Shaykh Muhammad Nasiruddin Al-Albani was asked:


“Does this Hadith:

عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ، قَالَ قُلْنَا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَيَنْحَنِي بَعْضُنَا لِبَعْضٍ قَالَ ‘‏ لاَ ‘‏ ‏.‏ قُلْنَا أَيُعَانِقُ بَعْضُنَا بَعْضًا قَالَ ‏’ لاَ وَلَكِنْ تَصَافَحُوا ‏’

It was narrated that Anas bin Malik said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! Should we bow to one another?’ He said, ‘No.’ We said, ‘Should we embrace one another?’ He said, ‘No, but shake hands with one another.’ End quote. [Saheeh Ibn Majah no. 3702]

apply to women as well?


“However, before entering into this new chapter, I promised that we will speak about an older person hugging another older person. In this chapter, as you have heard, is the legislation of an older person hugging a young one. So it legislated for an older person to hug another older person? Of course the speech now is in relation to one gender hugging another person of the same gender. As for a man hugging a woman, then this is not reported (i.e. permissible) if she is a stranger and not his wife. Is it allowed for a man, when he shakes the hand of another man, to hug him? Likewise, is it allowed for a woman when she meets another woman and shakes her hand and greets her, to hug her? The answer is no in both cases. It is not from the etiquette of Islam that a man hugs a man and that a woman hugs another woman (when they meet). Hugging has only been reported from the companions (may Allah be pleased with them) in a specific situation and it is when they meet after a travel. If one of them travels and returns after some time, then he meets a man who is beloved to him, then he hugs him. As for other than the situation of travel, then there is no etiquette (legislated) when a man meets with another man or a woman with another woman beyond shaking the hand. It has come in the Hadith of

Anas bin Malik that a man asked the Messenger of Allah, ‘O Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), if one of us meets his fellow brother, does he hug him?’ He said, ‘No.’ ‘Does he embrace him?’ He said, ‘No.’ ‘Does he bow towards him?’ He said, ‘No.’ ‘Does he shake his hand?’ He said, ‘Yes’ [End quote. (Saheeh Ibn Majah no. 3702)]

This is the etiquette when a man meets another man and a woman meets another woman. There is no hugging for both groups at all. Hugging was established, as we said, between the companions (may Allah be pleased with them) when returning from travel. I do not know if this ruling extends from men to women because we find the Hadith which we mentioned now is the Hadith of Anas (may Allah have mercy upon him), ‘”Should we hug one another?’ He said, ‘No'” is a general text. When we find that the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) hug one another after travel, then it is necessary that the Companions took that allowance from the Prophet (ﷺ). However, I did not find as far as I know, [a narration about] women hugging one another after a travel. So like that, I recommend that the women suffice with shaking the hands only, whether they return from travel or other than a travel. As for men, then the allowance has come from the Companions (may Allah be pleased with him) that they use to hug one another when meeting after a travel” End translation. [al-Mutafarriqaat no. 232]

Translated by

Faisal bin Abdul Qaadir bin Hassan
Abu Sulaymaan