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Eating with the right hand for a leftie?

Q. I know it is Sunnah to eat and do other good performances by right hand. But my husband is left-handed, so it is difficult for him to use the right hand. Can he eat by left hand or he necessarily be retrained on the right hand? He is disturbed very much by this question.(Query published as received)

A. It is Sunnah to perform all good tasks with the right hand. The preference of using the right hand has been recorded in many Ahadith. Sayyidatuna Aa’ishah (Radiyallahu Anha) said:

“The Prophet of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) used to prefer the right hand. He used to take with his right hand, he used to give with his right hand and in general, he would use the right hand for all (good) tasks” (Nasai, Hadith #: 5059)

The eating with the right hand has been given added importance in the Hadith. Sayyiduna Umar bin Abi Salamah (Radiyallahu Anhu) was once in the company of the Prophet of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and he (Umar) was eating. The Prophet of Allah observed him and said to him:

“O dear boy, take the name of Allah and eat with your right hand, and eat from the side of the place that is closer to you” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith #: 5376)

It is important for your husband to adapt and learn how to eat with his right hand. It is not difficult and there are many left-handed people who have adapted to eat with the right hand. Your husband should practice this consistently at every meal by eating a few morsels with his right and then switch to the left when it becomes difficult for him. Gradually, he will improve on and Insha Allah, the day will come when he will be able to eat complete meals with his right hand without difficulty.
dua after eating

And Allah Knows Best

Mufti Suhail Tarmahomed

Fatwa Department
Jamiatul Ulama (KZN)
Council of Muslim Theologians

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