Back in the day, a group of Muslim brothers were talking about their strategies for dealing with the social awkwardness that comes from politely declining to shake the outstretched hand of a non-mahram woman you have just met.
Some brothers suggested simply explaining that we don’t shake hands for religious reasons. Others suggested just making an exaggerated gesture of coughing into one’s hand so that not shaking would be understandable on account of hygiene.
This whole time, one particular brother had not said anything. So we ask him, what do you think? He stroked his beard confidently. “I have the perfect line to smooth over the situation.”
“What is it??” we asked impatiently, thinking he had some special key the rest of us had been too dimwitted to come up with all this time.
“I just smile and tell them this…
…I haven’t earned the right to touch you.”
He was completely serious! Needless to say, we advised him that he might be giving these women mixed signals and that he should reconsider his wording…
If only non-Muslim women knew the extent some Muslim guys go to in order to be polite and cordial without compromising their values. Sometimes with hilarious results!