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Sunnah way of wearing shoes

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham


Mufti Sahib please help me in following the sunnah. When exiting the masjid is it sunnah when putting your shoes on to put your left foot on your left shoe then put your right foot in your right shoe and finally put in your left foot in the left shoe? Please do provide evidence Jazakallahu khairan.

In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.


I didn’t come across this system of wearing the shoes in any book of fiqh or shamaa’il, nor have I heard it from any faqeeh or muhaddith.

However, the sunnah method is that one should start from the right. Thus Imam Malik (R) narrates from Abi Zinaad who narrates from al-A’raj who narrates from Abu Hurayrah (R) that Prophet Muhammad (S) said: “If you want to put on your shoes, put on the right shoe first; and if you want to take them off, take the left one first. Let the right shoe be the first to be put on and the last to be taken off.” (Narrated by Ahmed, Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi and he says this Hadith is Hasan Saheeh, and ibn Majah and ibn Hibban, also narrated by Abu ‘Awanah and Baihaqi in Shi’abul Iman)

Hafiz ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani states in ‘Fath al-Bari’ commentary of ‘Sahih al-Bukhari’:

Ibn ‘arabi says: “to begin from the right is legislated in all good actions”, and Imam Nawawi says: “It is mustahab to begin with the right in all actions which hold a sense of virtue or adornment, and to begin with the left in those actions which are of the opposite category, e.g. entering the lavatory, removing shoes and socks, exiting the masjid etc. It has also been narrated that Hadhrat Aishah was always keen on beginning everything from the right, and ‘Ayaaz records that it is the consensus of the Jurists that the ruling regarding this is that it is mustahab. (Fath al-Bari Vol:10 Pg:311)

It is mentioned in al-Istidhkar:

Abu Umar says: Prophet Muhammad (S) would love to begin with the right in all his actions. Such as eating, drinking, wearing clothes and shoes, performing ablution etc. Allah (S) knows best what the wisdom behind this is. Nevertheless, it is enough for us that we take blessings from the actions of Rasulullah (S) by following in his footsteps. (al-Istidhkar Vol:8 Pg:314)

Imam Nawai states:

It is desirable (mustahab) to begin with right in every action which is connected with honour, adornment or cleanliness such as wearing shoes, socks or trousers, combing the head or shaving it, trimming the moustache and removing pubes, performing miswak, applying surma, clipping the nails, performing ablution or bath or tayammum, entering the masjid, exiting the lavatory, giving charity and all other actions as such. Likewise, it is desirable to begin with the left in all those actions which are of the opposite category from the abovementioned, such as removing shoes, socks or trousers, leaving the masjid, touching the private parts, spitting and blowing the nose etc. (Sharah Muslim li-Nawawi Vol:14 Pg:74)

These are just some actions mentioned in the commentaries of ahaadith, as for the abovementioned question, nothing has been recorded with regards to it. Therefore the sunnah procedure is that one should begin wearing ones shoe with the right foot and then wear the left shoe without placing the left foot on left shoe first.

Only Allah Knows Best

Written by Mufti Abdullah al-Ma’mun

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham.

This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.