say that to kiss the hands and the feet of the pious people are
prohibited and Shirk (associating partners with Allah). They say that
by bending (like in Ruku) and kissing the feet of the pious we are
making Sajdah to a creation of Allah Ta’ala. The Ahle Sunnah Wal
Jama'at believes that this act is permissible and desirable as the
books of Ahadith prove that the Ahle Bait and the Sahaba-e-Ikraam
kissed the blessed hands and feet of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu
alaihi wasallam) and they even kissed the hands and the feet of one
The word Sajdah in the Shari’h
is meant that while doing Sajdah eight parts of the human body must
touch the ground, namely both feet (toes), both the knees, both the
arms (hands), nose and the forehead, with the express intention (Niyah)
of doing Sajdah. Without the clear intention of Sajdah if a person lies
on the ground by bending his legs and feet (as is susally done when
some one feels extreme cold or he is inflicted with some ailment), this
will not mean Sajdah. Therefore, to kiss the feet of the elders or
pious persons is not Sajdah since it does not satisfy the conditions of
Sajdah is of two kinds:
(a) Sajdah Tahiyah (by way of greeting) is when a person meets some
dignitary, then to express his reverence the one meeting the dignitary
touches the ground with his forehead, while the Sajdah is to regard
some one as a deity or god.
(b) Sajdah Ibaadah (worship) is Haraam in every Shari’ah.
Sajdah Tahiyat was permissible from the time of Sayyiduna Adam (alaihis
salaam) to the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). The Angels
offered Sajdah before Sayyiduna Adam (alaihis salaam). Sayyiduna Yaqub
(alaihis salaam) and the brothers of Sayyiduna Yusuf (alaihis salaam)
offered Sajdah to Sayyiduna Yusuf (alaihis salaam). Later on, this
Sajdah Tahiyah was declared as Haraam in the Shari’ah of Islam as well.
Any one doing Sajdah-e-Tahiyah is guilty of a sin and committing act of
Haraam. But he is not a Mushrik or a Kaafir. He can offer repentance
(Taubah) in the presence of Allah.
As far as the question of bending before someone is concerned, this
bending is of two kinds. If it is by way of respect to anyone, provided
it is not to the extent of bending as in Ruku. If it is so then it is
Haraam and Islamic Jurists have forbidden this kind of bending. The
other kind of bending is while doing some other work such as picking
the shoes with a spirit of respect. This latter posture is permissible
(Halaal) as it has no tinge of worship.
When the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) visited
the house of his daughter, Sayyiduna Fathima Zahra (radi Allahu anha),
she would stand up for him in respect, take his hand and kiss it and
make him sit in her place. When Sayyiduna Fathima Zahra (radi Allahu
anhu) visited the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), then he
would stand up for her, hold her hand and kiss it and allow her to sit
in his place. (Abu Dawood; Mishkaat Shareef)
Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Umar (radi Allahu anhuma) says that the Sahaba-e-Ikiram kissed the blessed hands of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). (Abu Dawood)
Hadrat Ashbah (radi Allahu anhu) went to the court of the Holy Prophet
(sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), held the hand of the Holy Prophet
(sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and kissed it. The Holy Prophet (sallal
laahu alaihi wasallam) said, "In you there are two habits which is dear
to Almighty Allah and the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)."
(Adabul Mufrad) From this incident it is clear that the kissing of the
hands is a desired action, which was even preferred by the Holy Prophet
Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).
Once, two Jews came to the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)
and asked him a question. The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi
wasallam) answered them. Thereafter, they kissed the hands and the feet
of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and told him that
they bear testimony that he is a Nabi. (Tirmizi Shareef; Mishkaat
A man came to the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and told
him that he had taken a vow that should Allah Ta'ala grant Rasoolullah
(sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) victory over Makkah, he would go the
Holy Kaaba and kiss the chaukat. The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi
wasallam) instructed him: "Go and kiss the feet of your mother. Your
vow will be complete." (Umdatul Qaari)
Imam Ghazzali (alaihir rahmah)
states that Sayyiduna Abu Ubaidah bin Jarrah (radi Allahu anhu) kissed
the hand of Sayyiduna Umar Farouk (radi Allahu anhu). (Kimya-e Sa'adat;
Sahaba-e-Ikraam would return from a journey they would embrace one
another and kiss the hands of one another. (Bustaanul Arifeen)
It is said in "Alamgiri", Bab Mulaqatul Muluk, that if someone kisses
the hand of a learned Scholar or the just King because of his erudition
(learning) and the quality of justice with his people then there is no
harm in it.
In the same book "Alamgiri", Bab Ziyaratil Qubur, it is said that it
does not matter much if some one kisses the graves of his parents.
There are five kinds of kisses:
(a) the kiss of affection and love like a father kissing his son,
(b) the kiss of meeting (mulaqat) like a Muslim kissing another Muslim on meeting one another,
(c) the kiss of love and regard like a son kissing his parents,
(d) the kiss of friendship, when some one kisses his friend, and
(e) the kiss of sensual love, like the husband kissing his wife or vice versa.
Some have added another kind of kiss as a mark of religious sanctity
like of the Hajar-e-Aswad. (Alamgiri)
There is another kiss and it is in respect of religious sanctity and it
is the kissing of Hajar-e-Aswad and the threshold of the Holy Kaaba.
Some have said that kissing the Holy Quran is Bid’ah. However, it is
reported that Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) used to kiss the Holy
Quran every morning by holding it in his hands. Kissing the bread
(roti) is permissible before Imam Shafa’ee (radi Allahu anhu) as a
permissible Bid’ah or Bid’at-e-Hasanah. (Durre Mukhtar)
It is now obvious that to kiss the hands and feet of the pious and
respected persons is Sunnah and those who regard this Shirk and a
Bid'at have no basis in their arguments.