Saturday, December 03, 2005

Hand Shake Etiquette

I am confused as to when to extend my hands or when not to and here is how I became confused:

As a youngster, when it was okay for everyone to pinch my cheeks and kiss me adoringly, I used to observe my grandmother (God rest her soul) shaking hands with the few strange men she would come across from behind her abbaya-- Believing that if she didn’t do that she would have to do the wudhoo ritual again for prayer.

My mother and father on the other hand, always shook hands with the opposite sex with their bare hands.

So of course, curious little sheba decided to research why grandma shook hands that way, and found that in the teachings of Sunni Islam, there were different schools. Our family for example followed imam Al-Shafii. Shafites would not need to do wudhoo before prayer if they shook hands with someone from the opposite sex, while other scholars stated that wudhoo is a must. (Note: so grandma covering her hand with the material from her abbaya was more culture influenced than religiously driven).

Of course, then came the peak of Islamic fundamentalism in the Ninetees, when all of a sudden anyone with a Phd could decide what is sinful and what is not, and they decided that a man and a woman should not shake hands. From then onwards I think common people stopped listening to the bearded fanatics but still they left us confused.

Recently, I received a guest who comes from a very conservative and religious background, and he extends his hands to me (no he was not a perv either!). Then I received someone who looks very “regular” and when I extended out my right limb, he apologized for not being able to reciprocate my gesture by putting his hands on his chest and bowing. I know that it is usually up to the woman to extend her hands or not, but I am now totally confused because I do not want to embarrass anyone, in spite of my beliefs and/or teachings.

shake hands after 3esha prayers .. otherwise just don't offer it

plus doesn't it show if a person is too religious to shake hands with a woman? even if they're not bearded with short dishdashas they usually look at the ground..
Sheba, it's pretty confusing.

yu3ni gassat wayh ithe ma mad eeda. shda3waaaa

You can always avoid embarassment. Don't start it
Your life it too confusing. *sigh

One of the many reasons I love being stereo-typed as American. Offended, bemused or grateful, they always assume I just didn't know any better. And while I care to learn whats appropriate and what isn't... some of it's just to ambiguous. ;-)
shaking hands is ultra confusing here im sure, I always feel sorry for guy, because he is the one who supposed to offer the hand shake. I remember watching Kuwait university gradutaion ceremonies and seeing how many girls skip Baba Jaber`s hanshake, its so damn confusing and makes no sense, a girl in mini skirt would just greet him wit a smile, and then methajba with abaya holds his hands while taling to him.


Just wear a surgical glove and go crazy with hand shaking
Bo Jaij - lol


bu jaij..

dont start it ..let the guy start, that way u can skip some of them and embarasse them if u want:)
My friend's husband wouldn't shake my hand coz it's against his beliefs or something.

I don't know.. I find it more offending than embarrassing.

Anyway, when in doubt, don't.
From my point of view, if someone lends a hand and you have something against it, shake and say, "I'm sorry I don't shake hands" to save the embarrassment and then from then on, there wouldn't be any awkward situations.
it is embarrasing ..

but if you don't know the guy, just don't bother
I don't shake hands, I just grab & kiss.
خوش موضوع , بس مدري ليش مشكلة بالنسبة للبنات احنا نعاني مو انتوا يعني من كل خمس حالات ممكن 3 من النساء يرفضون
لذلك فانا ما امد ايدي إلا اذا شفت بادرة وهذا يكون للاقرباء اما بالعمل فمستحيل اللهم يكون من اجانب ومثل ما قالت شروق الحكيمة
when in doubt, don't
لكن ما يمنه احيانا اتعمد امد اييدي خاصة للي ارعف انه ممكن يسلم :)
i dont think its important to shake hands !! i mean i can't stop imagining what he has holding before he touched my hands !!

a simple greeting words and a smile would do it
Dear Shabshooba,do like me, after I enforce my sinful shake I would say:
البلد فيها ماي واذا مو لاجي تره في تراب - تيمم

I can't understand how people can be sooo lazy when it comes to ablution.

I don't understand this fatwa at all.
has = was
Ok, that post came at the right time Sheebs.
I'm not going to go into the details. But lately I was put in a very akward and and embarrassing situation. I was reaching out to shake hands with a close relative (who is like a brother to me) when a very very religious and not so close relative pushed the guys hand away!!! YES! I was soooo embaraased! In front of EVERYONE!

My relative and I have been scheming ever since to get even. I think next time we are going to perform 'zinna' just to piss everyone off. I think Im going to kiss him!

wv: hoaxjil (ahhh! a word! hoax in play a hoax on jil...oh im very proud of this one)
انا لفت انتباهي شنو تسمون شيبا أو سبأ
البعض يقول -Shabshooba -Sheebs -
خوفي باجر احد يدلعج ويقول شبشبة
انا ما قلت, والله من وراء القصد
Shurouq, It is indeed offending. On the bright side, you're too hot for him to handle ;)
يختي وسعي صدرك... اللي موب مصافحك بالطقاق

طراره هي؟؟

وبعدين اللي بيجيبلك عذر اعتقادات وما اعتقادات مريض واصلا ابركلك ما تلمسينه بعد

تكفين وش فالمصافحة اللي تسبب استثارة؟ والله عجزنا نفهم لهم.. الحين ما فيه بنت والا يديها تلق يعني النعومة صار شي نورمال

واللي بيستثير من المصافحة في نظري مسعور

وبعدين(٢) اللي في بالها شي شين ما ظنتي انها بتنتظر المصافح عشان تسويله حركة باصبعها

ذاك اول قبل الموبايل والبيجر
Dear Sheba,

I have extended my hand... only to be told my Mom's friend, that I call "Auntie" who knew me since I was a child that she cannot...

Now that felt wierd.. Why are people so inflexible about such matters... for god's sake I am like your son!

Me no comprende!!


Honestly, I always found it quite rude to refuse to shake someone's hand when they extend it.

It's only a little water, do your wuthoo over again...wash your hands with soap for 15 seconds if you are worried about germs.

Il-deen is "yusr", not "3usr"...

I think your granny was wise to utilize such a diplomatic compromise when using her abaya as a glove. I have seen lots of elderly Kuwaiti women do the same.

Just be yourself when it comes to greeting people. They are the one's being impolite in the face of your decorum, not you for greeting them with your hand extended in the manner of the modern civilized world...

MsB, who doesn't appreciate the pretense of those trying at every opportunity to bring attention to how "pious" they seem to be ...
Interesting ...I just don't shake hands ..ya3ni I don't start it ...I just wanna keep my face ! why do I bother ?!!
As usual, i enjoyed reading the comments more than posting

Thank you people for the mental stimulation :)
Dear Sheba,

you are getting frugal with your responses. ;)

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