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Clothing and adornment is highly regarded in Islam, since it is related to the principles of decency, modesty, chastity. It is said that the appearance of a man, to a large extent, tells his personality! This could be relative though.


Allah the Almighty said:


''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 Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allah, that they may remember (i.e. leave falsehood and follow truth).'' (Q 7:26).




Therefore, one is expected to cover the private parts of the body. If the clothing of piety is lost, then one's faults are exposed; and if the clothing of the body is absent, then the private parts are uncovered, giving Satan the power to deceive and lure mankind.




In the Tafseer (explanation/ commentary) of the above verse, Ibn Katheer said, ''In this verse, Allah the Almighty reminds his slaves of the favours of clothing and adornment. Basic clothing serves the purpose of covering the 'Auraa (private areas, which one should not allow any other to see – with the exception of one's spouse). ''Adornment is an added blessing over and above basic clothing; the latter is for necessity, the former is for embellishment and addition. It is from the most important of Islamic manners for one to cover his 'Auraa. Men and women have been prohibited from looking at one another's 'Auraas because of the evil that would otherwise result."




Some basic manners in dressing includes:


1. Ensuring the dress covers the entire body (and the private parts especially), and should not be tight-fitting in order not to expose the shapes of the body. 


2. The dress should not be transparent in order not to expose the features of the skin underneath.


3. The right hands and legs should be put in or worn first before the lefts.


4. While putting on the cloth or shoe the following supplication should be made:


"Bismillah, alhamdulillahi alladhi kasaani hadha al-thawba wa razaqaneehi min ghairi hawlin minni walaa quwwah".


Meaning: (In the name of Allah! Praise be to Allah Who had adorned with this cloth and provided it for me without any of my powers). And if it were a pair of shoes one should say in place of "althawba" (this cloth) he should say "Anna'la" (this shoe).


5. While undressing or removing the shoes one should say "Bismillah" and remove the left hands and legs first before the rights.


6. Men must not imitate the women in their kind of dressing and vice versa. Ibn Abbas said, "the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him cursed men who imitate women, and women who imitate men." In another narration, "The Prophet peace be upon him cursed the effeminate men and masculine women. And he, peace be upon him said, "Expel them from your homes".


7. One must not put on strange or extravagant cloths to draw attention or gain fame. The Prophet said, as narrated by Ibn Umar that, "Whoever wears a garment of shuhrah (One that is ostentatious or showy and that is worn to attract the attention of others) in this world, then Allah the Almighty will wear him a garment of humiliation on the day of Resurrection".


8. Men are also prohibited to wear gold and silk materials, except one with a valid excuse. Ali ibn Abi Talib said, "Verily, the Prophet took some silk and placed it in his right hand and he took some gold and placed it in his left hand, and then said, "Verily these two are Haram (prohibited) upon the males of my Nation". In another tradition he said, "Whoever wears gold in this world will not wear it in the Hereafter (here referring to men, of course). Women are permitted in Islam to use both gold and silk.


9. Men should not allow their garments and trousers flow below the ankle level, while women should allow theirs flow below even if it were to touch the ground. The Prophet peace be upon him is narrated to have said;


"Whatever is lower than the ankles from the lower garment is in Hellfire."


10. Cloths with pictures of the cross or that of any creature with a soul should be avoided. Aaishah may Allah be pleased with her was narrated to have procured a cushion that had pictures (os animals or human beings) on it. The Prophet then came and stood by the door to their home but did not enter into it. Aaishah saw the displeasure on the Prophet's face, not knowing the cause she said "i repent to Allah from my sins". The Prophet then said, "What is this cushion?", and she replied, "It is for you to sit on and to rest your head". The Prophet peace be upon him then said,


"Verily, the people of these pictures (i.e. those who made them) will be punished on the Day of Resurrection. It will be said to them, "Bring liufe to that which you have created". And verily, the angels do not enter a house in which there is a picture (of something that has a soul).





Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim

Sunan Abu Dawood, annsai and al-Tirmidhi

The book of manners compiled by Fu'ad ibn Abdul-Azeez Ash-Shulhoob.


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