Hey, You Can’t Hold Hands In Public!!!

24 05 2008

I once knew a  beautiful Muslim woman full of confidence and charisma. Almost Every Friday, she and her husband would get out of their car and walk to the masjid hand in hand. He would lean down and give her a peck on the cheek before they parted ways, he to the men’s entrance and she to the women’s entrance.

One day, as she entered through the women’s entrance and stood to pray her two rakats to greet the masjid, a sister called out to her “Ya Khaltu” (Oh Auntie), don’t you and your husband know that holding hands in public is a sin, much less kissing! AstagfirAllah!! AstagfirAllah! At your age you should be ashamed.” May Allah guide us all!”

She stood still for a few seconds and then raised her hands and said the takbeer beginning  her prayer.  The younger sister smirked thinking that she had done her duty well. As Khaltu prayed, hushed whispers filled the room, each woman entering getting an ear full of the juicy gossip of the moment and the tale of how “khaltu” was given a good dressing down by the younger sister (who sat  basking in the attention).

When Khaltu finished her prayer, she turned around, tears in her eyes, but nevertheless dignified.  All the sisters quietened eagerly waiting to hear what Khaltu would say, itching to hear an argument so that they may go home and burn up the phone lines with the jumah gossip.

However, what they got was not an argument. Khaltu simply said:Perhaps, you think that I am crying  because of the “advice” given me. No, I am crying because as I was making dhikr, I heard all the hushed whispers,no doubt spreading the gossip. I was crying because I found out how eager my beloved sisters are to eat my flesh.  She faced the younger sister and continued, “And what is your proof from the Qur’an and Sunnah? Do you have an ayat, a saheeh (authenticated) hadith?”  The younger sister thought for a few seconds before starting “I once read in a fatwa….” “No,” Khaltu cut her off. “I follow the Quran and Sunnah. What does the Quran and Sunnah say prohibiting it?”  The younger woman couldn’t answer. “Well, I believe that settles it, correct?” Khaltu finished with a tone that made it clear she was finished with the issue.  

Now, Why is it that so many people are quick to judge? Itching to show one another up to see who can deliver the most stinging blow. Why do people think that they can prove their righteousness by analyzing their fellow muslims for any sign of weakness or mistake so that they may come back and throw it in their face in the most horrific manner possible.  What does this accomplish other than division, hurt feelings, and rancour?

It is human nature not to agree on every single point. The companions (the great sahabiyat and tabieen) did not even agree on every single topic. Did they react by treating each other badly? No, because they feared Allah and knew the seriousness of such actions.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t advise people. I’m not saying that you have to accept all other opinions. All I’m saying is, when disagreeing do so in a good way. A way that will unify rather than divide, a way that doesn’t leave people trying to avoid you at all costs.

We need to recognize that people are going to follow different madhabs, people are going to have different opinions, but as long as they say la illaha ill Allah, Muhammad ar Rasool Allah. They are your brother and sister and you owe them their rights and your kindness.

Sometimes, you just have to say: You follow what you deem best and I will follow what I deem best. And leave it at that.

 Secondly, It is a sad fact indeed that SOME (NOT ALL!!!!) Muslims feel that they can show one another no affection in public and in some cases act like they do not even know one another! I’m not talking about making out or anything lewd. But what is wrong with holding hands, linking arms,  or a small peck on the cheek? I don’t get it. Will the world end if my husband stops walking hand in hand with me down the street? No. But it’s nice and it shows our children that we care about one another and it shows others that most Muslim men  are not opressive to their wives but instead we are actually very well cared for and loved. As long as it is happening behind closed doors that’s all that counts. Yes, I have heard that and I get it. But this is just one of those things that I don’t believe is wrong and I have failed to see concrete evidence that it is wrong. Trust me, if someone brings me a hadith or verse of the qur’an  saying “do not hold your wife’s hand in public, do not link arms, thou shalt not give your wife a peck on the cheek…..” I will stop it. Until then……leave me alone.

*Story told w/permission from sisters involved*





18 responses

24 05 2008

Hmm… people should give advice not to just make themselves feel good… More over, they should not give advice in a way that causes others too feel bad or ashamed…

Giving advice is good but giving advice with hikmah, that’s the best…

Thanks for another very good post…

24 05 2008

I always walk with my husband hand in hand. I dont know what’s big deal with it.

Those gossiper women’s problem is all about “I-am-better-than-you” Issue. And really Its a shame that nowadays, Masjid -house of God- is filled with gosspers…

24 05 2008

Wow! What a lovely story, may Allah reward the aunty sister for keeping her calm and replying back with such wisdom! Allahu Akbar!

25 05 2008

Salam ‘alaik Umm Yusuf,

So sad, why is it people are so concern abt something which is “Halal” in the eyes of Allah and not the opposite?

Why make this kind of comments when in actual fact, if the younger sister wanted to advise someone, it should those ppl who are holding hands and kissing even before they are married.

Very sad of how these days many ppl are concern over the wrong things. Quite frankly speaking, I think we should all be more concern about ourselves, we should use the time instead to criticise ourselves. Criticise ourselves in order to better ourselves and not care about what othes are doing.

This story is a good reminder and holds lessons for all of us.

Jazakillah for sharing …

26 05 2008
Monday Happies & Links 5-26-08 « Aaminah Hernández

[…] Yusuf writes about giving advice in a good way (and not advising when you don’t know what you’re talking […]

27 05 2008

Salaams Sis:

I went to meet my husband’s bus when he returned from Hajj. I was with a wali when it arrived. When my husband got off the bus, he greeted us and then gave me a little peck on the cheek. He has never expressed affection in public, so I was a bit surprised … and pleased 🙂

Also, if one thinks someone is doing something sinful or thinks that one would benefit from some correction, they should do so privately. This was the way of the Messenger (saw).

27 05 2008
Hijabi Apprentice

Wow! Thanks for the story. The Auntie is better than I am I probably would have said, “Jealous much?!” LOL!

Seriously, thank you for the reminder.

ma’a salaamah,


28 05 2008

Once a woman came to the Prophet, peace be upon him, with a complaint against her husband. He told her: “There is no woman who removes something to replace it in its proper place, with a view to tidying her husband’s house, but that God sets it down as a virtue for her. Nor is there a man who walks with his wife hand-in-hand, but that God sets it down as a virtue for him; and if he puts his arm round her shoulder in love, his virtue is increased tenfold.”

I think this somehow proves that there can’t be anything wrong with a husband showing this kind of affection to his wife. MashaAllah for the sister who replied as she did. Thank you for posting, that story has really brightened up my day.

1 06 2008
Umm Yusuf

Assalaamu Alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu,

meor@maru-Subhan’Allah that is so true. We need to give advise with wisdom rather than to show off.

Sis Shahrzad- Yes, backbiting in the masjid is a real problem today amongst some Muslims….especially on the day of Jumah when everyone is congregated.

Sis Qamar-Mash’Allah, glad to see u stop by!

Sis Adik-Very wise words sis. It’s true we should judge ourselves first!

Sis Aaminah, Jazaki Allahu Khairan for linking. 😀

Sis Saffiyah-What is it they say….”Absence makes the heart grow fonder?” Mash’Allah! hehe

HA-Subhan’Allah that was EXACTLY what I thought that I would say but truly, if the elder sister had responded with that it would more than likely have escalated into a full on argument and hurt feelings.

Nabeela-Jazaki Allahu Khairan for the hadith. It is a beautiful one. Mash’Allah I had never heard it. Do you know where I can find it (what hadith book?) by any chance?

May Allah bless all of you and keep you and your families on the Quran and Sunnah. ameen.

1 06 2008

walaikum salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,
no i’m sorry sister i don’t know, but yes it is beautiful i agree.

2 06 2008
Hijabi Apprentice

I’ve been looking for the hadith sister Nabeelah was kind enough to post here too :). It’s so beautiful if I’m able to find the source I’ll post it on my blog :).

ma’a salaamah,


15 06 2008

As-salaamu’alaykum wa Rahmatu Llahi wa Barakatuhu my dearest sister,

Great advice, jazaki’Allahu khair. 😀

“They are your brother and sister and you owe them their rights and your kindness.” .. beautiful statement. May Allah fill our hearts with love and mercy for one another. Ameen.

Wa’alaykum as-salaam
Love Farhana

9 06 2009

Subhanalllah, Habibti, jazakallah khair. Love for the sake of Allah, Salihah

11 12 2009
Al Mutafa2ila

If it is not permissable to tell the intimacy that goes on between husband and wife from authenticated ahadith,why would publically showing even small amount of intimacy be permissable?

I suggest you read this,perhaps it can clarify things for you.We’re not kuffar.How could it possibly be halal for other men and women to see a husband and wife holding hands and giving each other pecks?I don’t think they should have whispered and spoken in a bad manner to the sister but i also do not agree with public display of affection.When you are in private you can do anything you like,and in front of the masjid too?Come on……maybe people don’t want to see that and it makes them uncomfortable anyway.Plus their might be children watching that.

Spouses love of each other but i am sure they can hold off the affection before going to the masjid and in front of other people.

Final word is we shouldn’t always take it offensively when people try to correct us.

11 12 2009
Al Mutafa2ila

Oh sorry i forgot to paste the link on the ruling on public affection


23 12 2009
Azharuddin Mohammed

Public display of affection(PDA) is okay so long as it is within the limits of decency. I would have no issues with a peck on cheek or even holding hands. But I’d certainly want our people to refrain from lewd acts being done in open which are being done in the guise of PDA in some societies.

8 02 2010

my husband wont hold my hand because he says he will have to wash because it makes him think about sex.I think this is crazy.All I want is some affection instead of sex!He makes me feel so lonley

4 05 2010
Is-za Jelass

Salam wa alaykum, there is nothing in the Qur’an an in the Sunnah that advocates against the public display of affection for Muslims. One clear hadith narrated by Aishah (may Allah be please with her) was the day of Id when she asked to view the display of the ethiopians with shields and spears. The Prophet (saws) allowed her to do this by putting her behind him…”my cheek was touching his cheek and he was saying ‘Carry on O bani Arfida’ till I got tired'” (al bukhari)

The ulema of the past have allowed for the culturaly accepted practices of public display of affection WIThin limits. (touching being cheek to cheek and holding hands) and disaprove more with explicit behaviour. Muslims seem to have become disgustly harsh with eachother and seem to practice the belief that the more strict and cold you are with one another the more adherent you are to the faith.

I dont think its in someones place to chastise or ridicule or even to advise someone because in “their opinion” they don’t agree. The fatawas are not at the same level as following the Sunna

“The best of you is the one who is best to his wives, and I am the best of you to my wives” (Tirmidi and ibn Majah)

Muslims think that because we are enjoined with “enjoining the good and forbidding the evil” we have a free ticket to nit pick and call out every seemingly practice of our brothers and sisters but I highly doubt that the display of kissing on the cheek falls in the range of EVIL as does shirk, zina, takfir, murder of innocents..etc

So was it really that neccessary for her to shout that “advice?” uhh no…Did it come from the right place (good intention)? NOpe doesnt seem like it because she said it out loud, the tone she used, and seeking refuge from the devil for an innocent kiss? Give me a break.

“Love is neither disapproved by Religion, nor prohibited by law, for every heart is in God’s hands.” Ibn Hazm

Sister thank you for posting this wonderful post as well as your thoughts.

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