In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful,

the Most Compassionate

Praise be to Allah, and may His peace and blessings be upon Muhammad,

and upon his family and companions, and all those who follow him


It is a sunna to use the right hand for noble matters, and the left hand for lowly matters, whenever reasonably possible.  This is a general recommendation. It is not sinful or prohibited to use the left hand; doing so without need is, however, blameworthy because it is going against recommended Prophet practice.

Sayyida `Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) related that, The Messenger of Allah loved using the right in wearing his shoes, combing his hair, purification, and in all his matters. [Bukhari and Muslim]

She also related that, The Messenger of Allahs hand (blessings and peace be upon him) was for his purification and eating, and his left for the toilet and anything lowly. [Abu Dawud; Nawawi declared it rigorously authentic in his Majmu`]

Anas (Allah be pleased with him) said, It is from the sunna that you enter the mosque with your right leg, and leave with your left leg. [Hakim]

The hadiths related to this are numerous.

Ibn Daqiq explained that this is a general recommendation from which certain particulars have been excepted, such as entering the washroom, cleaning ones private parts, leaving the mosque, and the like, for the sunna in these is to use the left. [Sharh Umdat al-Ahkam]
The scholars deduced from the hadiths related to right and left that the general principle is:
1. To prefer the right [hand or foot] for all noble matters, such as:
          Wudu’
          Entering the mosque
          Wearing clothes
          Praying to the right of the imam if the lines are even [otherwise, evening the lines is superior]
          Giving salams to the right first in prayer
          Turning ones head to the right first in the adhan when saying Hayya `ala al-Salah
          Brushing the right side of ones teeth first
          Starting to cut ones hair from the right side first
          Serving food or water to those on ones right first
          Sleeping on ones right side
          Shaking hands
          Eating and drinking with ones right
          Giving and taking things
          Brushing ones hair.
2. To prefer the left for all lowly or less desirable matters, such as:
  • Going from a more noble to a less noble place:
o        Going out of the house
o        Going out of the mosque
o        Entering the toilet
  • Cleaning ones private parts or filth
Ref: [Ibn Daqiq Sharh Umdat al-Ahkam; Saffarini, Ghida al-Albab (2.91-93); Nawawi, Majmu` (1.408-410); Kasani, Badai` al-Sanai` (1.22); Baji, al-Muntaqa Sharh al-Muwatta (7.234-235); Khadimi/Barkawi, al-Bariqa fi Sharh al-Tariqa (4.74-77)]

 

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