Fatwa n° 970
Category: Miscellaneous Fatwas - Etiquettes
The ruling about kissing the hand and the head
What is the ruling about kissing elders such as grandfather and grandmother?
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers till the Day of Resurrection:
It is authorized to kiss the head, the hand, and the front by way of respect and honour, according to the hadith reported by ‘Â’icha رضي الله عنها who said:“The Prophet صلّى الله عليه وسلّم saw her (his daughter Fâtima) coming, he welcomed her, kissed her, took her hand and sat her down in his place. And when he visits her, she welcomed him and kissed him. She visited the Prophet صلّى الله عليه وسلّم during his illness of death, he welcomed and kissed her”(1).
Abu Juhayfa رضي الله عنه said: “When Ja‘far came from the migration to Al-Habasha, he was received by the Prophet صلّى الله عليه وسلّم, he embraced and kissed him between his eyes”(2). And in the hadith reported by Anas رضي الله عنه: “The Prophet صلّى الله عليه وسلّم, took Ibrâhîm عليه سلام , kissed and smelled him”(3). It is also reported by ‘Â’icha رضي الله عنها that: “When the Prophet صلّى الله عليه وسلّم, died, Abu Bakr As-Siddîq رضي الله عنه came and revealed his face and kissed him between his eyes”(4).
It is authentically reported that the ancestors were equitable between their children in kisses. It is also authentically reported that they used to kiss the hand.
‘Abd Ar-Rahmân Ibn Razîn said: “We passed by Ar-Rabadha (a place in Madina), they told us here is Salama Ibn Al-Akwa‘. I went and saluted him, he took out his hands and said: I swore allegiance to the Prophet صلّى الله عليه وسلّم with these. He showed us a big hand like a camel hand, then we kissed it”(5). There are many other hadiths and traces concerning this.
Even if kissing the hand and the head is permissible, it must be occasionally, fearing to be an obstacle in the way of the Sunnah of shaking the hands, which is authentically reported in the speech and actions of the Prophet صلّى الله عليه وسلّم and his companions because: “When they met they shake hands, and when they came from a travel they embraced each other”(6). In addition, shaking hands is a religious way to expiate sins and make them fall down when shaking. Indeed, the smart person does not leave this profit go away. He said صلّى الله عليه وسلّم: “If a believer found a believer and greeted him, and they shake hands, their sins fall down like tree leaves”(7).
We have to emphasise on two questions:
First, about the hadith of Abu Hurayra concerning kissing the hand, the Prophet صلّى الله عليه وسلّم said: “Stop, this act is done by the foreigners to their kings, and I am not a king, but a man among you”(8). This is a rejected hadith and cannot oppose the authentic hadiths.
Second: there is no authorisation of kissing the mouth as the Shî‘a and others do. This is odious since it is not reported from the pious predecessors. Al-Baghawî said: “If you come to kiss, then do not kiss the mouth, but it is permissible to kiss the hand, the head, and the front”(9).
And it is mentioned in “Al-Âdâb Ash-Shar‘iya” of Ibn Muflih the explanation of the rejection by saying: “It is odious to kiss the mouth, because it explains rarely respect”(10).
The perfect knowledge belongs to Allah عزَّ وجلَّ. Our last prayer is all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon our Prophet, his Family, his Companions and Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.
Algiers on Rabî’ Al-Awwal the 9th, 1428 H
Corresponding to March the 28th, 2007 G.
(1) Reported by Al-Bukhârî (947), by Abu Dâwûd (5217), by At-Tirmidhi (3872), by Al-Hâkim in “Al-Mustadrak” (4732) and by Ibn Hibbân in his “Sahîh” (4732) from the hadith of ‘Â’icha رضي الله عنها. Al-Albânî said in “Al-Mishkât”: “Its chain of narration is good” (03/1329). It is also judged Haşan (good) by Al-Wâdi‘î in “As-Sahîh Al-Musnad” (1591).
(2) Reported by At-Tabarânî in “Al-Mu‘jam Al-Kabîr” (02/108) from the hadith of Abu Juhayfa رضي الله عنه. It is also reported by Abu Dâwûd in “As-Sunan” (02/777) according to the version of Ash-Sha‘bi with a chain of narration that is Mursal [a Mursal hadith is a hadith where the chain of narration only goes up to a Tâbi‘i (Successor)]. Al-Albânî said in “As-Silsila As-Sahîha”: “Its chain of narration is good” (06/335).
(3) Reported by Al-Bukhârî (1241) from the hadith of Anas رضي الله عنه.
(4) Reported by Al-Bukhârî (1184) and by An-Naşâ’î (1841) from the hadith of ‘Â’icha رضي الله عنها.
(5) Reported by Al-Bukhârî in “Al-Adab Al-Mufrad” (973). This tradition is judged good (Haşan) in “Sahîh Al-Adab Al-Mufrad” (747).
(6) Reported by At-Tabarânî in “Al-Mu‘jam Al-Awsat” (01/37) (97) from the hadith of Anas Ibn Mâlik رضي الله عنه. Al-Haythamî said in “Majma‘ Az-Zawâ’id” (08/75): “It is reported by At-Tabarânî in “Al-Awsat” and the narrators of its chain of narration are mentioned in the two Sahîh (Al-Bukhârî and muslim)”. Al-Albânî said in “As-Silsila As-Sahîha” (06/303): “Its chain of narration is good”.
(7) Reported by At-Tabarânî in “Al-Mu‘jam Al-Awsat” (01/84) and by Al-Bayhaqî in “Shu‘ab Al-Îmân” (06/473) from the hadith of Hudhayfa رضي الله عنه. This Hadith is judged authentic by Al-Albânî in “As-Silsila As-Sahîha” (2692).
(8) Reported by At-Tabarânî in “Al-Mu‘jam Al-Awsat” (06/349), by Abu Ya‘lâ in “Al-Musnad” (11/23) and by Al-Bayhaqî in “Shu‘ab Al-Îmân” (05/172). Al-Haythamî said in “Majma‘ Az-Zawâ’id” (05/212): “There is in its chain of narration Yûşuf Ibn Ziyâd Al-Basrî who is a weak narrator”. Al-Albânî in “As-Silsila Ad-Da‘îfa” judged that it is an invented (lied) hadith (02/42).
(9) See: “Sharh As-Sunna” of Al-Baghawî (12/293).
(10) See: “Al-Âdâb Ash-Shar‘iyya” of Ibn Muflih (02/275).