(1) Do not shake hands (musaafahah) with a person when his hands are involved in such an act or activity which necessitates his emptying his hands. On such occasions Salaam is adequate. Similarly, when someone (e.g. the leader in a gathering or the Ustaadh or the Shaikh) is engaged in something (e.g. giving a talk), then do not remain standing in expectation of obtaining consent for sitting. Merely be seated.
(2) If someone is hurrying along the road, do not stop him for handshaking.Such a person should not be stopped and engaged in conversation. You may be holding him up from something important.
(3) When arriving in a gathering do not make musaafahah with everyone present. Make musaafahah with only the person whom you intend to see.
(4) Some people are under the impression that mere handshaking is sufficient for restoring the peace between two antagonists or persons who have quarrelled. While the malice remains in the hearts musaafahah is of no benefit. Firstly clear the air by solving the dispute. Thereafter make musaafahah.
(5) Musaafahah should be made on arrival and on departure.
(6) When making rnusaafahah, the hands should not contain anything. Some people holding money in their hands make rnusaafahah. In this way they present a gift. This is improper. Musaafahah is a Sunnat act which is an lbaadat. It should not be corrupted with a worldly deed.
(7) Do not wait in expectation of musaafahah. Do not wish that people come forward to shake your hands.
(8) The Sunnat method of musaafahah is only to shake hands. In some places there is the custom of kissing the hands after making musaafahah. This practice should be discontinued.
On the occasion of Hijrat (Migration from Makkah to Madinah) Hadhrat Abu Bakr Siddique (radhiallahu anhu) accompanied Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). On their arrival at Madinah Tayyibah the Ansaar (Helpers or the Sahaabah of Madinah who assisted the Sahaabah of Makkah Mukarramah) came out in crowds to welcome Nabi (saliallahu alayhi wasallam). The Ansaar had not seen Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) as yet hence on account of Hadhrat Abu Bakr’s (radhiallahu anhu) advanced age they mistook him for the Rasool. Under this impression they began making musaafahah with him. It is very significant that Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiallahu anhu) did not decline when the people mistakenly shook hands with him. This act of his is indicative of the perfection of his intelligence. He continued making musaafahah with all of them. Since Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was very tired on account of the arduous journey, Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiallahu anhu) did not wish to impose the inconvenience of crowds making musaafahah on Nabi-e-Kareem (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). By substituting himself, Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiallahu anhu) saved Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) from considerable inconvenience. If someone adopts this method today in the presence of his Shaikh, he will be regarded as a highly disrespectful person and will be severely criticized and reprimanded.
Nowadays external etiquettes of respect are regarded to be service. True service is to ensure the comfort of the one whose service is intended even if one has to undergo inconvenience and difficulty in the process. This is the meaning of muhabbat (love). The Sahaabah practically demonstrated this.
(9) When making musaafahah, take into consideration the pleasure and the comfort of the one with whom you intend to make musaafahah. Refrain from adopting a method which will displease and inconvenience him.
(10) Making musaafahah after Salaat (as is the practice in some places) is bid’ah.
(11) Do not make musaafahah with one who is engrossed in some work. Just as there are rules for Salaam so are there rules for Musaafahah. According to the Hadith Musaafahah is the completion of Salaam.
(12) In some places while making musaafahah the thumbs are pressed. It is claimed that in the thumbs are the veins of love. This is baseless and the narration is a fabrication.