In Tafseer Ma-aariful Quršaan, Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Shafi (Rahmatullahi Alay), the then Grand Mufti of Pakistan, explains in the exposition of verse 31 of Surah Ašraaf in the Most Holy and Glorious Quršan:
"O the Sons of Adam! Adopt your beauty at the time of every Salaat."
From this ayat it is obvious that just as the compulsion of concealing the satr is based on the command in this verse, so too is the significance and merit of donning good and clean garments according to onešs means and ability. It will therefore be Makrooh for a person to perform Salaat bare-headed, bare shoulders and exposed elbows. Islamic headgear is an integral part of the Sunnah, so much so that to abandon this Sunnah is a sign of Imaani disaster. Allow me therefore to discuss one particular aspect of Islamic dressing and that, my dear brothers and sisters, is the Muslim headgear.
The Shari'ah accords great prominence to a Muslimšs way of dress. Detailed rules enacted by the great rulers of Islam among the Sahaba Ridwanullahi Ta'ala Ajmašeen, the Taabišeen and their followers illustrate the emphasis which Islam lays on the dress of a Muhšmin. In all ages of Islam, such emulation has been regarded as among the major (Kabaašir) sins. "Tashabbuh bil kufaar" (emulating the kuffaar) is an evil with far reaching effects on the heart of a Muslim. Hence, our Beloved Nabee Muhammad Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam said:
"Whoever imitates a people becomes of them."
In these times of intense kufr and dhalaal, when many Muslims have sacrificed their intelligence to become slaves of western culture, there is a great desire among modernists to abandon the wearing of Islamic headgear in the performance of Salaat. There can be no other meaning for a Muslim who detests or regards as insignificant and unimportant the donning of Islamic headgear which we commonly refer to as a "Kufiya", "Chifiyah" or "Topee." While abandonment of any Sunnah invites the Wrath and Curse of Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Watašala, adoption of the Sunnah brings in its wake great rewards and creates vitality and Noor in the heart of a Muhšmin. In this regard, our Beloved Nabee Muhammad Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam said:
"Whoever protects my Sunnah, Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Watašala honours him/her with four qualities: He/she becomes endeared to pious people; evil people fear him/her; his/her Rizq is increased and he/she is blessed with steadfastness in Din."
In Al-lštisaam, Imaam Zuhri Rahmatullahi Alay narrates that Imaam Maalik Rahmatullahi Alay said:
"The Sunnah of our Beloved Nabee Muhammad Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam is like a ship. He who embarks on it is saved while he who remains behind will drown."
Thus, those who have adopted the process of abandoning the Sunnah will soon find themselves drowning in the raging ocean of immorality and baatil. Diversion from the Din and abandonment of the Sunnah is an incremental process. It commences with the abandonment of the Aadaab, progressing to the abandonment of the Mustahab acts, then deteriorating to the abandonment of Sunnatul Mušakkadah, then Waajib acts and finally leads to the neglect of acts that are Fard. Onešs very Imaan is exposed to the gravest dangers by the abandonment of Sunnah acts. Such abandonment leads to the total disintegration of Taqwa and Imaan. It is indeed very sad to note that Muslims today have sacrificed their intelligence to become slaves of western culture because there is a great desire among modernists to abandon the wearing of Islamic headgear. Now in this belated century, modernists are at pains to discard this compulsory dress-style of Islam.
Fallacious arguments are fabricated to deceive innocent and unwary people into accepting that the "Topee" or Islamic headgear has no relevance in the Shariah. If these modernists contend that the "Topee" or Islamic headgear has no Islamic relevance, let them prove their case with Islamic facts and Shari'ah proofs. By means of fanciful interpretation those who lay claim to Imaan seek to assert their personal whims and opinions as being the authoritative and intended meanings in the Ahadith and Sunnah. Such people are are to be found in profusion in these days.
By means of their explanations and baseless suppositions, they sow strife and confusion among the people since their opinions of fancy are rejected by those whose duty it is to safeguard Islam. They thus set the scene for confrontation. It should be understood that the ways and styles of Islam did not originate from dubious sources nor were its originators non-entities as are the votaries of western styles.
Islamic dress-styles were inherited by the Ummah from generation to generation. Each successive generation obtained its Islamic dress-style from its preceding generation. In this way the chain links up with the Sahaba Ridwanullahi Ta'ala Alayhim Ajmašeen who disseminated nothing other than the Sunnah of our Beloved Nabee Muhammad Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam. The Most Holy and Glorious Qurašn commands Muslims to adopt the Sunnah of our Beloved Nabee Muhammad Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam and to refrain from every act which our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam has forbidden. Almighty Allah Jallah Wa'ala has made this very clear to us in with words of wisdom verse 7 of Surah Al-Hashr:
"Whatever the Rasool has given to you, take hold of it and whatever he has forbidden you, refrain therefrom and fear Allah: for Allah is strict in punishment."
The assertion that many people presently in the Middle East perform Salaat without a "Topee" is not Shari'ah evidence for the fallacy that the "Topee" has no Islamic status. What is presently being perpetrated in Muslim countries cannot be cited as Islamic evidence for a claim. Only an ignoramus who suffers from colossal ignorance will advance such puerile and ludicrous ?proofš for his claim. Spelling out the calamity of confrontation with our Beloved Nabee Muhammad Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam the Holy Qurašn is crystal clear for Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Watašala reminds us of this in verse 23 of Surah Al-Jinn:
"Unless I deliver the messages that I receive from Allah:-
For any that disobey Allah and His Messenger, -
for them is Jahannum: they shall dwell therein for ever."
It is significant and noteworthy that in this verse, the Most Glorious and Holy Qurašn describes ?confrontation with our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam" as being a path other than the path of the Mušmineen. Thus, any practice which the Mušmineen have inherited from the ?Salf-e-Saaliheenš is in fact the Sunnah of our Beloved Nabee Muhammad Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam. An item of this practice is the Islamic headgear. In the satanic conspiracy to wean Muslims away from the Sunnah and Islam itself, the liberal influences of the Kuffar are adopted in degrees. When the weight of Islamic practice of the past fourteen hundred years upholds Islamic headgear in the performance of Salaat as an integral and incumbent part of a Muslimšs dress, then by what stretch of intelligent reasoning can any Muslim decry and vilify such head-dress? The "Topee" is the head-dress which distinguishes a Muslim from a non-Muslim. The importance of this headgear is amply illustrated by the following command of our Beloved Nabee Muhammad Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam when he said:
"The difference between us and the mushrikeen is that we wear a turban on top of our Topees."
Even the Mushrikeen were in the habit of wearing turbans. Our Beloved Nabee Muhammad Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam detested resemblance with them. Emulating non-Muslims is forbidden in Islam, hence Rasulallah Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam ordered that Muslims wear a "Topee" under their turbans even though the "Topeešs" are totally concealed and not visible under the turbans. Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Watašala has promised His Muhabbat and His Forgiveness to those who who follow the Sunnah of His Beloved Nabee Muhammad Ibn Abdullah Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam in verse 31 of Surah
"Say: "If you do love Allah, follow me:
Allah will love you and forgive you your sins:
For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."
Our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam has given us the way of dress which includes the Islamic headgear. We are bound by the Quršaanic command to adopt it and uphold it because we are forbidden to emulate the kuffaar. Every kuffar emulation necessitates abandonment of a Sunnah. Thus, by adopting the kaafir style of entering the Masjid bare-headed, the Sunnah style of Islamic headgear is abandoned. Imaan, my dear brothers and sisters
- is a most valuable treasure in possession of a Muhšmin. There is no greater blessing of Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Watašala upon humanity than the bestowal of Imaan. Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Watašala has dispatched mankind on this "Doonya" with the priceless treasure of Imaan. This transitory existence which we have to pass here on earth is the abode of transition.
The wealth of Imaan which we brought along with us undergoes changes here in this life. The change and transition is either in the direction of ?Roohaniš (spiritual) progress or in the direction of retrogression and spiritual disaster. Imaan will either be developed or destroyed here in this transitional existence. Development of Imaan is effected by having total faith in every iota and aspect of Islamic belief and practice. The Sunnah of our Beloved Nabee Muhammad Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam is therefore, not an entity to trifle with. The Sunnah is not a vague concept which can be dissected, mutilated and offered in a new garb cut by fanciful interpretations of the modernists ?commentatorsš of the Most Holy Quršan and Hadith.
As Muslims, we should always remember that the actual purpose of our stay on this "Doonya" is to build our Aghirah. This development is not possible without Imaan, and Imaan without total acceptance of all beliefs as expounded by our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam and the Sahaba Ridwanullahi Ajmašeen, can never remain intact. It is indeed with deep regret that we find Muslims today who will go so far as to reduce the Sunnah of our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam to a figment of personal opinion. By means of their devious explanations and baseless suppositions they sow strife and confusion among the people since their opinions of fancy are bound to be rejected by those whose foremost duty it is to safeguard Islam. Success requires submission to Almighty Allah Azza Wajjal and His Beloved Rahmathul Liel Ala'meen. It means that the Muh'min pledges allegiance to Rabbul Ala'meen and to His Beloved Nabee Muhammad Ibn Abdullah Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam. Therefore Almighty Allah, the Exalted, tells us very clearly in verse 36 of Surah Al-Ahzab:
"It is not for any believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter, to have the choice in the affair. Whosoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has gone astray into manifest error."
The meaning of this noble verse is that no personal, communal or economic factor should interfere with the testimony. We must never put our own wisdom in competition with Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala's wisdom. Rabbul Ala'meen's decree is often known to us by the logic of facts. As Muslims we must accept it loyally, and do our very best to help in our own way to carry it out. We must make our will consonant to Almighty Allah's Will.
For Allah knows best.
Baarak Allaahu Feekum wa sal-Allaahu wa-sallam 'alaa
Nabiyyinaa Muhammad Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam.
Was Salamualaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuhu