Answered  by Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam

Question : On Which Hand and Finger Should a Man Wear his Silver Ring?

Answer :  As for which finger, most of the scholars of Hadith and Fiqh are of the opinion that it is Sunna and recommended for a male, if he chooses to wear a silver ring, to wear it on his little finger of the hand.

Imam Muslim (may Allah have mercy on him) reports in the chapter pertaining to clothing and adornment (Kitab al-Libas wa’l Zina) in his Sahih from Sayyiduna Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said: “The ring of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) was on this”, and he pointed towards the little finger of his left hand. (Sahih Muslim, no: 2095)

Sayyiduna Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) says: “The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) forbade me that I wear a ring on this or this finger of mine.” The narrator says that he pointed to the middle finger and the one next to it [i.e. the index finger].” (Sahih Muslim, no: 2078)

Based on the above narrations, the renowned Shafi’i jurist and Hadith scholar, Imam Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) states:

“Muslim scholars have agreed that it is a Sunna [for men] to wear the ring on the little finger. As for women, they may wear rings on their various fingers.” (Al-Minhaj sharh Sahih Muslim, P: 1584)

Imam Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) then explains the reason for wearing the ring on the little finger. He says that the other fingers are more frequently used when utilizing the hand, whilst the little finger is not so frequently used due to it being at the corner of the hand. As such, he says, it is somewhat disliked (makruh tanzih) for a man to wear his silver ring on the middle and index fingers. (ibid)

In light of the above reasoning given by Imam Nawawi and others, we can add that the thumb would probably take the same ruling as that of the middle and index fingers, since the thumb is also frequently used. As for the “ring” finger, due to it being close to the little finger and also not being frequently used, one may wear his ring on it.

As for which hand, there are somewhat conflicting reports regarding the practice of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace). Some narrations indicate that he wore his ring on his right hand, whilst others indicate that he wore it on his left hand.

Sayyiduna Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) reports that “the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) wore a silver ring on his right hand which had an Abyssinian stone in it, and he would keep its stone towards the palm.” (Sahih Muslim, no: 2094)

Sayyiduna Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) says: “The ring of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) was on this”, and he pointed towards the little finger of his left hand. (Sahih Muslim, no: 2095)

As such, Imam Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) states:

“As for the [legal] ruling in this issue according to the jurists (fuqaha), they have all agreed upon the permissibility of wearing the ring on the right hand, and upon the permissibility of wearing it on the left hand, and there is no dislike (karaha) in wearing the ring on either of the two hands. However, they disagreed in regards to what is preferred. Many early scholars (salaf) wore their rings on the right hand, whilst many others wore theirs on the left hand. Imam Malik (may Allah have mercy on him) considered wearing the ring on the left hand to be recommended (mustahab) and disliked wearing it on the right hand. In our [Shafi’i] School, both positions are mentioned by our scholars. The correct (sahih) opinion is that it is better to wear the ring on the right hand, for wearing a ring is a form of adornment, and the right hand is more deserving of this adornment and beautification.” (Al-Minhaj sharh Sahih Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj, P: 1585)

Shaykh Taqi Usmani (may Allah preserve him) explains in his commentary of Sahih Muslim that most of the narrations indicate that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) wore his ring on his right hand whilst some others indicate that he wore it on his left hand. Some scholars preferred the latter narrations whilst others preferred the former. Some scholars reconciled between the two types of narrations saying that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) initially wore his ring on the right hand and thereafter resorted to wearing it on his left hand. The great Master of Hadith (Hafidh), Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) reconciled by stating in his Fath al-Bari that if the objective is to adorn oneself, then one should wear the ring on the right hand. However, if one wears a ring for the purpose of stamping, then wearing it on the left hand would be better. (Takmila Fath al-Mulhim 4/82)

Shaykh Taqi Usmani (may Allah preserve him) then gives his personal stance on the issue at hand. He says:

“It is possible to reconcile between the various narrations by assuming them to be describing different occasions. It seems that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) normally wore his ring on his right hand, as this is indicated by the majority of the narrations. However, he occasionally wore his ring on his left hand due to a need, or to show its permissibility. And Allah knows best.” (Ibid)

Imam Badr al-Din Ayni (may Allah have mercy on him), the renowned scholar of Hadith and Hanafi jurist, is of the opinion that wearing the ring on the left hand is preferable. He explains in his commentary of Al-Hidaya that a man should wear his ring on the little finger of his left hand due to the fact that Sayyiduna Ali and Sayyiduna Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with them) both report that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) wore his ring on the left hand. Moreover, Sayyiduna Ibn Abbas, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr, Sayyiduna Umar, Sayyiduna Ali, Sayyiduna Hasan and Sayyiduna Huseyn (may Allah be pleased with them) all wore their rings on their left hands. As such, he says, it is better and preferable to wear the ring on the little finger of the left hand, and not on any other finger. (See: Al-Binaya fi sharh al-Hidaya 9/235-236)

In light of the above, a man may wear his ring on either his right or left hand, since some scholars preferred the former whist others the latter. No one should be rebuked for wearing their ring on any one of the two hands, since both ways have been reported from the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace).

In conclusion, it is Sunna and preferable for men to wear their silver rings on the little finger of either their right or left hands. To wear it on the middle and index fingers is somewhat disliked, but not forbidden. As for women, they may wear their rings on any finger of their right or left hands.

And Allah knows best
Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester , UK

Please share this with your family and friends:

"Whoever guides someone to goodness will have a similar reward"-- The Prophet (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him)