Riyad Us-Saliheen (Gardens of the Righteous)

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  • Riyad Us-Saliheen (Gardens of the Righteous)

  • Chapter 143
    Excellence of Hand shaking at the time of Meeting

    885. Abu Khattab Qatadah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I asked Anas: "Did the Companions of Messenger of Allah (PBUH) use to shake hands?'' He said: "Yes.''

    Commentary: To shake hands with somebody is a welcome sign and the practice of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH). The social behaviour of the Companions also included handshaking along with saying `As-Salamu `Alaikum.'

    886. Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: When the people of Yemen came, the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "The people of Yemen have visited you. They are the first to introduce the tradition of handshaking.''
    [Abu Dawud].

    Commentary:  This Hadith shows that the custom of handshaking was prevalent in Yemen. When some Yemenites came to see the Prophet (PBUH), they displayed their practice of handshake. He liked and approved it as his Sunnah.

    887. Al-Bara' (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Two Muslims will not meet and shake hands without having their sins forgiven (by Allah ) before they depart.''
    [Abu Dawud].

    Commentary:  Herein, we are told that Allah forgives the minor sins of the two believers who shake hands. However, major sins cannot be forgiven without heartfelt repentance with its conditions. As for our duty towards our fellow-humans, it is inescapable, and a failure in this regard is not forgiven. To sum up, when two Muslims meet and shake hands, two benefits accrue to them. Firstly, their mutual love increases, and secondly, their minor sins are pardoned by Allah.

    888. Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: A man asked: "O Messenger of Allah! When a man meets a brother or a friend, should he bow to him?'' He said, "No.'' The man asked whether he should embrace and kiss him? The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) replied, "No.'' He asked whether he should hold his hand and shake it? The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) replied, "Yes.''

    Commentary: Here, we are clearly told that when two Muslims meet they are not allowed to bow. Some say the bowing must not come down to the position as assumed in Ruku`. But the Hadith imposes a total ban on it. There is no question of more or less degree of bowing, still less of touching the knees and feet of anybody. Here embracing has been prohibited too, but the prohibition is effective only if the kissing of hands is also involved. Otherwise, some Ahadith allow embracing, particularly on return from a journey or when two persons meet after a long time. Thirdly, the Hadith is absolutely clear on handshake. The question put to the Prophet u was about taking a single hand to which he had replied in the affirmative. There was no reference to taking or using both hands for handshake.

    889. Safwan bin `Assal (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: A Jew asked his companion to take him to the Prophet (PBUH); and when they came to the Messenger of Allah (PBUH), they asked him about the nine clear signs (given to Prophet Musa). Safwan narrated the long Hadith which concludes: They kissed the hands and feet of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) and said: "We testify that you are a Prophet.''
    [At-Tirmidhi] (Unapproved Hadith).

    890. In a narration of Ibn Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) at the end of the narration of the Hadith ) he said: "We came near the Prophet (PBUH) and kissed his hand.''
    [Abu Dawud] (Weak Hadith).

    891. `Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: Zaid bin Harithah came to the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) when he was in my house. Zaid knocked at the door. The Prophet (PBUH) rose to receive him, trailing his garment. He embraced and kissed him.

    Commentary: Since Muhammad bin Ishaq, known for his delusive tendency, happens to be a narrator in this Hadith, Sheikh Al-Albani deems it deficient. Indeed, Hadith memorizers and researchers believe that the Ahadith about the kissing of hand are weak and deficient from the viewpoint of authenticity. The two persons should, therefore, confine to handshake when they meet. Though there is no harm if they embrace.

    892. Abu Dharr (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said to me, "Do not belittle any good deed, even your meeting with your brother (Muslim) with a cheerful face.''

    Commentary: This Hadith has already been reported. See the commentary on Hadith No. 695.

    893. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) kissed his grandson Hasan bin `Ali in the presence of Aqra` bin Habis. Thereupon Aqra` remarked: "I have ten children and I have never kissed any one of them.'' The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) cast a glance upon him and said, "He who does not show mercy to others, will not be shown mercy.''
    [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

    Commentary: This Hadith has already been placed earlier. To pamper and kiss children is an expression of compassion and kindness. One who lacks this tender quality and fails to behave kind-heartedly towards people, may be deprived of Divine mercy. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) has said, "Have compassion for others, Allah will have mercy on you.'' On another occasion the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Be merciful to others and Allah will have mercy on you, and forgive (others), you will be forgiven.''


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