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Wearing Rings In Islam

In the name of Allah, the most Gracious and the most Merciful. Rings and gemstones have a special place in Islamic culture and history. Most if not all Muslims agree that the Holy Prophet () wore at least one ring, and this is something that is followed by Muslims all over the world.

The Ring of the Holy Prophet (ﷺ)

There are numerous hadiths that mention that Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) wore a ring. It is said that he acquired a ring of silver with Muhammad Rasoolullah (ﷺ) on it, saying: “I have acquired a ring of silver and engraved on it Muhammad Rasool Allaah, and no one should have an engraving like this.” (Al-Bukhaari: 5877, Muslim: 2092)

The Holy Prophet (ﷺ) would specifically use this as his seal on letters. Another hadith affirming this says: “When the Prophet (ﷺ) wanted to send a letter to the Romans, he was told that they would not read any letter unless it had a seal on it, so he took a ring of silver. It is as if I can see it shining on his hand, and engraved on it were the words ‘Muhammad the Messenger of Allah.’” (Al-Bukhaari: 5537, Muslim: 2092)

While men are prohibited from wearing a gold ring, it is deemed makruh according to some schools for either men or women to wear an iron, steel or brass ring. Other schools don’t deem it mukruh to wear an iron ring, but state that wearing a ring of silver is better.

How to Wear a Ring?

Among Sunni Muslims, there is a disagreement as to whether the Holy Prophet wore it on his left or right hand. According to Hanafi, Malaki and Hanbali schools, it is better to wear a ring on the left hand. Multiple reasons are cited, one of which is the following hadith. It was narrated that Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The ring of the Prophet () was worn on this – and he pointed to the little finger on his left hand. (Muslim: 2095)

Other arguments include it being the way of the Sahaba, with many reported having worn rings on their left hands, as well as the fact that it would have been easier to use for stamping seals when holding a paper with one’s right hand. The Shafa’i school of thought recommends wearing the ring on the right hand, citing the hadith. It was narrated from Anas ibn Maalik (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah () wore a ring of silver on his right hand, in which there was an Abyssinian stone, and he used to put the stone facing towards his palm. (Muslim: 2094)

Besides other similar narrations, the argument of the school is also that the Prophet () would always start with the right in daily tasks of adornment, such as putting on shoes and combing hair. Some also point out that there are also hadith that prominent Sahaba wore rings on their right hands, perhaps suggesting that wearing a ring on either hand is recommended. Hadith suggest that the Holy Prophet (ﷺ) wore the ring on his index finger. A narration attributed to Imam Ali says, “The Messenger of Allah () forbade us to wear rings on these two fingers” – and he pointed to the middle finger and the one next to it. (Muslim: 2078)

In Shia Islamic tradition, according to one narration, wearing a ring on the right hand is one of the signs of the believers. Imam Jafar Al-Sadiq says that a ring should be worn at the end of the finger, where it joins the palm. In another hadith, the Holy Prophet (ﷺ) asks Imam Ali to wear a ring on his right hand so that he may be counted among the Muqarrabeen (those near to Allah).


Many of the companions of the Prophet (ﷺ) had engravings on their rings. Abdullah ibn Omar had his name engraved on his ring, while Hudhayfah and Abu Ubaydah had Alhamdulilah (praise be to Allah) on theirs. Imam Ali had a ring saying Allah Al-Malik, Allah the Sovereign (other sources mention it read, Allah is the Master of the Kingdom or similar). Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain also had their rings engraved, with Al-Hasan’s reading: ‘Verily, All honour (as a whole) belongeth (only) to Allah’, and al-Hussains: ‘Verily Allah accomplished His purpose.’


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