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The Handshake with Opp Gender


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#1 Kareem

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 11:22 AM

Interesting question and an issue that many of us are confused by.
Insh'Allah this should clear up anyones misconceptions.
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Source: http://www.islamonli...d=1119503546332

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Title
Shaking Hands with Women: An Islamic Perspective

Question
Dear scholars, As-Salamu `alaykum. I have a problem that undoubtedly many others face. It is shaking hands with women, especially relatives who are not mahram to me, such as my cousins, wives of uncles, or sisters-in-law. Many pious Muslims face this problem, particularly on certain occasions such as coming back from travel, recovering from an illness, returning from Hajj or `Umrah, or similar occasions when relatives, in-laws, neighbors, and colleagues usually visit, congratulate each other and shake hands with each other.

What I am asking is, is it proven in the Glorious Qur
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#2 Village Phantom

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 12:16 PM

Interesting...............but i still wouldnt do it.
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#3 Hayaa

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 01:37 PM

Exellent article.

Intention is pretty important with something like handshaking. I avoid it as much as I can because although I may have good intentions, I have no idea about the intentions of the male.

However, at times I have been put in a situation where it would've been both rude and embarrassing to reject the offered hand (at work sometimes with non-muslims).

Wasalaam

Edited by maryam_s, 26 July 2006 - 05:45 PM.

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#4 stopnot

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 06:45 AM

Assalamu Alaikum,

Ah, to shake or not to shake question.

I say shake the hand of that man and/or woman. Muslim males are not preoccupied with thoughts of sexually penetrating any woman they meet. Likewise, Muslim females are not obsessed by thinking of doing any man they encounter.

Even in the unlike situation of needing to shake hands while in wudu, it would not be such a big problem to shake hands with someone who is valued as a person and yet are not mahram. For valued friends and acquaintances little favors are common so what
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#5 Sam

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 07:45 AM

[quote]The casual touching of members of the opposite sex can only dull our sensitivity to the sexual power of touch. The sense of touch, especially when shared between man and woman, can be the manifestation of the most holy and creative powers available to humankind. Thus, it is reserved for contexts (i.e. marriage) in which it can be utilized in holiness.

The one who is used to shaking hands with members of the opposite sex will never truly appreciate the awesome intimate power of touch.

Far from being prudish or over-sensitive, those who generally refrain from touching members of the opposite sex are truly tapping in to the fullness that life
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#6 Anya

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 10:01 AM

I still wouldn't do it, what's the point of lowering my gaze if I'm going to be touching their hand in a friendly manner?
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#7 lost sista

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 10:53 AM

Shaking hands with the other gender is not Islamic protocol or etiquette. It is not a halal style of greeting. We cannot say it is haram because the hadith narrated for prohibition are weak. It is not halal either. It is Makrooh (disliked). Makrooh means that it is better for a Muslim not to perform it.

so brother stopnot what would u do ? shake the hand and disobey allahs command???
u will never know what the other sex is thinking .. true that ur probably not preoccupied with thoughts of sexually penetrating any woman u meet but u cant say the same about the rest of the muslim popluation
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#8 znood elsit

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 03:32 PM

I don't wholly understand how you could possible get so aroused from a brief handshake or what thought processes people go through. having said that though i don't extend my hand to shake anyones because im told its not right but if someone has their hand out to me i'd rather take it than embarass them, and allah knows best.
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#9 dino_pinky

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 04:46 PM

I don't wholly understand how you could possible get so aroused from a brief handshake or what thought processes people go through. having said that though i don't extend my hand to shake anyones because im told its not right but if someone has their hand out to me i'd rather take it than embarass them, and allah knows best.

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I agree with you znood.... and yes sometimes its hard to decline a handshake if the person has their hand out esp. if its a respected person or someone older.

Edited by dino_pinky, 28 July 2006 - 04:47 PM.

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#10 Village Phantom

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 05:00 PM

[quote name='stopnot' date='Jul 28 2006, 06:45 AM']Assalamu Alaikum,

Ah, to shake or not to shake question.

I say shake the hand of that man and/or woman.  Muslim males are not preoccupied with thoughts of sexually penetrating any woman they meet.  Likewise, Muslim females are not obsessed by thinking of doing any man they encounter. 

Even in the unlike situation of needing to shake hands while in wudu, it would not be such a big problem to shake hands with someone who is valued as a person and yet are not mahram.  For valued friends and acquaintances little favors are common so what
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#11 Anya

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 05:06 PM

If shaking hands is 'acceptable', then it can be assumed that holding hands with someone who is not mahram is also acceptable; after all who is to specify how long the handshake must last, or in which manner it is performed? If it's ok to touch a non-Mahrams hand, then skipping down the street holding hands should be A.O.K right? Since it takes sexual desire to render the touching 'impermissable'.
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#12 Village Phantom

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 05:10 PM

If shaking hands is 'acceptable', then it can be assumed that holding hands with someone who is not mahram is also acceptable; after all who is to specify how long the handshake must last, or in which manner it is performed? If it's ok to touch a non-Mahrams hand, then skipping down the street holding hands should be A.O.K right? Since it takes sexual desire to render the touching 'impermissable'.

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not to mention, a friendly (non sexual) hug, and little hello kiss on the cheeks (no sexual intention of course). :doh:

Edited by Village Phantom, 28 July 2006 - 05:11 PM.

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#13 Anya

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 06:06 PM

not to mention, a friendly (non sexual) hug, and little hello kiss on the cheeks (no sexual intention of course).  :doh:

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Exactly. Or just a little massage, no intentions of anything more. Who says it's haram anyway?
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#14 Hayaa

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 06:30 PM

Shaking hands with the other gender is not Islamic protocol or etiquette. It is not a halal style of greeting. We cannot say it is haram because the hadith narrated for prohibition are weak. It is not halal either. It is Makrooh (disliked). Makrooh means that it is better for a Muslim not to perform it.

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Exactly.

I don't wholly understand how you could possible get so aroused from a brief handshake or what thought processes people go through. having said that though i don't extend my hand to shake anyones because im told its not right but if someone has their hand out to me i'd rather take it than embarass them, and allah knows best.

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I don't think so either (in relation to people getting aroused after a handshake), but I think the reason it should be avoided as much as possible, is that it can encourage interest in the other sex. A handshake may lead to staring at the other person, which may lead to flirting with the other person, and so on.

....  and yes sometimes its hard to decline a handshake if the person has their hand out esp. if its a respected person or someone older.

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Exactly. The other day, HD and I went to visit an elderly doctor (work purposes), non-muslim, and as soon as we walked in, he offered his hand to us both, and we, without a hesitation, shook it. But that was the end of that. So we do occasionally get unexpected situations.
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#15 Anya

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 06:38 PM

I just put my hand on my chest (which is another way of showing respect, seen a lot among the Indonesian community) to show that I am not comfortable shaking their hand.
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#16 stopnot

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 07:59 PM

Village Phantom wrote:

im glad YOU say it, and thats ONLY YOUR opinion.


Assalamu Alaikum,

And, let me guess, hmmm, what YOU say then is, let me think again, hmmmmmm, I got it, I got it

Edited by stopnot, 28 July 2006 - 08:09 PM.

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#17 Anya

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 08:11 PM

Stopknot, I am well aware of that. I am just pointing out that I skip the handshaking part and go straight to placing my hand on my chest (over the heart I believe is the proper place) whenever a non-Mahram extends their hand towards me. That's my way of showing respect without needing to touch them.
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#18 stopnot

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 08:36 PM

Assalamu Alaikum dior,

I didn
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#19 Anya

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 08:42 PM

No, I was just trying to explain what I do in place of shaking hands, and that example came to mind, since it is seen mostly in Indonesian/Malaysian circles. I know they shake hands beforehand, but I am referring the the part that occurs afterwards. That is my way of showing respect, and conveying my disapproval and discomfort of shaking their hand. (Since I avoid shaking their hand for a reason - my belief that it is not Islamically appropriate). It doesn't matter if 99.9% of Muslims are shaking hands - doesn't make it right. (Someone once tried to convince me that if the majority of Muslims do a particular action, that action becomes acceptable, especially if it is the social/cultural norm. That was a fun conversation.)

Edited by dior, 28 July 2006 - 08:44 PM.

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#20 stopnot

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 09:13 PM

dior wrote:

It doesn't matter if 99.9% of Muslims are shaking hands - doesn't make it right.


Assalamu Alaikum dior,

Well, perhaps you cal tell us since there are no hand shake regulations prescribed in the Torah, the Injil and the Quran, and, 99.9% of Muslims are shaking hands
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#21 Anya

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 09:18 PM

I feel it's wrong because I'm told to lower my gaze, and I don't believe that it would be acceptable for me to shake hands with a non-Mahram when it is considered bad adab to even take a good look at them.

Anyway, I'm not going to argue my own personal feelings. You feel it's right, go ahead. It's your Aakhirah, not mine.
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#22 stopnot

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 09:57 PM

Assalamu Alaikum dior,

I
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#23 Sam

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Posted 29 July 2006 - 12:10 AM

Well, perhaps you cal tell us since there are no hand shake regulations prescribed in the Torah, the Injil and the Quran...

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The quote I put up before was from a Jewish site. Jews also have regulations regarding hand shaking (Orthodox Jews that is, not secular of course).

Anyway, there is a more than valid opinion on the matter in Islam, it's not up to anyone to say that a person that doesn't shake non-mahrams hand is doing wrong, no matter what you personally believe.

wasalaam
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#24 dino_pinky

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Posted 29 July 2006 - 11:22 AM

The other day, HD and I went to visit an elderly doctor (work purposes), non-muslim, and as soon as we walked in, he offered his hand to us both, and we, without a hesitation, shook it. But that was the end of that. So we do occasionally get unexpected situations.

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Yes this has happened to me many times before, its an awkward situation to be put in.....

I just put my hand on my chest (which is another way of showing respect, seen a lot among the Indonesian community) to show that I am not comfortable shaking their hand.

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But sometimes ppl dont understand what we are doing and keep their hand out awaiting your handshake in return and then when u explain to them the reason they can get slightly offended... its happened to me before !

And just something slightly away from this discussion......when i graduated this year, the vice chancellor was handing out the graduation certificates and shaking the hand of the recipient.... but it amazed me to see when it was a muslim female he wouldnt shake their hand, yet he held the certificate in both hands and congratulated us and then hand the certificate over, so there was no need for a handshake :) I thought that was great :)
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#25 -Noor-

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Posted 04 August 2006 - 02:44 AM

Salamun alaikum

Once, I went to a Church (my first time visiting one) , and to be really accurate, I got about 7 handshakes offered by some of the Christians there while they were introduced to me. I kindly declined, put my hand on my chest and said that our religion does not permit us to shake the hand with the opposite gender. They were my most embarrassing moments in my life. Yet I do not regret it.

However, and unfort. during my citizenship ceremony, we were to handshake the judge and a few other co. I was afraid not to handhsake him back and I did it :( Till now, I feel AWFUL about it.

May Allah help us all.
*sigh*

#26 Hayaa

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Posted 04 August 2006 - 03:35 PM

Salamun alaikum

Once, I went to a Church (my first time visiting one) , and to be really accurate, I got about 7 handshakes offered by some of the Christians there while they were introduced to me. I kindly declined, put my hand on my chest and said that our religion does not permit us to shake the hand with the opposite gender. They were my most embarrassing moments in my life. Yet I do not regret it.

However, and unfort. during my citizenship ceremony, we were to handshake the judge and a few other co. I was afraid not to handhsake him back and I did it :( Till now, I feel AWFUL about it.
May Allah help us all.
*sigh*

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Sis, please don't have any hangups about that :lol: I'm sure the judge doesn't :lol:
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#27 Hunter

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Posted 04 August 2006 - 04:26 PM

In Western culture it has only become the norm for a man to offer his hand to a woman for the handshake/greeting/meeting thing in the last few decades. I remember the first time a man put his hand out for me to shake it I was horrified and quite a bit embarassed by it. I remember there was quite a discussion around the topic of male to female handshakes at the time with radio, newspaper and TV getting in on the discussion. All the experts in etiquette decided that it was not good manners.

Slowly but surely though, over the last 30 or so years, this has become common practice. It has become so normal now that two women being introduced will shake each others hand which is something which was NEVER done until very recently. Be that as it may, I never initiate a handshake.
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#28 Sam

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Posted 04 August 2006 - 04:43 PM

Very interesting, I wasn't aware of that Hunter, thanks.
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#29 Hunter

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Posted 04 August 2006 - 08:39 PM

Just as a bit of a background to the handshake thing.

The practice came about to show the person you were meeting/greeting that you didn't have a weapon in your sword hand. It was meant to indicate peace and trust and all that good stuff.

An interesting Australian Aboriginal greeting between two men was to look each other in the eye and hold the other man's 'old fella'. It's very hard to do something untoward and life threatening when the other bloke is hanging onto that special part of your anatomy.
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#30 Hunter

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Posted 04 August 2006 - 08:58 PM

In regards to handshakes with women I remembered this further bit of etiquette.

A man should never initiate a handshake with a women, however, if the woman decided to honour the man she could either do a slight bow or extend her hand, palm down and with the fingers curved downwards. The man would then very lightly grasp the tips of the four fingers for a second or two and bend very slightly over the hand (a very tiny bow using the upper body only). The hand contact could also be accompanied by a slight bow from the female (more of a nod actually).

It was considered highly impolite for a man to shake hands whilst wearing gloves, however it was considered impolite for a woman to remove her glove.

And yes, I remember going into Sydney CBD shopping smartly dressed in practical heels, stockings, hat, gloves. That was in the mid to late 60s.

I also remember when every Australian man wore a hat and would remove his hat when passing you in the street. I suppose these days that would be pretty impractical.

Edited by Hunter, 04 August 2006 - 09:09 PM.

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