Khalid Zaheer
“I am convinced about the veracity of my opinions, but I do consider it likely that they may turn out to be incorrect. Likewise, I am convinced about the incorrectness of the views different from mine, but I do concede the possibility that they may turn out to be correct.” — Imam Shafa’i

How to deal with left handed children

My son is a lefty and adults in my house force him to use his right hand, specially for eating. It becomes difficult for him and then he starts to avoid eating or asks his maid to feed him. He's seven and I want him to be independent. Can you please tell me what is the ruling in Islam. I always feel that Allah has made him the way he is and that being a lefty is not his own choice.

If you have tried to guide him to use his right hand for eating and other purposes and he has shown reluctance to use it, you have done your job. He is an exception to the rule and for him his left hand should be considered his right one. The Almighty made him that way and there is no reason why we should pressurize him to go against God's decision.

Try to help your relatives realize that he is a natural lefty and therefore they should not harass him for something he does not have control over. However, do make an effort to help your son appreciate that people have their own views: when they try to correct him, he should politely tell them that he is a natural lefty, that God has made him that way, and that his left hand is the right one for all religious, moral, and practical purposes. If he reacts aggressively or gets depressed, help them to understand his feelings by informing them why he feels the way he does, and by telling him that he is going to be rewarded more if he patiently endures the difficulty he is going through, because it is God who has made him that way, and God will reward him for his patience. And last but not the least, pray for him that he is able to overcome this apparent disadvantage and that it becomes an advantage for him because of his positive response to the situation.

Perhaps you can also explain to your son and relatives that left handedness is a perfectly normal medical situation that occurs in about 10-13 % of the global population. In human beings, the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body, and the left side of the brain controls the right side of the body. In most humans, the left side of the brain is the stronger and hence its power over the right side of the body for its movements. In a few people, however, the right brain is stronger at birth and hence they are born lefties.

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