What is the ruling on the practice ...

Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta

What is the ruling on the practice of shaking hands after prayer?


What is the ruling on the practice of shaking hands after prayer?


Shaking hands is a recommended act in itself. Al-Nawwawi said: “It is a Sunnah which occurs upon meeting.” Ibn Batal said: “According to the majority of scholars, shaking hands is considered a commendable act.” The scholars of the various schools of jurisprudence have documented the recommended nature of shaking hands between men, using as proof text the hadith narrated by Kab Ibn Malik who said: “I entered the mosque and the Messenger of God was present. Talha Ibn Ubaydullah got up and quickly approached me, taking me by the hand and greeting me.” Qatada asked Anas: “Did the Prophet’s Companions shake hands with one another?” “Yes,” replied Anas. It was also narrated on the authority of Ata Ibn Abu Muslim Abdullah Al-Khurasani who said that the Messenger of God said: “Shake hands [with one another] and hatred will dissipate, exchange gifts and you will love one another and rancor will vanish.”

None of the scholars has maintained the impermissibility of shaking hands after prayer. Quite the contrary, they maintained its recommendation and said that it is either a praiseworthy or permissible innovation. Imam Al-Nawawi said: “To shake hands with someone you did not greet before prayer is a praiseworthy innovation, and to shake hands with someone you greeted before prayer is a permissible innovation.”

Al-Haskafi said: “Al-Timirtashi, in accordance with Al-Durr, Al-Kanz, Al-Wiqaya, Al-Niqaya, Al-Mujma, Al-Multaqi, and other works, has ruled that it is permissible to shake hands at any time even after the afternoon prayer. What is meant by it being an innovation, is that it is a praiseworthy innovation as has been mentioned by Al-Nawawi in his Adhkar.” After mentioning all the jurists from the Hanafi school who maintained the praiseworthiness of shaking hands at any time, Ibn Abdin said: “This conforms with what the commentator has mentioned with regards to the texts of the school. He used as text proof the general implication of the texts permitting hand shaking.”

Other scholars have said that handshaking is praiseworthy under all circumstances after prayer. This was the position advanced by Al-Tabari based on the hadith narrated by Abu Juhayfah who said: “At noon, the Messenger of God went to Batha’ where he performed ablution. He then prayed the noon prayer as two rak’as [cycle of prayer] and the midafternoon prayer as two rak’as. Before him was a short stick. The people stood and started taking his hand and wiped their faces with it.” Abu Juhayfa continued, “I took his hand and placed it on my face; it was colder than ice, and more fragrant than musk” [recorded by Bukhari and Ahmad]. Al-Tabari said that one can draw upon this hadith for the tradition of shaking hands after prayers, especially after the midafternoon and sunset prayer, when it is done with a good objective.

After dividing innovation into five categories which are mandatory, prohibited, reprehensible, recommended, and permissible, Al-Izz Ibn Abd Al-Salam said that shaking hands right after morning and midafternoon prayers is an example of permissible innovations.”

Al-Nawawi said: “As for the habit of shaking hands after the morning and midafternoon prayer, Sheikh Abd Al-Salam maintained that it is a permissible innovation and it cannot be described as being either reprehensible or recommended. His opinion is agreeable, and the preferred opinion is that it is permissible for a person to shake hands with another who was with him before prayer and it is recommended to shake hands with another who was not with him before prayer. This is because shaking hands upon meeting is deemed a Sunnah by scholarly consensus due to the rigorously authentic hadith narrated on this subject.”

From this, it becomes evident that whoever criticizes this action either has no knowledge of what we have mentioned or is not on the path of knowledge in the first place.

And God the Almighty knows best.

Share this:

Related Fatwas