Allaah has forbidden the Muslims from fornication
and all the pathways, which lead to it.
He (T) has said (which means):
do not come near zinaa (fornication)! Indeed,
it is an abomination, and an evil way."
Among the many things that excite passions
between a man and a woman, is touching.
Thus, touching, which opens the door to
fornication, is also forbidden as it is
a form of fornication, since the Prophet
The eyes fornicate. Their fornication
is the (illegal) look. The hands fornicate.
Their fornication is the touch. The feet
fornicate. Their fornication is the walking
(towards a woman). The heart desires, and
the private parts either confirm it or
deny it. (Al-Bukhaaree)
Unfortunately, some form of this type of
fornication is unavoidable. Although, we
may not commit the indecent sexual act
itself, indeed, our eyes, our hands, and
our feet fornicate at least once in our
lives. There is no doubt about that, as
the Prophet (S) said:
Every one of the sons of Aadam has his
share of fornication written for him.
Therefore, we must try our best to avoid
fornication and every pathway leading to
it. Since the hand has the capability of
fornicating, then it is forbidden for the
woman to touch a man that is not a mahram
to her. A mahram is someone that the Muslim
woman is permitted to uncover (her veil)
in front of. They consist of her father,
husband, brother, mother's brothers, father's
brothers, and all the others mentioned
in Sooraat an-Noor: 31 in the Qur'aan.
We shall present a brief look at the evidences
prohibiting non-related men and women from
touching each other, from three perspectives:
Warning from the Prophet (S)
Prophet (S) said:
It is better for a spike to be driven
into your head than for you to touch a
woman that is not permissible for you (to
touch). (Recorded by at-Tabaraanee
According to the above narration, we can
plainly see the prohibition of a man touching
a woman. Although the Prophet (S) did not
directly command the Muslims to not do
it, his statements show the severity of
the consequences of committing such an
act. If it were allowed to touch non-related
men and women, then the Prophet (S) would
not have spoken so drastically of the one
who does so. Consequently, it is forbidden
for the man to touch any woman that he
is not a mahram for, as well as a woman
to touch any man that is not a mahram to
her. This is the opinion that the majority
of the scholars have taken and it is the
truth of which there is no doubt.
Ahmad Bin Hanbal (r) said:
specified look at women-strangers, as well
as touching them is forbidden."(Al-Muntahaa)
on the hadeeth, al-Albaanee said:
this hadeeth, there is a severe threat
to he who touches a woman that is not permissible
for him. In it is also a proof for the
prohibition of shaking hands with women,
because that entails touching without a
doubt. "(As-Saheehah: no. 226)
Apart from the above-mentioned men, the
Muslim woman is not allowed to touch any
man whether Muslim or non-Muslim. If she
does so then she has fallen into sin and
commenced on one of the many pathways toward
fornication. And we seek Allaah's refuge
the above evidences and ruling based on
such, may seem clear and evident, some
raise arguments which may seem contradictory
to what is established. However, they do
not present a contradiction, and will be
may say, "The Prophet (S) did not
directly prohibit not touching women. His
not doing so is only his
Sunnah (example) and something only for
claim that he (S) did not prohibit it,
is a claim that could only be made by those
who lack the knowledge of basic fiqh pricnibles.
It is through these princibles that we
understand how to apply Allaah's legislation.
Among these basic princibles are the following;
Something is obligatory to avoid, if not
doing so would incurr the commission of
something prohibted. He (S) said;
It is better for a spike to be driven into
your head than for you to touch a woman
that is not permissible for you (to touch).
So avoiding "touching a woman"
is obligatory, since it is worse that driving
a spike into your head. So such a naive
statment implies the following; "The
Prophet (S) did not prohibit driving a
spike into one's own head, rather, he only
avoiding doing it as a Sunnah that was
particular to him."!!!?
The usage of the statment "not permissible"
implies "not permissible", unless
there is a text to clarify that it is only
disliked or abrogated, etc.
may say, "The hadeeth is not clear,
since the word used for touch (massa) can
either mean a touch with sexual desire
or a touch without desire. Therefore, a
touch with no lust involved is allowed
(i.e. with an old man)."
would be a possibility if there were conflicting
texts, which is not the case here. For
example, does touching the private part
break wudhu' or not. Some narrations say,
"It is part of him", whereas
another says that it requires wudhu'. In
this case, when two texts coincide, harmonization
must be made, or abrogation must be demonstrated.
So then this claim is a possibility. But
on the other hand, passing wind breaks
wudhu', weather it is done out of pleasure
or not, and no one claims otherwise, and
this is because there is no text to require
In The Qur'an
may claim, "The command for not touching
is in a hadeeth and not in the Qur'aan.
Therefore, Allaah has not prohibited it.".
are many texts to prove that the one who
disobeys the Messenger has disobeyed Allaah.
Therefore, when a person says this, it
is more important for them to repent from
the disbelief that they have expressed
than to be concerned with the issue that
we are discussing. Indeed saying a statement
of kufr like this one, and believing in
it, is worse than having a spike driven
in one's head. Therefore we can only say
as Allaah has said to Muhammad (S);
if they disobey you, say, "Indeed
I am innocent of what you do.""
This is a two step process, first innocence
is claimed, and then;
they disobeyed the Messengers of their
Lord, so He punished them all with abounding
destruction." (Al-Haaqah 69:10)
Then all of those who disobey the Messenger
(S) are destroyed, either in this life
or the Hereafter. So indeed this is a matter
much worse than a spike in the head.
Rule of Necessity
is allowable for a man to touch a woman
not related to him in the case of emergency,
such as when a woman has no option but
to be treated by a male-doctor, and she
is in dire need of treatment, or when there
is a life-or-death emergency. These examples
fall under the rule of necessity.