Why is the right side more virtuous in Islam? For instance, to salute to the right side, to eat with the right hand...

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Allah created man’s right and left organs. There is no difference between right and left in terms of creation.

However, the religion of Islam introduced some criteria in daily life as it did in all issues; it advised us to use the right side unlike Satan and unbelievers. For, Satan does everything with his left hand and starts with his left hand.

Imam Nawawi states the following:

"It is mustahab to start with the right while doing blessed, honorable and clean deeds. They are called Sunan az-Zawaid. The singular form is Sunnah az-Zaidah. It is advisable to start with the right side while putting on shoes, a shirt, combing hair, using miswak, trimming nails, washing hands and feet, entering the mosque, leaving the toilet, giving sadaqah (alms), eating and drinking."

"It is mustahab to start with the left side while doing the opposite of them like taking off shoes, cleaning one’s private parts after emptying the bowels and urinating, and blowing one’s nose."

Some of the hadiths regarding the issue are as follows:

"Eat and drink with the right hand; give and take things with the right hand; for, Satan eats and drinks with the left hand." (Ibn Majah)

"Start from the right when you put on your shoes and from the left when you take them off." (Bukhari)

The honor of the right side is mentioned in the Quran. The phrase ‘Ashabul-Maymana’ is used in verse 8 and ‘Ashabul-Mashama’ in verse 9 of the chapter of al-Waqia; the glad tiding that ‘Ashabul-Yamin’ are people of Paradise is given in verse 91. 

Maymana means, right, right arm, right hand and blessing. Ashab al-Maymana means rightist. It is the name given to the happy people to go to Paradise. 

Mashama means left, left arm, left side and ill omen. Ashab al-Mashama means leftist. It is the name given to the unfortunate people to go to Hell.

For more information, please click on the link given below;

What is the wisdom behind eating with the right hand or not eating with the left hand?

Questions on Islam

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