// Men trying to shake hands with Muslim Women
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Blessedgrandma
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« on: Nov 19, 2008 02:05 AM »


Not many know I'm a Muslim and I haven't yet been wearing a scarf.
How do other sisters deal with what in the US is a custom of greeting.
The looks on men's faces when I tell them I don't shake hands is  Shocked Sad
Sometimes I explain, other times I just smile and say,
'Don't take it personal, I don't shake hands with men.
I have been thinking of wearing gloves in public,
is it OK to shake hands if one is wearing gloves?
Technically it's still letting a non related man touch you isn't it?
a_desert_rose
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« Reply #1 on: Nov 19, 2008 08:22 PM »


Assalamualaikum,

I've only had to that once so far (alhamdulillah) when I went for my uni interview and the guy was really nice about it, and apologised later because he thought he'd offended me! Maybe once I start working (in the big bad world) I'll come across people who are not so nice.

About the gloves, I personally don't think it's okay. After all, covering other parts of our body with clothing doesn't mean contact is allowed between non-mahrams, right?

Wassalam,

a_desert_rose
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« Reply #2 on: Nov 20, 2008 12:13 AM »

As salaamu alaikum

Cultural insensitivity plays a huge factor in non-Muslim men attempting to shake hands with Muslim women.  They fail to realize that it is better to err on the side of caution and not extend their hand and expect a woman to in turn extend hers.  Instead they do so and then looked shocked if not insulted when a hand extension is not forth coming.  Ignorance and/or arrogance also come into play; ignorance of anything beyond themselves and arrogance in believing that everyone should do as they (US society) do.  Proper ettiquette should dictate in all situations that if a woman doesn't extend her hand first then that means no handshaking is going to take place.

I used to go through the explaining dialogue but it often turned into a lengthy conversation that I wasn't in the mood to have and after explaining to a non-Muslim woman why I wasn't planning to attend an office party and realizing her own ignorance when she said "well what do you mean you don't interact socially with men; your father and your son are both male".  Well this only resulted in yet another extended conversation.

Sometimes I take the subtle approach by just not extending my hand in return and other times I take a more obvious approach by waving them away.  Still that's just my approach; everyone handles it differently but handle it they do whenever they have to be outside.

Wa salaam

Fa'izah
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« Reply #3 on: Nov 21, 2008 10:54 AM »

salam


Little known fact, Orthodox jewish men and women do not touch members of the opposite sex either, the really serious ones do not touch non Jews of the same sex either.

Why is it so wierd when muslims choose not to then?

My method is to place my hand on my chest and nod with a smile. Or make sure your hands are full???

I've actually noticed that men tend not to extend their hand to me anyway, I think people are slowly becoming more aware.


If one can, not shake hands, in a good humoured manner then consider it a chance of dawa.

Wassalaam

And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
Tabriz
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« Reply #4 on: Dec 05, 2008 08:30 AM »

Assalamu alykum,

To be honest, If a man extends his hand for a handshake, I shake it. In most situations that I encounter myself with, so far, i find it inconvenient to go into an explanation.

Yes, some orthodox Jews do not shake hands with the opposite gender. However, even amongst them there is a difference of opinion. At least I believe there is because on a website dedicated to explaining orthodox Judaism by an orthodox person, I once read a article, a 'fatwa' of sorts from a rabbi, that in a business situation it's ok to shake hands, but the handshake should not linger and should be as brief as possible.

If I get to know the person a bit more, or if there is a second encounter, or if the encounter is long, then I will let them know that I prefer not to shake hands. But i do not refuse a handshake for the first time from someone. Yes, I know it's not Islamic. I am not advocating that it be. Just saying what I personally do.


You wrote:
>>>>>Ignorance and/or arrogance also come into play; ignorance of anything beyond themselves and arrogance in believing that everyone should do as they (US society) do.  Proper ettiquette should dictate in all situations that if a woman doesn't extend her hand first then that means no handshaking is going to take place.>>>>>

I disagree with the first sentence of the above quote. It doesn't have to do with ignorance. Or arrogance. Sometimes people just don't know. Most people are kind and understanding when things are explained to them. At least from my experience in regards to handshaking.

I agree with the second custom. It used to be that way in the United States. But very few people follow that now. In fact, a couple of months back I read an article on MSN, on business ettiquete, that it is no longer the case that men should wait for the women to offer their hands. Anyone can initiate the handshake. I guess it has to do with the whole equality issue. I don't know.

But anyhow, if you tell people that orthodox Jews don't shake opposite gender's hands, they would find that weird too. Try it.




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« Reply #5 on: Dec 05, 2008 03:55 PM »

salaam

mashAllah your so good blessedgrandma.. I have to admit I shake, it takes a second.. although its absolutely no excuse. Somtimz I look the other way and the men get the hint. MashAllah I noticed some dont extend their hand as I dont look directly they get the hint. And seeing me in a scarf is another hint I suppose
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