What do the scholars of the Dīn and muftīs of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: Why do Muslims use their right hand when eating and left to wash themselves when in the lavatory. Please could you also mention the logic to this; it would be very much appreciated.
Questioner: Waqar from UK
بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب
It is established from the Sunnah of the Noble Prophet ﷺ that he ﷺ would use his blessed right hand to eat food, drink water and other acts such as these, and he ﷺ would also encourage others to do so also.
Just as Sayyidunā abū Hurayrah, may Allāh be pleased with him, mentions that the Noble Prophet ﷺ stated that,
“لِيَأْكُلْ أَحَدُكُمْ بِيَمِينِهِ، وَلْيَشْرَبْ بِيَمِينِهِ، وَلْيَأْخُذْ بِيَمِينِهِ، وَلْيُعْطِ بِيَمِينِهِ، فَإِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ يَأْكُلُ بِشِمَالِهِ، وَيَشْرَبُ بِشِمَالِهِ، وَيُعْطِي بِشِمَالِهِ، وَيَأْخُذُ بِشِمَالِهِ“
“Each and every one of you should eat with the right hand, drink with the right hand, take with the right hand, give with the right hand. This is because Satan eats with the left hand, drinks with the left hand, gives with the left hand and takes with the left hand.”
[Sunan Ibn Mājah, Hadīth no 3266]
Similarly, Sayyidunā Jābir, may Allāh be pleased with him, mentions that the Noble Messenger of Allāh ﷺ stated,
“لَا تَأْكُلُوا بِالشِّمَالِ، فَإِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ يَأْكُلُ بِالشِّمَالِ”
“Do not eat with the left hand because Satan eats with the left hand.”
[Sunan Ibn Mājah, Hadīth no 3268]
Likewise, the encouraging of the usage of the left hand for unsanitary matters, cleaning oneself in the lavatory, etc is present in Hadīths; this is why Muslims do so.
Just as Sayyidunā abū Hurayrah mentions that the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ stated,
“إِذَا اسْتَطَابَ أَحَدُكُمْ فَلَا يَسْتَطِبْ بِيَمِينِهِ لِيَسْتَنْجِ بِشِمَالِهِ“
“Whenever someone cleans themselves in the washroom, they should not do so using the right hand. Rather, they should use the left hand.”
[Sunan Ibn Mājah, Hadīth no 312]
This wisdom behind this could be that the hand which is used for eating, drinking, and other similar good actions is not used for cleaning oneself in the washroom and other unsanitary matters, so that the utmost cleanliness can be undertaken when eating and drinking.
واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری
Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by Haider Ali
Read the original Urdu answer here: [Q-ID0564] Why do Muslims use their right hand when eating and left to wash themselves when in the lavatory?