As promised before I became INSANELY busy, I have been researching hijab (the physical aspects. Remember that hijab isn’t just physical even if that aspect is what we talk about on this post only). But NOT hijab for ladies. “But, Amanda, I thought your super-oppressive religion only had rules for women because Muslim men can’t look at anything with lady-bits without sporting pant-timber!” This is incorrect. Just because some countries are “super-oppressive” and aim it at women does NOT mean that women are the only objects of the law. There are LOTS of little things about hijab for men. Did you know that men have rulings on what fabric they can wear? Or what colour? No. Most don’t, because WOMEN DON’T HAVE TO PAY ATTENTION TO THAT. Women don’t have to pay attention to what their garments are dyed with. Men do. If a woman’s garment hangs lower than required out of modesty, she’s fine. A man letting his garment too low is letting his garment be in the fire. If you ask me- MALE HIJAB IS ACTUALLY HARDER!
I’m going to give you some ahadith which explain hijab for men. Yes, some of these will account for both genders, but we have to remember that the aim of this is to remind the brothers what is expected of them as well.
The first thing we should establish is that praying in unlawful clothes is not acceptable.
“Then [the Messenger saaws] mentioned a man who had traveled for a long time. Unkempt and covered in dust, he raised his hands to the heavens (and cried): ‘O my Lord! O my Lord!’ His food was unlawful, his drink was unlawful, his clothing was unlawful, and what he had provided to sustain himself with was also unlawful. How could his invocation be accepted?”" – Muslim
It’s pretty safe to say that if you’re not doing what you’re supposed to be doing, your prayer isn’t acceptable. But figuring out what IS takes quite a bit of work (and I really hope to be taking a lot of that work off of some of you guys. Or even some of you single Muslimahs trying to raise boys in a society that focuses on YOUR dress over theirs.
Next- don’t be distracting. This applies to both men and women here:
Reported by Aisha, RA- “The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) once prayed wearing a garment having marks. He looked at its marks. When he saluted, he said: Take this garment of mine to AbuJahm, for it turned my attention just now in my prayer, and bring a simple garment without marks.” – Abu Dawood 4041
This ahadith doesn’t say you have to wear boring clothes. Just remember that if you have one of those “WOW” patterns, it’s going to distract you and, potentially, others who may be praying.
Remember to be grateful for your clothes. Al-Nahl 16:81 “And Allâh has made for you out of that which He has created shades, and has made for you places of refuge in the mountains, and has made for you garments to protect you from the heat (and cold), and coats of mail to protect you from your (mutual) violence. Thus does He perfect His Grace unto you, that you may submit yourselves to His Will (in Islâm).” To remember that you are and have nothing without Allah is a cornerstone of faith. And many men and women forget this aspect of clothing. There are duas, for both genders, which allow you to be clothed and uncovered to those whom you don’t want to see you.
*Dua for putting on clothes- Alhamdu lillaahil-lathee kasaanee haathaa (aththawba) wa razaqaneehi min ghayri hawlim-minnee wa laa quwwatin. (Praise is to Allah Who has clothed me with this (garment) and provided it for me, though I was powerless myself and incapable.)
*Dua for putting on NEW clothes- Allaahumma lakal-hamdu ‘Anta kasawtaneehi, ‘as’aluka min khayrihi wa khayri maa suni’a lahu, wa ‘a’oothu bika min sharrihi wa sharri ma suni’a lahu. (O Allah, praise is to You. You have clothed me. I ask You for its goodness and the goodness of what it has been made for, and I seek Your protection from the evil of it and the evil of what it has been made for.)
*Invocation for someone who has put on new clothes- Tublee wa yukhliful-laahu ta’aalaa. (May Allah replace it when it is wom out.)
*Dua for removing (taking off) clothing- Bismillâhilladhi lâilãha illâhü (In the name of Allah, apart from whom there is no Lord. (al-Nasai)
Now… to you. Yes, you. The one that has on those shabby clothes that make it appear as if you’ve been wrestling every rabies-mad dog in town. No, not you… Allah places no blame on the person who can’t afford it… I’m talking to the guy who can afford it and instead chooses to dress up like Frumpzilla. You DO realise you should look nicer, right? Where’s my proof??? How about here-
Ibn Abi al-Ahwas said: I came in shabby clothes to see the Prophet and he said: “Do you have money?” I said yes. He said: “From where does your money come?” I said: “Allah has given me camels and sheep and horses and slaves.” He said: “Then if Allah gave you money and possessions, he likes for you to show it.”
Or what about “al-Khatib al-Baghdadi narrates in his Tarikh Baghdad that one time Abu Hanifa asked a man who was shabbily dressed to stay behind after the others had left from his circle of study. Then he told him: “Lift up the prayer-rug and take the money that is there and buy yourself some nice clothes.” The man told him he was wealthy and had no need of the money. Abu Hanifa said: “Has it not reached you that the Prophet said: Allah likes to see the mark of His benevolence on His servant?”
Or even- `Umar entered upon me one day as I was praying in a single garment and he said: “Don’t you have two garments in your possession?” I said yes. He said: “In your opinion, if I sent you to one of the people of Madina on an errand, would you go in a single garment?” I said no. He said: “Then is Allah worthier of our self-beautification or people?”
In short- quit dressing like some Shabby Abby. Ok? if PEOPLE know it’s not attractive, Allah certainly does too.
Following up on our own Muslim “What Not To Wear” (although we’re not following the advice of Stacy London and Clinton Kelly, we’re using the Prophet’s.. SO much better, don’t you think?) we must also ask you to QUIT dressing like the disbelievers. “But, Amanda, IT’S SOOOOO HARD! Have YOU ever tried to find clothes for Muslim men alone? No one carries anything that looks Muslim!” Well then, quit looking for jeans and tees. Go to the shop where the sisters buy their abayas and you’re BOUND to find a thobe, a dishdasha, a kurta, kufis, etc. And if Phoenix, Az has them, they’re everywhere. “But, Amanda… they’re TOO EXPENSIVE and the only cheap ones I can find are online.” So get one. “They only take credit card! I’m not getting one, that’s USURY!” Visa gift card. Buy one at a grocery store or Walmart. You load on how much you want, they work like a debit card, and can be used online YOU ARE OUT OF EXCUSES! And if I can get stuff online for myself while being dirt poor, anyone else can.
-Imam Nawawi in his Fatawa was asked: “Is there harm for one’s religion and his salat if he dresses other than in the fashion of Muslims?” He answered: “It is forbidden to resemble the disbelievers in appearance, whether in clothing or otherwise, because of the sound and well-known hadiths concerning this; and wearing such clothing makes one’s prayer incomplete tanqusu bihi al-salat.”
Do you need any more than that to know that you shoudn’t be running around in the same clothing as any neighbour you have? Looking different doesn’t necessarily exclude you, but it WILL set you apart in your standards.
Wearing white or green is a good thing. What? You guys were expecting me to tell you about something else that puts you on the naughty list? Don’t worry, I’ll have another few of those next. But for now, consider these about green and white-
-Narrated by Aisha RA- Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) was questioned about Waraqah and Khadijah said to him, “He believed in you, but died before you appeared as a prophet.” Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) then said, “I was shown him in a dream, wearing white clothes, and if he had been one of the inhabitants of Hell he would have been wearing different clothing.” Al-Tirmidhi 4623
-”I came to the Prophet while he was wearing white clothes and sleeping…” – Narrated by Abu Dharr, Sahih Bukhari 7.717
-”I went with my father to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and saw two green garments over him.” -Narrated by Abu Rimthah, Abu Dawood
Now back to the naughty list things. And pay VERY close attentions to the words. There isn’t a prohibition of wearing red or yellow-red, but it DOES matter what’s used to DYE it. If you’re wearing yellow or yellow-red (aka “orange”) then do NOT get it if it was dyed with saffron. And don’t buy reds dyed with safflower. Also, don’t wear red alone. Feel free to have red and green, red and black, red and white… just not red by itself. Just hear the following ahadith-
Hadith – Narrated Imran ibn Husayn – The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “I do not ride on purple, or wear a garment dyed with saffron*, or wear shirt hemmed with silk.” – Abu Dawood 4037
- Narrated Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-’As – We came down with the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) from a turning of a valley. He turned his attention to me and I was wearing a garment dyed with a reddish yellow dye. He asked: “What is this garment over you?” I recognised what he disliked. I then came to my family who were burning their oven. I threw it (the garment) in it and came to him the next day. He asked: “Abdullah, what have you done with the garment?” I informed him about it. He said: “Why did you not give it to one of your family to wear, for there is no harm in it for women.”
-From al-Baraa’ ibn ‘Aazib (may Allah be pleased with him): “The Prophet (saaws) forbade us to use soft red mattresses and qasiy – garments with woven stripes of silk.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5390)
-From Ibn ‘Abbaas, who said: “I was forbidden (to wear) red garments and gold rings, and to recite Qur’aan in rukoo’.” (Narrated by al-Nasaa’i, no. 5171. Imam Albaani said: its isnaad is sahih. Saheeh Sunan al-Nasaa’i, 1068).
-A man passed by the Prophet SAWS wearing two red garments and greeted him with salaam, but he SAWS did not return the greeting.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, no. 2731; Abu Dawood, no. 3574. Al-Tirmidhi said: this hadeeth is hasan ghareeb with this isnaad). According to the scholars, the meaning of this hadith is that the Prophet SAWS disliked the wearing of garments dyed with safflower (the red dyestuff obtained from safflowers), but he had no objection to garments dyed with clay or other substances, so long as it was not dyed with safflower. This hadeeth was classed as da’eef by al-Albaani (Da’eef Sunan Abi Dawood, 403; Da’eef Sunan al-Tirmidhi, 334. He said: its isnaad is da’eef).
The explanation of the last hadith in that safflower dye is prohibited but other reds are ok and with other colours is proof in the next hadith in which he wears a Yemeni garment which is usually striped with black or green-
-The hadeeth of al-Baraa’ ibn ‘Aazib (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: “The Messenger of Allah SAWS was of average build. I saw him in a red hullah, and I never saw anyone more handsome than him.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 5400; Muslim, 4308). *Hullah being the Yemeni garment
-Al-Bayhaqi narrated in al-Sunan: “[The Prophet] SAWS used to wear a red cloak on Eid.” (And of course no one’s going to wear ONLY a cloak…)
You’ve already noticed a couple more things haraam in the hadith, no doubt. Men are also prohibited from wearing gold and silk. It’s perfectly fine for women, mind you. I enjoy my silk shayla wrap and a sister looks beautiful in her gold bangles (she’s asked me if I’d like to borrow them, but I’m allergic to gold… go figure.). There is clear proof as to this. It’s not just gold rings. It’s gold watches, gold cuff links, gold pens… Gold is for ladies (unless you like being the effeminate sort, in which case keep it to yourself there, Da Vinci…)
- Narrated by Uqba bin Amir- A silken Farruj was presented to Allah’s Apostle and he put it on and offered the prayer in it. When he finished the prayer, he took it off violently as if he disliked it and said, “This (garment) does not befit those who fear Allah!” Sahih Bukhari 7.693
-”Do not wear silk, for those who wear it in this life shall not wear it in the Hereafter.” (Reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim. A Similar hadith is reported by them on the authority of Anas.)
-The Prophet (peace be on him) once saw a gold ring on a man’s hand. He immediately took it from him and threw it down saying, ‘Does a person pick up a piece of burning coal and hold it in his hand?’ After the Prophet (peace be on him) had left the place, someone asked the man, ‘Why do you not pick it up and benefit from it?’ He replied, ‘No, by Allah! I shall not pick it up after the Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) has thrown it away.’ (Reported by Muslim.)
- On another occasion, referring to a silken garment, he said, “This is the dress of a man who has no character.” (Reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim.)
“O Children of Adam! We have bestowed raiment* upon you to cover yourselves (screen your private parts, etc.) and as an adornment, and the raiment of righteousness, that is better. Such are among the Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allâh, that they may remember (i.e. leave falsehood and follow truth).” Qur’an 7:26. But what does that MEAN? What are the “private parts” for men? Hey… I just heard, like, three of you giggle at that question… That’s NOT what I meant! What that means is “What is considered private/not to be seen by others?” It’s from the navel to the knee. Thighs must be covered.
-Reported Muhammad Jahsh, “The Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, passed by Ma’mar while his thighs were uncovered. He said, to him, ‘O Ma’mar, cover your thighs, for they are (part of the) ‘aurah.” This is related by Ahmad, al-Hakim and al-Bukhari in Tareekh and in mu’allaq form in his Sahih.
-Reported Jurhad, “The Messenger of Allah passed by me when the cloak I was wearing did not cover my thigh. He said, ‘Cover your thigh, for it (is part of the) ‘aurah.” This is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud and at-Tirmidhi, who called it hassan, and by al-Bukhari in mu’allaq form in the Sahih.
Another thing that brothers are quick to point out on sisters, but quicker to disobey at the same time, is TIGHT clothing. Skinny jeans look bad on women (if you ever wanted to let people know what a toothpick with a muffin top looks like, wear one) and worse on men (Just… ‘no’). But they still wear them no matter how immodest it is.
-I asked Jabir bin ‘Abdullah about praying in a single garment. He said, “I traveled with the Prophet during some of his journeys, and I came to him at night for some purpose and I found him praying. At that time, I was wearing a single garment with which I covered my shoulders and prayed by his side. When he finished the prayer, he asked, ‘O Jabir! What has brought you here?’ I told him what I wanted. When I finished, he asked, ‘O Jabir! What is this garment which I have seen and with which you covered your shoulders?’ I replied, ‘It is a (tight) garment.’ He said, ‘If the garment is large enough, wrap it round the body (covering the shoulders) and if it is tight (too short) then use it as an Izar (tie it around your waist only.)’ ” Bukhari 1.357
And another thing… What is it with these brothers wearing dishdashas and thobes that hang down to their feet? When I first became a Muslim, I literally called them “manbayas” because I had NO IDEA they were supposed to be different than a woman’s abaya. Why? Because brothers are letting them past their ankle all down to the ground like women let down their abayas. So obviously they look like the woman’s garment! Again, Da Vinci, if you wanna wear women’s clothing, private is the best place for it!
-Yahya related to me from Malik from al Ala ibn Abd ar-Rahman that his father said, “I asked Abu Said al-Khudri about the lower garment. He said that he would inform me with knowledge and that he had heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, ‘The lower garment of the mumin should reach to the middle of his calves. There is no harm in what is between that and the ankles. What is lower than that is in the Fire. What is lower than that is in the Fire. On the Day of Rising, Allah will not look at a person who trails his lower garment in arrogance.’ ” Al-Muwatta 48.12, similar narration to Abu Dawood 4082
-The Prophet saaws said, “Have your lower garment halfway down your shin; if you cannot do it, have it up to the ankles. Beware of trailing the lower garment, for it is conceit and Allah does not like conceit.” – Abu Dawood
-I happened to pass before Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) with my lower garment trailing (upon the ground). He said: Abdullah, tug up your lower garment. I tugged it up, and he again said: Tug it still further, and I tugged it still further and I went on tugging it afterward, whereupon some of the people said: To what extent? Thereupon he said: To the middle of the shanks (shanks are the part of the leg b/t the knee and ankle).” Sahih Muslim 5200
-I have been ordered to prostrate on seven bodily parts and not to fold back the hair or clothing: the forehead, the nose, the hands, the knees and the feet.” (Related by Muslim and an-Nasa’i.)
The last one OBVIOUSLY applies to men. Prostrating, yes we all get down on all 7, but women are allowed to tie back the hair back (encouraged actually) so that it fits into the scarves we wear. So yet another male-only restriction.
The last thing I’ll touch on for male hijab is the beard. It almost seems like a lost requirement. As women have an order placed on our heads, men have an order placed upon their faces. The Beard is not just some miniscule “well, I don’t really HAVE to do it… it’s not in the Qur’an!”. But these same people will remind the sisters who don’t wear hijab as head-scarves aren’t exclusively mentioned in the Qur’an that the Qur’an DOES order us to follow the Sunnah. I don’t get it and the other sisters don’t either. It’s a massive logical fallacy. But there are clear proofs to the importance of the beard for men.
-The Prophet (SAW) said “I have no connection with one who shaves, shouts and tears his clothing eg. in grief or affication.” -Abu Darda (RA) in Muslim 501
- The Prophet (SAW) says: “Trim closely the moustache, and let the beard flow (Grow).” – Ibn Umar (RA) in Muslim 498
- The Prophet (SAW) said: “Act against contrary to the polythesists, trim closely the moustache and grow the beard.” – Ibn Umar (RA) Muslim 500
- The Prophet (SAW) said “Trim closely the moustache and grow the beard.” – Abu Hurairah (RA) in Muslim 501
- The Prophet (SAW)said: “Anyone who shaves has no claim to the mercy of Allah” Ibn Abbas (RA) in Tibradi
In closing- I think it’s pretty obvious that a woman’s hijab is the most visible in society by today’s standards, but TRUE hijab is genderless. Men have their obligations and so do women. For every person who claims that women keeping our heads covered is difficult, there are just as many brothers who struggle with their beards. For every woman who tries to keep her abaya long enough, there’s a brother trying to let his dishdasha down without letting it go too far. Hijab is a MUSLIM struggle, not a WOMAN struggle. And we ALL need to do better in keeping the practice of hijab (and this statement is a reminder to myself first). But the rumour that women have it harder than men needs to stop. Women may have restrictions on what we can expose, look at all these restrictions that men have on what they can USE. Ladies, I must say that we have the sweeter side of this issue.