Shaking Hands with Women

Sep 4, 2010 | Uncategorized


1. I just wanted to make sure. It says that it is haram to shake hands unless necessary. Can you please give me an example of necessary? Is a job interview considered such?

2. In the hidayah, on the section of looking at awrah, it says that for darurah a woman can show her arm and part of her her and that men can shake the hand of women (it may have said older woman). Excuse me if this is wrong as I dont have a copy of the book and I had read this about 8 months ago. Is this the correct position for tha hanafis?

Answered by: Mufti Abdurrahman ibn Yusuf

Assalamu alaykum

In the name of Allah, the Inspirer of truth.

We must keep our trust and gaze on Allah. It is He who will decide which job we will get and which one is beneficial for us. Whatever he wills will happen and not what others want.

There are many ways to get around this dilemma. One brother I know carries a handkerchief with him, especially when he knows that such a situation may arise. He does not necessarily say anything but the other person immediately thinks that he may have an allergy or a cold and does not even extend their hands.

Sometimes, they could be informed of the religious reasons, and that would not be the wise thing to do all the time. Hence, the first idea seems better.

As it has been stated before, one must try his best to avoid sin. And if one commits it then one must repent for it.

Another brother informed me that he got a job after being interviewed by three women. He did not shake hands with any of them.

Yes, if the situation is such that if the person did not shake hands with the women he would be out on the street, then it may be permissible.

The Hanafi position may be that a man can shake the hand of a very elderly woman and certainly not of a younger woman. What it states in the Hidaya is that it is totally unlawful for a man to touch the face and hands of a woman, even if without the fear of lust. Then he brings a hadith that warns against such. However, he states that it is permissible to touch the hands of elderly women.
(Hidaya 4:367)


Mufti Abdurrahman ibn Yusuf