Starting with the right side is recommended
Fatwa No: 98747

Question

As Salamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu During my initial Islamic studies, I read in many books that we are recommended to start dressing and other Fitrah activities from the right side e.g. wearing sock on the right foot before the left, wearing the right shoe before the left shoe, cutting nail – starting from the little finger on the right hand and ending with the little finger on the left hand, combing the hair on the right side before the left and the like. The scholars recommend this way, using analogy of the few Ahadith which indicate that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) preferred starting from the right side. I am not sure if these Ahadith are authentic or not but my question is do these acts come under Bid'ah. Since I have read about this I have encouraged others also to do the same especially teaching children to wear their clothes from the right side. Right hand in the right sleeve first etc……….. Your comments will be greatly appreciated. Wa Alaikum Salam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu Maryam

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

 

The narrations about starting with the right side (before the left side) in every act are authentic and there is no doubt about them. Rather, some of these narrations are among the most authentic narrations as they were agreed upon by Al-Bukhari and Muslim  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them like the narration which is narrated by 'Aa'ishah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her who said: “The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) used to prefer to start with the right side (over the left) when putting on his slippers, combing his hair, ritual purification, and in all his matters.”

Therefore, what you do by starting with the right before the left is not an innovation; rather it is a desirable Sunnah for which you will be rewarded, Allaah willing. Hence, we encourage you to do this Sunnah and continue to spread it and invite people to do it, and teach the children and elders to do it, and you will get the reward of whoever does it without diminishing anything from their reward.

For more benefit, please refer to Fataawa 88498 and 84990.

Allaah Knows best.

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