I`ve been a member here for a few years now but have never posted anything on here. I have benefited from other posters though esp. when is comes to law and procedure.
I have seen the question from AHussain and as a devout Muslim PC with just 10 years in the job I thought I`d share my thoughts here.
The issue of shaking womens` hands and the hadith (above prophetic narration) you have quoted can be interpreted in 2 ways.
1) The literal meaning i.e. that is forbidden to touch ANY women one is not related or married to or
2) The non-literal meaning i.e. the word touch meaning to have sex with. This is backed up by a verse in the quran where one is told to take a bath after a man has "touched" a woman. All muslim scholars have agreed that the word touch in the quranic verse means to have sex .
However, as with all religions you will have your conservatives and your liberals and each will act on their understanding.
But from a policing point of view I have found it is very hard to be a very strict muslim officer and try to follow a literal meaning of Islam.
As a colleague has already pointed out: Shaking a female`s hand will be the least of your worries on the ground.
One of the hardest things I found hard was praying 5 times a day. Working different shifts and not being at a station especially in the winter months when prayers times are close to each other.
What will you do when you are instructed to stand on a scene through out the day where will you pray? Where will you perform your ablutions ?
You can not just leave a murder scene to nip off to the local mosque! and why should other colleagues have to stand in for you so that you can go off to the station at prayer times?
This is even harder with Friday prayers which have to be performed in a group and if there arent any muslims on your division or any on duty then you`ll have to go to the mosque. What if an emergency call comes through round the corner ?
One thing that has always played on my mind and thankfully has never happened is that : what if I was in the middle of a prayer and a colleague pressed his/her emergency button (Shudder) . I dont think I would forgive myself if I did not turn up to assist ( No one in the police would forgive me either!) but then I say to myself that that`s an emergency and my religion allows me to break my prayer for an emergency (That`s my interpretation . is that yours?)
or like when I was taking a statement off a domestic violence victim at sunset in Ramdhan and I had to break my fast? I didnt have my food with me so I asked the victim for a drink of water then continued to take the statement (she made me a brew! :). Sunset is also a prayer time. Would you break off in the middle of a statement ,return to the station , break your fast ,have something to eat and then go back to finish the statement? You sergeant will not be happy! or would you do what I did and had the brew whilst taking the statement , finished the statement , returned to the station an hour later , had something to eat and then pray and then complete the file? Depends how strict you are?
How about the extra prayer in Ramadan at night ? especially when you`re working nights or even when you have to wake up early the next day?
Another colleague mentioned about being alone with a female colleague. How would you feel about this? and if you refuse how do you expect your colleagues to respect that or how do you think they would feel?
Having acted as a sergeant for 6 months on response, if you came to me saying you did not wish to pair up with a female colleague I would have refused to grant you this as where is the diversity and respect to my female officers then? especially in the first year when ( in my force ) you`ll not be a driver and will have to team up with someone.
The first 2 years in the police will be spent in uniform where you will need the support of your shift and they will teach you and you will learn a lot by just watching and observing other officers especially those you`ve been teamed up with. If you distance yourself from colleagues they`ll not bother with you and you in turn will feel isolated and become depressed.
Will you be comfortable interviewing a female prisoner on her own?
How about sudden/expected deaths: Will you be comfortable searching a dead woman?
before joining the cops I had never been to a pub or club or bar because I never had the need. Now it`s nearly every week I`m going to a pub for CCTV or because of a disturbance or to do licensing check
I know your question was specifically about shaking a female interviewers hand and you mentioned something about searching because of the law allowing you to do so and for your safety. Believe it or not a lot of what police officers do has little to do with what the law says and a lot has to do with policy and how the police work and how things get done.
So the answer is really how strict you are and It is worth considering the above before committing to become a police officer.
thinking about it now though, I dont think I have shaken anyones hand in an interview in the police because the hand was never offered and I`ve been interviewed by males and females.
Obviously the above is my opinion