Is it permissible to shake hands with the other gender for business purposes?


In the corporate world, it is expected that the various parties shake hands before a meeting. For a Muslim, is it permissible to shake hands with the other gender? Please bear in mind that in some circumstances, not shaking in scenarios such as interviews, meetings with clients and other parties could be put into jeopardy, and is more often perceived as insulting by the other party.

I agree that Islam is a religion which prescribes respect, and honours the other gender, however, it is merely a non sexual signal of recognition of two parties to each other.  Thank you so much.



Any physical contact between the opposite sexes is forbidden in Islam. Shaking hands is only one of the gestures  of greetings, and not the only one. All we need is a bit of confidence, and trust and faith in God. At any meeting we should keep in mind that Allah is All-Seeing.

I have personally lived in the West for almost 2 decades and I have attended many official meetings whereat shaking hands was the first impression. I always tried to introduce the Islamic protocol to them beforehand, otherwise, I just put my hand on my chest as another gesture of greetings and very politely took advantage of the opportunity to explain the wisdom behind it, or at least explained that I don’t mean to be rude, and that this is a religious obligation.

As a matter of fact, many Westerners usually apologize for not knowing our protocol, and hope that they did not offend us.

Sheikh Mansour Leghaei