Elders touching head of young

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:

Assalaamu alaikum,

I converted to Islam five years ago, Alhamdulillah, and soon I will be moving soon to Pakistan to live with my Pakistani husband and his family. When I visited before, I saw a practice wherein elder people rub the head of younger people. If the younger person is tall, if the older person is seated, or sometimes just for the sake of doing so, the younger person will bend at the hip and/or knee (looks like bowing to me) to adjust their height and ficilitate the head rubbing. Sometimes I have seen the younger person reach in the direction of the feet of the older person as well, although I never saw someone actually phisacally touch the feet. I want to know what is this act. I did ask some people there and I was told that the older person is making du'a for the younger person. This du'ya/head rubbing happens between men and women as well. Is this something permissable for me to allow to happen to me? Is it permissable for me to allow men to do this to me? Also (not that this matters) my husband and

 

(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)

 

Answer:

 

Elders touching head of young

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 no one (no idol,  no person,  no grave, no prophet,  no imam,  no dai,  nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

 

The elders stroking the head of the youth or loved ones,  is considered a sign of their adoration,  affection,  and love in the Indian subcontinent area and part of their culture.   There is absolutely no harm if an elder strokes the head of the young loved one,  provided it is done within the boundaries of Islam.   A non-mehram member cannot touch a member of the opposite sex if both have reached the age of puberty or sex-consciousness.   But if one is a elder mehram,  like one’s father,  or brother,  or uncle,  or the husband’s father or husband’s grand-father,  there is absolutely no harm in them stroking your head as a sign of their love and adoration for you.   Alternatively,  there is absolutely no harm if you stroke the head of a child who has not reached the age of sex-consciousness,  as a sign of your love and adoration for the child of a loved one.

 

Stroking the head of a child,  especially an orphan child,  is a deed worthy of a great reward from Allah Subhanah as stated by the Messenger of Allah (saws).

 

Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 4974        Narrated by AbuUmamah

Allah's Messenger (saws) said, "If anyone strokes an orphan's head, doing so only for Allah's sake, he will have blessings for every hair over which his hand passes;  and if anyone treats well an orphan girl or boy under his care, he and I shall be like these two in Paradise," putting two of his fingers together.”

 

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

 

Your Brother in Islam,

 

 

Burhan

 

 

 

 

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