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Inappropriate clothing whilst attending Masjid

Question

Assalamualaikum,

Dear Mufti Sahb,

I am writing this istiftaa to recieve 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 person 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 person in question has started shouting, harassing and sometimes even threatening and using abusive language.

We only have a handful of people who attend Masjid regularly, we live in a multi cultural and multi national society and many attendees who take their religious guidance from Islam qanda etc do not agree that there is any karahat in offerimg salah wearing a T-shirt, jeans or bare-headed.

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.

May Allah protect you, continue to take the effort of Ilm and deen from you and may your shadow shade the ummah for a long time to come. (Ameen)


Answer

Before going into the specific questions asked it is important to first clarify the ruling of wearing different clothing and the ruling of praying salat in those clothing, as this is the basis of the dispute.

Three items of clothing have been mentioned in your question namely; jeans, topi (hat) and t-shirt.

According to all four schools of jurisprudence, a person’s nakedness (‘awrah) must be covered. In the Hanafi school this is the area from the navel down to and including the knee for men. Hence, covering that part of the body from the sight of others is essential whether one is praying salat or not.

In addition to this, the clothing around this part of the body should not be so tight that it sticks to the body showing the body’s shape. Dressing in this manner would be impermissible. It will also be impermissible for a third person to look at the area between the naval and knee if the individual was wearing such clothing. As for performing salat in such clothes, it will be disliked though the salat will be valid. Certain types of tight jeans may fall into this category. If over the tight clothing there is another loose item of clothing this would solve the problem.

One point to bear in mind however is that this is the position of the Hanafi school of law. In some schools the ruling is more relaxed. For example, in some Shafi’i texts it mentions that the clothing must not be see through. As for being tight around the body this is not unlawful, rather it is suboptimal. Hence, based on this opinion, if an individual was wearing tight trousers whereby the trouser clings tightly to the area between the naval and knee that would be permitted.

The masjid is the house of Allah the Almighty and a place where Muslims are required to attend regularly. The management should be considerate towards those attending and not prevent or put off individuals from attending the Masjid. As there is this valid difference of opinion, it would not be permissible to stop someone from attending the masjid just because they are wearing jeans.

As for wearing a hat, it is preferred to wear one. If a person does not wear a hat the jurists have stated that this could be disliked if it was left out of laziness. However, the salat will still be valid and one will not be sinful for not wearing a hat as the head is not part of the ‘awrah.

Performing salat or giving iqamah in a t-shirt is permissible, though it is better to wear long loose garments which cover the body as this is closer to the Prophetic way.

Based on the above the answers to your questions are as follows:

1. It will not be permissible to make a rule stopping those wearing jeans from attending the salat.

2. It will not be permissible to make a rule preventing those not wearing a hat from attending the salat.

3. It will not be permissible to make a rule preventing those wearing t-shirts from attending the salat.

4. A person who does not have the complete sunnah attire can give the adhan.

5. We should encourage individuals to attend the masjid. If someone was committing a clear cut agreed upon prohibition then yes the management should step in and ensure that the sanctity of the masjid is preserved. However, stopping people from the masjid for the above mentioned reasons should be avoided.

الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (1/ 410)
وعادم ساتر) لا يصف ما تحته، ولا يضر التصاقه وتشكله ولو حريرا أو طينا يبقى إلى تمام صلاة

قوله لا يصف ما تحته) بأن لا يرى منه لون البشرة احترازا عن الرقيق ونحو الزجاج (قوله ولا يضر التصاقه) أي بالألية مثلا، وقوله وتشكله من عطف المسبب على السبب. وعبارة شرح المنية: أما لو كان غليظا لا يرى منه لون البشرة إلا أنه التصق بالعضو وتشكل بشكله فصار شكل العضو مرئيا فينبغي أن لا يمنع جواز الصلاة لحصول الستر. اهـ. قال ط: وانظر هل يحرم النظر إلى ذلك المتشكل مطلقا أو حيث وجدت الشهوة؟ . اهـ. قلت: سنتكلم على ذلك في كتاب الحظر، والذي يظهر من كلامهم هناك هو الأول

الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (6/ 366)
أقول: مفاده أن رؤية الثوب بحيث يصف حجم العضو ممنوعة ولو كثيفا لا ترى البشرة منه، قال في المغرب يقال مسست الحبلى، فوجدت حجم الصبي في بطنها وأحجم الثدي على نحر الجارية إذا نهز، وحقيقته صار له حجم أي نتو وارتفاع ومنه قوله حتى يتبين حجم عظامها اهـ وعلى هذا لا يحل النظر إلى عورة غيره فوق ثوب ملتزق بها يصف حجمها فيحمل ما مر على ما إذا لم يصف حجمها فليتأمل

الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (1/ 641)
وصلاته حاسرا) أي كاشفا (رأسه للتكاسل) ولا بأس به للتذلل، وأما للإهانة بها فكفر ولو سقطت قلنسوته فإعادتها أفضل إلا إذا احتاجت لتكوير أو عمل كثير

Answered by:
Ifta Research Fellow

Checked & Approved by:
Mufti Abdul Rahman Mangera
Mufti Zubair Patel

This answer was collected from FatwaCentre.org, which is overseen by Dr. Mufti Abdur-Rahman Mangera.