2. "Say, Who has prohibited the adornment of Allāh which He has brought forth for His servants and the goodly provisions" (7: 32).
3. "O children of Adam! Attend to your embellishment at every time of prayer" (7:31).
The order to keep the garments pure and shun uncleanness of every kind is combined with the order to warn the people and magnify the Lord (v. 1). This shows the importance which is given to cleanliness in dress as well as in general habits. Adornment is not prohibited; it is, in fact, a thanksgiving for Divine blessings (v. 2). The word adornment (Ar. zinah), which is generally taken to mean apparel, includes both the dress and the make-up of a person. A good toilet is recommended even when going to prayer (v. 3). No limitations are placed upon the form or quality of clothing but extravagance and vanity must be avoided (h. 1 ). To be naked is forbidden (h. 2 ). Men are prohibited to wear silk except for a good reason, but women may wear it (hh. 3-6). Men may wear a silver ring but not a gold one, but women may wear any ornaments (hh. 7-10). The personal make-up of a man, the wearing of a moustache, beard and hair, and the use of perfumes are spoken of in hh. 11-16, while, hh. 17-20 relate to pictures or decorations.
1 The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, said:
"Eat and drink and wear clothes and be charitable,
not being extravagant or self- conceited."1
2 Miswar said,
I took up a heavy stone, and whilst I was going along (with it), my garment fell down. So the Messenger of Allāh, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, said to me: "Don on thy garment, and you should not walk naked."2
3 Abū 'Uthmān reported, A letter from 'Umar came to us that the Messenger of Allāh, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, forbade us (wearing of) silk except this much,
1. Those who wear long garments, or trail the train of the garment, in order to be looked at or for vanity are censured (B. 77:4, 5), but the mere wearing of a long garment is not forbidden (B. 77:2).
2. The parts of the body which must be covered are called the 'aurah, which is thus defined: The part or parts of the body which it is indecent to expose; in a man what is between the navel and the knee, and in a free woman all the person except the face and the hands as far as the wrist" (LL).
To be naked even in private (except in case of necessity) is forbidden, as the Holy Prophet is reported to have said in answer to such a question "Allāh has a greater right than men that one should be ashamed of Him" (AD. 30: 2).
and he pointed with his two fingers that are next to the thumb. He said, According to our knowledge, he meant a'lām.3
4 Anas said,
The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, allowed the wearing of silk to Zubair and 'Abd al-Rahmān on account of itching.
5 Anas reported, He saw Umm Kulthūm, the daughter of the Messenger of Allāh, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, wearing a striped garment of silk.
3. 'A'lām is the plural of 'alam which means an impression or a trace, and the a'lām of a garment is the ornamental or variegated border thereof (LL). The wearing of silk is prohibited for men, except for special reasons, but not for women, because men must be accustomed to lead a hard life. The wearing of khazz (a cloth woven of wool and silk) is allowed (Ah. iv, 233)
6 'Uqbah ibn 'Āmir said,
A tunic of silk4 was presented to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, and he wore it, and said his prayers while wearing it; then he pulled it off, doffing it severely, like one hating it. and said: "This is not fit for the righteous.5
7 Abū Hurairah reported on the authority of the Prophet, of Allāh, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him,
That he forbade the wearing of a gold ring.
8 Anas said, When the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, intended to write to the Romans, it was said to him that they would not read his letter
4. Farrūj is a garment of the kind called qabā' (a kind of tunic), having a slit in its hinder part (LL).
5. Only the righteous among males are meant, as women are allowed to wear silk, as the above hadīth shows.
if it did not bear a seal. So he ordered a ring of silver to be made and its impress was Muhammad the Messenger of Allāh.6
(B. 77:52 )
9 Ibn 'Abbās said, I bear witness regarding the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, went out and Bilāl was with him, and he thought that he had not made the women hear; so he exhorted them and ordered them to give in charity, and the women began to throw (their) earrings and rings, and Bilāl gathered them in a side of his garment.
6. The Holy Prophet had a ring made for him when letters were written to the neighbouring potentates in the year 6 A.H., and upon the signet of it were engraved the words Muhammad Rasūl Allāh. These three words were written as another hadīth shows, in three lines, Allāh being at the top, Rasūl in the middle and Muhammad at the bottom.
10 Umm Salamah said,
I used to wear ornaments of gold, so I said, "Is it hoarding up, O Messenger of Allāh?" He said: "What reaches the limit of zakāt, and zakāt is paid therefrom, it is not hoarding up."7
11 Abu Hurairah reported,
Five things are according to nature: Circumcision, and the removal of superfluous hair,8 and the removal of hair in the armpit, and the paring of nails, and the clipping of the moustache.
7. These hadīth show that ornaments of all kinds are allowed for women. Umm Salamah was the Holy Prophet's wife.
8. Superfluous hair below the navel is meant. Istihdād means shaving with a razor.
12 Ibn 'Umar reported,
The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, said: "Oppose the polytheists--leave the beard to grow abundant and clip the moustaches."9 And when Ibn 'Umar performed the pilgrimage or the 'umrah, he used to grasp his beard with his hand; what exceeded, he had it cut off.
13 Ibn 'Abbās reported,
The Messenger of Allāh, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, used to let down his hair (on his forehead), the polytheists combing their hair into two parts throwing them on the two sides, while the followers of the Book used to let down their hair (on their foreheads). The Messenger of Allāh, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, preferred agreement with the followers of the Book in matters in which he was not ordered (to follow) a
9. It shows that the polytheists generally shaved the beard.
particular course. Then (afterwards) the Messenger of Allāh, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, combed his hair into two parts.' 10
14 'Ā'ishah said,
I used to comb the hair of the Messenger of Allāh, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him.
15 'Ā'ishah reported,
It was pleasing to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, to begin on the right side, so far as he was able, in his combing (of the hair) and in his ablutions.11
16 'Ā'ishah said, I used to perfume the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, with
10. This hadīth shows that the Holy Prophet wore his hair in different ways at different times, and he never forbade a particular way of wearing one's hair. Sadl (or the Christian way of wearing one's hair) was leaving a lock of hair on the forehead, while farq (or the Arab way) was letting down of the hair on the two sides with a line between them. The Holy Prophet did it in both ways at different times. Another hadīth speaks of the dhawā'ib (tuft of hair on the forehead) of Ibn 'Abbās (B. 77: 71.)
11. These hadīth show that the Holy Prophet was careful about his toilet.
the best fragrant substance which he could find, so much so that I could discern the brightness of the fragrance in his head and in his beard.
17 Busr ibn Sa'id related,
Zaid ibn Khālid spoke to him, while with Busr ibn Sa'id was 'Ubaid Allāh, that Abū Talhah related to him that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, said: "Angels do not enter a house in which is an image."12 Busr said, After this Zaid ibn Khālid fell ill and we paid
12. 'Sūrah means an image or a picture. According to another version (B. 59: 7), the Holy Prophet is reported to have said that "Angels do not enter a house in which is a dog or a sūrah." But the Holy Qur'ān allows the keeping of dogs for hunting (5: 4), and so does Hadīth (H. xxviii:8); and the keeping of watchdogs is also allowed. Similarly, the Holy Qur'ān speaks of tamāthīl ( images ) being made for Solomon, and it would not be right to say that angels did not on this account come into the house of Solomon, a prophet of God. The hadīth, therefore, which speaks of angels not visiting a place where images (or pictures) and dogs are to be found cannot be accepted in a literal sense. It is for this reason that an authority like Rāghib interprets the word bait (house) occurring p. 368 in this Hadīth as meaning the heart, the significance being that the man in whose heart images or idols have a place, and who bows before them, does not receive the angels of Divine mercy. The concluding words of this hadīth, making an exception in favour of raqm fi-l-thaub--(figures on a cloth)--and the same would be the case with regard to figures on a paper--confirm the conclusion arrived at above. What is forbidden is the keeping of images or pictures for paying them Divine honours.
a visit to him, and when we were in his house we saw a curtain on which were pictures. So I said to 'Ubaid Allāh, Did he not relate to us about pictures? He said, He had said, Except figures on a cloth; didst thou not hear him? I said, No. He said, Yea! He mentioned this.
18 Abd Allāh Ibn 'Umar ' reported,
The Messenger of Allāh, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, said: "Those who make these images (suwar) will be punished on the day of resurrection it will be said to them,
Put life into what you made."13
19 'Ā'ishah reported,
The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, did not leave in his house anything on which were figures but he broke it.14
20 Ibn 'Umar said.
The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, came to the house of Fātimah but did not enter it. When 'Alī came, she mentioned it to him. He spoke about it to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, and he (the Prophet) said: "I saw on her door a figured curtain." And he said: "I
13. As made clear in the previous note, only such people could be threatened with punishment as made images for worship.
14. It may be due simply to his love for simplicity and hatred of decorations, This is made clear in the next hadīth which states that the Holy Prophet disliked a figured curtain on the door of his daughter Fātimah, and asked her to send the same to people who stood in need of it. It did not mean that he prohibited the use of decorated or figured cloth; otherwise he would not have sent the same to others. Perhaps he only wanted his daughter to live a simple life like himself.
have nothing to do with (decorations of) this world." So 'Alī came to her and mentioned this to her. She said, Let him command me about it as he likes. He (the Prophet) said: "Send it to such and such people; they are in need."