Ruling on shaking hands with a Jewish or Christian man after meetings

Recently i got a job and work amongst alot of jewish people. As i have to attend meetings with these people i often end up shaking hands of jewish men is this allowed?? Some jewish men know i am muslim and therfore at times dont shake my hand and at those times i am happy.. But is it allowed to shake their hands or not, to show respect?.

Praise be to Allaah.

The saheeh Sunnah indicates that it is not permissible to initiate the greeting with the Jews and Christians, as Muslim narrated in his Saheeh (2167) from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (blessing and peace of Allah be upon him) said: ““Do not initiate the greeting with the Jews or Christians.”

The Sunnah indicates that we should respond to them when they greet us, as al-Bukhaari (6257) and Muslim (2164) narrated from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “When the Jews greet you, one of them says ‘al-saam ‘alaykum (death be upon you).’ So say: ‘wa ‘alayk (and also upon you).” [NB: The Jews of Madinah played with the words to insult the Muslims]

The same may also be said about shaking hands: we should not initiate shaking hands with a kaafir, but if he holds his hand out, we shake his hand. Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said: Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said: If this reason no longer applies, and the kitaabi (i.e., Jew or Christian) says, Peace be upon you and the mercy of Allah [i.e., it is a sincere greeting], then fairness dictates that we should respond with a similar greeting.

End quote from Ahkaam Ahl adh-Dhimmah, 1/200

In Saheeh al-Bukhaari it is narrated from Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “When the Jews greet you, they say, ‘as-saam ‘alaykum (death be upon you),’ so say, ‘And also upon you.’” If he holds his hand out to you, then reach out and shake his hand, otherwise do not initiate it.” End quote.

For the quotation in full, please see the answer to question no. 43154. See also question no. 59879.

And Allah knows best.

Islam Q&A

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