How to Give Up Bowing Down to People When It Is Their Mode of Greeting
Fatwa No: 445297

Question

Assalamu alaykum.How can i give up bowing in a country where it is their mode of greeting and the person in question interacts with professors,lectures,the rich,family members etc?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

First of all, we ask Allah to enable you to perform deeds that would please Him.

Bowing down when greeting is forbidden, as Anas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that a man asked the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ): “O Messenger of Allah, one of us meets his friend, should he bow to him? He [the Prophet] said: “No.” [At-Tirmithi who graded it as a Hassan Hadeeth]

According to some scholars, bowing down when greeting is disliked, and according to others, it is forbidden. An-Nawawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in Al-Athkaar: “It is disliked to bend one’s back [i.e. to bow down] in any situation for anyone at all; the evidence about this is the Hadeeth narrated by Anas: “Should he bow to him? The Prophet said: “No.”; and it is a Hassan Hadeeth, and there is no other Hadeeth that contradicts it, so there is no way to act contrarily to it.” [End of quote]

Leaving bowing down is not a difficult thing that needs special steps and methods to leave it.

In any case, instead of bowing down, you may shake hands, for example, or place your hand on your chest, and the like. Then, you may clarify to the people that you stopped bowing down based on a religious standpoint, and not because of lack of respect to them.

For more benefit that greeting a person by bowing is forbidden, please refer to Fataawa 366250, 88171 and 84964.

Allah knows best.

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