Right or left?
Maulana Shahzayb Attari Madani
Uzayr sat in silence, his eyes stuck to the door, as though he were anticipating someone’s arrival. It had been an exhausting day as he had kept his first fast today. Meanwhile, the rest of the family and guests were busy talking.
Just before Iftar, Sa’d arrived. An ecstatic Uzayr called out, ‘Sa’d! Sa’d!’ Turning towards him, Sa’d extended his left hand. Unsurprised, Uzayr smiled as he took hold of Sa’d’s right hand and shook it gently. ‘How long has it been! Yet you still do not know your left from your right?’ said Uzayr, a big smile still adorning his face.
‘Uzayr! Sa’d!’ called a familiar voice from behind. ‘Baaqir!’ they both cried, taking him by the hands and seating themselves before the meal for Iftar laid out before them. Seeing the rich display of fruits and drinks carefully positioned on the dining mat, Baaqir let out a joy filled, ‘سُـبْحٰـنَ الـلّٰــه! How beautiful are these bounties of Allah Almighty!’ ‘سُـبْحٰـنَ الـلّٰــه! سُـبْحٰـنَ الـلّٰــه!,’ uttered Uzayr and Sa’d ’in agreement.
As soon as Maghrib time approached, announcements for breaking the fast began so all three of them recited بِسْمِ الله and broke their fasts with a date.
Uzayr’s gaze unexpectedly fell on Sa’d’s hand who was busy eating with his left hand. ‘Sa’d! What is this? You are eating with your left hand again. You should always eat with your right hand.’
Baaqir was surprised and asked, ‘Is it true that you can’t tell the difference between right and left?’
‘My mother tells me all the time, but I cannot tell the difference between my right and left,’ replied Sa’d.
‘Okay! Tell me where the heart is,’ asked Baaqir.
‘Here,’ said Sa’d, as he pointed to the left side of his chest.
‘Exactly! This is the sign of the left hand - it is towards the side of your heart,’ said Baaqir.
Sa’d turned to them, ‘Okay, brothers! What difference will it make if I eat with my left hand?’
‘We are Muslims and Muslims follow their Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم in every action. Whether eating, shaking hands, putting on clothes, or doing other similar tasks, our Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم would use his right hand,’ explained Baaqir.
Sa’d thanked them when a smiling Uzayr added, ‘Now you will definitely remember right and left.’
Sa’d quickly placed his left hand on his heart and said, ‘Yes! This is left and this is right.’