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Can married couples kiss in public? What limits are there?

Can married couples kiss in public? What limits are there?


This is probably a stupid question, but I heard an argument today about married Muslim couples and PDA. People were saying that it needs to stop at hand-holding… God forbid you kiss your wife on the cheek. What do you think?

Salaam alykum,

There are rules of PDA, for all couples, that transcend all our divisions, whether racial, national, or religious: keep it at a minimum. Exceptions for cute older couples, of course.

As a Middle Eastern person, I have issues with personal space, but that’s an issue my Halal Bros have to deal with, since I’m not married. Just to be clear, we’re not holding pinkies or anything, but we’re not making sure there is a seat between us at the movies (which I don’t understand).

Regardless, your question, I’m not sure where someone would find that kissing your wife on the cheek in public is wrong.

There are two Hadith that I think are somewhat relevant here:

First, from the Hadith of Muslim, Bukhari, and others there are several reports of The Prophet kissing his wives while fasting, and then praying without making Wudhu. Some reports say that he did this on his way out of his house, while others simply mention that he did this practice. Regardless, I think if it doesn’t break your Wudhu, then, I don’t see why it would be impermissible to kiss your wife in public.

Furthermore, from Imam Malik’s Al-Muwatta, which as some of you know, I find to be the best source for Hadith. Within Al-Muwatta we have this report:

The Prophet’s wife, Aisha, was talking to Aisha bint Talha and her husband, Abdullah ibn Abd ar-Rahman, who were both visiting her, and he was fasting. “Aisha then said to him, ‘What’s stopping you from coming close to your wife and kissing her and joking with her?’ He said, ‘Can I kiss her when I am fasting?’ She said, ‘Yes.’”

The point is, kissing your wife, joking with her, and having fun with her, in public, is not a problem, and it’s not something that would break your Wudhu. If it wouldn’t break your Wudhu, it would reason that it would not be particularly bad to do this in public.

Furthermore, we have other Hadith, which while not addressing one’s wife, still talk about public displays of affection, towards one’s family members.

In the Hadith of Abu Dawud, we have the famous report of Hassan (The Prophet’s grandson) who said:

“When she [Fatima, his mother] came to visit him (The Prophet) he got up to (welcome) her, took her by the hand, kissed her and made her sit where he was sitting; and when he went to visit her, she got up to (welcome) him, took him by the hand kissed him, and made him sit where she was sitting.”

Also in the Hadith of Abu Dawud, Al-Aqra ibn Habib saw The Prophet kissing Hussain (his other grandson), he said:

“’I have ten children and I have never kissed any of them.’ The Apostle of God (may peace be upon him) said: ‘He who does not show tenderness will not be shown tenderness.’”

I think there is an abundant amount of evidence that illustrates that kissing your wife on the cheek is not wrong, at all. Please don’t ask me about variations on this theme, making out in front of everyone is wrong, and you don’t need Hadith to understand that. Showing tenderness to your spouse is always acceptable, within limits, in public. As far as with one’s children, the only limits seems to be how embarrassed the kid might be.

Insha Allah, I hope this answers your question, and if you, or anyone else, has a question on this, or any other subject, please do not hesitate to ask me.

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