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When to Embrace?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by HadithAnswers.com

We find that many a time muslims greet by hugging each other, thereafter shaking hands. Is this hugging each other when greeting mentioned anywhere in the Hadith, or should one simply shake hands when greeting (generally)


1. Sayyiduna Abu Zar (radiyallahu’anhu) was asked: “Would Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) shake your hands when he met you’ll?”

He replied:

“Whenever I met him (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam), he shook my hands. One day Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) sent for me to my house, but I wasn’t there. When I eventually went to him, he was on his bed. He (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) woke up and embraced me. That was so much better.i.e, compared to shaking my hands.

(Sunan Abi Dawud, Hadith: 5172. Also see Fathul Bari, Hadith: 6266)

The habit of the Sahabah was to shake hands when they met, and if it was a meeting after a long time, they would hug each other.

2. Sayyiduna Anas (radiyallahu’anhu) says:
“When they (the Sahabah) would meet they would shake hands, and when they arrived from a journey, they would embrace”

(Al-Mu’jamul Awsat, see Fathul Bari, Hadith: 6266)

3. In the famous incident wherein Sayyiduna Jabir (radiyallahu’anhu) undertook a months journey to Syria just to hear one hadith from the Sahabi; ‘Abdullah Ibn Unais (radiyallahu’anhu) there is mention of them hugging when they met.

(Al-Adabul Mufrad of Imam Bukhari, Hadith: 999)

Embracing out of love

4. Imam Bukhari (rahimahullah) has also mentioned a narration in which Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) embraced his beloved grandson, Sayyiduna Husayn (radiyallahu’anhu) when he saw him on the roadside.

(Al-Adabul Mufrad, Hadith: 369)

The first nation to shake hands

5. Sayyiduna Anas (radiyallahu’anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) said:

The Yemenis have come to you’ll. They are the first (nation) to practice handshake

(Sunan Abi Dawud, Hadith: 5171)

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,

Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar

Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar

This answer was collected from HadithAnswers.com. The answers were either answered or checked by Moulana Haroon Abasoomar (rahimahullah) who was a Shaykhul Hadith in South Africa, or by his son, Moulana Muhammad Abasoomer (hafizahullah), who is a Hadith specialist. 

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