Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Is Eating With The Right Hand Necessary When One Finds it Difficult?

Eating with the right hand

Eat only with your right hand, as long as you are able to

Assalam-o-Aliakum,

I really want to get the answer to this question. My younger brother is blessed with only four fingers of the right hand (the thumb bones and middle finger bones are placed in a single finger, leaving only four fingers in his hand).

He can, however ,perform most chores through his right hand, but still face problem doing some stuff. When it comes to writing or eating, he can't do it properly. Due to four-finger, he has always been a left-handed person and eats with his left hand. Is it okay for a person to use his left hand for eating or drinking in such a situation?

I mean I know it's not allowed. but in such case is it okay?

~ Maria

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3 Responses »

  1. Salamualaikum,

    Yes, it is necessary to eat with the right hand, as long as it is not possible.

    Jabir b. 'Abdullah reported Allaah's Messenger (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) having said: Do not eat with your left hand, for the Satan eats with his left hand. (Muslim)

    Ibn 'Umar reported Allaah's Messenger (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) as saying: When any one of you intends to eat (meal), he should eat with his right hand. and when he (intends) to drink he should drink with his right hand, for the Satan eats with his left hand and drinks with his left hand. (Muslim)

    Another Hadith makes it clear that even if it is difficult, as long as it is not possible, one has to eat with the right hand:

    Salama b. Akwa' reported on the authority of his father that a person ate in the presence of Allaah's Messenger (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) with his left hand, whereupon he said: Eat with your right hand. He said: I cannot do that, whereupon he (the Prophet) said: May you not be able to do that. It was vanity that prevented him from doing it, and he could not raise it (the right hand) up to his mouth. (Muslim)

    An instance to illustrate that it is allowed when it is impossible. A friend of mine mentions that he once saw a Shaikh drink with his left hand. He became furious. How can one who preacher Islam act in such a fashion? He almost raised his hand to point at him, but then realized that the Shaikh did not have his right hand, which made him eat with his only hand, the left hand.

    So, if a person has such a problem, then insha Allah, one can be excused.

    Another excuse is when eating with right hand can prove to be harmful for the eater. For example, difficulty to do wadhu with cold water does not mean one may not do it. BUT, if one fears that using this water could harm him, then one can avoid it and do Tayammum, as a Sahabi did. He was in state of Janabah but if led the people in prayer. Somebody complained to Rasoolullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam, who asked him the reason. He said that he feared that he would kill himself with that water. Then Rasoolullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam praised him for what he did.
    So, if anyone fears harm for eating with right hand, IN MY OPINION, one can use the left hand.

    If any other reason makes it impossible for your brother to eat with iis left hand, or if it is harmful, then insha Allah, he can use his left hand for eating.

    This is surely my opinion, and Allah Knows Best

    Wassalamualaikum
    Muhammad Waseem
    IslamicAnswers.com Editor

  2. He should try to eat with the right hand. I have seen people who have lost hands and have only prostheses, and still they manage to find a way to eat with the right. If he has to hold the spoon or fork in a strange way, that's alright. Or perhaps he can have a special eating utensil made for him that would fit better in his hand.

    It sounds to me like eating with the left has become a habit for him, because eating with the right is an inconvenience. But I am sure that if he practices with the right, he can do it, Insha'Allah.

    This is an important rule in Islam, and it is also necessary for good hygiene, not to mention social harmony (that that last is a minor consideration).

    Wael
    IslamicAnswers.com Editor

  3. One of my friend's sister had an accident and lost her right hand from elbow. She is now 26 she eats with spoon with left hand but I saw her when she hold spoon and eats she use her right hand elbow to support means she is not eating with left completely also using by touching her right. So your brother may try like this Allah gave him finger he should try no matter what.

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