Kissing Hands or Feet of Pious
In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.
To kiss the hands or forehead of the pious or the scholars is permissible. Some scholars are of the view that it is mustuhub. (Mazahirul Haqq p.368 v.5 & Aapke Masaail p.258 v.7)
There are numerous narrations of the Companions kissing the hands of the elders.
Tamim Ibn Salama relates with a chain of trustworthy narrators that Abu Ubayda Ibn al-Jarrah Radiallahu Anhu kissed Saaiduna Umar Radiallahu Anhu’s hand when the latter came to Damascus, after which they both began to weep. Tamin said “Therefore they considered that kissing the hand is Sunna” and in another version “kissing the hand is sunna” and in another “kissing is sunna”. (Mussanaf Ibn Abi Shaybah)
Imam Bukhari in his Adab al-Mufrad and Imam Ahmad in his Musnad narrate that Thabit al-Bunani the Tabi’i would come to Saaiduna Anas Radiallahu Anhu and kiss his hand because it has touched the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam’s hand.
Saaiduna Aaishah Radiallahu Anha narrates “Zaid bin Harithah came to the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam when he was in my house. Zaid knocked at the door. The Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam rose to receive him, trailing his garment. He embraced and kissed him”. (Sunan Tirmizi p.102 v.2)
With regards to kissing the feet, as long as it is done to someone pious due to his piety or to seek blessings from him then it will be permissible. (Nuzhatul Muttaqeen p.661 v.1)
Safwan bin Assal Radiallahu Anhu reports a Jew asked his companion to take him to the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam. When they came to the Prophet of Allah they asked him about the nine clear signs (given to Saaiduna Musa Alayhis Salam). Safwan narrated the long hadith, which concludes: They kissed the hands and feet of the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam and said, “We testify that you are a Prophet”. (Sunan Tirmizi p.102 v.2)
However, care should be taken that it is not done in a bowing or in a prostrating manner.
The Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam said “It is not permissible for one human to prostrate in front of another”. (Sunan Tirmizi)
Saaiduna Anas Radiallahu Anhu narrates that a man asked: “O Prophet of Allah! When a man meets a brother or friend, should he bow to him? He said, “No”. The man asked whether he should embrace and kiss him. The Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam replied “No”. The man asked whether he should hold his hand and shake it. The Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam replied “Yes”. (Sunan Tirmizi p.101 v.2)
Only Allah Knows Best
Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham