Q: What is the ruling
on women clapping their hands at wedding parties
or the celebration of graduates at summer centers or at any other gathering where Allah and His Messenger are mentioned? I ask this question because I attended a celebration in
and met a woman in charge of a celebration of graduates of a summer center for the memorization of the Holy Qur'an. She ordered them to clap their hands at the end of every part of the celebration. I expressed my disapproval of this then she asked me about the evidence for the impermissibility of clapping hands for women. I quoted the saying of Allah (Exalted be He):
Their Salât (prayer) at the House (of Allâh, i.e. the Ka‘bah at Makkah) was nothing but whistling.
She told me that she referred to many religious books but she did not find evidence of the unlawfulness of clapping hands. She asked me to ask his Eminence Shaykh
about the evidence for the impermissibility of clapping hands. Here I have mentioned her request. I hope you will give me a detailed answer for this question in a message sealed from the Committee; because I intend to show it to the woman in charge of the summer center who is a professor.
It is permissible for men and women when hearing or seeing a pleasant deed (Part No. 19; Page No. 123) or a prohibited deed to recite Tasbih (saying: "Subhan Allah [Glory be to Allah]") or Takbir (saying: "Allahu Akbar [Allah is the Greatest]") but not to clap their hands. This is how to act like the Prophet (peace be upon him); because he used to say "Subhan Allah" or "Allahu Akbar" to express his approval or disapproval of deeds. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.