Friday, August 29, 2014

The Handshake After Solat

al-Imam an-Nawawi (rahimahullaah) said:
“As for the handshake after Solat as traditionally practised after the Fajr/Subh and ‘Asr prayers, as mentioned by asy-Syeikh al-Imam Abu Muhammad bin ‘Abdis Salam(rahimahullaah): It is a permissible bid‘ah....what he said is good …” [1]

According to asy-Syeikh al-Bassam: 
“Imam asy-Syeikh Taqiyuddien[2] (rahimahullaah) said: The Handshake after the solat, has no origin (not from the Sunnah), not textually nor practised by the Prophet (sollalLaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) and not even the Companions (Sahabah) (radhiyalLaahu 'anhum). If it is legislated/legitimised, we would have gathered many narrations and certainly they would have practised it. But if, occasionally, meeting a muslim brother, coincidentally after the Solat, not due to the Solat itself, then (there is no harm in that and) it is permissible”[3]
From the elaboration of asy-Syeikh Taqiyuddien (wafat: 728H) rahimahullaah, we can understand correctly what asy-Syeikh al-Imam Abu Muhammad bin ‘Abdis Salam (rahimahullaah) meant as: "It is a permissible bid‘ah" to which Imam Nawawi (wafat: 676H) said: "What he said is good". 

This handshake, if it is done merely due to the Obligatory Prayers, is a Bid'ah. It is against or opposes the teachings of the Prophet and the Companions and the Pious Predecessors.

It is good, if one would look at the aspect that "handshake" is a Sunnah taught by the Prophet, but it is not tied or related to the Prayers, as the Noble Imam explained: "But if, occassionally, meeting a muslim brother, coincidentally after the Solat, not due to the Solat itself, then (there is no harm in that and) it is permissble".

So in conclusion, the question is: Are we to perform Bid'ah? 

The answer would be: No, as it is a violation of the Sharee'ah, against the teachings of our beloved Messenger of Allah and the best people i.e. the Companions and thus we would not do this "handshake" after the Obligatory Prayers especially an "organized one" or as a formality and worse if it is accompanied by specific nasheed or "solawaat" like for eg. "SollaalLaahu Rabbunaa 'alaan Nuuril Mubeen, Ahmadal Mustafa...." etc.

If we meet a friend or a muslim brother in the masjid and it is not related to the Prayers, then it is not wrong and in fact a recommended act to do the "handshake".

If we have read the biography of al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalaaniy and other scholars, we would understand why at times, in rectifying falsehood and innovations, the scholars needed to use a "mild" approach, addressing the issue and making clear that it is a Bid'ah, yet using soft words not to get into trouble with the authorities. This is for certain, not at all times as they say: "li kulli maqaam maqaal", but rather a case by case situation.

Wallahu a'lam.


[1] Ibid., (ibidem = the same reference as mentioned in the previous footnote): i.e al-Majmoo': 3/452.

[2]Syaikh al-Islām Ibn Taymiyah, Taqiyuddin Ahmad bin ‘Abdul Haliem al-Harrānī ad-Dimasyqī (w.728H). Imam adz-Dzahabi (the author of Siyar al-A‘lam, w: 748H): I have never met, in his lifetime, someone so great as him, in his powerful memory able to recall the opinions of scholars, their proofs and their justification and then analysed and suggested the best opinion with all the valid proofs and sound argument as well as righteous justification mentioned in many disciplines.

[3] Tawdih al-Ahkam: 2/114.
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