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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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40 minutes ago, starlight said:

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

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

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

 

We don't HAVE to see things as they see things or do what they do because of any reason. But knowing and understanding these things are important. I mentioned that in my earlier post that I'm not saying that anyone shouldn't abstain from shaking hands if they believe they will better keep themselves pure that way. By all means, do so. What I WAS saying was that I didn't agree with not shaking hands or not hugging and that by perhaps compromising a little, we could build a better relationship with the non-Muslims and improve our image. And ultimately that could bring more people to Islam.

I feel like you think I don't have limits or are unsure as to where they are regarding this handshaking stuff. =/ Even some Westerners don't feel comfortable with kissing on the cheek unless it's something their clique does already within themselves. Like posh artists or Kardashians. I don't see myself meeting with them anytime soon and I'm not sure they even do that. =/ Girlfriends in the West would be jealous as well if their boyfriends kissed cheeks with another hot girl. Regardless, handshakes and hugs are the limit for me.

I did mention my post that I knew a hadeeth where one of the sahaba said outright that they never saw the Prophet touch a woman he wasn't married to. And this was when he was taking pledges of allegiance from people escaping Makkah too. Obviously, if you read a hadeeth, it's an opportunity to emulate him. But my point was that just because the hadeeth mentioned that no one saw the Prophet do something, doesn't automatically make it haram. There are somethings that he actually didn't do and people knew about it and it STILL isn't haram. =/ Like garlic. The Prophet refused to eat anything with garlic because he "converses with those we can not see". It's the smell. Doesn't make it haram though. Should we emulate him in this? Yeah. But we don't have to.

There are some things that didn't even exist at the time of the Prophet and people ask if it's haram to use these things. Just because he didn't use certain things, doesn't mean you can't use those things. That's an extreme version of emulating him. Innocent till proven guilty. Halal till proven haram.

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On 6/15/2019 at 10:49 PM, Ibn Al-Shahid said:

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. 

Living in the west will only shake hands with the opposite sex if they extend their hands. We will never be the first to extend our hands. But I don't know any Muslim which hugs the opposite sex... 

I'll tell you a little story about my mother and grandmother. Where I live there's these things known as "parent consultations" where the parents will go into their children's schools to meet the teachers. Every parents consultation my mother and my grandmother (my grandmother went to my mother's consultations about 35 years ago) they wore gloves on their hands so their skin wouldn't come into contact with any male teacher, yes it looked weird, especially in the summer, but they still did it. And my mother still does today. 

On 6/15/2019 at 10:49 PM, Ibn Al-Shahid said:

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.

"Bigger actions" lol. It's just a friendly gesture and sometimes a even a PROFESSIONAL gesture. 

It's not uncommon for teachers at my school to have some contact. For example sometimes teachers will sit to students (me included) to help them with the work and there's definitely "close" contact there... But it's pury professional, it's not like you can just get up and and sit in the next seat. 

Another example, at my place of education they have these *annoying* social exercises once a week and one of yesterday's dumb activities involved me holding hands with a girl. Didn't mean anything, didn't "feel" anything and it would definitely never lead to "bigger actions" 

I think the main point is, if you have to have physical contact with the opposite sex which isn't "bigger actions", for us there's no problem it doesn't mean anything. 

But if we're in a situation where it's not necessary or needed then we simply don't have the physical contact even if we're sure it won't lead to "bigger actions"... 

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On 6/16/2019 at 2:49 AM, 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.

Will you touch anyone's mobile without its owner's permission ?

For touching anyone, you have to take permission from its owner. Allah (عزّ وجلّ) is owner of all men and women and anyone who wants to touch any man or woman should take permission through Nikah and then no problem to touch.

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Putting a red line between two beings that have a high possibility of attracting.

It all starts with a touch. People don’t just end up in bed.

but also to emphasize, red lines are different than separation. And most our communities now adays go for complete separation of men and women, where we end up with men and women looking at each other with pure lust only. And a simple interaction could lead to flares. Which also creates sick societies.

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On 6/15/2019 at 4:49 PM, Ibn Al-Shahid said:

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

Let's look at the biochemical changes associated with touching hands.

1.Touch appears to affect multiple brain regions at conscious and unconscious levels.

Do you know how many touch receptors are there in the skin of hands which get stimulated when we shake hands? Receptors which connect with parts of our brain like limbic system- the part of the brain concerned with emotions and feelings. There is stimulation of the reward centre in the brain after a friendly handshake and guess what we want more of that. Deny it all you want but that's how it is, that's the genetic programming of all vertebrates. 

2. Receptors stimulated after touching transmit signals by way of nerves which can go and affect the heart rate.

3.Friendly touching alters hormone levels in our blood. It decreases cortisol levels, the hormone associated with stress and it increases oxytocin levels the 'cuddle' hormone which makes us feel closer to people.

We all know the sensation of stress, that we maybe didn't even know we were holding, leaving our bodies at someone's friendly touch. 

2. Hugging - transfer of pheromones and stimulation of olfactory system (sense of smell) that is DIRECTLY connected to our limbic system and is very strongly related with emotions. 

You can say shaking hands with a namehram doesn't affect your emotions in anyway but scientific evidence says otherwise.

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