: Some tribes have customs that go against the pure Sharee'ah. For example, in some places it is customary for the guest to shake the hands of the female host. If he does not do so, it will lead to lots of problems and people will understand it in different ways. What is the best practice to follow given those circumstances?

Response: Shaking the hands of a woman for whom one is not mahram is not allowed. This is based on what is confirmed from the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) Who said, when the women were giving the pledge of allegiance to him, "I do not shake the hands of women." It is also confirmed that 'Aa.ishah said, "By Allaah, the hand of the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) never touched another woman [other than his wives]. He used to take their pledges verbally only." Allaah has said, "Indeed in the Messenger of Allaah you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in [the meeting with] Allaah and the Last Day and remembers Allaah much" (al-Ahzaab 21). Furthermore, shaking hands by women with men that are not mahram is one of the means that leads to temptation for both of them and it is obligatory to avoid it. There is no harm in saying greetings without shaking hands. Any speech of a questionable nature or soft speech must be avoided. This is based on Allaah's statement, {O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any other women. If you keep your duty [to Allaah, then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire, but speak in an honourable manner}, [al-Ahzaab 32]. During the time of the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) the women would greet him and ask him questions that were concerning them. This is also how the women used to ask the Companions of the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) questions concerning matters of concern to them. There is no harm in women shaking hands with mahram men, such as their fathers, paternal uncles, Maternal Uncles and so forth.

Shaykh Ibn Baaz
Fataawa al-Mar.ah

Shaking hands with female relatives...

Question: Some men shake hands with female relatives who they are not mahrams for, rather because they are relatives or neighbours. What is the ruling for that? And is it sufficient for the women to place a piece of material on their hands intending to cover it?

Response: It is not permissible for a man to shake hands with a woman (ajnabiyyah), even if she put a piece of material on her hand whilst shaking hands.

And with Allaah lies all success and may Allaah send prayers and salutations upon our Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) and his family and his companions.

The Permanent Committee for Islaamic Research and Fataawa
Fataawa an-Nadthar wal-Khulwah wal-Ikhtilaat - Page 11

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