Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Silk, Unlawful Clothing, Decoration & Jewellery



It is offensive for men to wear tight clothing that discloses the size of the parts of their body which are nakedness. This is absolutely unlawful for women.


It is unlawful for men to wear silk or use it in any way, even to line clothing, though it is permissible to use it as padding in a cloak, pillow, or mattress.

Women may wear and use silk, and it is permissible for a guardian to dress a child in it before he/she attains puberty.

It is permissible for men:

- to use fabric composed partly of silk as long as the weight of the silk is half or less of the weight of the fabric;

- to embroider with silk thread where the width of the design does not exceed four fingers though the length does not matter;

- to have a silk fringe on a garment; or a silk collar; or

- to cover a silk mattress with a handkerchief or the like and sit on it;

- It is also permissible for men to use silk when there is need to in severe heat or cold;

- to clothe their nakedness with it for Solat when there is nothing else; or

- to use it when suffering from itching or for protection from lice.

The upshot for the above when it come to the use of silk is that - when there is real need for it, one may use it. Otherwise, it is an enormity i.e. a major sin. Imam Ghazali RA has explained that its prohibition for men is attributed to its effeminacy and softness, which are unbecoming of men.


It is permissible to wear a garment affected by something impure i.e. najasa when not in Solat or in other activities requiring purity, provided one is not in a mosque. As for wearing such a garment in a mosque, one is not allowed to, since it is not permissible to carry something impure into the mosque when there is no genuine need, such as having to take one's shoes inside.


It is unlawful to wear leather taken from the carcass of an unslaughtered animal before tanning, except when there is pressing need, such as in the event of a sudden outbreak of war, and when there is nothing else or situations of the like.


It is unlawful for men to wear gold jewellery, even the teeth of a ring's setting that holds its stone. Unlike silk, there is no difference for the prohibition of gold between small and large amounts. Nor may men wear objects painted or plated with gold, though if these have become tarnished so that the gold is no longer apparent, then they are permissible.

It is permissible to repair teeth with gold.

It is unlawful for both sexes to wear a silver ring, except the Sunnah for men being to do so on the little finger, of either hand.

It is permissible for men to decorate battle weapons with silver, but not ridding gear such as saddles and the like, nor an inkwell, writing utensil case, work knife, penknife, or lamp fixture-even if in a mosque.

It is Haraam for men to have silver jewellery other than rings, such as a necklace, armband, bracelet etc. because these resemble the habits of women and it is unlawful for men to imitate women. A crown is also not permissible.

It is not permissible to use silver or gold to embellish the ceiling or walls of a house or mosque, even those of the Ka'abah, because it is wasteful, and no one has reported that the early Muslims did so, though if the amount is so slight that none could be melted off by applying fire, then it may remain. If more that that, then whatever has been placed must be removed.


It is offensive to use cloth for interior decoration in houses; meaning that if curtains and the like are used merely for decoration, it is offensive, though there is nothing wrong with using them to screen a room from view. It is unlawful to decorate walls with pictures of animate life.


It is permissible for both men and women to decorate copies of the Qur'an and to embellish writing with silver for the purpose of inculcating reverence for it. It is permissible for women to have copies of the Qur'an decorated with gold, but this is unlawful for men.


All gold jewellery is permissible for women, even on shoes and woven into fabric, provided it is not wasteful. But if a woman is wasteful, such as when she has a 720-gram anklet of gold, meaning that the weight of a piece, though there is no limit to the number of average weight pieces exceeds the customary, then it is unlawful; because gold is only permitted to women for the sake of beauty, and when gold exceeds what is normal it is repulsive and devoid of beauty.

It must be noted that zakat must be paid on such wasteful jewellery, as opposed to jewellery that is not wasteful, on which no zakat is due.

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