I was told that there exists a Hadith wherein mention is made that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) used to give a firm handshake whilst making Musafahah (i.e. shaking hands) [meaning to give it a wedge moving it up and down, as is normally observed in our daily interactions]. Would you be so kind as to please provide the reference?
Diyaud Din Al-Maqdisi (rahimahullah) has recorded a narration on the authority of Sayyiduna Bara bin ‘Azib (radiyallahu ‘anhu) wherein he is reported to have said:
“Rasulullah (sallalalhu ‘alayhi wasallam) made Musafahah with me [i.e. shook my hand] and squeezed my palm….”
(Dhikrul Musafahah of Diyaud Din Al-Maqdisi, Under Hadith: 3; Also see An-Nihayah Fi Gharibil Hadith, Letters: غ م ز)
The chain of this narration, however, consists of a known fabricator in Hadith, and is therefore not suitable to quote.
(Al-Kashful Hathith ‘Am-man Rumiya Bi Wad‘il Hadith; Tanzihush Shari’ah vol. 1 pg. 107; Also see: Tarikh Bagdhad, vol. 3 pgs. 456-458)
Besides the aforementioned Hadith, I have not come across any other Marfu’ Hadiths (i.e. attributed to Rasulullah – sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) wherein clear mention is made of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) having given a firm handshake.
Nonetheless, Hafiz Ibn ‘Abdil Barr (rahimahullah) has recorded a narration wherein ‘Ata (rahimahullah) observed Ibn ‘Abbas (radiyallahu ‘anhu) giving a handshake whilst squeezing/applying pressure to the other individual’s hand, out of love.
(At-Tamhid, vol. 21 pg. 16; Also see: Al-Futuhatur Rabbaniyyah, vol. 5 pgs. 395-396)
The ‘Ulama have addressed this matter and a few differences of opinion have been recorded [on whether or not the handshake should be firm].
Some of the Jurists and ‘Ulama have explicitly discouraged, and even frowned upon, a strong handshake that leaves an impression/mark immediately afterwards. ‘Allamah Jazuli (rahimahullah) has mentioned that a handshake should not be extremely firm (that it causes any sort of discomfort), as that (i.e. a handshake which does not harm the other) is more profound in spreading love [comfort, and happiness]. He has further added that a handshake should be such that (if two individuals had applied any ‘itr/perfume, then) the scent of each individual rubs off onto the other.
(Al-Futuhatur Rabbaniyyah, vol. 5 pg. 392)
For further detail regarding the etiquettes of Musafahah (shaking hands), kindly refer to the respective chapter in the Hadith books along with their commentaries.
And Allah Ta’ala knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Farhan Shariff
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar