You have said that eating with right hand is sunnah of the prophet(pbuh).I have heard people say that walking on the right side of the road/path is a sunnah of the prophet(pbuh)?
What is your opinion?
The Sunnah contains the religious practices that have been established by the Prophet (PBUH) upon his followers and from there have reached us through the consensus and practical perpetuation of one generation after the other. This “establishment and mass transfer of knowledge” is the very reason that today there is consensus among Muslims about religious practices that we see as Sunnah.
It is narrated that the Prophet used to walk on the right side of the road/path however this practice has not been promoted by the Prophet among his companions as a religious practice. If this were the case, just like eating with right hand, we would have seen that it has enjoyed the consensus of the Muslims or we would have found from sources that while all companions and their followers were adopting this practice as a religious practice, at certain time in the history, Muslims started to leave it. Obviously, none of these are the case and some people calling an act of Sunnah does not change anything. In most of the cases, what people really mean is that this practice was done by the Prophet (PBUH), this however does not necessarily mean that it is Sunnah (as defined here). Not all the practices of the Prophet (PBUH) can be regarded as Sunnah (please refer to numerous answers in this website that elaborate on this).
The preference of the Prophet walking at the right side of the road/path should not be seen as a religious practice (otherwise the Prophet would have established it among his companions as such). Rather, it should be seen as the extreme caring of the Prophet for maintaining discipline and being organized, even in walking. Surely this gives us a very good example of how we should be mindful about discipline.
March 24, 2006