The masnun method of shaking someone’s hand

Question

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?

 

Answer

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.

(Also see: Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith: 3716, Mu’jamul Awsat, Hadith: 8683, Al-Adhkar, Hadith: 740 onwards, Majma’uz Zawaid, vol. 9 pg. 15, here and here)

 

And Allah Ta’ala knows best.

 

Answered by: Moulana Farhan Shariff

 

Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar