Our hands are a useful tool of the body that help us to carry things, to work, to give or take and many other countless things. As with the other parts of our body its blessings can become a source of evil, when the hands are used in unlawful ways that displease God Exalted is He.
In this blog we will be extrapolating the sins of the hand and offer practical tips on how to purify our hands.
Imam Birghivi wrote in his book “The path of Muhammad “that,
“Certainly the hand is granted to human beings in order to give rather than take, to build rather than to destroy, to heal rather than hurt. But as in the case of every other tool with which God has blessed us, the human ego distorts the constructive potentials of our hands into means of committing major sins”
Some of the sins of the hand
One of the major sin of the hands is for a person to take that which does not belong to him. This could be by stealing or by fraud, and to take people’s inheritances or public funds, in fact Allah ﷻ has warned us in the Glorious Qur’an,
“And (as for) the man who steals and the woman who steals, cut off their hands as a punishment for what they have earned, an exemplary punishment from Allah; and Allah is Mighty, Wise.”
Also it has been reported that a Makhzoomi noblewoman (from the tribe of Makhzoom) stole at the time of the Prophet ﷺ and Usaamah Ibn Zayd, may Allah be pleased with him, wanted to intercede for her. The Prophet ﷺ became angry and said:
“Do you intercede concerning one of the Hadd set by Allah? Those who came before you were destroyed because if a rich man among them stole, they would let him off, but if a lowly person stole, they would carry out the punishment on him. By Allah, if Faatimah Bint (daughter of) Muhammad were to steal, I would cut off her hand.” [Al-Bukhari]
Even if the above verse and prophetic saying explicitly explains the punishment of the thief, it is vitally important to mention that such a punishment needs to be conducted by the Islamic local authority following a legal procedure, it cannot be carried out by the common Muslims or citizens.
The Prophet of God ﷺ is reported to have said,
“The one who gambles is revolting against God and His Messenger. It is as if his hands are covered by the guts and blood of swine.” (Muslim, Buraydah)
Gambling is indeed a great sin in Islam. It makes people to turn away from the remembrance of God Exalted is He, and rely on luck and wishful thinking for their provision and sustenance.
It destroys families and their wealth and causes enmity among the players. The worst it becomes a sort of addiction that ruins the life of the gambler. And Allah Azawajal warns us in the Noble Qur’an about gambling,
“Shaytaan wants only to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants (alcoholic drink) and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allaah and from al-salaat (the prayer). So, will you not then abstain?” (5:90-91)
Also the Prophet of God ﷺ is reported to have said,
“Whoever pulls a knife on us is not one of us.” (Bukhari, Abu Musa) and “Do not make any living thing a target to shoot at” (Muslim)
It is forbidden to kill or harm any moving or living creature in Islam, and this includes even the smallest insect, unless it becomes dangerous or life threatening for people then one is allowed to kill it to defend oneself, but in doing so one should avoid burning or drowning it.
A Muslim should have compassion upon every living creature of God Exalted is He, down to the smallest insect, for nothing exists without the Divine wisdom.
Touching the opposite gender
Ma’qal ibn Yassaar (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said:
“If one of you were to be struck in the head with an iron needle, it would be better for him than if he were to touch a woman he is not allowed to.” (al-Tabaraani)
According to the four schools of thoughts it is impermissible in Islam for a person to touch the opposite gender when both are unrelated.
This “unrelated” opposite gender is known as non-Mahram, who is a person that you can marry.
Thus, the restriction to touch, does not apply to your Mahram, a person that you are forbidden to marry such as your parents, your siblings, your children (uncles and aunts need to be specifically drawn categories) and so forth.
One needs to understand that this prohibition is mainly for reason of modesty, chastity and respect for the other person.
However, if there are some circumstances like helping in exceptional circumstances, healing or any other situation that necessitates touching then a person is allowed to touch the opposite gender with the correct intention.
With regards to prayer, the Glory of humanity also is reported to have said that:
“Do not twiddle or crack your fingers after you make your prayer-ablution, while you are waiting to pray, because the time of waiting to pray is no different from the time of praying” (Imam Ahmad, Kab’b Ibn Ujrah)
Here it is disliked to crack your fingers because its noise will disturb people and also distract them and make them lose their concentration and presence of heart in their prayer.
Playing with one’s private organs
The other sin of the hands which is private or almost hidden is touching unnecessarily or playing with one’s private parts which leads to masturbation and some other unwanted sexual behaviour such as viewing porn.
In this case, we can see that just the fact of misusing the hands can lead to many other major sins of the body related to the eyes and the private parts; and Allah ﷻ describing believers in the Qur’an says,
“Those who guard their sexual organs except with their spouses or those whom their right hands possess, for (with regard to them) they are without blame. But those who crave something beyond that are transgressors.” (Al-Mu’mun: 5-7)
Many scholars have derived the unlawfulness of masturbation from the above Quranic verses.
Positive usage of the hand
As we have mentioned at the beginning, our hands are blessings from our Lord and we should strive to use them in ways that pleases Him, Exalted is He.
On the authority of Abu Sa’eed al-Khudree (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ say,
“Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart — and that is the weakest of faith.” (Muslim)
Forbidden evil and enjoin good is one of the major duty of a believer, and the best way to apply this is with the hand as mentioned above. And this is the strongest state of faith to change evil with one’s hand.
Also we read from “The Path of Muhammad” by Imam Birghivi that:
“We have seen some of the trouble our hands may cause us by doing what they ought not to do. They may cause us other trouble by not doing what they are supposed to do. Things that the hand are not permitted to avoid include wiping the tears of those who cry; offering hugs and caresses to relieve to relieve the pain of people in distress; giving a helping hand to people in need; attempting to save the innocent from the hand of a tyrant; protecting one’s own or others’s property from loss or damage by fire, flood, burglary or neglect; trying to prevent people from sinning or doing themselves harm; exercising one’s trade; taking care of one’s home.”
Using Prophetic Path to purify your hands
In reality, the most helpful part of the Prophetic Path’s course of purification is the psycho-spiritual aspect of the Hand Sheet or chart that you tick across or streak every day and this for 30 consecutive days in order to pass the Task.
And this chart is available on our website or App on the go to make it easy for you.
In fact, human being by nature tend to excel when they have a clear goal and a task to achieve it. Here your task is not to miss to tick across your hand sheet by avoiding to sin with your hands.
This noble goal comes with a sacred and gentle pressure that will enable you to have the mindfulness and the willingness to avoid those sin in order to streak your Hand Chart and achieve the mastery of your hand in sha Allah after 30 consecutive days.
And, since you’re striving in that way to draw near to God, for sure He will make it easy for you if you don’t give up the task, because God says in the Noble Qur’an,
“As for those who strive in Us, We surely guide them to Our paths, and lo! Allah is with the good.” (29: 69)
Also He Exalted is He said in a divine tradition:
“I am as My servant thinks I am… And if he draws near to me a hand’s span, I draw near to him an arm’s length; and if he draws near to me an arm’s length, I draw near to him a fathom’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed. (Bukhari, Muslim)”