Can We Walk While Holding Hands with Our Spouse?
Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel
Please explain the sunna way of walking to me in simple terms. Also, is it permissible to hold the hand of a companion while walking?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate
I pray you are well.
Walking of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)
Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) said, “I did not see anyone more handsome as the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace). It was as if the sun’s brightness had shone from his auspicious face. I did not see anyone walk faster than him, as if the earth folded for him. We found it difficult to keep pace when we walked with him, and he walked at his normal pace.” [Tirmidhi, al-Shama’il al-Muhammadiyya]
Ibrahim ibn Muhammad says: “When ‘Ali (Allah be pleased with him) described the messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), he used to say: When He (Allah bless him and give him peace) walked, he lifted his leg with vigor. It seemed as if he was descending from a high place.” [Tirmidhi, al-Shama’il al-Muhammadiyya]
‘Ali bin Abi Talib (Allah be pleased with him) says: “When the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) walked, he bent slightly forward as if he was descending from a high place.” [Tirmidhi, al-Shama’il al-Muhammadiyya]
Mulla ‘Ali al-Qari, mentions in his commentary of the above hadiths that our Prophet used to walk faster than his companions, a fast-paced walk without any effort, which showed the strength of his body and lowered his back showing his humility. [Mulla ‘Ali Qari, Jam‘ al-Wasa’il]
Abdullah ibn Hisham (Allah be pleased with him), We were with the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), and he was holding the hand of ‘Umar ibn Khattab (Allah be pleased with him). ‘Umar said to Him, “O Allah’s Messenger! You are dearer to me than everything except my own self.” The Prophet said, “No, by Him in Whose Hand my soul is, (you will not have complete faith) till I am dearer to you than your own self.” Then ‘Umar said to him, “However, now, by Allah, you are dearer to me than my own self.” The Prophet said, “Now, O ‘Umar, (now you are a complete believer).” [Bukhari]
The hadith does not show that it was a general practice of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), while walking, but he probably did it throughout his life at times.
Spouses Holding Hands
As local customs are also considered in determining sharia laws, rulings can be based on them. [Ibn ‘Abidin, Nashr al-‘Arf]
Therefore, if holding hands is not considered offensive in a society where one resides, it would be permitted. Otherwise, it will be offensive. However, if spouses hold hands casually and not expressing intimacy, then it is fine, also when there is a need to hold hands, like in a crowded area, crossing roads, etc.
Walking with Purpose: Taking Good Health in Your Stride
Is It Permissible for a Woman To Go Out for Walks and Get Fresh Air?
His Blessed Walk – Small Steps to Allah
I hope this helps with your question.
[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied within UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. He started his early education in the UK. He went on to complete hifz of Quran in India, then enrolled into an Islamic seminary in UK where he studied the secular and ‘Aalimiyya sciences. He then traveled to Karachi, Pakistan. He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for a number of years. He has taught hifz of the Quran, Tajwid, Fiqh and many other Islamic sciences to both children and adults onsite and online extensively in UK and Ireland. He was teaching at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences. He currently resides in UK with his wife. His personal interest is love of books and gardening.