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Kissing Hands of a Very Old Person of Opposite Sex

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Albalagh.net

Kissing Hands of a Very Old Person of Opposite Sex

By Mufti Muhammad Kadwa

Q.) 1. I have heard that in the Hanafi school there is an opinion that says that a non-mahram male or female may kiss the hands of a “very old” person. Is this true?

2. Also what is the age that this is allowed from or is this different according to the society or customs of the people? Have the Ulema of the Hanafi school agreed upon what is considered “very old”, and consequently what age person may do this, i.e., allow the opposite sex to kiss their hands.

3. Can dreams be used as evidence for fiqh rulings in this regard, if a person is not “very old”, i.e., someone in their late 50’s or early 60’s in age, who is a Pir who said that he had a dream in which the Prophet Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam told him that he could allow non-mahram women to kiss his hands, and this man is a Da’i working in the west? Could you please help me out with these queries, May Allah bless you?

A.) 1. Before we respond, we will have to determine who exactly is an old person referred to in this context. The word ‘old’ is a relative word. Hence, just the word ‘old’ or ‘very old’ would seem ambiguous. The primary reasons for the institution of hijab is to prevent any form of spiritual decadence and fitnah. Now, when a person is not a threat for any form of fitnah due to his old age, the laws of hijab are slightly relaxed. Such an age will vary from person to person. A person may be in his seventies but he may have the libido of a young man. So, he may be ‘old’ in the conventional sense of the word, but the laws of hijab are not relaxed for him due to the fear of fitnah. To sum up, an old decrepit man in whom there is no fear of fitnah is not compelled to adhere strictly to the laws of hijab.

However, due to the moral degeneration of our times, we advocate that hijab should be adhered strictly between the sexes irrespective of the age or the fear of fitnah, etc.

2. Dreams cannot be used as evidence in any ruling whatsoever. When we have explicit rulings on fiqhi issues, there is absolutely no need for dreams. Let us leave dreams aside and focus more on reality instead. And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

This answer was collected from Albalagh.net, which is an Islamic site with Q&A and articles authored by many world renowned scholars from the Muslim world. Many of Mufti Taqi Uthmani’s fatawa in English are found exclusively on this site.

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