Ruling on shaking hands with an old woman

Dear Brothers & Sisters,
As-Salaamu-Alaikum 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:
What is the ruling on shaking hands with a non-mahram woman if she is old? And what is the ruling if she puts a barrier over her hand, such as part of her garment etc?.
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Answer:
Praise be to Allaah.

It is not permissible to shake hands with non-mahram women at all, whether they are young or old, and whether the man who is shaking hands is young or old, because of the danger of fitnah which that poses to both parties. It was narrated in a saheeh hadeeth that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “I do not shake hands with women.” And ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: “The hand of the Messenger of Allaah never touched the hand of any [non-mahram] woman, and he used to accept their oath of allegiance in words only.” 

It makes no difference whether shaking hands is done with a barrier in between or no barrier, because of the general meaning of the evidence, and so as to block the means that may lead to fitnah. 

And Allaah is the Source of strength. 

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

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