Q: Many of the Sheikhs were Suits or are dressed casually. Is there anything wrong to dress like them or even condemn them?
A: One who appears to be the leader of a certain group should definitely dress in attire that is in conformity with the values and systems of that group. Hence, you will not see a Christian pastor adopting a proper Islamic garment nor would you see a Hindu adopting the dress that is commonly worn by Christian leaders and pastors. The simple reason is that each one is proud of his culture and wishes to be correctly identified by his group without any confusion and doubts about himself. Disregarding an Islamic dress and adopting the clothing that is worn by other people is a sign of suffering some type of inferiority and considering the next group to be somewhat superior than one’s own culture and religion.
In this age and time, with all the confusion that is going around and the mad obsession and craze in adopting the western culture, it is really somewhat disturbing and alarming. Hence, we would advise that let alone Muslim leaders, Ulama and mashaayikh, even the common people should endeavor to show respect to their culture and religion, rather than subtly promoting other ways that are alien to Islamic ways.
As a result of adopting foreign kuffar ways and systems that are alien to Islam, it is a tragedy that people progressed in this madness. Many then began to take of their topees. They progressed even further by shaving off their beards. They then progressed by wearing tight fitting, body revealing clothing. Then they were not just content with that; their trousers began to flow below the ankles.
Notwithstanding the above, women felt to themselves that when men can dress freely in any style and fashion that they prefer, why should we be left out. With the kuffar culture promoting gender equality they felt that there should be no reason for them being left out of the equation. Innaa Lillah wa Inna ilaihi Raaji`oon.
Is there any limit to our naivety, insensitivity and not being able to understand situations for the long term consequences. All these are indicative of the fact that we consider these kuffar systems and fashions to be somewhat superior to our systems and ways. Hence, it is common knowledge that people will pay any amount of money just to imitate the latest kuffar fashion, clothing and dressing.
May Allah Ta`ala guide us all. Aameen.
عن أم سلمة قالت كان أحب الثياب إلى رسول الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم- القميص (سنن أبي داود رقم 4027)
عن البراء قال كان رسول الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم- له شعر يبلغ شحمة أذنيه ورأيته فى حلة حمراء لم أر شيئا قط أحسن من (سنن أبي داود رقم 4074)
عن ابن عمر رضي الله تعالى عنهما قال قال رسول الله من تشبه بقوم أي من شبه نفسه بالكفار مثلا في اللباس وغيره أو بالفساق أو الفجار أو بأهل التصوف والصلحاء الأبرار فهو منهم أي في الإثم والخير (مرقاة 8/155)
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)