In Hebrew and Arabic, yamin/yemen means both south and right, while semol/shemaal means both north and left.
This anthropic coincidence with the points of the compass can be found in different languages. In this case, when facing east, we can how the mapping arose. The east can be conceived as the front and the west as the back of the human form, following this particular orientation (apologies for bad pun on the Latin origin of the term).
For example, in Ezekiel 3:12, that Prophet describes his experience of revelation
Then the spirit took me up, and heard behind me a voice of a great rushing, saying, Blessed be the glory of the YHWH from his place.
The “behind” can be read as coming from the west of him. Following our Tradition, we take this to signify the space of differentiation itself, the Feminine space of divine receptivity. (In fact, the particular Hebrew here is achar, which has the significance of west and back, as well as a hereafter or successive time. From the space of differentiation (of text), the spoken/written/perceived/revealed symbolic space leads this Prophet into a personal encounter with the Glory of God: transcending through textual immanence, through the Western Feminine becoming the Bride, from a Western, spoken/inscribed voice.
There are many verses of the Qur’an over which this geography of the Body has proven useful, as we have seen over the one and a half years of this blog’s operation.
Let’s do it again but, this time, make it a bit personal.
God instructs us within the Final Revelation that we are permitted intimacy solely with both our wives and our slave girls:
[The believers ...] are guardians of their modesty/chastity, except with regard to their wives and what their right hands possess, for in that case they shall not be blameworthy. Then whoever seeks beyond that, they are the transgressors (70:29-31)
The Arabic idiom for slave girl, employed throughout the Qur’an, is “what your right hands possess” (ma malakat aymanukum, with aymanukum deriving from the root word for right/south, Y-M-N).
We read the wives here as being the four wives (permitted by Islamic Shariah) that are of the back, the Western wives, the wives of text, differentiation, language.
We read the “right hand that posseses” here as the hand of the south (yemen). Again, following our Tradition, we associate the south with God’s Mercy, both the infinite Mercy of God as well as the theomorphic archetype of the sign of Mercy, placed as a compass point upon the geography of the human Body. This south of the right is also associated with water, the element of Mercy. The south is an infinite ocean of Love. In contrast, the left handed north is associated with judgement, Shariah, logic — and Fire.
So we see “the right hand that possess” linked to the space of pure (undifferentiated) Love.