الحمد لله والصلاة والسلام علي محمد رسول الله
The ring is the source of much debate and differences of opinion. This article aims to shed light into this matter bi-idhnillah and aims to allow the reader to understand the different elements of Ikhtilaaf.
The scholars have agreed that Gold rings are permissible for women and that it is Haram for men. This has been mentioned as a consensus by Ibn ‘Abdil Barr in his work entitled “Al-Istidhkar”.
Furthermore, Imam An-Nawawi Rahimahullah states in his Sharh of Sahih Muslim (14/65):
“The Muslims have agreed via a consensus upon the permissibility of wearing a gold ring for women and upon the prohibition of wearing a gold ring for men. The only exceptions to this is that which is narrated upon Abu Bakr Bin ‘Umar Bin Muhammad Bin Hazm who has permitted it and some of them who have deemed this act as Makhrooh (disliked) and not Haraam (prohibited). These 2 views are not valid and are opposed by these narrations mentioned by (Imam) Muslim together with the consensus of those before him upon its prescribed nature along with the prophets statement about silk and gold – “These two are haram for the males among my followers.” “
At-Tahawi Rahimahullah said in his Sharh Ma’aany Al-Aathar (4/262) after mentioning a few statements permitting wearing of Gold rings:
“Thus, it became established through these statements that wearing gold rings were once permitted, but, became prohibited thereafter. Consequently, it was established that it became Haram to wear it. It (referring to the Ahadeeth prohibiting gold rings) became an abrogator of that which was once permitted to wear…….”
Ibn Rajab in his work – Ahkaam Labas Al-Khawaatim:
“The abrogation of wearing gold rings did not reach some of the Sahabah who wore it”.
GOLD RINGS WORN BY CHILDREN
This issue is another topic subject to a difference of opinion between the people of knowledge. The scholars from the Ahnaf and Maalikiyyah have mentioned that it is disliked for Male boys to wear rings made out of Gold. Ibn ‘Abdil Barr, in ‘Al-Istidhkar’ mentioned that there was an “Ijma’ (consensus) that it is disliked, because, it makes the parents seem as if they are seeking to be at his worship” (due to him wearing a ring and thus, being perceived as sovereignty)
The dominant opinion within the Shafi’i school of thought is that the young child (Male) who has not reached puberty is likened to the female with respect to permissibility of wearing gold rings (permissible). However, the Hanbali texts state that it is haram for a young male child to be adorned in gold and rings are included in that prohibition (Sharh of ‘Umdah by Ibn Taymiyyah).
The scholars have agreed upon the permissibility of the wearing of a silver ring for a female. As for men, then this requires immersion into further discussion:
The scholars from the Hanafi Madh-hab state that silver rings are sunnah for those who have a need for it – such as a Sultan or a judge (for stamping/seals) and refraining from wearing it is better for those who have no need for it.
The scholars from the Maaliki Madh-hab state that there is no harm in wearing rings made from silver but, rather, it is Mustahab (recommended) with the condition that one intends to follow the example of the prophet SAW. However, it is not permitted for the one who wears it with the intention of drawing amazement, ostentation and its like.
Sheikh ‘Aleesh Al-Maliki Rahimahullah mentions in Manh Al-Jaleel (1/58):
“The wearing of it (Silver rings) is permissible for the Male (who has reached puberty) if he intends by it to follow the precedent set by the prophet SAW which was 1 ring and its weight was that which was equivalent to 2 dirhams or lower than that. Anything, other than this is Haram….”
The view of the Shaafi’iyyah is that it is sunnah for the male to wear a silver ring regardless, of whether he has authority or not (Mughni Al-Muhtaj 1/579) .
The correct opinion stemming from the Hanbali Madh-hab is that wearing of silver for men is permissible but, not recommended. This was affirmed by Al-Mardawi in his work – Al-Insaaf (3/142):
“The appliance of Silver for men is permissible (Mubaah) in accordance to the correct opinion from the Madh-hab and this was the view of many of the (Hanbali) scholars”.
The reason why many of the scholars opted for the opinion that it is not Sunnah is because the prophet never wore a ring until, it was said to him “The kings do not accept letters, except, those that are stamped. Thus, he wore a ring. This was mentioned in the Saheehayn (Bukhari and Muslim) when the prophet SAW wished to send letters of Da’wah to Kisra, Qaysar and Najashi and was told that the letters have to be stamped for them to accept it. Thus, he used a silver ring and had the words Muhammadur Rasoolullah engraved on it.
They also argue saying that he did not wear the ring with the intention of it being an act of ‘Ibadah or Qurbah (attaining nearness to Allah). They liken this act to everyday actions such as the prophets usage of a vessel for Wudu and other permissible actions (that are not deemed Sunnah).
RINGS MADE FROM PRECIOUS STONES SUCH AS RUBIES AND PEARLS
An-Nawawi transmitted in his work – Al-Majmoo’ (4/466): – Ash-Shafi’i said in his book Al-Umm:
“I do not find it a dislike that a man wears pearls except, if done for seemliness. Nor, is it a dislike for a woman to use it for fashion purposes except, if it entailed Haram. Nor, do I find it a dislike to wear rubies or chrysolite unless, if it was done from a point of extravagance or showing-off“.
Ash-Shibli Al-Hanafi states in Haashiyatihi ‘ala tabyeeni-l Haqaaiq (16-5/15):
“....There is no harm for a man to wear a ring made from a silver stone even its stone was made from marble, onyx, turquoise, ruby or emerald“.
Ibn Hazm in Al-Muhalla (#1920):
“Jewellery made from silver, pearls, rubies and emerald: It is permissible for both men and women“.
Ibn-l Muflih states in Al-Furoo’ (2/480):
“With respect to Jewellery made from gems and its like for men and women…….They (People of Knowledge) disagreed with respect to that for men except, the ring. For, they agree that the ring (for men) made from majority of the different types of stones is permissible from the likes of Rubies and others“
Sheikh Salih Al-Fawzan in Al-Muntaqa (5/336):
“As for rings made from other than gold, such as Silver and other metals, then it is permissible for a man to wear it even if it is a precious/expensive metal”.
RINGS MADE FROM IRON
The people of knowledge differed with respect to this:
The Ahnaf hold the opinion that rings made from Iron are Haram for both men and women. This is mentioned in Al-Jaami’ Al-Sagheer and other places.
The Hanabilah and Maalikiyyah are of the opinion that rings of Iron, Copper and Lead are disliked. Whereas, the Shaafi’iyyah permitted it.
Sheikh Ibn Baz Rahimahullah said that it is permissible to wear a ring made from iron as the hadeeth that prohibits iron rings is contradictory (Shaadh). The more authentic opinion in his view stems from the hadeeth of the prophet SAW whereby, he permitted it via his statement: “Look for something (to give as a dowry), even if it is a ring of iron.”
THE RING – TO BE WORN ON THE RIGHT OR THE LEFT HAND?
This matter is flexible. Imam An-Nawawi Rahimahullah said:
“As for the ruling regarding this mas’ala in the eyes of the Jurists, then they have agreed upon the permissibility of wearing the ring on the right and left. It is not disliked to wear the ring on any specific hand. However, they have differed over which hand is more preferable? Many amongst the Salaf wore their rings on their right whilst, many also wore it on their left..”. An-Nawawi Rahimahullah chose the opinion that wearing it on the right is more preferable since the ring is a form of adornment and the right hand is more noble and thus, more deserving of adornment and nobility. (Sharh An-Nawawi 299/14)
However, Al-Bayhaqi Rahimahullah said:
“Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq, ‘Umar Bin Al-Khattab, ‘Ali Bin Abi Talib, Hasan and Hussain used to wear their rings on their left” (Al-Adab 373)
Imam Ahmad Rahimahullah was asked which finger he preferred, he replied the left and said it is more established (with respect to the narrations). Ibn Hajr Rahimahullah preferred the right.
WHICH FINGER SHOULD THE RING BE WORN ON?
The Prophet got a ring made for himself and said, “I have got a ring made (for myself) and engraved a certain engraving on it so none of you should get such an engraving on his ring.” Anas Ibn Malik RA said “I saw the sparkle of the ring on his little finger”. (Bukhari and Muslim)
Anas Bin Malik also narrated that the prophet SAWs ring was here and he pointed towards his little finger (Muslim).
Imam Nawawi in his Sharh of Muslim said:
“The Muslims have agreed that the Sunnah for men is to wear it on their little finger. As for women, they may wear the ring on their various fingers“.
FORBIDDEN FINGERS FOR THE RING
Abi Burdah narrates “Ali RadiyAllahu ‘Anh said: “the prophet SAW 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] (Muslim).