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The (Dreaded) Handshake.

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  • The (Dreaded) Handshake.

    Assalaamu 'alaykum wa rahmatullaah,

    For those in the West, what tactics/words have you used to get out of a handshake with someone of the opposite gender, without making the situation awkward?

    Any stories to share?



  • #2
    alaikum wasalam a rahmatullah barakatu


    This one was a difficult habit for me to break as when you've never given a second thought to shaking hands with a woman and have been doing it for decades it becomes a fixed response when someone puts out their hand to shake it.

    I've shook hands with women a couple of times since I reverted and each time I realized immediately afterward that it was wrong and repented.
    surprise me what a hard habit it is to break.

    I've flat out said I don't shake hands with women and it never goes over well.EVER. One time was with a female lawyer and the look of offense on her face was obvious. She would have been less offended if I had reach out and shook her breast.

    It's the cultural norm here and with the push for feminism you'll only make your self look like a male chauvinist or an idiot for refusing. I've heard people put forth various methods like pretending your a germophobe or you didn't wash your hands. Both of which are also bad ideas,on emakes you look like a nutter,the other a sloven pig.

    here's a couple of suggestion that I have found work OK but I still haven't found a solution I'm satisfied with.

    1.Avoidance: if you know that your expected to shake hands with a women in a certain situation avoid that situation,if your job entails meeting strange women and shaking hands with them on a regular basis find a new job. If your going to a meeting and you'll have to shake hands with women than keep your hands full,take a heavy binder full of paper that requires two hands to carry or carry a coffee mug in one and a notebooks in another. say hello,smile and apologize that your hands are full. Not a great solution but works in a pinch.

    Second method is to avoid striking distance of her tentacles. Most people will only put out their hand to be shook if they are within one step and arms length of the intended target. If she takes a step forward,take a step back. Women are better at picking up body language cues than most men and she will inshaAllah get the message. Still an awkward situation but it works.

    2.diversion: take immediate control of the situation and start fast talking and preferably walking as well. People like to be facing each other and stationary to shake hands so if your not facing them and are moving it lessens the chances of that dreaded outreach. Divert their attention to another matter before the get he chance.


    Neither suggestion I have is great. The habit of handshaking is pretty ingrained in western culture now and after WW2 when feminisim took off women expected to be treated as equals. before WW1 it's was rude to try to shake a womens hands like a mans,it's how the culture was liberalized and changed over time. In victorian times it was unheard of to shake a womans hands like a mans and may result in physical violence from other men if you tried.

    No matter what you say or do it will be seen to be very rude not to shake a woman's hand nowadays,their is no escaping that.

    Comment


    • #3
      When they reach out, right hand goes on the chest, lean in, and slightly nod. It's respectful without touching and shows acknowledgement of their presence.

      Comment


      • #4
        I say im ill and dont want to get them ill
        I emphasize this by blowing my nose a couple times before

        Comment


        • #5
          It's tough. I usually avoid any scenario where it may occur, but sometimes it gets sprung on you. In the few times that I explained to them why I couldn't, they took it well, all things considered.

          Comment


          • #6
            I don't know I just flap my arms by the side and just run away


            but in all seriousness here's a good vid by a Jewish woman on how to avoid the dread

            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cixWcl3inU4
            It all starts with a thought

            Comment


            • #7
              Slap them.
              You think you know more than my scholar's qiyās? He was more learned than you and all other scholars combined. Yeah, the devil was the greatest scholar too and look where his qiyās of fire being better than tīn got him. Sorry.

              You follow your scholar's qiyās, and I will follow the Qur'ān and Sunnah.

              Comment


              • #8
                "Sorry*, but I'm not permitted to shake hands... religious reasons, but it's wonderful / very nice / good to meet you..." Etc, etc... With a little bit extra in explanation if it seems it's needed. Body language and tone obviously important.

                Sometimes people seem a bit taken aback or even slightly embarrassed, but that can't really be helped.

                I did have one instance years ago where things happened so quickly, I found myself asking myself what on earth happened there? right after. (Was an estate agent just about to leave, talking in a hurry...). Since then I've been very careful, tbh. Alhamdulillah. Not too much of a problem anymore. Then again, I'm not really in the position very often these days, thankfully.

                What's more of a problem I've found is the eye contact. Seems sometimes people (women here of course) become quite agitated by a man not looking at them in the face despite them being spoken to politely and in a manner clearly lacking any apparent ill-will.

                Again, not really too much we can do there.


                (*Sorry as in sorry that you might be feeling this way as a result of your being unaware. Not sorry that I can't shake your hand because of the command of my Creator (SWT), na'oothu billah.)

                ​​​​​​





                Last edited by Fakhri; 14-02-18, 01:26 AM.
                LAA ILAAHA ILLALLAH
                -------------------------------
                "And if you would count the graces of God, never could you be able to count them. Truly, God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (Qur'aan 16:18)
                NOTE: Please kindly do NOT rep my posts. (Jazaa'akumullah).

                Comment


                • #9
                  errr merr gerddd, mozlum takyaaarrr

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sister_2009 View Post
                    When they reach out, right hand goes on the chest, lean in, and slightly nod. It's respectful without touching and shows acknowledgement of their presence.
                    Usually this is how it transpires for me too.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I used to be more steadfast when it comes to not shaking the hand of the oppsite gender when I was younger, granted it used to be much easier back then. I didn't work.
                      Unfortunately, I fail to not shake hands.
                      I had a pretty bad experience one year ago and it instilled fear in me that the next person I'll reject will react the same way that person did. It's definetely no excuse, may Allah s.w.t. forgive me.

                      i do use the avoidance trick though, it works sometimes and it's such a relief when it does.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Demure View Post
                        I used to be more steadfast when it comes to not shaking the hand of the oppsite gender when I was younger, granted it used to be much easier back then. I didn't work.
                        Unfortunately, I fail to not shake hands.
                        I had a pretty bad experience one year ago and it instilled fear in me that the next person I'll reject will react the same way that person did. It's definetely no excuse, may Allah s.w.t. forgive me.

                        i do use the avoidance trick though, it works sometimes and it's such a relief when it does.
                        ran into a feminazi,eh?
                        yeah I've met a few of those and was foolish enough to say "I don't shake hands with women" which they always takes as a declaration of war and launch into a spiel about how I am an arrogant pig and a chauvinist.

                        For some of the more militant feminist not shaking hands really sets them off, same with not looking them in the eye.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          This can be tricky

                          When I had my interview for the job I'm doing now I emailed the HR people in advance to let them know I won't be shaking hands with any females due to religious reasons, they were perfectly fine with it alhamdulillah

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Samsandman View Post

                            ran into a feminazi,eh?
                            yeah I've met a few of those and was foolish enough to say "I don't shake hands with women" which they always takes as a declaration of war and launch into a spiel about how I am an arrogant pig and a chauvinist.

                            For some of the more militant feminist not shaking hands really sets them off, same with not looking them in the eye.
                            I suppose we could all say we just don't shake hands with ANYONE- to keep the peace AND H&S

                            it's to do with hygiene, some people lick their hands and touch haram food, others don't wash their hands after visiting the loo (applies to adults)

                            *gags

                            I said before that there is nothing professional about shaking hands, so old fashioned
                            Last edited by Ya'sin; 19-02-18, 10:56 PM.
                            'Whatever it be wherein ye differ, the decision thereof is with Allah: such is Allah my Lord: In Him I trust, and to Him I turn.' The Holy Qu'ran Al Shura (Consultation)

                            So, which of the favours of your lord will you deny? ~ Surah Ar Rahman

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              From personal experiences the men get embarrassed when I decline it and it's always awkward for them no matter what

                              I keep my distance and nod my head and say 'sorry, I don't shake hands' and we quickly get over it as it feels like an awkward moment for both parties so we just want to forget and get to the point.

                              it's much harder when there is more than one man, again, I keep my distance and put on a dopey smiley face (nothing flirty, besides I don't look like that type either) and take my sit asap

                              I adjust how I behave depending on the scenario, sometimes I don't even say anything and 'blank' the hand shake.




                              'Whatever it be wherein ye differ, the decision thereof is with Allah: such is Allah my Lord: In Him I trust, and to Him I turn.' The Holy Qu'ran Al Shura (Consultation)

                              So, which of the favours of your lord will you deny? ~ Surah Ar Rahman

                              Comment

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