Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hand shake: when you try to explain to them


Lately I have been busy with the house inspections as me and my housemates want to move into a cheaper rent house. Sometimes I inspected 3-4 houses a day. With the hot sun blazing your skin on a summer day, it was a tiring house hunting. Plus, I were walking under the burning sun to each house inspection and not to forget climbed the super hilly Carmody Road. Phew phew phew~ *wiping the sweating forehead* 

And now I lose weight (which is not good for underweight people like me) due to excessive walking and got tanned. Who told you not to apply the sunblock? Padan muka! Sweat plus melting sunblock which will make your face oily and shining-shining bling bling. Urghh!! I hate that okay. So the solution: no sunblock. Lantak pi dengan UV ka kanser kulit ka.

Okay now is the real story.

Yesterday, I met a local called Adam at one of my house inspection. Then he gave me a ride to my next inspection as we were going (luckily) to the same house at Warren St. When the last inspection for that day finished, we continued our conversation for about another 15-20 minutes. We talked about the flood that recently happened (click here and here), about his experience sharing the house with 6 Indonesian students, about his frustration in finding a house, and many more.

It was getting late and he want to excuse himself. So he gave me his hand for a hand shake....

.......and was just about to say (I assume), "Nice to meet you Nurul".

So I quickly pull my hand away and say, "Sorry, I can't hand shake with opposite gender".
And he gave me his amazed look coupled with his almost-popping-out eyes. O.o

Then I added, "It's not that I hate to, but it's my religion you see".
He then made a conclusion saying that, "Owh. Now I understand. It's your custom and tradition on East countries". He wanted to continue with his reasoning, so I let him finished it. 
"In Western countries (tak sedar diri Australia tu belah-belah East jugak) we used to hand shake at the early of any deal. Or introducing yourself. It means that you comes with good intention, that people want to be friend with you and he will not harm you. That's the meaning of hand shake. If people do not offer a hand shake, it means the opposite thing. And it's consider rude. People will think that you are not a nice person to deal with in a business. I have been to East countries and their tradition is different to ours. They hand shake at the end of a business. But that's between men. I never see women hand shake. Maybe women never had a business to deal with. Haha".   
I cut his word and once again tried to stress that, "Is not an East peoples' custom, it's our religion".
He then replied, "So tell me more about this. Why you can't have a hand shake?" 

Owh yeah! This is my chance. :D So I inhale a long breath and started.
"It's our way as a Muslim to prevent ourselves from being involved in an illegal sexual intercourse. You know what I mean right? When unmarried man and woman are touching each other. It's only between opposite gender. Women are okay to hand shake each other. And woman can hand shake with her husband (ofkos la kan) because they are now legally connected. You know, through marriage. For example, I can hand shake with my husband's father and husband's grandfather. For us women in Islam, it's only not permissible to hand shake with opposite gender who is NOT our family member. Like you and me. When I refuse to hand shake, it doesn't mean that your are not a nice person or I'm not glad meeting you today".
Okay Uncle Adam, now let me explains using a picture to make it clearer. :)

This is allowed. Man to man. For example in a business like Uncle Adam's example.

This is allowed. Woman to woman. (Hamboi! Panjangnye kuku you)

This is not allowed. Man to woman. Only allowed between family members. Got it?

Or else, you will become like this. Okay that's a lie..

And now Uncle Adam seems to grab the gist of this issue. Alhamdulillah. :D (Sebenarnye panjang lebau lagi eden dan terangakn kat Uncle Adam ni).

After awhile, he threw me one good question. Well, it was indeed a good question considering that this was his first time knowing about this issue.
"So how about woman in a bus? A cramp bus with many people?"
I smiled and replied,
"In that situation, it's okay for a man ACCIDENTALLY touches a woman. For example, when the bus suddenly brake to avoid crashing into a herd of cows that's crossing the road (okay ni random example je, tetibe dapat idea time tu)".
End of story.

When you are in non-muslim country like me, you will get the chance to become the representative of Islam. :) Being able to play the role as a Caliph bit by bit based on your ability and knowledge, that's the part I love the most. Locals and non-muslim people see you as if they see Islam. 

If you a late for house inspection, then they will assume that Muslims are always not punctual. But the truth is there's one Arabic proverb states that: Time is like a sword, if you do not cut it, it will cut you. (Source

If you spit or littering, then people will think that Muslim never cares about environment and cleanliness. But the truth is in the holy Quran is states that: "Truly, Allah loves those who turn to Him constantly, and He loves those who keep themselves pure and clean" [2:222]   

So you need to constantly keep you attitude based on Islam. After all, Islam is a way of life right? ^_^ 

When people ask why do you wear hijab, sometimes they purposely asked to provoke you (Like my story here). But sometimes, they just curios! Like this Uncle Adam. Their curiosity could lead to many opportunities towards Islam! Who knows from your explanation, people like Uncle Adam will have interest in Islam and started doing research on Islam. Then who will get the rewards if finally he decided to embrace Islam? :)

Let's play London Bridge is Falling down! (Eh kau ni, tetibe plak)

The true message from the  picture is: Let's together we spread the Islam regardless of our fields and specialties. 

Kau permudahkan lah ya Allah perjuanganku. Ameen 

Disclaimer: Click at the picture to be directed to the original source.


Anonymous said...

kalu kat sana mcm tue..
kat sini lg la pelik bin ajaib...
pengarah kampus aku time habis taklimat, kteowg sumer intake br sume kena salam ngan pengarah,timbalan HEA,HEP,penolong pendaftar..

Ir.Ladybird said...

samelah kat cni pon..this one chinese lecturer boleyh persoalkan this handshake thingy in a lecture hall of 100 students...
"handshake doesnt mean any sexual interest towards you.. we are in business world blablabla..."
ayoyoyo -_____-"

Safwanah Azmi said...

@anonymous: kalau kena salam dgn pegawai2 yg bukan muhrim: ckp je kt mereka, "Pakcik/makcik dosa tau sesuke hati je salam org ni. Saya x nk buat dosa. Amal kebaikan yg saya ade skrg pon x tentu lg boleh masuk syurga ke tak" Berlalu pergi smabil senyum je kt dorg tu.

Safwanah Azmi said...

@Ir.Ladybird: To me, people like that lecturer who refuse to understand others' religion CHOOSE to be ignorant.

Like this one person who is president of a political party in Malaysia (nama dirahsiakn, bole google sendiri), questioning on how the opponent candidate shaking hand.

This kind of person refuses to understand (or to learn) what does it means by touching skin to skin with non muhrim in Islam. Like I said earlier, ignorant people.

And lucky me, I rarely met this kind of people over here. All my non muslim friends are wonderful and they really respect my belief. Alhamdulillah.. :)

istikomah said...

saya selalu standby sarung tangan.. contoh majlis istana atau rasmi selalu mesti salam walau laki pompuan...(yg dah faham...alhamdulillah..)

Anonymous said...

bwlah selalu sarung tangan...