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They follow a tradition to respect their parents or any elderly person by bowing and touching their feet.

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

 

One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Assalamualikum Wa-rahmatullahi Wa-barkatuhu
I have a question.

The question is:
"The East Asian countries like Pakistan, India & Bangladesh; they follow a tradition to respect their parents or any elderly person by bowing and touching their feet. Even I was taught to respect my parents by touching their feet. And this kind of act is commonly practiced on the occasions of Eid, Marriages, even going for Interviews or on any achievements. They called it as `Salam` or `Prayers from Elders`. " Therefore, is this kind of act is permissible in Islam? Should we bow and touch our parent`s feet?

Though, I know that we should only bow in front of Allah Subhanah and non else. Should I continue or stop?

 

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Answer:

 

Touch feet of elders

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

 

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 33 Surah Ahzab verse 21:

There is indeed the best example for you to follow in the Messenger of Allah, for every such person looks forward to Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much.




 

In the annuls of human history, if there were any who loved, respected, honored, and revered another human being it has to be the love, respect, honor and reverence the family and the noble companions had for the Messenger of Allah (saws)! Whenever the believers came to meet the Prophet (saws), or when the Prophet (saws) met them; they first and foremost exchanged the greetings of Peace and the absolute most they would do is shake each others hands.

 

Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 888 Narrated by Anas ibn Malik

A man asked the Prophet (saws): O Messenger of Allah (saws)! When any one of us meets a Muslim brother or a friend, should he then bow his head (as a sign of courtesy to him)? He (saws) said: No. The man said: Should he embrace and kiss him? He (saws) said: No. The man then asked: Should he clasp his hands? He (saws) said: Yes.

 

Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 4679 Narrated by Al-Bara' ibn Azib

The Prophet (saws) said: "Two Muslims will not meet and shake hands without having their sins forgiven them before they separate.

 

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 8.279 Narrated by Qatada

I asked Anas bin Maalik (who served the Prophet (saws) in his (saws) house for ten years), "Was it a custom of the companions of the Prophet (saws) to shake hands with one another?" He said, "Yes."

 

Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 4681 Narrated by Abu Umamah

Allah's Messenger (saws) said, "The perfect way for one of you to visit an invalid is for you to put your hand on his forehead or on his hand and ask him how he is; and the perfect way for you to greet one another is to shake hands."

 

There is mention in the authentic Sunnah that when the Prophet (saws) would meet his beloved daughter Fatimah (r.a.), he (saws) would occasionally kiss her forehead and she would occasionally kiss his hand. Thus there is absolutely no harm if a parent kisses the forehead of their children or grand-children; and there is no harm if the children occasionally kisses their parents hands.

 

But in general, the absolute best way to greet another is to declare the greetings of Peace and shake their hand; and if one is an elder, one should show respect and reverence to them with ones attentive character, kind words, subdued voice, and obedience to what is just.

 

Usamah ibn Shuraik narrated: "I came to the Prophet (saws) and found him with his companions. They (the companions) were calm and serene in the Prophets presence as if there were birds perched over their heads! I greeted them and sat down.

 

The bowing or touching or kissing of the knees or the feet of elders is a pagan practice, not of those who sincerely believe in Allah and the Last Day!

 

If one trusts, obeys, and follows the guidance and commands of Allah and His Messenger (saws), one can be assured of never ever being misled; but if one believes, obeys and follows any other guidance, other than that of Allah and His Messenger (saws), one can be assured of being led astray.

 

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

 

Your brother and well wisher in Islam,

 

 

Burhan

 

 


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