Is it in the Islam allowed for a man to shake hands with a woman?
Question: What is the Islamic scholastic theorem that the male and female work together in Dutch shops, factories, hospitals, offices and more. When a male or female enters upon duty, they shake hands on arrival, there is no compliance with the Islamic rules of etiquette between the man and the woman. I am such a man that at least I have my faithful religion, that I am ashamed when I have to shake hands with the woman. Although, if I do not give a hand, it will be considered as prejudice and retrogressive. The colleagues will not consider it a good thing. So is it also permitted or not in the Islamic law to shake hands with the women of the Book [Christians and Jews] and the polytheistic women?
Answer: shaking the hand to unmarriageable kin [Mahram] (mother, grandmother, mother-in-law, daughter, granddaughter, etc.) is feasible. If it is marriageable [non-Mahram] and they just work in a hospital, office or other types of work then it is unlawful [haram] to shake hands with them, because it is a means to cause schism [fitna].
One female companion with complete continence wanted to shake hands with the Prophet (peace be upon him) to obtain blessings. So she held out her hands and the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “I do not shake hands with women.” [Sunan al-Nasa’i: 4181]
And another hadith is mentioned in the Sahihayn in which Lady ‘Aisha relates: “By Allah, he never touched the hand of any woman at the vow of allegiance, and never took their vows of allegiance except by his words.” [Sahih al-Bukhari: 2713]
Women of the Book [Christians and Jews] or polytheistic women are non-Mahram, to shake hands is unlawful [haram], of which abstinence is necessary. Islamic law, unlike any country or people, their customs and rituals have no priority, and no concern will be expressed against any ridicule. And Allah knows best.
Mufti ‘Abd al-Wajid al-Qadiri
Islamic Foundation Netherlands
Fatawa Europe: p. 532
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