Crash Course in Islam — HandShake
>>STEVE ST. GEORGE: Hi I'm Steve St. George and this is a crash course in Islam. For many people shaking hands when meeting someone is as routine as taking a breath. For some Muslims shaking hands isn't that easy. Many conservative Muslims believe unrelated men and women should never touch one another. In Great Britain a Muslim asylum seeker lost a prize for volunteer work when he refused to shake a woman's hand. But that's not to say every Muslim will refuse to shake the hand of someone of the opposite sex. Scholars from different schools of Islamic law all say different things, with some even saying no such prohibition exists. And this is not just about gender. There are moments when even shaking the hand of someone of the same sex can pose a problem. For some traditional Shia any contact with any non-Muslims male or female makes the Muslim spiritually impure. After such contact a believer must go through ritual purification. There are even some Sunni for whom all non-Muslims regardless of gender are impure. But Sunnis typically don't require ritual purification after touching non Muslims. For Crash Course in Islam, I'm Steve St. George.