|It is Not Allowed for a Woman to Shake the Hand of a Non-Mahram Man|
|Fiqh: Islamic Jurisprudence - Woman|
|Written by Abdul-Aziz Bin Baz|
Question: Some tribes have customs that go against the pure Shariah. 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 (peace be upon him) Who said, when the women were giving the pledge of allegiance to him,
"I do not shake the hands of women."1
It is also confirmed that Aisha said, "By Allah, the hand of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) never touched another woman [other than his wives]. He used to take their pledges verbally only."2 Allah has said,
"Indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in [the meeting with] Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much" (al-Ahzab 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 Allah's statement,
"O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any other women. If you keep your duty [to Allah, then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire, but speak in an honorable manner" (al-Ahzab 32).
During the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) 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 (peace be upon him) 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.
Shaikh ibn Baz
1. Recorded by Malik, Ahmad, al-Nasal, al-Tirmidhi and ibn Majah. Al-Albani has graded it sahih. Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami, vol. 1, p. 494.
2. Recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim.--JZ
Islamic Fatawa Regarding Women - Darussalam Pg.256-257
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