(1) Is a girl/woman allowed to hug or shake hands with Non-Mahrams? What about her brother-in-law? (2)Is a boy/man allowed to hug or shake hands with Non-Mahrams? What about his sister-in-law? (3)Is a woman allowed to hug or shake hands with Mahrams (like her father, brother)? Is she allowed to do that in front of her husband? Is it Modest? What if she wants to hug her husband in front of her father or brother? (4)Is a man allowed to hug or shake hands with Mahrams (like her mother, sister)? Is he allowed to do that in front of his wife? Is it Modest? What if he wants to hug his wife in front of her mother or sister? Jazak Allah
In order to offer a clear understanding on the matter, we wish to present two fundamental principles:
1. Allah Ta’ala states, ?And do not go close to Zina?. From this verse, it is clear that Zina is prohibited, but Allah also prohibits any closeness to it as that is the stepping stone to Zina. The nature of Shari?ah is not only to prohibit an act. It also closes all the avenues that lead to the prohibited act. Consider the following Hadith, ?The two eyes commit Zina and the Zina of the eyes is to cast a lustful glance to a Ghayr Mahram.? The act of Zina initially commences with a lustful glance. It is that evil glance that leads one to all the steps uptil Zina, hence, that too is prohibited.
2. The second principle is the emphasis on shame and modesty. Rasulullah [Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam] said, ?Shame is an integral branch of Imaan.? It is human nature that a person is attracted by the opposite gender of a non-Mahram. This attraction is potentially Zina, hence, Shari?ah has prohibited a free and open relationship with a non-Mahram. It is a fact that adulterous relationship and immoral conduct in the world is due to this unlimited and free relationship with the opposite gender. The world is thus burdened with this freedom. Hereunder are the answers to your queries in sequence:
a. It is prohibited for a boy and a girl to shake her hands with non-Mahrams, including her brother-in-law. In fact, Rasulullah [Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam] said, ?The brother-in-law is death.?
b. It is permissible for a person, male or female, to shake hands or hug Mahrams on conditions there is no fear of Fitnah. One should understand that we are living in times wherein immorality is common.
c. If hugging the wife in the presence of the mother is disrespectful, then one should abstain from that.
and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai