Thursday, 8 May 2014


Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Fashion is a test of the very severe kind. In fact, it is a madness and an obsession that has afflicted many. It makes a person blind, except to the chase of keeping up with the latest fashion trends, styles and designs; which are ever changing.

Have we ever stopped to think that one day, very soon, we will leave this world wrapped in a simple kafan (shroud), the pattern and style of which has remained the same and will always remain as is?

How senseless it is to make fashion the ‘be all and the end all’ of our lives, when the inescapable occasion of death calls for just one kafan, with no designer names or brand labels.

Hazrat Maulana Jalaluddeen Rumi (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) makes plain this reality : 

The world is ‘darul ghuroor’ - A world of deception
The day man is delivered to his grave,
Nothing except his shroud accompanies him

Since some people would have even competed in giving a costly kafan, Rasulullah (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: “Do not be extravagant in shrouding, for it will be quickly decayed.”[1]

Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (RA) had stated before his demise: ‘…New clothes befit the living and old clothes befit the decaying body.’  This does not mean that new material must not be used for the kafan; rather it was said to prevent any kind of “competition” and differentiation in the kafan of rich from poor.

To wear good clothes, eat fine food and live well is not Haraam (forbidden), if the earnings are Halaal (lawful) and our obligations to the poor and needy are also met.

Many Muslims do not fulfil the obligation of Zakaah[2] and Sadaqaat[3] which is binding upon them, thus denying the poor and needy what rightfully belongs to them. This is a very major sin and the punishment is very severe.

Whilst it is permissible to live well, it is not acceptable to be lavish, exceeding all bounds of Islamic guidelines, ignoring the plight and the dire circumstances of the poor and needy. Many are without employment, food and even homes – more especially in these times wherein inflation has gone through the roof, and a loaf of bread and a litre of milk are beyond the means of the poor. We should be considerate and remember that we will be questioned about our expenditure on the Day of Qiyaamah[4].

…What has to be understood is that we must not become slaves of passion and fashion, nor should our dressing be a source of pride and arrogance.

It is within acceptable limits to wear beautiful clothes, out of appreciation for the wealth bestowed upon us. A Hadeeth makes mention : “Allah loves to see the effects of His blessing on His slave.’’[5]

Another Hadeeth states:  “Allah is Beautiful and loves beauty. Pride means denying the truth and looking down on people.” [6]

Allah Ta’ala highlights this outward adornment as a Divine Blessing, but categorically states that the best adornment is the adornment of righteousness.

“O Children of Adam! We have bestowed clothing upon you to cover yourselves and as an adornment, and the clothing of righteousness, that is the best. Such are among the Signs of Allah, that they may receive admonition.”
 [Surah Al-A’raaf 7:26]

Thus, our clothing and accessories should not become the medium of us falling prey to the deadly diseases of takabbur (pride), ujub (vanity) and riyaa (show and ostentation), as is so common today.

We have been cautioned in the Hadeeth in regards to even the intention behind our dressing : “Whoever wears garments for fame, Allah will clothe him with the garment of disgrace.” [7]

It is this diversion and game of “fashion” which literally gulps and swallows Muslim money and opens the doors of wastage, extravagance, rivalry, living beyond one’s means, purchasing on interest; and being negligent of the purpose of this worldly life.

There is great ease and comfort in simple living without being shackled by the need to change with changing designs and fashion. Simplicity is a part of Imaan [8] and

 ‘The dress of Righteousness - that is the best.’
[Surah Al-A’raaf 7 : 26]

There are those who use the Ahaadeeth on neatness, Taharah[9] and so forth, as justification for modern day lavishness; whereas fashion, lavishness and extravagance are very different from neatness and good grooming.

Hazrat Khwaja Azizul Hasan Majzoob (RA) very aptly stated :

You are always concerned : ‘I must remain above all.
My fashion and beautification must excel all.’
Is this how one who is going to die, lives ?
The outward beauty of the world has deceived you.

[1] Abu Dawood
[2] Zakaah: An obligatory form of charity, due upon those who have a certain amount of
                  wealth, to give to the poor and needy. This is a pillar of Islam. (Details can be         
                  found in books of Jurisprudence)
[3] Sadaqaat : Other forms of charity.
[4] Qiyaamah : Resurrection
[5] Tirmizi
[6] Sahih Muslim
[7] Abu Dawood
[8] Abu Dawood
[9] Taharah : purity / cleanliness
From the Teachings of Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb
(Rahmatullahi ‘alayh)