Is it permissible for a devout muslim, married woman to shake hands with men other than her husband?

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)


One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:


Dear Brother,


Is it permissible for a devout muslim, married woman to shake hands with men other than her husband?




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Shake hands with non mehram

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 33 Surah Al Ahzaab verse 59:

O Prophet!  Tell your wives and daughters,  and the women of the believers,  that they should cast their outer garments over their persons.  It is expected that they will be recognized and that they will not be molested.   And Allah is Oft Forgiving,  Most Merciful.


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 24 Surah An-Noor verse 31:

And O Prophet,  enjoin the believing women to restrain their gaze and guard their modesty and not to display their adornment except that which is displayed of itself (their face and hands),  and to draw their veils over their bosoms and not to display their adornment except before their husbands, their fathers,  the fathers of their husbands, their sons and the sons of their husbands,  their brothers,  their brothers sons, their sisters’ sons,  their female associates, and those in their possession and male attendants incapable of sexual desire,  and those boys who have not yet attained knowledge of sexual matters.   Also forbid them to stamp their feet on the ground lest their hidden ornaments should be displayed.


Other than their husbands, it is absolutely permissible for the believing women to shake their hands of their father, their father-in-law, their sons, their step-sons, their brothers, their nephews, and all other mehram male relatives, if they wish to do so.


It is absolutely forbidden for a believing woman, who sincerely fears Allah and the Last Day to touch a non-mehram member of the opposite sex.


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 33 Surah Ahzaab verse 53:

53      O ye who Believe! Enter not the Prophet's houses until leave is given you for a meal (and then) not (so early as) to wait for its preparation: but when ye are invited enter; and when ye have taken your meal disperse without seeking familiar talk.  Such (behavior) annoys the Prophet: He is ashamed to dismiss you, but Allah is not ashamed (to tell you) the truth.  And when ye ask (The Prophet’s wives) for anything ye want ask them from before a screen: that makes for greater purity for your hearts and for theirs.  Nor is it right for you that ye should annoy Allah's Messenger or that ye should marry his widows after him at any time.  Truly such a thing is in Allah's Sight an enormity.


If one studies the above quoted verse of Surah Ahzaab, Allah Subhanah is commanding some of the most pious and God-fearing men who ever walked on this earth, the noble companions of the Prophet (saws) that if and when they wish to talk or ask for anything from the Prophet’s wives, who themselves were some of the most pious and God-fearing women who ever walked on this planet earth…..they should do so from behind a screen or a veil, for that makes for greater piety for their hearts!  


Leave alone the issue of shaking hands on non-mehrams, the Lord Most High has Commanded the noble and pious companions and the noble and chaste wives of the Prophet (saws), that if even they, for any genuine reason, may need to talk or ask anything from each other, it is best done from behind a screen or veil.


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone.  Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your brother and well wisher in Islam,






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