ON THE DRESSING OF SAYYIDINA RASULULLAH SALLALLAHU 'ALAYHI WASALLAM
The author has
mentioned sixteen ahaadith in this chapter. The 'ulama say the dressing
of a person is either waajib, mustahab, haraam, makruh or mubaah (permissible).
A person should, when dressing, diligently follow the mandub (preferred)
mode, and abstain from the makruh mode of dressing. It is waajib to dress
in a manner where the satr is covered at all times. The mandub manner is
that which the shari'ah has preferred and induced us to wear, like the wearing
of one's best clothing on the two 'Eids, and the wearing of white on Fridays.
Makruh isthat clothing which the shari'ah has discouraged us from wearing.
For example, a rich person should not always wear torn and tattered clothes.
Haraam clothing is that which the shari'ah has prohibited us from wearing.
For example, (it is haraam) for a man to wear silken clothing without a
valid shar'ee reason.
& 54) Hadith Number 1 and 2
Mu-mineen, Ummi Salamah Radiyallahu 'anha relates: "Of all the clothing,
Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam preferred wearing the qamis (Thowb,
kurtaa) the most".
The 'ulama have written different reasons for Sayidina Rasulullah Sallallahu
'Alayhi Wasallam preferring to wear a qamis (Thowb, kurtah). Some say
it is because it covers the body well and covers it better than a lungi
etc. Some say because it is 'qumait' and besides it is less of a burden
on the body, whereas a sheet has to be straightened every now and then.
Some are of the opinion that it does not create pride in a person, as
other clothing does. According to this humble servant the reason is because
it covers the satr well, and the same time it is neat, whereas in some
clothing there is less beauty, like the lungi, or it does not cover the
satr well, like the top sheet. The eighth hadith in this chapter seems
contrary to this hadith. lt shall be compared and reconciled there.
Hadith Number 3
has been reported from Ummi Salamah Radhiyallahu 'Anha: "Rasulullah
Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam preferred wearing, from among all clothing,
the qamis (thowb)".
Mulla 'Ali Qaari relates from Dimyaati that the qamis of Sayidina Rasulullah
Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam was made of cotton and was not very long,
nor were the sleeves long. Bayjuri has written that Sayidina Rasulullah
Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam had only one qamis. It is reported from Sayyiditina
'Aayeshah Radhiyallahu 'Anha that: "Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi
Wasallam did not leave any of the morning food for the evening, nor any
of the evening food for the morning. He possessed only one each, of a
lungi, qamis, sheet ( body wrap), shoes or any other clothing. He did
not have a pair of any of these".
Munaawi relates from Sayyidina Ibn 'Abbaas Radiyallahu 'anhu that, 'The
qamis (thowb, kurtah) of Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam
was not very long, nor were its sleeves long. In another hadith
of Sayyidina Ibn 'Abbaas Radiyalia anhu it is stated that the qamis of
Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam was above the ankles.
'Allaamah Shaami says: 'It should reach halfway down the calf'.
Hadith Number 4
bint Yazeed Radhiyallahu 'Anha says: "The sleeve of Rasulullah Sallallahu
'Alayhi Wasallam's qamis reached to the wrists".
This narration apparently contradicts the one where it has been stated
that the sleeves of the qamis of Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi
Wasallam were a bit longer than the wrist. The'ulama have summed up the
difference in several ways. Firstly, that at different times it had different
lengths. Secondly, that when the sleeves were creased they were above
the wrists, and when they were smooth and straight they were over the
wrists. Some are of the opinion that both are taken on estimation. In
this case there is no difficulty. Maulana Khalil Ahmad Saahib has written
in the 'Badhlul Majhud' that where it is mentioned till the wrists, it
is taken to be the best and desirable. Where the sleeves are stated to
be longer, it is considered permissible. 'Allaamah Jazari states that
it is sunnah that the length of the qamis (kurtah) sleeves reach till
the wrists, and that of a jubbah be a bit longer, but in no case should
it be longer than the fingers.
Hadith Number 5
bin Ilyaas Radiyallahu'Anhu relates: "I came with a group from the
tribe of Muzeenah to make bay'ah (pay allegiance) to Rasulullah Sallallahu
'Alayhi Wasallam. The button loop of Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam's
qamis was open. I put my hand in the collar of Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi
Wasallam's qamis to touch the Seal of Prophethood (to gain barakah)".
When he visited Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam he found
the collar of Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam's qamis
open. It is characteristic of one who loves, that every act of his beloved
sinks into his heart. Sayyidina 'Urwah Radiyallahu'Anhu, who is a narrator
of this says: "I have never seen Mu'aawiyah (bin Qurrah - Radiyallahu'Anhu)
and his son button up their collars. Be it summer or winter, their collars
were always open". Their love for Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu
'Alayhi Wasallam has given us a glimpse of each and every act and deed
of the beloved Rasul of Allah, Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam. 'Jazahumullahu
'anna wa-'an saa-iril ummati ahsanal jazaa'.
Hadith Number 6
bin Maalik Radhiyallahu 'Anhu reports: "Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi
Wasallam came out of his house with the assistance of Usaamah bin Zayd.
At that time he was wrapped in a Yamaani printed sheet. Rasulullah Sallallahu
'Alayhi Wasallam came and led the Sahaabah in prayer".
'Daar Qutni' has stated that this incident took place when Sayyidina Rasulullah
Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam was ill. For this reason he was assisted by
Sayyidina Usaamah bin Zayd Radhiyallahu 'Anhu. It is possible that it
was the time of Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam's illness
before his death. This hadith will also be mentioned in the chapter on
'Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam leaning on something'.
Imaam Tirmidhi has written a surprising incident on the sanad (chain of
narrators) of this hadith, from which we can gauge the intense love of
the muhadditheen for the hadith, and their detachment from this unstable
and materialistic world. Muhammad bin AI-Fadl says: "Yahya bin Mu'een
(who is a great imaam and scholar of hadith -some 'ulama have said that
he has written ten lakh -100,000- ahaadith with his own hands) asked me
as soon as I sat down (when visiting him), about this hadith. I started
reciting it to him. He said: 'I desire you to read it out from your kitaab
so that it may be more satisfying"' Muhammad bin AI-Fadl says: 'I
stood up to go inside and fetch the kitaab. He caught me by my qamis and
said: "First dictate it to me from memory, so that I may write it
down. There is no surety of life and death. It is possible I may meet
you or Imay not meet you again. You may repeat it from the kitaab later'.
Muhammad bin AI-Fadl says: 'I recited it to him from memory, then brought
the kitaab and read it out again from the kitaab'. Allahu Akbar! He did
not have that little assurance that either of them would live till he
went inside to get a kitaab and return. His love for the hadith was such
that he did not even like to wait till the kitaab was brought from inside
Hadith Number 7
Sa'eed Khudari (R.A) says, "When Rasulullah (S.A.W) put on a new
garment, he would in happiness mention that garment's name. For example,
'Allah Ta'aala gave me this qamis (thowb, kurtah), 'amaamah (turban) sheet,
etc" Then recited this du'aa:
lakal hamdu kama kasauw- tanihi, as-aluka khayrahu wa-khayra ma-suni'a
lahu wa-a'u- dhu bika min sharrihi wa-sharri ma-suni'a lahu'.
Allah, all praise and thanks to You for clothing me with this (garment).
I ask You for the good of it and the good of what it was made for, and
I ask Your protection from the evil of it and theevil of what it was made
The goodness and badness of a garment is evident and 'for the good and
bad for which it was made' means forsummer and winter, elegance etc. For
whatever reason it is worn, the goolness in it is that it may be used
to obtain Allah's pleasure, like performing 'ibaadah (devotion) with it.
To use it for a bad cause would be in disobeying Allah or to create pride,
Hadith Number 8
bin Maalik (R.A) says: "The sheet (body wrap) most liked by Rasulullah
(Sallallahu alaihe wasallam) was the Yamaani printed sheet."
This siims to contradict the hadith mentioned at the begining of the chapter
where it is stated that Sayyidina Rasulullah (Sallalahu alaihe wasallam)
preferred wearing the qamis (kurtah) the most. The 'Ulama have given many
explanations for this. The simplest explanation if that there is no difference.
He liked the qamis very much and the sheet too. It could also be said
that among ordinary clothing that are worn, he liked the qamis the most,
and from the ones that are used for outer covering, he liked the sheet
the most. It has also been stated that for purposes of evidence this is
a much stronger hadith.Some 'Ulama have taken the first hadith for the
different types of clothing, among which Sayyidina Rasulullah (S.A.W)
liked the qamis most, and this hadith for the coloured clothing, from
which he liked the coloured printed sheet the most. Some say the sheet
was of a green colour. The object is that, among the colours, green was
liked the most, as it is the colour of the clothing in Jannah (paradise).
HADITH NUMNBER 9
Juhayfah (R.A) says, "I saw Rasulullah (S.A.W) wearing a pair of
red (coloured) clothing. The lusture of the feet of Rasulullah (S.A.W)
is still befor me." Sufyaan (R.A) who is a norrator of this hadith
says: "According to my understanding the pair (of clothing) was printed
This incident took place at the time of Hajjatul-Widaa, as is stated if
the Bukhaari and other kitaabs of hadith. Sayyidina Sufyaan (R.A) ' Anhu's
reason for saying that this was a red coloured clothing (for men). There
is a difference of opinion among the 'Ulama'. The Hanafis also state a
number of opinions. This has been discussed in the first chapter. Before
choosing red-coloured clothing an 'aalim should be consulted. Maulana
Gangohi has mentioned a few times in his fataawa (religious rulings) that
it is permissible for a man to wear red patterned garment's. From the
point of taqwaa (piety) it is better for a man not to wear red coloured
garments, since there is a differince of opinion among the learned 'Ulama'.
HADITH NUMBER 10
bin 'Aazib (R.A) says: "I have vever seen anybody more handsome in
red clothing than Rasulullah (S.A.W). At that time, the hair of Rasulullah
(S.A.W) reached his shoulders.
This hadith has been mentioned in the first chapter. It is repeated here
because of the red-coloured clothing.
HADITH NUMBER (11)
Rimthah Taymi (R.A) says,"I saw Rasulullah (S.A.W) covering himself
in two green coloured sheets."
This hadith has been quoted twice. It is repeated here briefly.
HADITH NUMBER 12
bin Makhramah (R.A) says: "I saw Rasulullah (S.A.W) in such a state
that he was wearing two old lungis (sarong, waist wrap) that had been
dyed a saffron colour but there was no sign of saffron left on it."
There is a lengthy story in this hadith also.
It is prohibited in the hadith to use clothing dyed with saffron. For
this reason it has been pointed out in the above hadith that the colour
of dthe saffron had faded, so that there remains no contradictions in
the ahaadith. Sayyidina Rasulullah (S.A.W) wore the two old sheets as
a sign of humility. The sufis have for this reason chosen a rugged way
of life. This leads one towards humility and keeps one away from pride
and arregance. It should also be borne in mind that if (the wearing of
such clothing) does not have this effect then this manner is not preferred.
It will cause more harm than good as we see it happening in these times.
Many a time this way is asopted to show that one has reached the stage
of perfection whilst the tongue is asking (begging).
An incident of Abul-Hasan Shaa-dhali who is from amdong the great sufis
is famous. Once he was wearing smart clothing. Some raggedly dressed person
objected. He replied, "My dressing in this manner shows praise and
gratefulness to Allah, whereas this state of yours shows a state of asking
(begging). You in your present state are begging from people." In
short, it is better not to wear showy clothing but only with the intention
of humbleness, and on condition that it does not lead one towards some
other harm. On the other hand, if it is worn for some religious benefits
or to please a confidant who has given it as a present, then in this case
to wear elegant clothing will also be mandub (desirable) and better. Sayyidina
Rasulullah (S.A.W) once purchased a set of clothing in exchange for twenty
seven camels and wore that clothing for this reason. The mashaa-ikh of
the Naqshabandiyyah and Shaa-dhaliyyah Orders usually wear elegant type
of clothing. It has been given preference becarse it saves one from the
appearance of a beggar. Imaam Abul-Hasan Shaa-dhali has said: "It
is important that one should keep away from the deceit of the heart from
both angles. The gaining of fame by dressing shabbily, to show off by
being himble, and to show pride by wearing smart elegant clothing, all
are dangerous to our spiritual upliftment.
There is lengthy story in this hadith that is not relevant to the dressing
of Sayyidina Rasulullah (S.A.W). Therefor Imaam Tirmidhi omitted it here
with the objectof shortening the hadith. The story probably covers two
sheets. The commentators have also omitted it for the same reason. In
it are mentioned incidents fo the early period and experiences of Sayyiditina
Qaylah (R.A) after her acceptance of Islaam. In a few narrations it is
also mentioned that Sayyidina Ralsulullah (S.A.W) was sitting with his
old clothing in a humble manner. He had a branch (fan) of a palm in his
mubaarak hands. A person entered his noble assembly. He saw Sayyidina
Rasulullah (S.A.W) in this state of humbleness and dur to the awe-inspiring
appearance of Sayyidina Rasulullah (S.A.W), began shivering. Upon seeing
this person in this state, or being made aware of it, Sayyidina Rasulullah
(S.A.W) said to him: "Keep calm." As soon as Sayyidina Rasulullah
(S.A.W) said this he became calm, and all the signs of fear vanished.
In some ahaadith we gather that this incident relates to Sayyiditina Qaylah
(R.A.) herself. Imaam Tirmikhi has therefore mentioned this briefly in
the chapter on the sitting of Sayyidina Rasulullah (S.A.W). The incident
is attributed to Sayyiditina Qaylah (R.A) and will be mentioned in the
chapter on the sitting of Sayyidina Rasulullah (S.A.W).
HADITH NUMBER 13
'Abbaas (R.A) says that Rasulullah (S.A.W) used to say: " Choose
white clothing, as it is the best clothing. White clothing should be worn
whilst living, and the dead should be buried in white."
In this hadith it is not stated that Sayyidina (S.A.W) wore white clothing.
Its mention in the 'Shamaa-il Tirmikhi' is therefore implict. Idt can
be explaiced that when Sayyidina Rasulullah (S.A.W) encouraged the wearing
of white clothing, then he must have worn it himself. If is clearly stated
in the Bukhaari that Sayyidina Rasulullah (S.A.W) wore white clothing.
HADITH NUMBER 14
bun Jundub (R.A) says: " Rasulullah (S.A.W) said, "Wear white
clothing because it is more taahir (paak) and clean, and also clothe your
dead in it."
By 'It is more taahir (paak) and clean is meant that if a small stain
appears, it will show clearly, whereas in coloured clothing it does not
HADITH NUMBER 15
Mu-mineen, 'Aayeshah (R.A) reports: "Rasulullah (S.A.W) once left
the house in the morning, wearing a sheet made of black hair."
HADITH NUMBER 16
bin Shu'bah (R.A) says: "Rasulullah (S.A.W) wore a rumi Jubbah which
had narrow sleeves."
This incident was at the time of Ghazwah Tabuk. The 'Ulama have interpreted
from this hadith that a thing made by non-believers is not najis (na-paak)
till we can outwardly find of this. Upto that time there were no
Muslims in Rome, and Sayyidina Rasulullah (S.A.W) wore the clothing
made by them.
taken (with Thanks) from Darul-uloom Bury