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The Muslim's Perspective of Worldly Life (Part 3)

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

(Speech was delivered by Imam Mohamad Baianonie at the Islamic Center of Raleigh, N .C., On August 26, 1988)

Last week, the Imam talked about the life of the world and its adornments, and pointed out that there is a major difference between the Muslim and the non-Muslim. That the non-Muslim has no restraints with regard to what is lawful and unlawful. But, with respect to the Muslim, Allah (S.W.T.) has set lawful limits, which can not be transcended. The Imam also talked about money as an issue of this life, and regarding the limits and regulations which control it.

Today, the Imam has mentioned another concern of this life, which regards adornment, and has spoken about the limits that Allah (S.W.T.) has established, and, in which the prophet (S.A.W.) has demonstrated to us, so that we would not transgress. Allah (S.W.T.) warned us when he said in surat Al-Baqarah, (verse 229), what can be translated as, "These are the limits (imposed by) Allah. Transgress them not. For whoever transgresses Allah’s limits: such are wrongdoers."

Also Allah (S.W.T.) said in surat An-Nesa’, (verse 13 & 14), what can be translated as, "Those are the limits (imposed by) Allah. Whoever obeys Allah and His messenger, He will make him enter gardens underneath which rivers flow, where such will dwell forever. That will be the great success. And whoever disobeys Allah and His messenger and transgress His limits, He will make him enter Fire, where such will dwell for ever; his will be a shameful doom."

It is part of human nature to desire ornaments (or that which one adorns oneself with). The Adornment of things is something that is done by the Muslim, as well as the non-Muslim. However, the non-Muslim does so with no restraints. On the other hand, the Muslim does it in accordance with the regulations and restraints prescribed in Islam.

Islam does not make it lawful for the Muslim to be a slave to the act of adorning oneself. Men cannot transgress being masculine nor can women transgress being feminine.

The Muslim has to be distinguished in his manner of adornment from that of the non-Muslim. This has been expounded upon as follow:

  • It is forbidden for Muslim men to wear natural silk and gold. The wearing of a ring made of gold is forbidden for men, However, it is lawful for women. The prophet illustrated this to us through many ahadith, as in the one reported by Imam Abu-Dawood and Annesa'i, from Ali said: "One time I saw the prophet (S.A.W.) taking silk in his right hand and gold in his left and said: "These two are forbidden to the males of my ummah (or nation)".

  • It is forbidden for the Muslim to make his clothing so long that he drags it on the ground with Conceit. This has been mentioned in some ahadith. One was reported by Imam Bukhari and Muslim and others that the prophet (S.A.W.) said: "Whoever drags his clothes with conceit, Allah will not look to him on the Day of Resurrection". Then Abu Bakr Said: "My wrapper is dragging down but I’m taking care of it". The prophet said: "You are not one of those who do it with conceit."

  • It is forbidden for men to imitate women. Conversely, it is forbidden for women to imitate men. Imam Bukhari reported "that the prophet cursed the men who imitate woman, and the women who imitate men". Imam Abu-Dawood reported that "the prophet cursed the man who puts on the clothes of a woman, and the woman who puts on the clothes of a man."

  • It is forbidden for the Muslim to imitate the infidels (disbelievers) in something special for them as reported by Imam Muslim, Abu-Dawood, and An-Nesa'i, from Ibn Umar-Ibn- Al-Ass, that he said: the prophet saw me wearing two garments of safflower and asked: "Did your mother order you to do this? I said, can I wash them prophet of Allah?" The prophet said: "No, but burn them." And in another Narration "these are the infidel’s clothes, do not wear them."

  • In Islam, it is preferable that men put on fragrance. However, it is not permissible for women to put on perfume and go out in the streets (in public). The prophet (S.A.W.) said: as was reported by Ashab-Al-sunnan (group of ahadith collectors) that: "if a women puts on perfume and passes by people who are seated, she will be so and so, He meant that she would be an adulteress. Not in the literal sense.

  • Being presentable with good appearance, and cleanliness is preferred in Islam. That was the manner of the prophet (S.A.W.) and his companions. Imam Abu-Dawood reported that the prophet said to some of his companions who had just come from a journey, "You are coming among your companions, fix your saddle and clothes so your appearance is beautified in the eyes of the people. Allah likes neither Enormity or Abomination."

  • Islam forbids the installment of statues. It is also unlawful to have pictures of living things, which breathe, like humans and animals. Six narrators of ahadith said that Aisha bought a cushion with pictures. When the prophet (S.A.W.) saw it, he stood by the door and did not come in. Aisha saw the hatred on the face of the prophet. She said: "I repent to Allah and his prophet. What wrong have I done? The prophet said: "What is this cushion?" She replied: "I bought it for you to sit on and be relaxed." The prophet said: "The maker of pictures like that will be punished on the Day of Resurrection and they will be asked to give life to whomever they created." Then he said: " The Angels do not enter a house with pictures."
    In another narration, Aisha put a curtain with pictures by her door. When the prophet came, she knew the hatred on his face. He pulled it away until it was cut. Aisha said: "I made two pillows of it and stuffed them with fiber and the prophet did not mind".

  • Islam also forbids eating and drinking from vessels of silver and Gold. Imam Bukhari, Muslim, and Malik reported that the prophet said: "Whoever eats and drinks from a vessel of silver will be dragged on his stomach in the hell-fire." Six narrators of ahadith said according to Hathaifa, said: I heard the prophet (S.A.W.) saying "Do not wear silk, do not drink from vessels of silver and gold, and do not eat from their dishes. They belong to the infidels in the life of the world, and to us in the hereafter."

Upon presenting the forgoing eight points, we can see that there are regulations and limitations in Islam, related to adornment in the life of this world. Therefore, every Muslim must control the association to these things, in accordance with the limits in Islam, so that we are not one of those who transgress the bounds of Allah and his prophet.

Those, who Allah warned, in the Qur’an, about the mighty punishment on the Day of Resurrection, who are described as oppressors and wrong doers.

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