Turkey’s top religious body said that only demons eat with left hand


(Istanbul) Using one’s left hand while eating is not desirable, Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) stated on its official website on Feb. 3, warning that “demons eat and drink with their left hand.”

“Establishing general principles regarding eating and drinking, the Prophet Muhammad did not regard eating with the left hand as pleasant,” the Diyanet said in response to a question on eating habits.

“Indeed, he attached great importance to this issue and warned his community that demons eat and drink using their left hand. He therefore advised children to only use their right hand when they eat or drink,” it added.

The Diyanet was flexible for people with physical disabilities, saying it was OK for them to use their left hand for eating or drinking if necessary.

The Diyanet’s fatwas often raise eyebrows in Turkey. In December 2017, debate was sparked after it issued a fatwa saying that if a man refers to his wife as “mother” or “sister” then the marriage will be considered null and void.

That ruling came after the Diyanet issued another fatwa on divorce, confirming that couples “may get divorced via telephone call, fax, letter, text message or the internet.”