KISSING THE HANDS AND FEET OF THE PIOUS

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org


KISSING THE HANDS AND FEET OF THE PIOUS

PREFACE

Moulana Ismail Moosa (Sallamahu) has conducted a detailed research on taqbeel (kissing the hands and feet of the pious) and the different dimensions of the issue as his treatise in the Iftaa course. Alhamdulillah, the treatise is well researched and will be a useful read for all and especially for the Ulama. Besides the points of reference in the many Ahadith quoted herein, the incidents of Rasulullah صلى الله عليه و سلم and Sahabah have a special appeal and moves the heart. May Allah accept the effort of Moulana Ismail Moosa and grant him barakah in his uloom. Ameen.

(Mufti) Ebrahim Desai

Answer

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

KISSING THE HANDS AND FEET OF THE PIOUS


 

INTRODUCTION

In Jawahir al fiqh, Hadhrat Mufti Shafi Saheb (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) has summarized and translated into Urdu a treatise of Allamah Abid Sindhi (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) entitled ‘Risalah fi ithbaat al-karamaat wa taqbeel yadi ahl ash-sharf’. This treatise contains narrations which prove that the Sahabah t used to kiss the hands and feet of their elders. Thereafter, Hadhrat Mufti Shafi Saheb (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) included a section wherein he quotes the verdicts of senior Ulama from all four madhabs on this subject.

Hereunder, we present a condensed version of the above-mentioned treatise. We have also added some passages from the book of Shaykh Abdullah al-Ghumari, ‘I’laam an-nabeel bi jawaz at-taqbeel’.

 

A SUMMARY OF THE TREATISE OF ALLAMAH MUHAMMAD ABID SINDI

Kissing takes place for various reasons. Amongst others are the following:

1)      Lust and passion. There is consensus amongst all Scholars that this type of kissing is permissible only for one’s spouse. It is not permissible to kiss any other person for this reason. This is irrespective whether a person kisses on the head, face or hands.

2)      Compassion. An example of this is the kissing of the mother to her child on the face or head.

3)      Honour and respect. This is where a person kisses the hands of a scholar, elder or just ruler.

Kissing for compassion and honour is both permissible and established from Ahadith.

KISSING A PERSON OUT OF COMPASSION The proof of kissing for compassion is the narration where Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم kissed his grandchild, Hadhrat Hasan (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him). Likewise, Abu Bakr (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) kissed his daughter, Ayesha (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with her) on her face when she was ill (Abu Dawood). Similarly, Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم kissed Jafar bin Abi Talib (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) on his forehead (Ibid). These narrations attest to the permissibility of kissing a person out of compassion. There is no difference amongst the Fuqaha on this issue.

KISSING A PERSON OUT OF HONOUR AND RESPECT It is permissible to kiss the hands and feet of only a pious scholar, a just ruler or a person who has some religious reputation. To kiss anyone else with this intention would not be permissible. The reason for this is that the Ahadith only discusses the kissing of the hands and feet of noble people.

Below are a few narrations which prove the permissibility of kissing the hands and feet of those who have scholarly and religious stature.

1)      Al Hafidh Abu Bakr bin al-Muqri narrates in his ‘Juz taqbeel al yad’ that Jabir (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) said, “Umar (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) kissed the hands of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم.”

2)      Dhaabih (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) came to Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم with one delegation. He mentions, “When we arrived in Madinah, we hurriedly dismounted our conveyances and kissed the blessed hands of Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم.      

3)      Abdullah bin Umar (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) narrates this incident with the wording:

5225 – حدثنا أحمد بن يونس حدثنا زهير حدثنا يزيد بن أبى زياد أن عبد الرحمن بن أبى ليلى حدثه أن عبد الله بن عمر حدثه وذكر قصة قال فدنونا – يعنى – من النبى -صلى الله عليه وسلم- فقبلنا يده.

4)      Likewise, in Sunan Abi Dawood there is a narration from Ayesha (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) that when Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم entered her home, she stood up to welcome him and kissed his blessed hand.

5)      Ibn al Muqri narrates that Usamah bin Shareek (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) said, “We stood up for Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم and kissed his hand.”

6)      Tabrani narrates from Kab bin Malik (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) that when Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم came to him, he held of the hand of Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم and kissed it.

7)      Imam Ahmad, Imam Bukhari, Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi, Ibn Maja, Ibn Abi Hatim and Ibn al A’raabi all narrate that Ibn Umar (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) said, I was on an expedition. Some people began to flee and I was amongst them. We said, “What will we do now, we fled the battlefield and earned the anger of Allah Ta’ala. Then we thought of returning to Madinah and presenting ourselves to Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم thinking to ourselves that if our repentance is accepted, then well and good, otherwise we will return. We came to him before the morning prayers. When he came out, he enquired as to who we were. We replied that we are the ones who fled the battlefield. He replied, “Nay, you are the ones who have returned from the battlefield. I am your ‘fiah’ (supporting group) and a ‘fiah’ to all Muslims.” We came to him and kissed his hand.  

8)      In Mujam al-awsat, Imam Tabrani (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) narrates with a good chain that Salamah bin Akwa (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) said, “I pledged allegiance at the hands of Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم and also kissed his hands. Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم did not prohibit me.”

9)      Hakim narrated and authenticated in Al Mustadrak a narration on the authority of Buraidah (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) that a person came to Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم and kissed his blessed hands and feet.

10)  In Tirmidhi, Nasai and Ibn Majah it is narrated from Safwan (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) that a group of Jews kissed both the blessed hands and feet of Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم. Imam Tirmidhi (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) has classified this narration as good.

11)  Ibn al-Muqri and Al-Bayhaqi narrated that Abu Lubabah (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) kissed Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم when his repentance was revealed.

12)  Abu ash-Shaykh and Ibn Mardooyah narrated that Kab bin Malik has said, “When my repentance was revealed, I came to Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم and kissed his hands.”

13)  Ibn al-A’raabi narrates that Zaahir al-Ashja’iee was a Bedouin. Whenever he came to Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم, he always brought a gift. Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم once saw him in a market selling his merchandise whereas he had not as yet come to Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم. Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم came from behind and placed his hands around him. Zaahir turned around and when he perceived that it was Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم, he began to kiss his palms.

There are numerous other narrations which show that the Sahabah t kissed Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم. Shaykh Abdullah al-Ghumari (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) has quoted many of these narrations in his book ‘I’laam an Nabeel’.

It is established from these narrations that a person can kiss the hands and in fact even the feet of a scholar, just ruler or person holding some religious accolades.

In contrast to this is the (following) narration of Anas (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) from where it appears that there is a prohibition for kissing. This would refer to kissing such people who are not scholars, just rulers or do not possess any religious virtue. 

“Imam Tirmidhi narrates with a good chain from Anas bin Malik (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) that a person enquired from Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم, “If anyone of us meets a brother or friend, should he bow before him?” Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم replied in the negative. He further asked, “Should he embrace him and kiss him?” Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم replied in the negative. The person then asked, “Should he shake his hands?” Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم replied in the affirmative.”

This narration refers to those people who are not Ulama, just rulers or people of religious stature. Such a person should not be embraced or kissed. It will be sufficient to merely shake his hands. This could be ascertained by the very nature of the question. The questioner did not enquire about meeting scholars or pious people; he asked about meeting his brothers and friends. In response to this, Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم prohibited him.

Furthermore, even though Imam Tirmidhi authenticated this narration, other luminaries such as Imam Ahmad and Imam Bayhaqi have deemed this narration to be weak as narrated by Allamah Iraqi. The reason for this is that in the chain of transmition there is a narrator named Handhala. Imam Ahmad, Ibn Ma’een and Imam Nasai (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with them all) have said that he is weak in hadith. Imam Ahmad has specifically criticized his narrations from Anas (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him).

Till here such narrations have been cited where the Sahabah t kissed the blessed hands of Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم. Hereunder are narrations where Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم himself kissed some of his companions,

1)      It is narrated in Saheeh al-Bukhari and Saheeh Muslim that Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم kissed Hasan bin Ali (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with both of them) in the company of Aqra’ bin Habis. Aqra’ bin Habis said, “Verily I have ten children, and I never kissed any of them.” Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم looked at him and said, “He who does not show mercy will not be shown mercy.”

2)      Imam Tirmidhi narrates that Ayesha (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with her) said, Zaid bin Haaritha came to Madinah while Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم was at my place. He came and knocked at the door. Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم hastened towards him, hugged him and kissed him.”

3)      In Sunan Abi Dawood, Tirmidhi, Nasai and Mustadrak Hakim it is narrated that Ayesha (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with her) said, “I have not seen any person who resembled the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم more in his speech than Fatimah (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with her). Whenever she would come in the presence of Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم, he would stand up, welcome her, kiss her hands and seat her in the same place where he was sitting. And when Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم would go to her, she would also stand up and kiss his hand.”

4)      Ibn al-A’raabi (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) narrates from Ikrimah (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) that when Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم would return from an expedition, he would kiss Fatimah (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on her).   

5)      It has been established in one narration that when Abu Bakr (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) came, Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم embraced him and kissed him on his face. When Ali (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) said this, he emulated Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم and also kissed Abu Bakr (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him). On this, Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم said to Ali, “O Abul Hasan, Abu Bakr’s status to me is like my status in front of my mother.”

6)      Abu Ya’la narrates that Ayesha (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with her) said, “I saw Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم hugging Ali and kissing him.”

7)      In Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah and Sunan Abi Dawood it is narrated that Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم met Jafar bin Abi Talib t and kissed him between his eyes.

8)      Imam Hakim and Imam Tabrani narrated that when Jafar bin Abi Talib t returned from Abyssinia, Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم kissed him between his eyes and said, “I don’t know if I am more happy with the return of Jafar or with the conquest of Khaybar.”   

9)      Imam Ahmad narrates from Abdullah bin al-Harith that he said, “Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم described Abdullah bin Abbaas and his two brothers, Ubaidullah and Katheer and he said, “Whoever races to me, he’ll get such a prize.” They all raced to him and jumped on his back and chest. He hugged them and kissed them.

10)  ImamAhmad,Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and Ibn al-Araabi narrate from Ayesha (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with her) that she said, “I saw Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم kiss Uthmaan bin Madhoon while tears were rolling down his cheeks.”  

It is clear from these narrations that kissing is not a specialty (khaasiyyah) of Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم. This is corroborated by the following narrations which show that the companions of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم kissed one another and no one objected.

1)      In Tabrani it is narrated from Yahya bin Harith Adh Dhimari that he said, “I met Wathilah bin Asqa’ and asked, “You pledge allegiance on the hands of Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم with this hand?” He replied in the affirmative. I submitted, “Please stretch out your hand so that I can kiss it.” He fulfilled my request and I kissed his hand.” 

Allamah Haythami (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) narrates the above narration and comments, “All the narrators are strong.”

2)      Allamah Muhib At Tabari (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) narrates in his kitab ‘Ar Riyadh an nadhra’ under the chapter of the virtues of Abu Bakr (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) on the authority of Abu Raja Attaridi that he says, “I entered Madinah Munawwarah and saw that all the people had gathered. I also saw one person kissing the head of another person and saying to him, “May I be sacrificed for you; had it not been for you, I would have been destroyed.” I made enquiries with regards to these people; the one kissing and the one being kissed. The people replied that the one kissing was Umar (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) and the one being kissed was Abu Bakr (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him). This incident took place at the time when Abu Bakr (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) was insisting and firm on fighting those who refused to pay zakaat. Umar (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) and other companions held a contrary view. However, jihad took place in conformity with the decision of Abu Bakr (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him). This incident took place when Umar (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) saw the fruits and wisdom of the decision of Abu Bakr (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him).

3)      In his book ‘Al Isaabah’, Hafidh Ibn Hajar Asqalani (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) narrates under the section of the biography of Abdullah bin Abbaas (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) on the authority of Sha’bi (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) that once Zaid bin Thaabit was riding his horse. As an act of honour Ibn Abbaas (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) came in front and took the reins of the horse. Zaid (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) prohibited him from doing so saying that you are the cousin of Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم, how can I let you do such an act. However, Ibn Abbaas (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) replied, “This is how we have been commanded to revere and honour our scholars.” Zaid bin Thaabit (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) kissed the hands of Ibn Abbaas (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) and said, “This is how we have been commanded to respect the noble household of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم.”

This incident is narrated by Hakim in his Mustadrak who has authenticated this narration by saying that it fulfills the conditions of Imam Muslim. Allamah Dhahabi (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) has not objected to this verdict of Imam Hakim. Shams al-A’immah Sarakhsi (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) has also narrated this incident in ‘Mabsoot’ (73/16) 

4)      In Bayhaqi it is narrated from Dhiraar bin Umar who narrates from Abu Rafi that Umar (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) dispatched an army to Rome in which the Sahabi Abdullah bin Hudhafa t was also sent. The Roman army enjoyed great strength and power. They imprisoned the Muslims. The king of Rome told Abdullah bin Hudhafa (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) that if he converts to Christianity, the king will make him a partner of his kingdom. Abdullah bin Hudhafa (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) blatantly refused. On this the king ordered that Abdullah bin Hudhafa (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) be hung on a cross and shot with arrows from every side. This order was executed; however, even on the cross, Hadhrat Abdullah (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) appeared to be totally content without any sign of fear. Seeing this, the king ordered that he be taken off the cross and ordered that water be heated in a cauldron. Thereafter, he commanded that one prisoner should be burnt. The flesh of the prisoner began to melt away from his body and his bones became visible. After showing Hadhrat Abdullah (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) this scene, the king ordered that he be thrown into this boiling water. When Hadhrat Abdullah was brought to the cauldron, he began to sob bitterly. The king ordered that he be brought back and asked him the reason for crying. He replied, “I am sad and I regret that I only have one life. When I am thrown in this water, my life will be over. If only I had a hundred lives and I could use every life to burn in this boiling water.” The king was awestruck and taken aback by Hadhrat Abdullah’s steadfastness. The king said, “If you do one thing, I will free you; just kiss my head.” Hadhrat Abdulah replied, “I will do so only if you free all the Muslim prisoners.” The king accepted this and Hadhrat Abdullah kissed his head. (He did this because it did not entail kufr or shirk and neither was there any sin, and this would lead to the Muslim prisoners being freed). On this the king ordered that he and all the Muslim prisoners be freed.

When all these Muslims returned to Umar (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him), he stood up and kissed them on their foreheads.

5)      In Tabaqaat Ibn Sad (6/224) it is mentioned under the biography of Asim bin Abi Najood (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him)  about Abu Waail (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) that sometimes he used to come to the village and at times he would be away. When he used to return and meet Hadhrat Asim (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him), he used to kiss his hands.

6)      In Mustadrak Hakim it is narrated under the chapter of the virtues of Abu Sufyaan (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) that in the battle of Hunain, Abu Sufyaan was with Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم. Hadhrat Abbaas (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) submitted, “O Prophet of Allah, this is your cousin Abu Sufyaan, please be happy with him.” (The reason for this is that prior to the conquest of Makkah, Hadhrat Abu Sufyaan fought every battle against Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم, hence Abbaas (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) thought that Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم might still be angry with him). Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم accepted the intercession of Abbaas (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) and said, “I am pleased with him. May Allah forgive all the enmity he showed against us.” Thereafter, Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم turned to Abbaas (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) and said, “Verily he is our brother.” Abbaas (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) says, “I kissed his blessed foot while he was seated on his camel.”

7)      Ibn al A’raabi narrates that Jabir (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) said, “When my father was killed on the day of Uhud, I came to him and found him covered. I began to uncover his face and kiss him. Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم saw me and did not prohibit me.”

8)      Sufyaan (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) narrates in his Jami that Tamim bin Salamah said, “When Umar (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) came to Syria, Abu Ubaidah bin al-Jarrah (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) came to welcome him. He shook and kissed the hands of Umar (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him).” Based on this, Tamim was of the opinion that kissing the hands is Sunnah.

9)      Imam Bukhari (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) narrates in Al-Adab al-mufrad that Suhaib (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) has said, I saw Ali (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) kiss the hands and feet of Abbaas (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him).”

10)  Likewise, Imam Ahmad and Imam Bukhari (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) narrates that Thaabit said to Anas (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him), “Have you touched Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم with your hands.” Anas (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) replied in the affirmative. On this, Thaabit kissed his hands.

11)  Abu Dawood (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) narrates that Ayaas bin Dughful said, “I saw Abu Nadhirah (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) kiss the cheeks of Hasan bin Ali (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him).”

12)  In his book, ‘Amal al yaum wal laylah’, Ibn us-Sunni narrates from Abu Bakr binMuhammad bin Umar (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) that he said, “One day I came to the company of Abu Bakr bin Mujahid. Hadhrat Shibli (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) came to this gathering. Abu Bakr immediately stood up, embraced Hadrat Shibli and kissed him on his forehead. I said, “O my leader, you are acting like this to Shibli?” Abu Bakr replied, “I did the same as I saw Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم doing the same to him in one dream: that he went to a gathering of Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم and Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم kissed him on his forehead. I asked Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم why he was treating Shibli like this? Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم said, “The reason for this is that after Salaah, he recites the verse,

لَقَدْ جَاءكُمْ رَسُولٌ مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ عَزِيزٌ عَلَيْهِ مَا عَنِتُّمْ حَرِيصٌ عَلَيْكُم بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَؤُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ (128)                         

After this he sends salutations on me. (Due to this I have kissed him).”

13)  Hafidh Abu Musa Madini (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) narrates from Hadrat Sufyaan (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) that he mentioned in one gathering that it is Sunnah to kiss the hands of a scholar and a just leader. Abdullah bin Mubarak was present in that gathering. He immediately stood up and kissed Sufyaan (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) on his head and said, “Where will I get such a beautiful opportunity to practice on this Sunnah again.”

14)  Imam Muslim kissed the forehead of Imam Bukhari and intended to also kiss his feet. This incident is famous in the books of Hadith and narrators.

15)  Imam Nawawi narrates in Al-Adhkaar that Sahl bin Abdullah At-Tustari (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) used to come to Imam Abu Dawood any say, “Take out your tongue with which you narrate from Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم so that I can kiss it.” He then used to kiss it.

The above is further strengthened by the incident that took place at the demise of Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم. When Abu Bakr (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) reached the Janazah of Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم, he kissed Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم on his forehead. In the same way, Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم kissed Uthmaan bin Madhoon (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) after his demise.

 

VERDICTS OF OUR ILLUSTRIOUS JURISTS

 

1)      In Mabsoot of Shams al A’immah As Sarakhsi under the chapter of ‘Istihsaan’ (10/149) it is mentioned,

روي أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم كان يقبل فاطمة رضي الله عنها ويقول “أجد منها ريح الجنة” وكان إذا قدم من سفر بدأ بها فعانقها وقبل رأسها وقبل أبو بكر رأس عائشة رضي الله عنهما وقال صلى الله عليه وسلم “من قبل رجل أمه فكأنما قبل عتبة الجنة وقال محمد بن المنكدر رحمه الله بت أغمز رجل أمي وبات أخي أبو بكر يصلى وما أحب أن تكون ليلتي بليلته “

“It is narrated that Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم used to kiss Fatimah (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with her) and say, “I can smell from her the fragrance of Jannah. In fact when he used to return from a journey, he used to first go to Fatimah (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with her) and embrace her. Abu Bakr (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) kissed the head of Ayesha (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with her) and said, “Whoever kisses the head of his mother, it is as if he is kissing the threshold of Jannah. Muhammad bin al-Munkadir (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) mentions, “I spent a night massaging my mother’s feet and my brother Abu Bakr spent the night in worship. In no way will I be happy to swap my night with that of my brother.”

(It should be noted that it will only be permissible to kiss any woman from one’s maharim (those women who are impermissible to marry) if one feels secure from lust. To kiss any woman with lust is prohibited and it has even greater repercussions if done to one’s maharim). (Ibid)

2)      It is mentioned in Badaa’i as sanaa’i,

واختلف في القبلة والمعانقة قال أبو حنيفة رضي الله عنه ومحمد رحمه الله يكره للرجل أن يقبل فم الرجل أو يده أو شيئا منه أو يعانقه  وروي عن أبي يوسف رحمه الله أنه لا بأس به  ووجهه ما روي أنه لما قدم جعفر بن أبي طالب رضي الله عنه من الحبشة عانقه سيدنا رسول الله وقبل بين عينيه وأدنى درجات فعل النبي الحل وكذا روي أن أصحاب رسول الله كانوا إذا رجعوا من أسفارهم كان يقبل بعضهم بعضا ويعانق بعضهم بعضا  واحتجا بما روي أنه سئل رسول الله فقيل أيقبل بعضنا بعضا فقال لا فقيل أيعانق بعضنا بعضا فقال عليه الصلاة والسلام لا فقيل أيصافح بعضنا بعضا فقال عليه الصلاة والسلام نعم  وذكر الشيخ أبو منصور رحمه الله أن المعانقة إنما تكره إذا كانت شبيهة بما وضعت للشهوة في حالة التجرد فأما إذا قصد بها المبرة والإكرام فلا تكره وكذا التقبيل الموضوع لقضاء الوطر والشهوة هو المحرم فإذا زال عن تلك الحالة أبيح وعلى هذا الوجه الذي ذكره الشيخ يحمل الحديث الذي احتج به أبو يوسف رحمه الله والله أعلم بالصواب

“Scholars differ on the ruling of embracing; Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Muhammad (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on them) say that it is makrooh (reprehensible) for a male to kiss the lips, hands or any  portion of another male and likewise it is reprehensible to embrace. It is narrated from Imam Abu Yusuf (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) that there is no problem in doing this. His proof is that when Jafar bin Abi Talib (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) came from Abyssinia, Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم embraced him and kissed him between his eyes. The least status we can attach to the action of Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم is that of permissibility. Similarly, it is mentioned that the companions of Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم used to kiss and embrace one another upon return from a journey. Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Muhammad use as proof the fact that when Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم was asked, “Should we kiss one another?” Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم replied in the negative. When asked if we should embrace one another, Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم gave the same response. Thereafter, Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم was asked if we should shake hands with one another to which he replied in the affirmative. Abu Mansoor (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) has mentioned that embracing one another is abominable if it is done at times when it resembles lust, as when one is naked. If a person merely intends showing courtesy or honour to another person, it will not be makrooh. Likewise, it will only be impermissible to kiss if a person if he is doing it out of lust and passion; if these qualities are not found, it will be permissible. The Hadith which Imam Abu Yusuf has used as proof will be based on what the Shaykh has mentioned.”

3)      In Fatawa Qadhi Khan it is mentioned,

و يكره أن يقبل الرجل فم الرجل أو يده أو شيئا منه في قول أبي حنيفة و محمد رحمهما الله تعالى * و لا بأس بالمصافحة * و قال أبو يوسف رحمه الله تعالى لا بأس بالتقبيل و المعانقة في إزار واحد فإن كانت المعانقة من فوق قميص أو جبة أو كانت القبلة على وجه المسرة دون الشهوة جاز عند الكل *

 

“It is detestable for one male to kiss the lips of another male, or even his hand or any portion of him according to Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Muhammad (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on them). And there is no problem in shaking hands. Imam Abu Yusuf (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) mentions that there is no problem in kissing or embracing in one piece of cloth. If two males embrace while they have on a shirt or cloak, or a person kisses out of happiness and has no lust, it will be permissible according to all.”

(Mufti Shafi Saheb mentions): From this last statement of Allamah Qadhi Khan (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him), it becomes clear that the prohibition of kissing and embracing which is narrated from Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Muhammad (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on them) is confined to that case where a person has lust or it resembles a person who has lust. Otherwise, it will be permissible to embrace and kiss according to all three Scholars. The statement of Abu Mansoor (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) which is in Badaa’i (the translation has passed above) also corroborates this.

4)      It is mentioned in Durr al Mukhtaar and its marginal notes, Radd al Muhtaar,

الدر المختار – (6 / 383)

( ولا بأس بتقبيل يد ) الرجل ( العالم ) والمتورع على سبيل التبرك  درر

 ونقل المصنف عن الجامع أنه لا بأس بتقبيل يد الحاكم والمتدين ( السلطان العادل ) وقيل سنة  مجتبى

 ( وتقبيل رأسه ) أي العالم ( أجود ) كما في البزازية ( ولا رخصة فيه ) أي في تقبيل اليد ( لغيرهما ) أي لغير عالم وعادل هو المختار  مجتبى

 وفي المحيط إن لتعظيم إسلامه وإكرامه جاز وإن لنيل الدنيا كره

 ( طلب من عالم أو زاهد أن ) يدفع إليه قدمه و ( يمكنه من قدمه ليقبله أجابه وقيل لا ) يرخص فيه

و في رد المحتار – (26 / 446)

( قوله أجابه ) لما أخرجه الحاكم : { أن رجلا أتى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال : يا رسول الله أرني شيئا أزداد به يقينا فقال اذهب إلى تلك الشجرة فادعها فذهب إليها فقال إن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يدعوك فجاءت حتى سلمت على النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال لها : ارجعي فرجعت قال : ثم أذن له فقبل رأسه ورجليه وقال لو كنت آمرا أحدا أن يسجد لأحد لأمرت المرأة أن تسجد لزوجها } ” : وقال صحيح الإسناد ا هـ من رسالة الشرنبلالي 

“There is no harm in kissing a scholar or a religious person for blessings. The author quotes from Al Jami that there is no problem in also kissing the hands of a just ruler. It is said that this is Sunnah. To kiss the head of a scholar is better as mentioned in al-Bazaaziyyah. There is no lee-way for kissing the hands of anyone else besides them i.e. besides the hands of a scholar and just ruler, this is the preferred view. In al-Muheet al Burhani it is mentioned that if a male kisses another male out of respect for his Islaam and to honour him, it will be permissible.

A person asks a scholar or an ascetic person to spread out his feet so that he can kiss them, they should comply. According to one view it is mentioned that they should not fulfill their request.”

In Radd al Muhtaar it is mentioned,

“(They should comply) because of what is narrated by Imam Hakim that a person came to Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم and said, “O Prophet of Allah, show me a sign so that I can increase my conviction.” Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم (pointed towards a tree) and said, “Go call that tree for me.” The person went to the tree and said, “Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم is calling you.” The tree came and saluted Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم. Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم ordered it to return to its former place and it returned. Thereafter, Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم gave this Sahabi permission and he kissed the blessed head and feet of Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم. Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم said, “If I had to command any person to prostrate for another person, I would have commanded a woman to prostrate for her husband. Imam Hakim said that the chain of this narration is authentic” 

5)      It is mentioned in Fatawa al-Hindiyyah,

طلب من عالم أو زاهد أن يدفع إليه قدمه ليقبله لا يرخص فيه ولا يجيبه إلى ذلك عند البعض وذكر بعضهم يجيبه إلى ذلك وكذا إذا استأذنه أن يقبل رأسه أو يديه كذا في الغرائب .

“If a person requests a scholar or an ascetic person to spread out his leg to kiss it, it will not be permissible for him to stretch it out and therefore he should not respond according to some scholars. Some scholars however claim that he should respond to this request. The same will be if he requests to kiss the scholar’s or ascetic person’s head and hands.”

In Madhaahir al haq under the commentary of the hadith of ‘wafd Abdul Qais’ it is mentioned,

“It is apparent that it is learnt from this narration that it is permissible to kiss the feet even though (some) jurists prohibit it.” 

Another issue mentioned with the above masala (of kissing the hands and feet) is the issue of embracing one another. The summary of this issue, as mentioned in the books Badaa’i as sanaa’i and Fatawa Qadhi Khan, is that if it is done in a way that a person has lust, or even if there is mere doubt, then according to Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Muhammad, it will be makrooh. If this is not the case, then there is consensus that it will be permissible.

As for the manner in which it is mentioned in Durr al mukhtaar, Radd al muhtaar, Alamgiri etc (as mentioned above), this is a difference of the latter day jurists. In the actual issue of kissing and embracing, there is no difference at all. The basis of this difference is that the person who people wish to kiss his hands and feet, will it be permissible for him to spread out his feet in order to give people this chance or not?

The apparent reason for this difference is that if, in reality, a person does not have pride and arrogance then still, this apparently looks like an act of arrogance which has the great possibility of creating pride in a person’s heart. Because of this, some jurists claimed that it is detestable.  Others however, looked at the actual action itself and issued the verdict of permissibility.

Some people posed this question to Hadhrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) and he responded as follows,

“To interpret something without a proof is not logical. It is also apparent that without the presence of a proof which averts something from its apparent meaning, we cannot take another meaning. Hence, in itself it is permissible to kiss the feet of (a pious) person. The Fuqahah have ruled that it is reprehensible based on an external factor.” (Imdad al fatawa 5/345)

From the aforementioned, there are other questions which emerge. It will be appropriate to mentioned something with regards to those questions.

Question 1

If it is permissible to kiss a person’s feet, will it be permissible to lower your head, bow or prostrate to him? Scholars in our country differ on this issue; some say that although while kissing the feet, it apparently seems as if a person is bowing and prostrating, then too it will be permissible. However, there are numerous scholars who say that kissing the feet will only be permissible if a person does not lower his head, bow or prostrate. These scholars cite as proof the following narration which is narrated in Mishkaat under the chapter of ‘Al Musafaha wal mu’anaqah:

حدثنا سويد أخبرنا عبد الله أخبرنا حنظلة بن عبيد الله عن أنس بن مالك قال قال رجل : يا رسول الله الرجل منا يلقي أخاه أو صديقه أينحني له ؟ قال لا(رواه الترمذي وقال هذا حديث حسن)

Anas bin Malik (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) says that a person asked, “O Prophet of Allah, when any of us meets his brother or friend, should he bow (inhinaa) to him?” Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم replied, “No!”

In the commentary of Mishkaat, Mirqaat it is mentioned,

 

(أينحني له) من الإنحناء وهو إمالة الرأس والظهر تواضعا وخدمة (قال لا) أي فإنه في معنى الركوع وهو كالسجود من عبادة الله سبحانه

 “The meaning of ‘inhinaa’ is to bend the head and back out of humility and service. Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم replied in the negative because this is in the category of ruku and it is like prostrating when worshiping Allah.”

There are numerous other texts which clearly show that bowing for another person is reprehensible (all these are cited in the original Urdu work).

Furthermore, the following text of Fatawa al-Hindiyyah clearly shows that it is not necessary to bow when kissing someone’s feet:

 طلب من عالم أو زاهد أن يدفع إليه قدمه ليقبله

“If a person requests a scholar or an ascetic person to spread out his leg to kiss it…”

From the aforementioned, which opinion is correct and better to follow?

Answer

It will be reprehensible if a person purposefully intends bowing. If a person bows by the way in order to kiss the feet of another person, it will be in the same ruling of kissing his feet (i.e. it will be permissible).

 

Question 2

What is the meaning of kissing a person’s feet, does it mean that you actually kiss a person’s feet or should it be done like when kissing hajr aswad that you place your hands on a person’s feet and kiss your hands?

Answer

The first meaning is what is intended and the second has no basis.

 

SUMMARY

 

The following rulings are derived from the Ahadith, sayings and actions of the Sahabah t , the Tabi’een and the statements of leading scholars which have been presented above:

  1. There is consensus that it is not permissible to kiss or embrace any person with lust besides one’s wife and slave-girl. Even if there is a mere fear or doubt of lust, then too, it will not be permissible.    

  2. There is also consensus that it is permissible to kiss and embrace small children out of compassion and to kiss pious people out of honour on condition that that there is no action associated with it which is in contrast to the Shariah.

  3. If there is any prohibited act associated with the kissing, embracing and even in the mere shaking of hands, there is consensus that it will all be reprehensible.

     

ACTIONS DONE IN CONTRAST TO SHARIAH AT THE TIME OF EMBRACING AND KISSING

 

It is essential to know which things are done contrary to the Shariah at the time of kissing and embracing so that a person can ensure that he stays away from these actions. Hereunder we have presented a list of such actions: 

  1. The person who apprehends that he will become arrogant and proud should not allow others to kiss his hands and feet.

  2. In those scenarios where these actions will cause harm and inconvenience to others, then leave alone kissing and embracing, it will not even be permissible to shake hands with another person. An example of this is if you meet a person who is busy or engaged in some essential work; by trying to kiss, embrace or even shake the hands of such a person, it will be a means of causing him inconvenience. Hence, a person should try to abstain from such actions in these conditions.

  3. If a person feels that by kissing a certain person, then this will inevitably create pride in his heart, then he should abstain from this practice. Especially, if the kissing of the hands and feet is done by many people in a gathering; then one harm is that this takes up a lot of time. Another harm which is even greater is that in that vicinity where this practice becomes common, an outsider might think this to be a general consent. Therefore, a person should abstain in such circumstances.

  4. It is necessary that one keeps himself to the level of how Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم, the Sahabah and Tabi’een kissed one another. In all the above mentioned incidents we find that although the Sahabah and our pious predecessors kissed one another, they did not make it a habit, nor did they do it in every gathering, nor did anyone ask others to kiss him. Thus, wherever this is practiced with the abovementioned simplicity, then it will be permissible and in fact preferable to kiss the hands and feet of pious people. And in those cases where there is no simplicity, or it becomes a habit then it will not be free from some harms. It is a famously known by the jurists that if a preferable action contains some aspects which are contrary to Shariah, then it will be compulsory to leave out that action. An example of this is the shaking of hands after compulsory prayers; some Fuqaha mention that it is makrooh because people might assume it to be a portion of the prayer.

And Allah knows best

Wassalam u Alaikum

Ml. Ismail Moosa,
Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In’aamiyyah

Source

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