Monday, September 24, 2007

Following the Sunnah of dress

Category: SOUND

All are from translated oral lectures in Urdu of Mufti Taqi Usmani.

It is not lawful to give up a Sunnah for fear of being ridiculed

[paraphrased]If by following a Sunnah example it is likely that you will make Muslims turn against the Sunnah or commit an act of disbelief, then it's okay to refrain. It is not okay to stop if only you are going to be ridiculed. It is also not okay to stop if it is unbelievers who are ridiculing as they will ridicule the Sunnah anyway.[/paraphrased]

The effect of dress on character (Inside vs. Outside)

It has been narrated about Hazrat Umar (ra) that once when he came to the Prophet's mosque to deliver a Khutbah, he was wearing a very magnificent gown. After having delivered the Khutbah when he went back home, he put off that gown with the resolution that he would not wear it again, because it created in him a sense of pride and superiority. The gown in itself was something neither prohibited nor unlawful. Those who have been granted by Almighty Allah crystal-clear hearts are able to realize the slightest of vice in their inner selves. We do not at all realize in our hearts the bad effects of the sins we commit from time to time. Contrary to this, the hearts of the righteous are like spotless cloth. If a spot appears on it, it is clearly visible. The incident of Hazrat Umar (ra) demonstrates that the dress-style of man does have an impact on his conduct, character and trend of thought. One should, therefore, realize the importance of dress and obey the injunctions of the Shari'ah about it.

The notion that it is not necessary to take care of the outside as long as the inside is alright is a Satanic deception. The outside requiring amelioration consists of your dress, food, conduct and character in the society. Their soundness has a bearing upon the soundness of the inside which is the soul. Those who do not think on these lines have no real understanding of Deen. If matters had been as these ignorant persons presume, the Holy Prophet (saw) would not have issued so many injunctions about dress, etc. as he has done. In principle, he has issued his kind injunctions in matters which people are likely to go astray.

One of our saints used to give an example to illustrate this point. When a fruit gets rotten in its inside the effect of this rottenness appears on its outside in the form of ugly spots. If the fruit is not rotten in its inside, the outside remains sound and sightly. Similarly, if the outside of a man is unsound (un-Islamic, not necessarily unhealthy), it is a sign that his inside is also unsound to a certain degree. It is therefore, not correct to claim that our inside is alright, no matter what is the condition of the outside.

The narrow-mindedness of the English

People say that it is narrow-mindedness to stop them from using the dress of the disbelieving English people. Do you not know or have you forgotten the narrow-mindedness of this English community when they occupied India? They made the flowing gowns, shalwars and turbans of the Mughal rulers and kings a uniform for their menial servants, like gate-keepers, peons, butlers, and waiters. Why did they do so? They did so only to disgrace the people and to show them that they attired their low-grade servants in the dress of their former Kings.

Dr. Iqbal elaborates in a couplet: 'The secret of the power and supremacy of the West lie in their hard work in the field of art and science. Their advancement, progress and superiority all are due to their devoted research and experiment.' In the end he has said: 'Wisdom, art, and science do not depend on any particular style of dress. The eastern dress consisting of the gown and the turban too is not the cause of backwardness. It is nothing but hard work in the field of knowledge and science which is needed.'

You did not acquire from the West what would have really helped you viz. knowledge and technology, but you relied on imitating their dress, life-style, etc. In this way you disgraced yourself. The world honours and respects those who have regard and love for their own way of life. So the world shall accord no credit to you for this habit of mimicking others.

No comments: