1.11.2007

To Shake or Not to Shake ...
















I stopped shaking altogether about five years ago.
For the most part, I believe the nodding of my head and smiling has not been taken as offensive. Some men (muslim and non-muslim) have taken a while to pull their hands back, time standing still while they come to the realisation that I don't wish to make that kind of contact. Perhaps some have walked away thinking me to be an extremist, but I truly doubt it. In fact, I received a compliment from an orthodox jewish manager of the company I used to work for. He said that his son had often reminded him that he should not shake the hands of women and that he respected my position.

Some say that it "comes with the job". They say that shaking hands is necessary when your vocation requires "good public relations". It is somehow an integral part of your work. If you don't shake, you offend. When in Rome...

Well, it's a matter of principles for me. There are some things I don't wish to compromise. I think I see my life (my spiritual path) as one that will cause me to accumulate more and more "things I don't wish to compromise". I feel that this is part of my increasing iman.

Just as there is no compulsion in Islam, I don't feel that anyone should stop shaking hands with members of the opposite sex unless they truly feel that it is wrong. So, I won't preach about it. I won't quote any qur'anic ayat or hadith. I will simply invite comments and hope that in the course of dialogue each will come closer to Allah's will.


p.s. The photographs I've chosen should not be taken to imply my approval of or disdain for Ahmadinejad or Rice. LOL, just happened to come across and like these particular photos. Besides, any talk about these two figures would need to be addressed in another post. Hmmm...

3 comments:

Shaikha said...

Assalamu'alaikum ya Ukht,

Frankly, I hope I can stop shaking hands with non-mahram but truthfully, I do still shake hands with them occassionally (usually Non-Muslims)

I usually will try to nod & smile, hoping they will understand.. however, they sometimes extend their hands and I felt obligated to accept it (May Allah forgive me, if it's wrong)

My hb, on the contrary, does not feel that shaking-hands is wrong in Islam, as long as yr intentions are right. My father on ther contrary will 'kill' me if he see me doing this...

So there u go !! I wish I don't hv to.. but I sometimes still do... Wallahu-alam

KadidiaTerri said...

thank you for your comment Sister :-)

Why do you think your father would be unhappy to see you shaking the hand of a man? Have you ever asked about or discussed this subject? I think that there should be more dialogue and less threatening behaviour in our relationships with other Muslims. We have to remember there is no compulsion in Islam.

May I add a quote from Shaykh Abdal Qadir as-Sufi's book, "The Way of Muhammad"?

"Muhammad (saw) was forebearing, honest, just and chaste. His hand never touched the hand of a woman over whom he did not have rights."

Surely our prophet was put into this world as an example to us. We can never be exactly like him but we can certainly look towards him as a role model.

I think that out of faith, we can adopt practices that we don't quite understand the value of, in hopes that Allah will reveal their value to us.

Anonymous said...

Assalamu alaikum

I think I face this problem too, especially with nonmuslims.

However we are shure that it is wrong since our prophet s.a.w.s didn't do it never, like you mentioned above.

Acctually we need to know how could we avoid this wrong practice and not feel shame to say "no" when someone wants to shake hand with us.

So this is my comment, I dont know what to add more. Sorry for the mistakes...

Wassalam...