Answered by Shaykh Abul ‘Ataa Ahmad Banaja (may Allah preserve him)
Can you please benefit us about wearing rings in Islam? What type and what material should be used?
Firstly, we cannot say in general that wearing ring is sunnah, like how we pray the two Rak’ah before sitting in the Masjid or fasting Mondays and Thursdays and so on. It’s a culture of Arab men to wear rings since before arrival of the Prophet ﷺ, even though its authentic that the Prophet ﷺ used to wear ring for the purpose of stamping on letters as how it’s in Hadeeth Anas رضي الله عنه in the two Sahihs (Bukhari and Muslim).
While he was alive and after he passed away, lots of his companions and Salaf adapted this act (of wearing ring) intending to look like the Prophet ﷺ. So, if your intention is to follow the Prophet ﷺ, then may Allah reward you for your intention. But the act of wearing ring itself, without any intention of following the Prophet ﷺ, it’s solely a culture.
Another benefit is that rings made from any material is allowed except gold rings (for the men). While other valuable materials (such as pearls and diamonds) are allowed as long as it’s not been worn with the intention of showing off/boasting.
Which finger shall we wear the ring? For women, they are allowed to wear in whichever finger they prefer by the consensus of ‘Ulama. It’s mentioned in an authentic hadith (in Sahih Muslim) of ‘Ali رضي الله عنه that the Prophet ﷺ forbade him to wear ring in index and middle finger as the Prophet ﷺ used to wear ring on his pinky (little finger) as stated in the hadith of Anas رضي الله عنه too. Moreover, it’s permissible to wear it on either right or left hand as shown in the two Sahihs that the Prophet used to switch his ring between both hands occasionally.
If one asks about the design criteria of the ring, then the answer is, any design is allowed, as long as it doesn’t imitate the Fussaaq and the kuffar (disbelievers).
Is it Sunnah to have a precious stone like “عقيق يماني” or “فيروز فارسي” attached to the ring? Answer, all Hadiths that mentioned the precious stone in the Prophet’s ﷺ ring are unauthentic. same case for the reward of wearing it.
Though lots of our Salaf (pious predecessors) used to have precious stone enclosed in their ring out of culture.
Is writing allowed to be carved on the ring? Yes, absolutely. Many of the Sahabah and Salaf used to wear rings that have writing on it. But if it contains the name of Allah then it’s obligatory on him to be cautious and respect it.
Is it allowed to wear metal ring? As it appeared in the Hadith that metal ring would be the jewelry of people in hell fire? Answer, it’s allowed to wear metal ring and the Hadith regarding forbidden it is not authentic. Rather its Munkar. People in hellfire are in punishment and they won’t be wearing any jewelry. Also, there comes a Hadith in the two Sahihs on the authority of Sahl Bin Sa’d رضي الله عنه, that shows us its allowed. But we advise not to wear metal rings as it might harm your skin and normally it smells and this dis-likeness applied for the one that is made from pure metal.
The silver is much more preferable material and the ring of our Prophet ﷺ was made of a bit of metal coated with silver as mentioned in hadith Mu’aiqib. However, it’s prohibited to wear silver rings which coated with gold.
Additionally, we are allowed to wear white gold because it is not considered as actual gold.
This is a summary concerning some rulings of men wearing rings.