Answered by: Alimah Sofia Mirza
Dear Mufti Sahb,
I am writing this istiftaa to receive clarification and advice on a matter which has been the cause of much turmoil in our Masjid and in our community.
For the last several years, an elderly Haji Sahb in our Masjid has been insisting that all attendees must wear a hat, long sleeves and trousers other than jeans.
On many occasions when an attendee (regardless of whether he is local or a visitor) has worn clothes contrary to the above, the Haji sahib in question has started shouting, harassing and sometimes even threatening and using abusive language.
When he is challenged about this behaviour, he justifies his actions by claiming he is doing the work that the management committee should in fact be doing. He regards this as his “Jihad”.
We (Imam and Management committee) regularly advise the congregants about the virtues of wearing sunnah attire but we feel it is not practical or advisable to enforce this attire on people who choose not to wear it.
We only have a handful of people who attend Masjid regularly, we live in a multicultural and multinational society and many attendees who take their religious guidance from Islam do not agree that there are any karahat in offering salah wearing a T-shirt, jeans or bare-headed.
This matter came to a head a few days ago when I was away on holiday and a Doctor who attends wearing a T.Shirt was threateningly prevented from giving the Iqamah.
In light of the above, I would like to ask you the following questions.
a) Is it allowed for a U.K Masjid to make a rule that people who are wearing Jeans cannot attend salaah?
b) Is it allowed for a U.K Masjid to make a rule that people who are not wearing a topi cannot join prayer in Masjid?
c) Is it allowed for a Masjid in the U.K to make a rule that a person wearing a T-shirt cannot attend salah?
d) Can a person who does not have this correct sunnah attire give Iqamah in the Masjid?
e) what is your opinion about a brother using this as justification to harass and loudly embarrass attendees to the Masjid?
I thank you in advance for your help and assistance in this matter.
Bearing in mind the sensitivity of this issue, a quick response would be highly appreciated.
Jazakallah Mufti Sahb.
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Islam does not encourage any type of force or violent behaviour especially when it comes to matters of implementing religion. It has been mentioned in the verse “there is no compulsion in Deen”, when the Prophet invited people towards Islam he did not force anyone to do something a certain way but encouraged them with wisdom and spoke to each person according to his status and level of understanding, the Sunnah attire is something which should be implemented but if someone does not do so we cannot force them but encourage them, by behaving in such an un- Islamic way will push people away from going to the mosque and give a negative impression of Deen by which greater harm will affect the society as they will prevent praying in the mosque. The hadith of the Prophet also asserts “The religion (of Islam) is easy, and whoever makes the religion a rigour, it will overpower him. So, follow a middle course (in worship); if you can’t do this, do something near to it and give glad tidings and seek help (of Allah) at morn and at dusk and some part of the night”.
Considering these evidences a mosque cannot make a specific rule enforcing the attire or prevent someone from entering the mosque or praying unless someone wears inappropriate clothing or revealing they can be guided in a gentle manner. If someone does not have sunnah attire they can give Iqamah there is no such restriction and there is no justification for violent words or behaviour as there is no place for such behaviour in Islam. This specific issue can also be raised to the Ulama of that area to perhaps speak with the Imam.
Only Allah knows best
Written by Alimah Sofia Mirza
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham
لاَ إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ قَد تَّبَيَّنَ الرُّشْدُ مِنَ الْغَيِّ
 Riyaadus Saliheen, Darul Ishat, 145,
عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: “ إن الدين يسر، ولن يشاد الدين إلا غلبه، فسددوا وقاربوا وأبشروا، واستعينوا بالغدوة والروحة وشيء من الدلجة” ((رواه البخاري)).