Question # 234: Is shaking hand after every fard prayer bidah?

Bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,

Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).

Dear questioner,

First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.

Shorter Answer: Shaking hands immediately after finishing the salah (prayer) is an innovation (bid‘ah). The reservation here does not have to do with shaking hands with a Muslim brother; it has to do with the timing of this action, following the prayer. Every deed or word that is not proven to be from the Sahaabah is an innovation, because had it been good, they would have performed it before us, as they did not leave any good deed but always hastened to do it. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “Whoever introduces something into this matter of ours that is not part of it will have it rejected.”

Long Answer:  The basic principle with regard to rulings on matters of worship is that they are either Sunnah or bid‘ah (innovation), i.e., they were either narrated from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) or they were not. Whatever was the practice of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) is Sunnah, and whatever was not part of the religion at the time of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) and his Companions is not part of the religion for us today.

Abu Dawood and others narrated that al-‘Irbaad ibn Saariyah (رضي الله عنه) said: The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “Whoever among you lives after I am gone will see great disputes; you must adhere to my Sunnah and the way of the Rightly Guided Caliphs. Hold on to it and cling fast to it. And beware of newly-invented matters, for every newly-invented matter is an innovation and every innovation is a going astray.” (Classed as sahih by al-Albaani)

Al-Haafiz Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jama‘ah describe every deed or word that is not proven to be from the Sahaabah as an innovation (bid‘ah), because it were good, they would have done it before us, for they did not leave any good deed but they hastened to do it. (Tafseer Ibn Katheer)

Shaykh al-Fawzaan said: “The innovations that have been introduced in the field of acts of worship in the current era are many, because the basic principle concerning acts of worship is tawqeef [i.e., they can only be known through divine Revelation and sound texts of Qur’an and hadith, with no room for personal opinion]. So no act of worship can be regarded as Islamically prescribed except on the basis of evidence. So long as there is no evidence for it, then it is an innovation, because the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “Whoever introduces something into this matter of ours that is not part of it will have it rejected.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim) The acts of worship that are done nowadays, for which there is no evidence, are many indeed…” (Al-Bid‘ah ‘Anwaa‘uha wa Ahkaamuha, in Majmoo‘ah Mu’allafaat al-Fawzaan)

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: “What is your opinion on shaking hands and saying “Taqabbal Allah (May Allah accept it)” immediately after finishing the prayer?” He replied: “There is no basis for shaking hands or saying “Taqabbal Allah (May Allah accept it)” after finishing the prayer; that was not narrated from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) or from his Companions (رضي الله عنهم)” (Majmoo‘ Fataawa wa Rasaa’il Ibn ‘Uthameen)

The reservation here does not have to do with shaking hands with a Muslim brother; it has to do with the timing of this action, following the prayer, and making them a regular habit. If one were to shake hands when meeting one’s brothers on the way into or out of the mosque, or when seeing a brother next to one after a long absence, there is nothing wrong with that at all.

[In fact,] Shaking hands when meeting and saying salaam is part of the etiquette of Islam and its good morals. It is an expression of love between the two who shake hands, as it dispels hatred, rancor and grudges among the Muslims. There is a great hadith which speaks of its virtue, in which the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “There are no two Muslims who meet and shake hands with one another, but they will be forgiven before they part.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood; classed as sahih by al-Albani in Saheeh Abi Dawood)

Shaking hands was a custom that was well known among the Sahabah (رضي الله عنهم). It was narrated that Qataadah said: I said to Anas ibn Maalik: Did the companions of the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) shake hands with one another? He said: Yes. (Narrated by al-Bukhari)

Ibn Battaal said: Shaking hands is good according to most of the scholars. Al-Nawawi said: “Shaking hands when meeting is a Sunnah on which there is consensus – as stated in Fath al-Baari”

(The above reply is based on various answers by Islamqa.info on the topic)

Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.

Wassalaam