Giving Precedence to the Right Hand over the Left

ʿAisha r.a narrates that, “Rasūlullāh ﷺ used to like to start from the right side when wearing shoes, combing his hair and cleaning or washing himself and when doing anything else (besides those exceptions made in other aḥādīth e.g. entering the lavatory or washing the private parts).”

The great caliph, Ḥaḍrat ʿUmar bin ʿAbd-ul-Azīz would also include pointing with the hand as can be implied from the ḥadīth i.e. if a need arises for a speaker to use his hands for gesturing; he ought to use his right.

Abu Nuʿaym Asbahānī in Ḥilyat-ul-Awliyā (Volume: 5, Page: 326) has related from ʿAwn bin Muʿtamir that once Ḥaḍrat ʿUmar bin ʿAbd-ul-Azīz saw a man gesturing with his left hand. So he said:

“When you speak, do not gesture with your left hand but gesture with your right.”

The man replied:

“I have never seen a more amazing and incredible day as today. A man buries the most beloved person to him and what grieves and bothers him is that instead of using the right hand, someone is using their left (and so he reprimands them).”

Ḥaḍrat ʿUmar bin ʿAbd-ul-Azīz said:

“When Allah takes away something, you should turn your attention away from it.”

What the man was referring to was that Ḥaḍrat ʿUmar bin ʿAbd-ul-Azīz had just buried his nineteen year old beloved son Abdul Malik. But despite such a tragedy, Ḥaḍrat ʿUmar bin ʿAbd-ul-Azīz was more concerned with the use of the left hand when gesturing as opposed to worrying about his deceased son!

(Adapted from Itḥāf-ut-Ṭalabah, Page: 407/408 by Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Muftī ʿUmar Farūq Luhārvī)


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