Q: I would like to offer you certain issues that cause me many annoyances in my marital life. The first of these issues is: (Part No. 17; Page No. 31) shaking hands with women.
Is it permissible to shake hands with a woman who is non-Mahram (not a spouse or an unmarriageable relative)?
Is it permissible to shake hands with a woman using a cloth that she puts on her hand? I am a Sudanese person who lives in the Kingdom. I came to know that shaking hands with a woman is not permissible. But my family and relatives do not believe in that. They hold other old customs and habits and regard any person who violates their customs and habits to be a dissident. They shake hands with women and I can not prevent them from doing so.The problem I face is in my house. Should I prevent my wife from shaking hands with non-Mahrams? Is it permissible to shake hands with women using a cloth? If it is not permissible to shake hands with women, what should I do if my wife refuses to follow my command? What is the ruling on permitting my wife to shake hands with non-Mahrams? Moreover, our customs and habits find no harm in doing so.
It is not permissible for a woman to shake hands with non-Mahrams even if this happens using a cloth. Rampant habits and customs do not permit one to do what is held unlawful by Shari`ah (Islamic law). A woman's husband and guardians should advise her to give up this bad habit. Muslims should do their best to change habits and customs that violate Shari`ah rules. (Part No. 17; Page No. 32) May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.