Common Mistakes Made
In The Way Men Dress: In And Outside Prayer
Here are some notes on the subject
that were prepared from a book by Shaikh Mashoor Hasan Salmaan.
1. Praying in tight clothes so
that they press over the private parts ('awrah)
Praying in tight fitting clothes
is deemed Makrooh according to the Sharee'ah. It also harms the
body and hence it is not good from the point of view of health as
well. Perhaps the one praying in such clothes actually leaves parts
of his prayer out.
It is known that many people who
dress in such a way do not attain their prayer at all while others
attain only a little, like the prayer of a hypocrite.
Those who pray, many amongst them
nowadays dress in clothes that are excessively tight around one
or both of their private parts (their thighs and backside)
Ibn Hajr says, that a group of the
Hanafee scholars considered such practice as makrooh. [See Fathul-Baari
If this is the case for normal trousers
then what is the case when they are very tight?
'Allaamah al-Albaanee explained that
trousers have two problems:
a) This is a dress that resembles
the disbelievers. Muslims used to dress in wide bottoms (saaraweel)
which were loose fitting and baggy like some still do so in Syria
and Lebanon. The Muslims adopted this practice of wearing trousers/pants
when they were colonized. When the colonizers departed, they left
behind this evil influence and changed the Muslims due to the their
b) This type of dress constricts
and presses upon the 'awrah. The 'awrah of a man is from his navel
up to his knee. The worshipper should be as far away as he can from
disobedience of Allah during his prayer. He is prostrating (in obedience
and submission) to Him. How can he be praying and standing before
His Lord, when his buttocks are showing and what is between is visibly
It is surprising to find many young
Muslims taking exception to ladies wearing tight clothes since they
cling to their bodies, yet these young men are forgetting about
themselves. There is no difference between a lady wearing tight
clothes, which press against her body and a man wearing trousers,
which also cling to his body. The buttock of both a man and a woman
are part of the 'awrah and both of them are the same. So it is compulsory
for the youth to be warned about this predicament about which, many
of them are blind, except for he whom Allah has guided, which by
the example set, seems to be a few. [Taken from one his tapes]
The Messenger (sallAllahu 'alaihi
wa sallam) forbade a man from praying in his trousers (saaraweel)
unless he had a wrapper (rida) on him. [Abu Dawud, al-Haakim and
the hadeeth is Hasan]
For more details please consult the
of 'Allaamah al-Albaanee "Sharh ma'aani-ul-aathaar" of
Imaam at-Tahaawee Shaikh Hamood at-Tuwayjiree's discussion about
it in his book which talks about how resemblance of the mushrikoon
has befallen upon many in "Al- Iidaah wa-tibyaan.."
As long as the trousers are wide
and not tight the prayer is valid, but it is better to have a shirt
or a top, one that covers between the navel and the knee, or lower
still onto the middle of his shins, or down to just above his ankles,
because that is the complete covering.
'Allaamah Ibn Baz has a fatwah where
he says that it is permissible to pray in trousers so long as the
'awrah is not pressed against due to its expansiveness and his backside
is not shamelessly visible. If his backside becomes visible then
the prayer is invalidated and if only the clothes press against
his 'awrah then it is makrooh.
2. Praying in thin and transparent
Just like it is makrooh to pray in
tight fitting clothes which cling to the 'awrah, it is not permissible
to pray in thin clothes which are transparent enough to make the
(actual) body visible. [Fataawaa Rasheed Ridaa 5/2056]
Praying in sleeping suit or pyjamas:
Abu Hurairah (radhiAllahu 'anhu)
reports that a man stood up to the Prophet (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa
sallam) and asked him about praying in a single garment. So he (sallAllahu
'alaihi wa sallam) said, "Unless you find two garments."
Then he asked 'Umar (radhiAllahu 'anhu) who said, "When Allah
is generous, be generous yourselves. A man prayed in a lower garment
(izaar) and an upper garment (ridaa), a waist wrapper (izaar) and
a shirt (qamees), in a lower wrap (izaar) and an outer garment with
full length sleeves (qaba`), in trousers (saraaweel) and an upper
wrap (ridaa), in trousers and a shirt (qamees), in trousers and
upper garment (qaba`), in tubbaan and qaba`, and in tubbaan and
qamees. [Bukhaaree, Maalik in al-Muatta, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Nan-Nisai,
Ibn Maajah, al-Humaidee, Ahmad in al-Musnad, at-Tayaalisee, at-Tahaawee,
al-Baghawee, Abu Nu'aim, al- Khateeb]
'Abdullaah ibn 'Umar (radhiAllahu
'anhu) saw Naafi' praying by himself in a single garment (thawb).
So he said to him, "Can you not wear two garments?" He
said, "Of course". He said, "Do you go out to the
market in a single garment?" He said, "No". He said,
"Allah has more right that He is dressed up for!" [at-Tahaawee
in "Sharh ma'anee-ul-aathaar", "Tafseer-ul-qurtubee"
Such is the case for one who prays
in his night garments. He would feel shy to go to market in it on
account of its thinness and transparency.
Ibn 'Abdul-Barr said in "at-tamheed"
: "The people of knowledge love for one to be enveloped in
his garments; that he beautifies himself for his prayer as much
as he is able with regards to his clothes, applies perfume and cleanses
his teeth (miswaak)."
On the topic of conditions for the
correctness of the prayer, the jurists (fuqahaa) talk about the
condition of covering the 'awrah: They make the condition for the
covering to be thick and say it is not permissible to make it fine
so that the skin tone is visible. ["al-majmoo'", "al-
This is a requirement whether for
a man or a woman, whether praying alone or in congregation. So whoever's
clothes reveal his 'awrah in spite of his ability to keep it covered,
then his prayer is invalidated.
aadama khudhoo zeenatakum 'inda kulli masjidin..."
of Adam! Take your adornment (by wearing your clean clothes), while
[Qur'an -A'raf Aayah 31]
According to "Ad-deenul-khaalis"
2/101 and "at-Tamheed" 6/379 the aim of zeenah (adornment)
is the thawb and the command means to conceal the 'awrah for every
Praying in a light tunic:
Some people pray in garments that
only lightly cover their bodies and its transparency allows one
to see the person's skin colour, while not wearing anything underneath.
(It is not enough to wear shorts or trunks underneath unless it
covers the extent between the belly-button and the knee.) The statement
of Umar previously shows usage of more than one garment to screen
oneself and how one garment is added to another. The evidence shows
that it is compulsory (waajib) to be properly covered and praying
in only one garment is allowed only because of the person's circumstances
(poverty). The prayer of someone in two garments is better than
doing so in one. This has been clearly elaborated by Qaadhi 'Iyaadh
who has dispelled the differences regarding this matter. [See Fathul-Baari,
al-majmoo' 1/476 and Nayl-ul-awtaar 2/78, 84]
Imaam Shaafi'ee said if a person
prays in his shirt and it reveals him, then his prayer is invalidated.
[See al-Umm 1/78]
Even worse for ladies:
The lady doing that is in a more
terrible situation than the man. And if she prays in a loose outer
garment with sleeves and slit in front then it is better for her
to wear her jilbab on top. She must make sure she does not pray
wearing delicate material such as nylon or chiffon.
Consider the hadeeth where we are
told how in the last part of the nation of Muhammad (sallAllahu
'alaihi wa salam) there will be ladies who are "dressed yet
they are naked."
Ibn 'Abdul-Barr says such women will
dress in light material which will cover them yet not screen them,
so they will be dressed in name but naked in reality. ["Tanweer-ul-hawaalik"
A report from Hisham ibn 'Urwah shows
once Mundhir ibn Zubair sent a beautiful garment from Kohistan to
Asma bint Abi bakr who having felt the material and disapprovingly
asked for it to be sent back to the sender. When asked as to why
since it did not show the body, she replied it was transparent.
[Ibn Sa'd in "at-tabaqaat-ul-kubra" 8/184: saheeh]
As-Safaareenee said it is forbidden
to wear clothing that is light and fine so that the 'awrah is not
covered whether for a male or a female. This is a matter of the
Sharee'ah without any difference. ["ad-deen-ul-khaalis"
Ash-Shawkaanee said in "Nayl-ul-awtaar"
2/115 that it is compulsory (wajib) for a lady to cover her body
with a garment which is not transparent. This is a condition for
covering the 'awrah.
3. Praying in long and overflowing
lower garment (practicing isbaal or being a musbil)
Abu Hurairah (radhiAllahu 'anhu)
said: "While a man was praying with his lower garment hanging
down the Messenger (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said to him, "Go
and do wudhu." So he went, performed ablution and came back.
He (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said, "Go and do wudhu."
So a man said to him, "O Messenger of Allah! Why do you ask
him to do wudhu?" So he remained silent about him. Then he
said, "He was praying while his lower garment was hanging down
(i.e., he was a musbil)." [Abu Dawud, Musnad Ahmad, An-Nisai
in Sunan al-Kubra, an-Nawawi]
'Abdullaah ibn 'Umar (radhiAllahu
'anhumaa) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu 'alaihi
wa sallam) said, "Allah does not look at the prayer of a person
who lets his lower garment flow out of pride" [Ibn Khuzaimah]
Ibn Mas'ood (radhiAllahu 'anhu) said
he heard the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam) say,
"Whoever lets his lower garment hang down (over or below the
ankles) from vanity then there is neither ease from Allah nor anything
blessed." [Abu Dawud and in 'Allaamah Albaani's Saheeh Jaami'-us-Sagheer]
This means there is no forgiveness
for him or honor for him with Allah. He does not preserve himself
from the evils of his actions. It is also said that this means he
does not (really) believe with regards to what Allah has made permissible
and forbidden. Also, some say it means he has freed himself from
Allah and become separated from His Deen. For further details and
discussion on the understanding presented, please consult "Faidh-ul-Qadeer"
The Shafi's and Hanbalis reckon the
tradition is a proof that it is forbidden to let the lower garment
drop below (the top of the ankles) in prayer when done out of pride,
and according to the Shafi's it is objectionable when no vanity
is intended. [See "Al-Majjmu'" and "Nail-ul-Awtaar"]
For a detailed discussion on this
please consult "Majmoo' al-Fataawa" of Ibn Taimiyyah,
"Fathul-Baari", and "'Awn-al-Ma'bood" where
you will find the explanation that it is indeed forbidden to practice
isbaal whether with pride or without it.
Shaikh Ahmed Shaakir pursued this
matter in his verification of authenticity of prophetic reports
(hadeeths) in Ibn Hazm's "al-Muhalla" and showed how the
author had left out the first hadeeth which is a strong proof that
the prayer of a musbil is invalid.
Ibn al-Qayyim elaborated about the
first hadeeth and said letting the lower garment flow is sinful.
The man was ordered to perform ablution and pray because ablution
puts out the heat of sinfulness.
At-Teebi explained the man was asked
to do ablution although he was clean so that he would consider the
reason why he was ordered so. Allah blessed the request of the Prophet
in that such outward cleanliness will cleanse the stain of arrogance
inside, because exterior cleanliness affects the inward cleanliness.
Ibn Taimiyyah in his "Majmoo'
al-Fataawa" emphasised that it is the same whether one practices
isbaal of his trousers, or lower wrap or shirt (qamees). It is obligatory
for every Muslim to leave isbaal and fear Allah about it.
'Allaamah Ibn Baz's discussion on
'Allam Ibn Baz was asked whether
it is correct to pray behind an innovator (mubtadi') and one who
is a musbil and he said:
"The prayer is correct behind
the innovator and the one who is a musbil and (one who has some)
other sin according to what is more right from what the scholars
say, as long as it is not a bid'ah of disbelief (kufr) for the person.
If it is a bidah of disbelief like that of a Jahmee and similar
to that, which takes a person outside the fold of Islaam, then it
is not correct to pray behind such people. However, it is obligatory
for those responsible (amongst the people) that they choose the
imam to be of a pleasing character and safe from bid'ah and immorality.
(This is) because being an imam is a great (and important) trust
(amaanah). He stands as an example to the Muslims by it. Thus it
is not permissible to render its custodianship to the people of
innovation and immorality when others are able to be appointed."
Isbaal is totally sinful which is
necessary (wajib) to avoid and warn against it because of the statement,
"Whatever hangs below both ankles from the lower garment (izaar)
is in the Fire." [Bukhaari, An-Nisai]
Whatever is like the izaar also comes
under the same judgement, like the shirt (qamees), trousers, cloak
(woollen - basht) and similar to that. It is authentic from the
Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam) that he said,
"Allah will not speak to three (types of people), nor will
He look at them on the Day of Judgement, nor will He purify them,
and they will have a painful punishment: the person who is a musbil
with regard to his garment, ... ..." Muslim brings this in
When the person does so with izaar
or something similar due to pride and arrogance then that makes
him even more strong in sinning and draws him nearer to the punishment,
since the Prophet (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said, "Whoever
lets his garment flow (upon and beneath the ankles) due to vanity
Allah will not look at him on the Day of Judgement."
It is compulsory for every Muslim
to be on guard against what Allah has forbidden for him with regards
to isbaal and other sins.
[Mujallat-ud-Da'wah No. 913]
4. Rolling up the garment in prayer
One of the mistakes of some of those
who pray is that they tuck up their garments before starting their
It is reported from Ibn 'Abbaas (radhiAllahu
'anhumaa) that the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam)
said, "I have been ordered to prostrate upon seven (bones)
and that I neither tuck up the hair nor the garment (thawb)."
[Muslim, An-Nisai, Ibn Khuzaimah]
Ibn Khuzaimah interpreted this narration
with a chapter heading "Prevention from tucking up the garments
An-Nawawi said the scholars are in
agreement that it is not permissible to pray while his garment is
rolled up or his sleeve or anything similar. [Sharh Saheeh Muslim]
Imaam Maalik said that if his clothes
are already like that since he was doing a job and he rolled it
up for that work and he started his prayer as he is, then there
is no harm that he prays in that condition.
However, if he only does that to
tuck up his hair or garment then there is no good in it. [Al-Mudawwanat-ul-Kubra]
An-Nawawi continued to say that the
prohibition of hemming the garment is that of strong dislike. If
he prays like that then he does evil although his prayer is correct.
This is supported by At-Tabari where he speaks of a consensus by
the scholars and Ibn-ul-Mundhir who takes recourse to Hasan Al-Basri.
5. Praying without covering the
It is permissible to pray in bare
head for a man. The head is 'awrah for a woman. However, it is recommended
(mustahab) that he is completely dressed for prayer. This includes
covering the head with a cap, or turban or something similar from
what is customary from his clothes.
Uncovering the head without excuse
is detested (makrooh) especially in the compulsory prayers and even
more especially in congregation.
'Allaamah Albaani said: "As
for what I see, it is makrooh to pray with the head bare and this
is indisputable. It is recommended for Muslims to enter the prayer
in full Islamic manner of dressing because of the hadeeth, "Allah
has more right that you beautify for Him." [At-Tahawi, At-tabraani,
Al-Baihaqi. See Silsiltus-Saheehah]
"This is not from the good manners
from the customs of the Salaf to have the head uncovered and walk
like that on the road, and enter places of worship like that, but
it is from the ways of the foreigner which has infiltrated the Islamic
lands when the disbelievers set foot in it, and imported their corrupt
custom and the Muslims imitated them in it. So repel it and its
likes... ... This is an extraordinary accident and it is not appropriate
that it should warrant contradicting the prior Islamic culture,
and be taken as an excuse for permission to pray without head-covering."
Then 'Allaamah Albaani goes on to
explain the mistake of some brothers in Egypt who brought the proof
of the permissibility to pray without covering the head by analogising
with how the head is uncovered for someone in ihraam during the
pilgrimage. This is wrong since not covering the head during the
pilgrimage is from the law (Sharee'ah) of Allah. If their analogy
was right them they should make it compulsory to pray without any
head covering at all since it is obligatory to do so during the
pilgrimage! [Tamaam-ul-Minnah fee ta'leeq 'alaa fiqh-us- Sunnah
by 'Allaamah Albaani]
It is not established at all that
the Messenger (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam) ever prayed outside
the pilgrimage with bare head, without a turban/cap. Whoever thinks
he did so then he should bring the proof. If he (sallAllahu 'alaihi
wa sallam) had done so, it would have been recorded.
Let it be known that it is just makrooh
for a man to pray with bare head. [Al-Majmoo' - Al-Baghawi etc.]
PS: The narration attributed to Ibn
'Abbaas that the Prophet (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam) would sometimes
remove his cap and place it as a sutrah in front of him is weak
(da'eef). Even if it was authentic then it does not prove praying
in bare head since it is compulsory and more important to take a
sutrah and it is more evident that he did that to make up for lack
of any suitable sutrah.
6. Praying in clothes which has
pictures on it
A'isha (radhiAllahu 'anha) said that
(once) the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam) prayed
in a woolen garment which had markings on it. When he finished his
prayer he said, "Go to Abu Jahm ibn Hudhaifah with this garment
and bring me an inbijaaniyyah, because this has distracted me too
much in my prayer." [Bukhaari, Muslim, Nisai, Ibn Maajah, Muatta
The inbijaaniyyah that the Messenger
of Allah (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam) desired is a thick garment
which has no markings or pattern on it unlike the khameesah (woolen
garment which he was wearing at the time) which he rejected and
it had such markings. And patterns are more preferable than pictures.
At-Teebi said while commenting on
the above narration that pictures and similar things, which can
be seen, affects the pure hearts and clean souls. [See "'Umdatul-Qaari"
Anas (radhiAllahu 'anhu) said that
(once) A'isha (radhiAllahu 'anha) had a curtain which she used to
screen a side of her house. The Prophet (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam)
said to her, "Remove it from me, because its pictures keep
on turning my attention away from my prayer." [Bukhaari]
The above narration presents a difficulty
when viewed against the other hadeeth also from A'isha (radhiAllahu
'anha) which says that the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu 'alaihi
wa sallam) would not enter the house which had a screen/curtain
with pictures on it. [Muslim] This is resolved by knowing that this
narration is talking about pictures of living creatures on the material
while the first narration is not about such.
The above hadeeth of Anas (radhiAllahu
'anhu) is evidence that it is makrooh to pray in a garment which
has pictures on it.
From the above evidences al-Qatalaani
said in "Irshaad-ul-Saari" if the picture distracts a
person praying in front of it then it is more so when he is clothed
in such garments. Al-'Aini in "'Umdat-ul-Qaari" noted
about the chapter in Bukhaari "Dislike of praying where there
is a picture" that this means this chapter (by Bukhaari) explains
that it is makrooh to pray in the house which has a garments with
pictures on it. Thus if it is makrooh to do so in such case then
it is worse when dressed in such material.
The jamhoor hold the position that
it is makrooh.
Their evidence is the narration from
A'isha (radhiAllahu 'anha) who said: "I had a garment with
pictures on it which I had spread out and the Messenger of Allah
(sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam) was praying towards it. So he said,
"Take it away from me." So I (cut it into pieces and)
made (some) screens (out of it). [Muslim, Nisai]
After mentioning this hadeeth an-Nawawi
said, "As for the garment which has a picture or a cross or
whatever draws the attention away, then praying in it or towards
it or on it is makrooh due to the hadeeth."
7. Praying in saffron dyed clothes
(Saffron colour is red or bright orange-red)
'Abdullaah ibn 'Umar (radhiAllahu
'anhumaa) said that the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa
sallam) saw him dressed with two saffron coloured garments. So he
said, "This is the dress of the disbelievers, so do not clothe
yourself with it." [Muslim, Musnad Ahmad]
In one narration he (sallAllahu 'alaihi
wa sallam) said to him, "Did your mother order you to wear
it?" I said, "Shall I wash them both?" He said, "Rather
burn them both!"
Yet another narration says, "So
I did that."
In another narration it says how
he was seen by the Prophet (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam) in a garment
stained with saffron dye so he was told, "What is this garment
that is upon you?!" So he understood by that its dislike and
went home and found them heating up the stove to cook meat and threw
the garment into it. Then he went to the Prophet (sallAllahu 'alaihi
wa sallam) the next day and he said, "What have you done with
your garment?" So when he had told him, he said, "Why
didn't you clothe some of your family with it? There is no harm
in the ladies using it." [Musnad Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Ibn Maajah]
It is reported from Anas (radhiAllahu
'anhu) that the Prophet (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam) forbade the
man from wearing saffron (clothes). [Bukhaari]
'Ali (radhiAllahu 'anhu) said the
Prophet (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam) forbade from saffron dyed
clothes. [Muslim, Nisai, Abu Dawud]
Ibn Qudaamah said, "Concerning
praying in red garments, our companions have said it is makrooh
for a man to clothe in it and pray in it." [Al-Mughni]
Ibn-ul-Qayyim discusses this in "Zaad-ul-Ma'ad"
and says it is indeed very strongly disliked although still permissible.
Allah granted refuge from it to the Prophet (sallAllahu 'alaihi
wa sallam) when he wore a blood-red garment and now there is doubt
as to the true meaning of red cloth.
At-Tabraani in "Al-Awsat"
discusses the red garment of the Prophet (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa
sallam) and says it is a mistake to think the garment was pure red
and not mixed with anything else. This red garment was a Yemeni
costume woven with red and yellow thread like all such Yemeni costumes.
It is called red due to the red thread in it. As for pure red then
this is strongly forbidden.