Tuesday, 21 April 2009

The Prophet Muhammad SAW Wore His Ring On His Right Hand

HADITH 1

Saiyidina Ali ibn Abi Talib RA says:

"Rasulullah SAW wore his ring in the right hand."


COMMENTARY

Various narrations have been quoted regarding whether the Prophet Muhammad SAW wore the ring on his right or the left hand. A group of Muhadditheen (Compilers of Ahadith) have preferred the view that he wore the ring on his right hand. This is the view of Imam Bukhari RA, Imam Tirmidhi RA, and other Muhadditheen.

Some Ulama have concluded that the Prophet SAW wore it on the right hand most of the time, but also sometimes wore it on the left hand. The Ulama hence differ as to which hand it is best to wear a ring.

Among the Hanafi Ulama there are different opinions. A few say it is best to wear it on the left hand and others say both hands are equal. Shaami RA has quoted both views. Mulla Ali Qaari RA has quoted a saying of the Hanafis - that it is best to wear it on the right hand. According to the Hanafi school of jurisprudence, the view stated by Shaami RA is more acceptable. Imam Nawawi RA has stated that it is permissible according to the majority of the Ulama, to wear it on either hand without Karaahah (dissaproval). The Maalikis state it is better to wear it on the left hand.

n short both are proven from the Hadith. The Ulama have also given preference to both. It is mentioned in Durri Mukhtaar from Qahistani RA that it has become a symbol of the Rawaafids (the Shi'ites) to wear a ring on the right hand, therefore it is compulsary to abstain from wearing it on the right hand. However the author of Durri Mukhtaar says that it is possible that it was the symbol of the Rawaafid at that time and now it is not. Shaykh Cangohi RA writes in his kitaab entitled - Kaukabi Durri - that because the wearing of the ring on the left hand is the symbol of the Rawaafid, it is Makruh (undesirable) to do so. Shaykh Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri RA has given the same view in his - Badhlul Majhud - and has also written that although there is a difference of opinion whether the Rawaafid are Muslims or non-Muslims, there is no difference of opinion in that they are Faasiqs (sinful people). It is very important to save one's self from imitating the Fussaaq (plural of Faasiq).

HOWEVER - Now after the Iranian Revolution the belief of the Rawaafid (Shi'ites) has been openly propagated and made known. They reject the fundamental beliefs of Islam and hence are apostates and out of the fold of Islaam.


HADITH 2

Hammaad bin Salamah RA says that he saw Abdur Rahman bin Abi Rafi' RA wearing a ring on his right hand. He asked him the reason and he replied:

"I had seen Abdullah bin Ja'far RA wearing a ring on his right hand, and he said that he had seen the Prophet of Allah SAW wear a ring on the right hand."



HADITH 3

It is related from Abdullah bin Ja'far RA from another source (another chain of narrators) that the Prophet of Allah SAW wore a ring on the right hand.



COMMENTARY

In a particular Hadith, it has also been stated that beauty and elegance is more appropriate to the right hand. Therefore Ibn Hajar RA, who is an Imam of the Science of Hadith says:

"After studying that Hadith, I have found that if it is worn for elegance and beauty, it should be worn on the right hand, and if it is worn for use as a seal or stamp it should be worn on the left hand, as it is easier to remove from the left hand when using it."

It is mentioned in the Ahadith that the ring was worn on both hands (right and left).



HADITH 4

Jabir bin Abdullah RA says:

"The Prophet of Allah SAW wore the ring on the right hand."



HADITH 5

Salt bin Abdullah RA said:

"Abdullah ibn Abbas RA wore a ring on the right hand, and as far as I can remember he used to say that the Prophet of Allah SAW also wore it on the right hand."



COMMENTARY

Imam Tirmidhi RA has written this Hadith briefly. It is mentioned with more detail in the collection of Imam Abu Dawud RA.

Ibn Ishaq RA says:

"I have seen Salt wear a ring on the smallest finger of his right hand. I enquired the reason from him.

He replied:

"I have seen Ibn Abbas RA wearing it in this manner. The top part of the ring was facing outwards, as far as I can recall he was talking about the Prophet of Allah SAW and said that the Prophet of Allah SAW wore it in the same manner." "

Two things are mentioned in this Hadith. One is that the top part was kept on the outer side of the finger. It is stated in the Badhlul Majhud and Mirqaatus Su'ud that it is more correct to wear the top part of the ring facing the inside (towards the palms). This has also been stated in many narrations. This is also mentioned in the Hadith appearing hereafter. Shaykh Munaawi RA says that this is best because it protects the stone and saves one from pride and high mindedness.

The second matter referred to is the wearing of the ring on the smallest finger. Imam Nawawi RA says that it is Sunnah to do so according to the Ijmaa' (Consensus of Scholars). Shaami RA states that the ring should be on this finger, and the stone should face towards the palm for men, and towards the outside for women, as they wear it for beauty and elegance.



HADITH 6

Hazrat Abdllah ibn Umar RA reports:

"The Prophet of Allah SAW had a ring made of silver. The top portion remained towards the inside. On it was engraved 'Muhammad the Rasul of Allah'. The people were prohibited from making this inscription on their rings. This is the same ring which fell from the hands of Mu'ayqib RA into the well of Arees during the reign of Saiyidina Uthman RA."



COMMENTARY

The reason for the Prophet of Allah SAW prohibiting the Sahabah RA to make the same inscription on their rings is because the Sahabah RA followed and imitated the Prophet of Allah SAW in every sphere of life, and by doing so it was feared that there would be a confusion with the original seal.

Mu'ayqib RA was a Companion of the Prophet SAW and the guardian (keeper) of the ring of the Prophet of Allah SAW. When the Prophet of Allah SAW did not wear the ring it was kept by Mu'ayqib RA. In the same manner it was kept by him during the reign of Saiyidina Abu Bakr RA, Saiyidina Umar RA and Saiyidina Uthman RA.

During the reign of Saiyidina Uthman RA, while sitting at the well of Arees, Mu'ayqib RA was giving the ring to Saiyidina Uthman RA or was taking it from him and it accidentally fell into the well. This incident is mentioned in many Ahadith. As to whether it fell from the hands of Saiyidina Uthman RA or from the hands of Mu'ayqib RA, the Ulama have adopted the view that it was the latter. Both Ahadith agree that it happened between them.



HADITH 7

Imam Muhammad Baaqir RA relates that Saiydina Hasan RA and Saiydina Husain radiyallahu RA, both wore their rings on their left hands.


COMMENTARY

This hadith is of course very much in contrary to the ones mentioned above by Imam Tirmidhi RA. It is stated there that the ring was worn on the right hand. An explanation can be given that the intention here is to indicate that after mentioning all the Ahadith, this narration that is contrary to the others may be of a weak chain. According to Shaykhul Hadith Muhammad Zakariyya Khandalwi RA, the mentioning of the right hand shows that this is the preferred method. This narration under discussion indicates that this too is permissible. Some of the learned have explained that in translations, according to the practice of the Muhadditheen, the word, 'am fee yasaarihi' has been removed i.e. the Prophet of Allah SAW used to wear the ring on the right hand or the left. According to this explanation no narration will be different from a translation.



HADITH 8

It is related from Anas RA that the Prophet of Allah SAW wore a ring on the right hand, and some people have also related from Anas RA that the Prophet of Allah SAW wore a ring on the left hand.


COMMENTARY

The findings of Imam Tirmidhi RA are that both these Ahadith are incorrect, which would mean that Anas RA could not ascertain the correct hand.

The Muhadditheen take great precautions and study each part of a Hadith in detail to determine which portion is correct, and which is incorrect in that respective Hadith, although in other Ahaadith this has been ascertained to be correct. Consequently, today - the subject of Hadith has been carefully preserved and has spread in the world with Nur (Light of Guidance).

Many Ahadith prove that the Prophet of Allah SAW wore the ring on both the right or the left hand. The Ahadith where he wore it on the right hand have been mentioned. The Ahaadith regarding his (SAW) wearing it on the left hand are stated in the Sunan Abu Dawud and Sahih Muslim etc.

Imam Nawawi RA informs that both type of Ahaadith are correct. It is a practice of the Muhadditheen, that although if three Ahaadith are correct (on a subject) and due to some special rule it does not comply with the standard, they will mention their views on this special rule. Therefore, Imam Tirmidhi has made a comment here.


HADITH 9

Abdllah ibn Umar RA relates that the Prophet of Allah SAW had a ring made of gold which he wore on his right hand. The Sahabah RA in imitating the Prophet of Allah sallallahu SAW also had gold rings made for themselves. Thereafter, the Prophet of Allah SAW threw away the gold ring and said - "I will never wear it again."


COMMENTARY

During the early periods of Islam, it was permissible for men to wear gold in the early periods of Islam. Subsequently, this was ordained Haraam for men. All the Ulama are unanimous in that it is Haraam for men to wear gold. Imam Nawawi RA has also stated the unanimous verdict of the Ulama in this respect. This subject is discussed at length in the books of Fiqh.

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