Saudi monarch rules out hand-kissing

Aug. 20, 2013 at 7:17 AM

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Aug. 20 (UPI) -- King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia issued a statement rejecting the practice of hand kissing except to honor one's parents.

"I announce from where I stand my complete rejection of this matter and I ask everyone to do accordingly and refrain from kissing hands except for parents, honoring them," the king said in a statement quoted by al-Arabiya Tuesday.

The practice of hand kissing has sparked controversy, with some calling it humiliating and others saying it is a sign of respect, the pan-Arab network said.

"We saw people sanctifying some religious figures through kissing hands, and this does not comply with Islamic law," said Judge Issa al-Ghaith, a member of the Islamic Committee's Shura Council. Kissing hands should be allowed only as an act of respect with parents, scholars or governors, he said.

Sheik Adel al-Kalbano, the former imam of Mecca's Grand Mosque, called hand kissing an act of Sufism, a dedication to the inner mystical dimension of Islam, and has little to do with Saudi society or morals, the network said.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more news from UPI.com
Related UPI Stories
share with facebook
share with twitter
Trending Stories