Is it a requirement for men to cover their head while praying?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by


Is it require for men to cover their head while praying? In USA most of the people dont wear kufi, also i have heard somewhere that sometimes Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) used to use his turban as used as sutra and prayed bare head.

Another thing someone told me that also in Mecca, when men wear ehram they keeps their head uncover. and they pray and make tawaf like that.

So is it permissible to pray bare head? I went to Gujarat India few months and i prayed bare head. because of my that act people made a huge issue and told me that it is haram to pray salah without wearing kufi in hanafi madhab.

Can you please give me some referance for this issue.


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

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

First and foremost, it is important to understand that as a muqallid of the Hanafī madh`hab, it is incumbent on you to follow the rulings set out according to the principles set forth by Imām Abū Hanīfah (rahimahullāh) and have trust in him as a great and highly respected scholar from the 1st century of Islam who lived amongst the Sahābah (radiyallāhu `anhum) and the Tābi`ūn (rahimahumullāh).

According to the Hanafī madh`hab it is makrūh (reprehensible) to pray salāh without covering one’s head.[1] This has explicitly been mentioned by the great faqīh `Allāmah al-Haskafī in his Al-Durr al-Mukhtār.[2]

Furthermore, it is a sunnah of the Messenger of Allāh r and the way of our pious predecessors to dawn the headgear. For the sake of clarity, we shall provide a few narrations below:

(1) It is narrated by Tabarānī in his Al-Mu`jam al-Kabīr:

عن ابن عمر، قال: كان رسولُ الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يَلْبَسُ قَلَنْسُوَةً بيضاءَ. 

Ibn `Umar t said: The Messenger of Allāh r would wear a white colored headgear (or topi).[3]

(2) It is narrated by Abū ‘l-Shaykh al-Asbahānī in his Akhlāq al-Nabi r:

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ: رَأَيْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَعَلَيْهِ قَلَنْسُوَةٌ بَيْضَاءُ شَامِيَّةٌ

Abū Hurayrah t narrates: I saw the Messenger of Allāh r with a white Shāmī (Syrian) headgear.[4]

(3) It is narrated by Imām al-Tirmidhī in his Jāmi`:

عَنِ ابْنِ مَسْعُودٍ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: كَانَ عَلَى مُوسَى يَوْمَ كَلَّمَهُ رَبُّهُ كِسَاءُ صُوفٍ، وَجُبَّةُ صُوفٍ، وَكُمَّةُ صُوفٍ، وَسَرَاوِيلُ صُوفٍ، وَكَانَتْ نَعْلاَهُ مِنْ جِلْدِ حِمَارٍ مَيِّتٍ.

`Abdullāh ibn Mas`ūd t narrates that the Messenger of Allāh r said: “On the day His Lord spoke to him, Musa was wearing a kisā’ (cloth for covering the body) made of wool, a jubbah made of wool, a kummah (small headgear[5]) made of wool, and an undergarment made of wool, and his sandals were made of the skin of a dead donkey.”[6]

(4) It is also narrated by Imām al-Tirmidhī in his Jāmi`:

فَضَالَةَ بْنَ عُبَيْدٍ، يَقُولُ: سَمِعْتُ عُمَرَ بْنَ الخَطَّابِ يَقُولُ: سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَقُولُ: الشُّهَدَاءُ أَرْبَعَةٌ: رَجُلٌ مُؤْمِنٌ جَيِّدُ الإِيمَانِ، لَقِيَ العَدُوَّ، فَصَدَقَ اللَّهَ حَتَّى قُتِلَ، فَذَلِكَ الَّذِي يَرْفَعُ النَّاسُ إِلَيْهِ أَعْيُنَهُمْ يَوْمَ القِيَامَةِ هَكَذَا وَرَفَعَ رَأْسَهُ حَتَّى وَقَعَتْ قَلَنْسُوَتُهُ، قَالَ: فَمَا أَدْرِي أَقَلَنْسُوَةَ عُمَرَ أَرَادَ أَمْ قَلَنْسُوَةَ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ؟ Fadālah bin `Ubaid says that I heard `Umar bin al-Khattāb t saying: I heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ saying: ‘The martyrs are four: A believing man whose faith is good, he meets the enemy and proves faithful to Allah until he is martyred. That is the one to whom the people will raise up their eyes like this on the Day of Judgement’ and he raised his head until his headgear fell – [he said:] I do not know if it was ‘Umar’s headgear or the headgear of the Prophet ﷺ that fell…[7]

In regards to the narration mentioning the Messenger of Allāh r using his headgear as a sutrah, it is narrated by Imam al-Suyūtī in his Al-Jāmi` al-Saghīr. The last portion of the hadīth is narrated as follows:

وَكَانَ رُبَّمَا نَزعَ قَلَنْسُوَتَهُ فَجَعَلَهَا سُتْرَةً بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ وَهُوَ يُصَلِّي

…And he (the Messenger of Allāh r) would occasionally take off his headgear and place it in front of him as a sutrah while he would offer his salāh.[8]

In regards to this hadīth, `Allāmah Kawtharī mentions in his Maqālāt:

وأما ما يروي من أنه عليه السلام كان ربا نزع قلنسوته فجعلها سترة بين يديه وهو يصلي، فضعيف كما في شرح الشمائل وغيره فلا يعرج عليه. وليس له ذكر في دواوين الحديث المعتبرة فلا يمكن أن يناهض العمل المتوارث والسنة المتوارثة في تغطية الرأس.

As far as what has been narrated that he (the Messenger of Allāh r) would occasionally take off his headgear and place it in front of him as a sutrah while he would offer his salāh, it is a weak narration as mentioned in Sharh al-Shamāil and other books, so one should not rely on it. Furthermore, there is no mention of this in the reliable collections of ahādīth, so it is not possible that such a narration can contest with a deed that has been carried on for ages and (contest with) the sunnah mutawārithah (i.e. sunnah that has been carried down consistently) regarding the covering of the head.[9]

Even if the narration were to hold some strength, `Allāmah Munāwī (rahimahullāh) mentions the following in his Fayd al-Qadīr:

الظاهر أنه كان يفعل ذلك عند عدم تيسر ما يستتر به أو بيانا للجواز

It is apparent that he (the Messenger of Allāh r) used to do this when he would not have something available to cover his head or to simply show that it is permissible to do so.[10]

Simply put, either we classify this narration is very weak or we say that it was restricted to a specific situation.

As far as not covering the head in Hajj; Hajj is a specific act of worship performed at a specific place in a specific time. It is principally incorrect to deduce a ruling based on a specific situation[11] as it is not permissible for one to cover one’s head during Hajj. If we were to use such a basis to deduce a ruling, then we should also take into account and prohibit all the other things other than leaving the head bare that are permissible outside of Hajj, such as wearing stitched clothing, cutting one’s nails, applying fragrance, etc.[12] As you can see, it is baseless to make such a claim, especially when one does not take into account all the principles of fiqh and ahādīth that go hand-in-hand with such rulings.

May Allāh Ta`ālā grant us all the tawfīq to follow in the footsteps of His beloved Messenger r.

For more information regarding the wearing of a topī/kūfī/headgear, please refer to the following book:

Crown of a Believer by Mufti Husain Kadodia

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Bilal Mohammad

Student Darul Iftaa
New Jersey, USA

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

[1] Fatāwā Farīdīyyah, v. 2 p. 313, Dārul `Uloom Siddīqiyyah;

Kitābul Fatāwā, v. 2 p. 223, Zam Zam Publishers;

Fatāwā Dārul `Uloom Zakariyyā, v. 2 p. 146, Zam Zam Publishers

[2] [قال الحصكفي] (وَ) كُرِهَ… (وَصَلَاتُهُ حَاسِرًا) أَيْ كَاشِفًا (رَأْسَهُ لِلتَّكَاسُلِ) وَلَا بَأْسَ بِهِ لِلتَّذَلُّلِ، وَأَمَّا لِلْإِهَانَةِ بِهَا فَكُفْرٌ وَلَوْ سَقَطَتْ قَلَنْسُوَتُهُ فَإِعَادَتُهَا أَفْضَلُ إلَّا إذَا احْتَاجَتْ لِتَكْوِيرٍ أَوْ عَمَلٍ كَثِيرٍ

[قال ابن عابدين] (قَوْلُهُ لِلتَّكَاسُلِ) أَيْ لِأَجْلِ الْكَسَلِ، بِأَنْ اسْتَثْقَلَ تَغْطِيَتَهُ وَلَمْ يَرَهَا أَمْرًا مُهِمًّا فِي الصَّلَاةِ فَتَرَكَهَا لِذَلِكَ

(رد المحتار علي الدر المختار، ج ١، ص ٦٤١، ايج ايم سعيد كمبني)


وَتُكْرَهُ الصَّلَاةُ حَاسِرًا رَأْسَهُ إذَا كان يَجِدُ الْعِمَامَةَ وقد فَعَلَ ذلك تَكَاسُلًا أو تَهَاوُنًا بِالصَّلَاةِ

(الفتاوي الهندية، ج ١، ص ١٠٦، مكتبة رشيدية)

[3] Al-Mu`jam al-Kabīr, 13920

[4] Akhlāq al-Nabī r, 313, Chapter regarding the mentioning of the headgear of the Messenger of Allāh r

[5] This definition has been mentioned by Imām al-Tirmidhī himself after narrating this hadīth.

[6] Tirmidhī, 1735, Chapter regarding the wearing of woolen clothes

[7] Tirmidhī, 1644, Chapter on the virtues of martyrs in the eyes of Allāh Ta`ālā

[8] Al-Jāmi` al-Saghīr with Fayd al-Qadīr, 10090

[9] Maqālāt al-Kawtharī, p. 226, Al-Maktabah al-Azhariyyah

[10] Fayd al-Qadīr, 10090

[11] Maqālāt al-Kawtharī, p. 227, Al-Maktabah al-Azhariyyah

[12] (الْوَاجِبُ دَمٌ عَلَى مُحْرِمٍ بَالِغٍ) فَلَا شَيْءَ عَلَى الصَّبِيِّ خِلَافًا لِلشَّافِعِيِّ (وَلَوْ نَاسِيًا) أَوْ جَاهِلًا أَوْ مُكْرَهًا، فَيَجِبُ عَلَى نَائِمٍ غَطَّى رَأْسَهُ (إنْ طَيَّبَ عُضْوًا) كَامِلًا وَلَوْ فَمَه…(أَوْ لَبِسَ مَخِيطًا) لُبْسًا مُعْتَادًا، وَلَوْ اتَّزَرَهُ أَوْ وَضَعَهُ عَلَى كَتِفَيْهِ لَا شَيْءَ عَلَيْهِ (أَوْ سَتَرَ رَأْسَهُ) بِمُعْتَادٍ إمَّا بِحَمْلِ إجَّانَةٍ أَوْ عِدْلٍ فَلَا شَيْءَ عَلَيْهِ (يَوْمًا كَامِلًا)… (أَوْ قَصَّ أَظْفَارَ يَدَيْهِ أَوْ رِجْلَيْهِ) أَوْ الْكُلَّ (فِي مَجْلِسٍ وَاحِدٍ)

(الدر المختار مع رد المحتار، ج ٢، ص ٥٤٣-٥٤٩، ايج ايم سعيد كمبني)