Is the Sunnah Greeting with One or Two Hands?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by
Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Badāt 


What is the correct way of making salāms (greeting) using hands. Is it using one or two hands?


In the Name of God, Most Kind Most Merciful

Jazāk Allāh Khayr/ Thank you for your question.

According to the manual, Fatḥ al Bāri, greeting an individual of the same gender (or a maḥram), while shaking hands is a sunnah (prophetic practice) encouraged by Islam. This is also known as muṣāfaḥah.

The definition of muṣāfaḥah is to place one’s inner palm into the inner palm of another (See: Lisān al ‘Arab)

Rendering the muṣāfaḥah with one, or both hands is acceptable. This is not a major matter to be so precise about. Cultures and surroundings also play a major role in these aspects.

Some scholars such as those from the Ḥanafī and Mālikī schools have preferred the muṣāfaḥah with both hands, citing reports such as the below mentioned. (See: Dur al Mukhtār, Majm’a al Anhur and Al Fawākih al Dawānī)

‘Abdullāh Ibn Mas’ūd (may Allāh be pleased with him) says “My hand was between the two hands of the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him).” (Ṣaḥīḥ Bukhārī)

There is also a group of scholars who suggest doing muṣāfaḥah with only one hand is more appropriate, due to narrations similar to what Imām Ṭabrānī has recorded;

“Certainly when the believer meets the believer and greets him with salām, taking his hand and thus making muṣāfaḥah with him, both their [minor] sins drop, just as the leaves of trees fall” (Ṭabrānī)

And Allāh Knows Best

This answer was collected from It’s an Islamic educational institute based in Canada. The questions are generally answered by Sheikh Yusuf Badat and Sheikh Omar Subedar.

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