MOD Q & A / Q & A

Q & kissing feet again

Q & A.

Q. I know that salam via touching feet (Bengali culture) is not permitted! However, recently on TV the question was raised, the imam said, I was told, it is not forbidden/recommended as Ali touched the feet of the Prophet’s (pbuh) feet! I don’t know how reliable this source is but what can I say to my parents to convince them against! Jazak allah.


It is reported in numerous places that the Companions (Allah be pleased with them all) kissed the hands and feet of the Prophet (SAW). There are a number of textual evidences for this. Two more that is used are:

1. From al-Tabari’s tafsir of the Qur’an:


حدثنـي مـحمد بن الـحسين، قال: ثنا أحمد بن مفضل، قال: ثنا أسبـاط، عن السدي: (يا أيُّها الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لا تَسْأَلُوا عَنْ أشْيَاءَ إنْ تُبْدَ لَكُمْ تَسُؤْكُمْ) .قال: غضب رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وسلم) يوما من الأيام فقام خطيبـا، فقال: سلونِـي فإنكُم لا تسْألونِـي عَن شَيء إلا أنْبَأْتكم بِهِ . فقام إلـيه رجل من قريش من بنـي سَهْم يقال له عبد الله بن حذاقة، وكان يُطعنَ فـيه، قال: فقال يا رسول الله من أبـي؟ قال: أبُوكَ فُلانٌ . فدعاه لأبـيه فقام إلـيه عمر، فقبل رجله و قال: يا رسول الله، رضينا بـالله ربـا، وبك نبـيا، وبـالإسلام دينا، وبـالقرآن إماما، فـاعف عنا عفـا الله عنك فلـم يزل به حتـى رضي


“Muhamamd b. al-Husayn told be and said: Ahmad b. Mufaddal said to us: Asbat told us from al-Suddi: (Do not ask of things which once shown to you would hurt you).[1] He said: The Messenger of Allah (SAW) became angry one day and he stood up speaking and said: Ask me! For you will not ask me about anything but I will inform you of its answer. A man stood up from Quraysh, Banu Sahm and it was said to be `Abd Allah b. Hudhayfah and he asked: Messenger of Allah, who is my father? [The Prophet] replied: so and so. So he called his father and. Thereafter `Umar [b. al-Khattab] got up and kissed the foot of Allah’s Messenger and said: O Messenger of Allah, we are pleased with Allah as our Lord, with you as our Prophet, with Islam as our religion and with the Qur’an as our Book. Forgive, and Allah will forgive you. And he did not cease until the Prophet softened…”[2]

The narration itself is in Bukhari and Muslim with the omission of `Umar (RA) kissing the feet of the Prophet.

Narration 1:


حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو الْيَمَانِ أَخْبَرَنَا شُعَيْبٌ عَنْ الزُّهْرِيِّ ح و حَدَّثَنِي مَحْمُودٌ حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الرَّزَّاقِ أَخْبَرَنَا مَعْمَرٌ عَنْ الزُّهْرِيِّ أَخْبَرَنِي أَنَسُ بْنُ مَالِكٍ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ خَرَجَ حِينَ زَاغَتْ الشَّمْسُ فَصَلَّى الظُّهْرَ فَلَمَّا سَلَّمَ قَامَ عَلَى الْمِنْبَرِ فَذَكَرَ السَّاعَةَ وَذَكَرَ أَنَّ بَيْنَ يَدَيْهَا أُمُورًا عِظَامًا ثُمَّ قَالَ: مَنْ أَحَبَّ أَنْ يَسْأَلَ عَنْ شَيْءٍ فَلْيَسْأَلْ عَنْهُ فَوَاللهِ لَا تَسْأَلُونِي عَنْ شَيْءٍ إِلَّا أَخْبَرْتُكُمْ بِهِ مَا دُمْتُ فِي مَقَامِي هَذَا. قَالَ أَنَسٌ فَأَكْثَرَ النَّاسُ الْبُكَاءَ وَأَكْثَرَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَنْ يَقُولَ: سَلُونِي فَقَالَ أَنَسٌ فَقَامَ إِلَيْهِ رَجُلٌ فَقَالَ: أَيْنَ مَدْخَلِي يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ. قَالَ: النَّارُ. فَقَامَ عَبْدُ اللهِ بْنُ حُذَافَةَ فَقَالَ: مَنْ أَبِي يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ. قَالَ: أَبُوكَ حُذَافَةُ. قَالَ ثُمَّ أَكْثَرَ أَنْ يَقُولَ سَلُونِي سَلُونِي فَبَرَكَ عُمَرُ عَلَى رُكْبَتَيْهِ فَقَالَ: رَضِينَا بِاللهِ رَبًّا وَبِالْإِسْلَامِ دِينًا وَبِمُحَمَّدٍ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ رَسُولًا قَالَ فَسَكَتَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ حِينَ قَالَ عُمَرُ ذَلِكَ ثُمَّ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لَقَدْ عُرِضَتْ عَلَيَّ الْجَنَّةُ وَالنَّارُ آنِفًا فِي عُرْضِ هَذَا الْحَائِطِ وَأَنَا أُصَلِّي فَلَمْ أَرَ كَالْيَوْمِ فِي الْخَيْرِ وَالشَّرِّ.


The Prophet came out after the sun had declined and offered the Zuhr prayer (in congregation). After finishing it with Taslim, he stood on the pulpit and mentioned the Hour and mentioned there would happen great events before it. Then he said: Whoever wants to ask me any question, may do so, for by Allah, you will not ask me about anything but I will inform you of its answer as long as I am at this place of mine. On this, the Ansar wept violently, and Allah’s Apostle kept on saying: Ask Me! Then a man got up and asked: Where will my entrance be, O Allah’s Apostle? The Prophet said: (You will go to) the Fire. Then `Abd Allah b. Hudhayfah got up and asked: Who is my father, O Allah’s Apostle? The Prophet replied: Your father is Hudhayfah. The Prophet then kept on saying (angrily): Ask me! Ask me! `Umar then knelt on his knees and said: We have accepted Allah as our Lord and Islam as our religion and Muhammad as an Apostle. Allah’s Apostle became quiet when `Umar said that. Then Allah’s Apostle said: By Him in Whose Hand my life is, Paradise and Hell were displayed before me across this wall while I was praying, and I never saw such good and evil as I have seen today.[3]

Imam Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani after collating all the different hadiths together makes the following deductions:


و في مرسل السدي عند الطبري في نحو هذه القصة “فقام إليه عمر فقبل رجله و قال: رضينا بالله ربا”. فذكر مثله وزاد: “وبالقرآن إماما، فاعف عفا الله عنك فلم يزل به حتى رضي”. و في هذا الحديث غير ما يتعلق بالترجمة، مراقبة الصحابة أحوال النبي )صلى الله عليه وسلم( وشدة إشفاقهم إذا غضب، خشية أن يكون لأمر يعم فيعمهم، و إدلال عمر عليه، وجواز تقبيل رجل الرجل، و جواز الغضب في الموعظة، وبروك الطالب بين يدي من يستفيد منه، وكذا التابع بين يدي المتبوع إذا سأله في حاجة، ومشروعية التعوذ من الفتن عند وجود شيء قد يظهر منه قرينة وقوعها، واستعمال المزاوجة في الدعاء في قوله: “اعف عفا الله عنك


“… And there is in this hadith besides what is related to its explanation: the Companions’ acute observation of the conditions of the Prophet (SAW) as well as the intensity of their dread while he is angry out of fear that would become generalized and extend to all of them; `Umar’s confidence in the Prophet’s love; the permissibility of kissing the foot of a man; the permissibility of being angry while in exhortation; the student’s kneeling in front of the one who benefits him and likewise the follower’s kneeling before the one followed if he asks him for a specific need; the lawfulness of seeking refuge from dissension when a sign emerges indicating its occurrence; the use of pairing [subjects] when supplicating based on his words: ‘Forgive, and Allah will forgive you’.”[4]


There is no obligatory character to touching the feet of elders or parents and therefore no insistence (israr) can be made for it.

A reply was given to an earlier question on the same subject matter. Please refer to that.


And with Allah lies all success.

[1] See surat al-Ma’idah:101.

[2] See al-Tabari, al-Jami` al-Bayan, vol.11 ,p.103 with a mursal chain of narration (i.e. the link through the Companion to al-Suddi is missing) hence it is deemed as an athar.

[3] Kitab al-I`tisam bi ’l-Kitab wa ’l-Sunnah in the Sahih of al-Bukhari, vol.9, book 92, hadith no.397 (English) and Arabic, hadith no.7294. Cf. also versions of this hadith elsewhere in the Sahih such as in Kitab al-`Ilm, chapter 28, On anger during exhortation and chapter 29, On kneeling before the Imam or Muhaddith, vol.1, Book 3, hadith no.90-93 and in Kitab Mawaqit al-Salat, chapter 11, The time of Zuhr is after the sun passes the zenith, vol.1, Book 10, hadith no.515 both in the English editions.

[4] See Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani, Fath al-Bari Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari, vol.13, p.335.


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