Stage 1: Purification of the Hands

Sins of the Hands


What we do with our hands can greatly benefit us in this world and also the next. We can either use our hands in a useful positive way to create goodness and wealth or we can use this gift in a negative way causing harm to others, which will eventually come back to haunt us in this world and certainly with a magnifying effect in the next world. So we want to save ourselves from harm.

Summary of Sins to Avoid

  1. Fraud
  2. Touching a Non-Mahram
  3. Making offensive gestures
  4. Punching or slapping


Explanation of the Sins

1. Fraud

The literal and legal definition of stealing is wrongful or wilful taking of anything belonging to someone else, with an intention to deprive the owner of it’s use or benefit, temporarily or permanently. It also means taking another person’s things without their permission, knowledge or without a legal right to do so.

Stealing is a sin, a grave sin in Islam. We can understand how severe the sin is through the following verse of Quran:

“O Prophet ﷺ When believing Women come to you to give the Baya’a (the pledge), that they will not associate anything in worship with Allah ﷻ, that they will not steal, that they will not commit illegal sexual intercourse, that they will not kill their children, that they will not utter slander, intentionally forging falsehood, and that they will not disobey you in Ma’ruf, then accept their Baya’a, and ask Allah ﷻ to forgive them. Verily, Allah ﷻ is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” Quran 60:12

This verse is about ‘Oath of Allegiance’ for women. It can be seen that one of the bands of the pledge was that women shall not steal. Stealing has been included along with other GRAVE crimes like shirk, illegal sex, murder of children, etc.

Ibn Abbas (May Allah ﷻ be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said, “When an adulterer commits illegal sexual intercourse, then he is not a believer at the time he is doing it; and when somebody steals, he is not a believer at the time he is stealing.” Bukhari.

We should be clear on what we are doing, as it says clearly in the Hadith of Prophet ﷺ that at the time of stealing the person is not even a believer meaning he has no faith or Imaan. As at this time it is said the Imaan is lifted above the body and then returned afterwards. The reason for this is because at the time a person is committing the act of stealing they are not believing that Allah ﷻ is with them and seeing them. This is why it is clearly stressed that we should always be aware of the presence of Allah ﷻ.

2. Touching unlawfully the opposite sex intentionally

According to the teachings of Islam, touching the opposite sex when they are not related is impermissible for Muslims

It is not allowed for a believing man to touch a woman who is not allowed for him. Whoever does this has wronged himself (sinned).

There is a Hadith:

The Prophet ﷺ said, “It is better for you to be stabbed in the head with an iron needle than to touch the hand of a woman who is not permissible to you.”

This alone should be enough to keep us away from this action and to instil obedience to Allah ﷻ, as it implies that touching a woman that is Haram for you, may lead to temptation and immorality. Why should one sin, when it is said that it is better for you to be stabbed in the head with an iron nail rather than touching the hand of a person who is not permissible for you.

Committing such a deed is akin to jumping into a flame of fire. A person will be burnt no matter what. Some attempt to justify their actions by arguing that it is for business reasons, namely that if we do not shake the hands of the opposite gender then they may not take us seriously.

However, we should ask ourselves who is the best of all creation and who is the one we should follow, the one who has no defects at all and the one in whose sight we should be seeking honour? It is the Prophet ﷺ, His Family and His Companions.

When He ﷺ was the one with the best of all conduct and character then why should one make up their own rules of life? In the lifetime of the Prophet ﷺ, many women would come and give Baya’a to the Prophet ﷺ and take oath, but not once did the Prophet ﷺ ever touch the hand of a woman to pledge allegiance (that was not lawful for him). So who are we to ever think that it is allowed?

It is only permissible to touch when there is dire necessity, such as saving, helping, or curing a person in need.

3. Making offensive gestures

An obscene gesture is a movement or position of the body, especially of the hands or arms, which is considered exceedingly offensive or vulgar in some cultures.

As we know in our religion of Islam, Adaab (Manners and Etiquettes) plays a big part because of the very reason that our Prophet ﷺ was known for the finest manners and etiquettes. In addition, we know that the Jannati’s (Person that is abiding in Paradise) character will be of the character of Allah ﷻ’s Beloved ﷺ.

The Prophet ﷺ is the one we should follow and these obscene gestures were not the habits of the Prophets nor of the Sahabahs and nor of the Pious who live until this day. Obscene gestures display the true colours of people, the ones that do not possess good morals.

So instead of doing wrong, we can use our hands in a good and positive way such as using our hands to help others, giving in charity and when touching something lawfully acting in the state of thankfulness and so on.

Allah ﷻ has given us many blessings but by using our organs disobediently we are behaving unthankful and ungratefully towards Allah ﷻ. We should use our hands and other organs in the way that pleases Allah ﷻ the Exalted so that we are not abusing the blessings Allah ﷻ has blessed us with.

4. Punching or slapping

When someone intentionally hurts others by hitting or slapping them it is also a sin of the hand. Many do not take care of these things because they think it has no value, when in fact it is a great matter, because not only are we hurting them with our hands, but we are also emotionally hurting their feelings.

Hadith: Narrated by `Abd Allah ﷻ ibn `Amr ibn al-`As (Allah ﷻ be well pleased with him) that he said: “I saw the Messenger of Allah ﷻ performing Tawaf around the Holy Ka`ba saying to it: ‘How pure and good you are! How pure and good your fragrance is! How great and exalted you are! And how great and exalted your sanctity is! But by Him in whose hand is Muhammad’s soul, the sanctity of a believer’s blood and property in the sight of Allah ﷻ is greater than your sanctity!”

This Hadith clearly confirms the status of a believing Muslim man or woman and reiterates that we should not be hurting non-Muslims, let alone Muslims, as Muslims and non-Muslims also are brothers and sisters in humanity. It is inhuman to hurt others, because we are all equal in the eyes of Allah ﷻ, we are all his servants and slaves. How hurt will the mother be when someone hurts her child? Imagine that, but seventy times more as this is the pain of Allah ﷻ for his creation. For these reasons we should remain cautious about what we are doing and whom we are hurting.