In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Men and Women Shaking hands

Dr.Ahmad Najeeb

I work in an office where there are men and women working together and sometimes I feel constrained to shake hands with some female colleagues. Is that permissible, bearing in mind that I do it while feeling embarrassed and I have no bad intentions or lustful thoughts.

Seeking the help of Allah, Exalted be He, I say:
The question contains two aspects that need to be dealt with separately; they are as follows:
First: It is forbidden for men and women to shake hands. This is because it contradicts the Prophets guidance that is authentically reported from him (peace be upon him). Al-Bukhr and Muslim related and the wording is that of Al-Bukhr on the authority of `Âishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that she said, "The Prophet's hand never touched the hand of a woman except the one he was married to." An-Nas, Ibn Mjah, and Ahmad related the hadth about women pledging allegiance; they related on the authority of Umaymah bint Ruqayqah (may Allah be pleased with her) that Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said, "I do not shake hands with women."

In addition, At-Tabarn related another hadth in his collection with a chain of transmission judged as authentic by Al-Albn; he related on the authority of Ma`qil Ibn Yasr (may Allah be pleased with him) that Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said, "That one of you be pierced in his head with an iron needle is better for him than touching a woman who is not permissible for him to touch."

Accordingly, it is prohibited for men and women to shake hands and the excuses some people make by saying they are embarrassed or constrained to do so carry no weight. When we know that something is true, we must follow it, and a Muslim should not expose himself to temptations or put himself in a position where he is unable to resist something that is forbidden. Besides, one should strive earnestly against one's whims so as not to commit anything that has been prohibited. Allah knows best.


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