Shaking hands after compulsory prayers.

In some mosques, worshipers have clung to the habit of shaking each other’s hands after compulsory prayers. Others even make a point of shaking the hands of everyone who is between them and the imam, saving the most affectionate, most energetic salaams for him! Is this a legislated act in Islam?

The truth is, this custom is not legislated because it’s a practice that is not related from the prophet (PBUH), the rightly guided Khaleefahs or the other noble companions, May Allah Be Pleased With Them All. It is an act of Bid’ah which is prohibited in Islam.

Some Fiqh books contain the ruling of this practice. Ibn ‘Aabideen said, “To do so regularly and specifically after the five compulsory prayers might lead ignorant people to believe that it is Sunnah to shake hands particularly on these five occasions, or that those are the most important times to shake hands. The reality is, however, that no one from our pious predecessors applied it.”

From a passage in Al-Multaqit reads: “It is disliked to shake hands after performing the prayer because the Companions would not do that and because it is from the ways of the Raafidah (Shia). Shaafi’ee scholars maintain that, since it has no source in the Shariah, it is a Bid’ah practice; and that they rule that whoever does it should be first warned not to do it, and if he persists, he should be severely reproached.”

From a passage in Madkhal: “It is a Bid’ah practice. In the Shariah, it is legislated for a Muslim to shake hands not after prayers but upon meeting his brother. When the Shariah legislates a practice for a certain occasion, then that is when we should apply it. So one who shakes hands after the prayers should be warned and reproached for having done an act that is contrary to the Sunnah.

Whoever obeys the Messenger, he indeed obeys Allah, and whoever turns back, so We have not sent you as a keeper over them. (Surah An-Nisa, 80)

“…. and whatever the Messenger gives you, accept it, and from whatever he forbids you, keep back, and be careful of (your duty to) Allah. (Surah Al-Hashr, 7)


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