What is meant by 'touching' in Surah Al-Nisa'

Q: In Ayah (6) of Surah Al-Ma’idah, Allah (Exalted be He) states: أَوْ لاَمَسْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ [whose meanings can be translated as: “or you have touched women”]. Does touching here mean shaking hands and the like ? Or does it mean having sexual intercourse? It is worth mentioning in this regard that the dominant majority of our scholars follow the Shafi‘y Madh-hab (School of Jurisprudence).

A: All praise be to Allah Alone, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger, and his family and Companions. What is meant by “Mulamasah” (touching) in the Ayah is private association, interpreted by Ibn ‘Abbas as Jima‘ (conjugal intercourse). The same view was reported from `Aly, Ubay ibn Ka‘b, Mujahid, Tawus, Al-Hasan, ‘Ubayd ibn ‘Umayr, Sa`id ibn Jubayr, Al-Sha`by, Qatadah, and Muqatil ibn Hayyan. On the other hand, Ibn Mas‘ud (may Allah be pleased with him) and another group said: (This refers to the touching itself of any part of her body), they opine that this act nullifies Wudu’ (ablution). However, the first opinion is more correct, because of what is authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) kissed some of his wives then prayed without performing Wudu’ after that. Also, the basic principle is the validity of Taharah (ritual purity), which cannot be annulled except through an annulment stipulated by Islamic legal evidence.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.