Are Hugging and Shaking Hands With My Childhood Friend’s Mom Permissible?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Assalam aleykum

1. My childhood friend’s mother has witnessed me grow up in front of her and basically treats me as one of her own children.

Are hugging and shaking hands with my childhood friend’s mom permissible?

2. I fed, changed diapers of my female cousin. Is physical contact with her impressible thereafter even though I consider her like my daughter?

3. Is it permissible to shake hands to a senile person of the opposite gender?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

1. An adult male touching an adult female is only permitted in a select number of cases, namely (a) when both are mahrams, (b) both are milk-siblings, (c) one or both is elderly such that he/she is no longer characterized by sexual desire, and (d) in cases of necessity, such as medical treatment.

In your case, it would not be permitted to have physical contact with your mother’s childhood friend unless she falls into one of the aforementioned categories. However, if she is elderly of the type described above, it would be permitted for you to shake her hands as long as there is no fear of desire.

2. The same ruling would apply to your cousin as mentioned above.

3. This would seem permissible as long as there is no fear of desire from your end.

[al-Haskafi, Durr al-Mukhtar, Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir.