The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, did not command the Companions to kiss his hand
Fatwa No: 285115

  • Fatwa Date:8-4-2015 - Jumaadaa Al-Aakhir 19, 1436
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Question

Asslam'alaykum, Please advise me if Rasoole Karim(sallallah'alayh'wasallam encouraged to kiss his hands to show respect and honour. In some parts of subcontinent peoples use to kiss hands of a person who recently performed hajj and also hands of Islamic scholars. Moreover, please let me know the reference of hadeeth which narrates that 'Hazrat Ma'az bin Jabal, having returned from Syria used to kiss hands or feet of the Prophet(s.a.w) and said Romans do it to show their respect for their Monarch. JazakAllah.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

As far as we know, it was not reported about the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, that he commanded and urged the Companions to kiss his noble hands.

Anyone who reads about the life and humility of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, will find that this is most unlikely. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, being very humble, hated that people stand for him. Anas ibn Maalik  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him said: “There was no person more beloved to the Companions than the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, but when they saw him, they did not stand for him as they knew that he disliked that.” [Ahmad and At-Tirmithi]

Since this is the case, it is very unlikely that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, commanded or urged them to kiss his hands, although he was the most worthy person of having his hands and feet kissed. You ask about whether he commanded or encouraged them to do so, and the answer is no, as far as we know.

However, it was reported that they did so without him commanding or urging them to do so. It was reported that some Companions were honored to kiss his hands and his feet. Umm Abaan bint Al-Waazi‘ ibn Zaari‘ narrated from her grandfather Zaari‘ who was with the delegation of ‘Abdul-Qays, that "when we came to Al-Madeenah, we came down from our riding beasts and hastened to kiss the hand and foot of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam." [Abu Daawood and others]

‘Awn Al-Ma‘bood reads: “Shaykh ‘Abdul-Haqq Dehlavi said in Al-Luma‘aat Sharh Al-Mishkaat: "It was narrated that when the delegation of ‘Abdul-Qays arrived, they hastened from their riding beasts and fell down on the ground and did what they did and the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, approved of what they did."” [End of quote]

The scholars have explicitly said that it is permissible to kiss the hand of a scholar or a pious person and Ibn Hajar cited in Fat-h Al-Baari a number of Ahaadeeth and statements of the Companions which confirm this, but this is not the place to mention them as they are quite lengthy. For more benefit, please refer to Fataawa 83692 and 86027.

As regards the Hadeeth of Mu‘aath ibn Jabal and the story of him coming from the Levant, it was reported that he fell prostrate before the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, but we did not come across a narration about him kissing his noble hands. ‘Abdullaah ibn Abi Awfa said: “When Mu‘aath came from the Levant, he fell prostrate before the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, who said to him: "What are you doing, O Mu‘aath?" He said: "I went to the Levant and I found them prostrating themselves before their bishops and priests, so I thought why should we not do this with you?" Thereupon, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "Do not do so, for if I were to command anyone to fall prostrate before anyone other than Allaah, I would have commanded a woman to fall prostrate before her husband, and I swear by the One in Whose Hands my soul is, a wife would not fulfill the rights of her Lord until she fulfills the rights of her husband, even if he wants her for his need while she is on the back of a camel, she must not prevent him.” [Ahmad and Ibn Maajah]

Allaah Knows best.

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