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In the Name of God بسم الله

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السلام عليكم

I’ll be playing devil’s advocate here. This is not what I believe but this is what needs to be said to generated a lengthier discussion.

People who live in the west are generally shocked when you tell them that as a Muslim you don’t hug or shake the opposite sex’s hand. 

When you tell them that it would lead to bigger actions they always tell you “I have been doing it for years and have never went further than that with any guy/girl.” “Not if they’re just friends” “I have a girlfriend so with other women it doesn’t go further than that” , etc.

So what are the reasons why we don’t touch the opposite sex? Other than “Allah told us not to”?

I will counter argue all the points posted in this thread so that we get more and more answers and delve deeper to why it is haram, not just surface reasons.

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Done enough times and certain emotions start to form. We know hugs and close contact cause effects on our cortisol levels, I wouldn't be at all surprised if continuous contact like hugs with someone unrelated of the opposite gender (especially someone you are not in an intimate relationship with) would cause certain sexual or affection based hormones to increase in the body. Same with shaking hands, shake hands once and it's the norm for conducting or opening business, a greeting, but do it several times with that person then the intention is obviously mischievous.

Edited by aaaz1618

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I disagree about people being shocked about it. Most know it. It isn't just Muslims who don't do it. In fact it seems it is largely only westerners who do do it.

Touching isn't prohibited in itself. Except by sharia but that isn't directly related to Islam.

However with all the guidelines both direct and indirect as well as general modesty there remains little reason to touch the opposite sex.

however I would never subscribe to "it would lead to bigger actions."

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6 minutes ago, aaaz1618 said:

Done enough times and certain emotions start to form. We know hugs and close contact cause effects on our cortisol levels, I wouldn't be at all surprised if continuous contact like hugs with someone unrelated of the opposite gender (especially someone you are not in an intimate relationship with) would cause certain sexual or affection based hormones to increase in the body.

Is this a bad thing? Sexuality is so strongly within a person they can't be expected to be without feelings. Or to aspire to be so.

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54 minutes ago, aaaz1618 said:

Done enough times and certain emotions start to form. We know hugs and close contact cause effects on our cortisol levels, I wouldn't be at all surprised if continuous contact like hugs with someone unrelated of the opposite gender (especially someone you are not in an intimate relationship with) would cause certain sexual or affection based hormones to increase in the body. Same with shaking hands, shake hands once and it's the norm for conducting or opening business, a greeting, but do it several times with that person then the intention is obviously mischievous.

You provide inklings of science but then sabotage it by saying things like “I wouldn’t be surprised” and “intention is obviously mischievous”. The first one discredits your scientific point and the second one is based on no evidence, mere interpretation of someone’s intention, which you have no actual knowledge over. Shaking hands with the same person several times could also be a sign of politeness and a general greetings the public accepts.

To your hormones point I would say: I doubt someone will shake hands, get his hormones so worked up by that little interaction and then go have sex. Unless he’s dealing with a prostitute.

Come on guys... we need stronger arguments and reasonings. Perhaps we should try searching our philosophy and hadith books. I’m going to do that now. 

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1 hour ago, Ibn Al-Shahid said:

To your hormones point I would say: I doubt someone will shake hands, get his hormones so worked up by that little interaction and then go have sex. Unless he’s dealing with a prostitute.

Come on guys... we need stronger arguments and reasonings. Perhaps we should try searching our philosophy and hadith books. I’m going to do that now. 

The reason there is no shaking hands is because the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wassallam) didn't do that. However, he didn't prohibit it. It is said it is permissable if the woman is wearing gloves. The hand shake should be very light.

This is practiced in many other cultures as well. Some just don't consider it polite to shake hands with women.

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12 hours ago, Ibn Al-Shahid said:

السلام عليكم

I’ll be playing devil’s advocate here. This is not what I believe but this is what needs to be said to generated a lengthier discussion.

People who live in the west are generally shocked when you tell them that as a Muslim you don’t hug or shake the opposite sex’s hand. 

When you tell them that it would lead to bigger actions they always tell you “I have been doing it for years and have never went further than that with any guy/girl.” “Not if they’re just friends” “I have a girlfriend so with other women it doesn’t go further than that” , etc.

So what are the reasons why we don’t touch the opposite sex? Other than “Allah told us not to”?

I will counter argue all the points posted in this thread so that we get more and more answers and delve deeper to why it is haram, not just surface reasons.

Sayyid Sistani says that you cannot shake hands with the opposite gender without a barrier

A lot of non Muslims already know about it, but some Muslims think its alright to shake hands

so when they see that they think that Muslims are allowed to shake hands

 

 

Edited by 3wliya_maryam

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12 hours ago, Ibn Al-Shahid said:

You provide inklings of science but then sabotage it by saying things like “I wouldn’t be surprised” and “intention is obviously mischievous”. The first one discredits your scientific point and the second one is based on no evidence, mere interpretation of someone’s intention, which you have no actual knowledge over. Shaking hands with the same person several times could also be a sign of politeness and a general greetings the public accepts.

To your hormones point I would say: I doubt someone will shake hands, get his hormones so worked up by that little interaction and then go have sex. Unless he’s dealing with a prostitute.

Come on guys... we need stronger arguments and reasonings. Perhaps we should try searching our philosophy and hadith books. I’m going to do that now. 

I highlight a point in bold which you make which shows me you haven't grasped what I am saying. Why is it one extreme or the other? I never said shaking hands will make you go and have sex, I said contact over time continuously can get the hormones going. That doesn't naturally mean sex, we don't all think about sex all day, do we? Anyway...

How many times have you shaked hands with someone of the opposite gender several times for politeness? It does not happen. Even if you had a female manager, maximum you'd shake hands is once at the start of the job and once when you leave if you leave on good terms. 

I write what I write from my own experience, so actually, yes, unlike a lot of people on here who have been sheltered from such acts, masha'Allah alhamdulillah, but sadly as someone who came to this religion rather than was born into a pious family, I do have knowledge. When I wasn't religious, if I hugged a female friend a few times I would start to feel some slight attraction. Even to friends who I wouldn't be into if I was looking for a girlfriend. That is how people are often 'wired', no escaping that fact, I'm sure even religious books would agree. 

I don't know what other argument you are looking for, perhaps not the ones anyone can make on here, but insha'Allah you'll find answers in the books.

Edited by aaaz1618

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1 hour ago, 3wliya_maryam said:

Sayyid Sistani says that you cannot shake hands with the opposite gender without a barrier

A lot of non Muslims already know about it, but some Muslims think its alright to shake hands

so when they see that they think that Muslims are allowed to shake hands

 

 

But what does he base this on?

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16 hours ago, Ibn Al-Shahid said:

السلام عليكم

I’ll be playing devil’s advocate here. This is not what I believe but this is what needs to be said to generated a lengthier discussion.

People who live in the west are generally shocked when you tell them that as a Muslim you don’t hug or shake the opposite sex’s hand. 

When you tell them that it would lead to bigger actions they always tell you “I have been doing it for years and have never went further than that with any guy/girl.” “Not if they’re just friends” “I have a girlfriend so with other women it doesn’t go further than that” , etc.

So what are the reasons why we don’t touch the opposite sex? Other than “Allah told us not to”?

I will counter argue all the points posted in this thread so that we get more and more answers and delve deeper to why it is haram, not just surface reasons.

If one is shaking or hugging because his or her underlying intentions are for sexual intimacy then it is obviously forbidden.  

Do you agree with this at least?

Edited by eThErEaL

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I've never really agreed with the idea that a person can't or shouldn't shake the hands or hug a person of the opposite gender. That means teachers, future business partners, police, possible in-laws etc. can't be shown this gesture of peace and comfort. You want to discuss consequences? Not doing this paints a bad picture of yourself to whoever you reject a hug or handshake from and generally just makes you look weird. Not because you didn't explain things "correctly", but because even if you did explain that it's a religious thing, which people in the Western places do accept, there just some things just using your religion as an excuse still brings questions. Like "why". And they will wonder without answer. It could cost you things like a job application or a good impression on your convert interest's non-Muslim parents. 

Islam is an entirely logical religion. All things that we do have reason and benefits behind them. We don't always know what the reasons are as some knowledge is with Allah alone, but the only reasons I've been told about why we shouldn't do these things is "because it's haram in the religion" and "I'm going to go to my room with lotion with a box of tissues afterwards".

Anything you do can be blown out of proportion with lack of self-control. Women are a known weakness to men. So should we lock them up at home and protect our men from their beauty? No. So we let them walk the streets as all people do as they go about their day. WHAT? They walk the streets? So should we hide at home to protect ourselves from their beauty? Women are only NOW allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia. Like WHAT?

Don't get me wrong, if you want to avoid all physical contact with the opposite gender to protect your purity, by all means, do so. The intention is sound. May Allah reward you for your efforts. But to make a ruling based on those that can't handle a 1 second handshake with someone they're not married to is not okay in my opinion. By making rules that benefit the weakest of us do not help make them stronger. It makes things harder on everyone else that doesn't have that problem or have bad intentions. This is actually a problem right now in the West. Too many whiners who think they have the entitlement to voice whatever garbage they want and cause unnecessary conflict over the smallest of 'issues'. They're called SJWs. And Karens. Who do you think created the 99+ genders and gender identification over there? These people. Some more consequences to think about related to making fatwas, new laws etc. instead of just practicing and teaching self-awareness and self-control. 

So far this has all been just my own personal stream of thought as well as the limit of my thought process on the matter, but I really do think that it seems like a lot of Muslims nowadays are quick to make and throw rulings around and shove their thoughts down people's throats INSTEAD of THINKING about WHY a sheikh or scholar came to a particular conclusion of their own or UNDERSTANDING why Allah and the Prophet orders things from us. How can you explain your religion to the non-Muslims if your only reason for doing things is "my parents said so and so", "my sheikh or scholar said so and so" etc? Even the people you follow have their reasons. It's up to us to show people Islam. We are the face of the religion. Have your reasons and understanding of a concept as well as the final judgement. You will teach no one like this. I know you can't MAKE anyone agree with you, that's up to them. But you CAN explain your religion, but only if you have more to say. And avoid arguing. There is a fine line between explaining and arguing.

There is no blind following in Islam. The wisest of us understands our religion which strengthens our iman.

So here's some evidence I have. It's not a direct touch on the topic, but it should explain my thought processes better.

I read a hadeeth that not once did the sahaba see the Prophet touch a person of the opposite gender. However I never read anything saying he objected someone who did it. Perhaps the evidence disappeared in time and is buried somewhere, but I follow what I can find and I avoid assumption. As it is told to do in the Qur'an, to avoid assumption or suspicion.

Islam is said to be easy in one of the ayahs in the Qur'an and that to make it hard on one's self, will destroy that person. So I make Islam easy on myself. I know you've heard stories of Muslims leaving Islam because it was difficult for them and that they just couldn't understand certain things. I've actually met and spoke and tried to answer some of their questions and erase their doubts. Not shaking hands or giving people hugs makes me very stressed out and makes the atmosphere uncomfortable. Non-Muslims see hugs and handshakes as small and therefore something anyone should be able to just do from any religion or race. It's a gesture of peace and by rejecting it makes us look like we aren't peaceful people. We handshake each other anyways and they know it too. =/ I've tried abstaining and done it for about a year, but I couldn't justify it any longer.

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49 minutes ago, Subhan_Allah_Wa_Bihumdih said:

Non-Muslims see hugs and handshakes as small and therefore something anyone should be able to just do from any religion or race.

Why do we have to follow how non Muslims see things?

52 minutes ago, Subhan_Allah_Wa_Bihumdih said:

Not doing this paints a bad picture of yourself to whoever you reject a hug or handshake from and generally just makes you look weird.

In some western cultures a peck on the cheek is akin to handshake, a simple hello, Would you be okay with that too?

56 minutes ago, Subhan_Allah_Wa_Bihumdih said:

I read a hadeeth that not once did the sahaba see the Prophet touch a person of the opposite gender.

What about following the Sunnah of Prophet(صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) Our goal should be to emulate him.

 

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