Assalamualaikum SS Dato’ Seri Mufti. I want to know what is the ruling of wearing expensive clothes? Thank you.
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the many countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
We will start with the statement of Dr Yusuf al-Qaradhawi who said: If the Arab society was once uncivilized and neglect their personal hygiene, through guidance and teachings of the Prophet PBUH, they are changed into a nation who loves to adorn themselves in moderation and are concern about their personal hygiene. (See al-Halal wa al-Haram fi al-Islam, pg. 144)
Regarding the above question, it is permissible to wear expensive clothing if it is within their means. Hammad bin Abi Hanifah once said that Abu Hanifah likes to wear expensive and beautiful clothing to showcase the blessings of Allah SWT on him and honouring the knowledge he has. (See Istilah-istilah Fiqah dan Usul Empat Mazhab, pg. 17)
This is in accordance with a hadith of the Prophet PBUH where the Prophet PBUH advised his rich companion saying:
فَإِذَا آتَاكَ اللَّهُ مَالاً فَلْيُرَ أَثَرُ نِعْمَةِ اللهِ عَلَيْكَ ، وَكَرَامَتِه
“When Allah gives you property, let the mark of Allah's favour and honour to you be seen.”
Sunan Abu Daud (4063)
As for being untidy and unkempt, it is bad manners and unacceptable in Islam. A person should tidy himself and take care of his personal hygiene, maintaining his character.
From Jabir bin Abdillah RA, he said:
أَتَانَا رَسُولُ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَرَأَى رَجُلاً شَعِثًا قَدْ تَفَرَّقَ شَعْرُهُ فَقَالَ : أَمَا كَانَ يَجِدُ هَذَا مَا يُسَكِّنُ بِهِ شَعْرَهُ ، وَرَأَى رَجُلاً آخَرَ وَعَلْيِهِ ثِيَابٌ وَسِخَةٌ ، فَقَالَ أَمَا كَانَ هَذَا يَجِدُ مَاءً يَغْسِلُ بِهِ ثَوْبَهُ
“The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) paid visit to us, and saw a dishevelled man whose hair was disordered. He said: Could this man not find something to make his hair lie down? He saw another man wearing dirty clothes and said: Could this man not find something to wash his garments with.”
Sunan Abu Daud (4062)
The Messenger of Allah PBUH, was in the mosque when a man came in with dishevelled hair and beard. The Messenger of Allah PBUH motioned with his hand that he should be sent out to groom his hair and beard. The man did so and then return, the Messenger of Allah PBUH said,
أَلَيْسَ هَذَا خَيْراً مِنْ أَنْ يَأْتِيَ أَحَدُكُمْ ثَائِرَ الرَّأْسِ، كَأَنَّهُ شَيْطَانٌ
"Isn't this better than that one of you should come with his head dishevelled, as if he were a shaytan?"
Narrated by Imam Malik in al-Muwatta’ (3494) and al-Baihaqi in Syu’ab al-Iman (6043)
However, in our opinion it is permissible to wear expensive clothing when one understands and follows the following guidelines:
- It is not prohibited, for example, silk for men is prohibited, thus should not be worn by men. The Prophet PBUH said:
لَا تَلْبَسُوا الْحَرِيرَ وَلَا الدِّيبَاجَ
“Do not wear clothes of silk or Dibaj,”
Sahih al-Bukhari (5426) and Sahih Muslim (5521)
- It is not excessive that it will be wasteful. This is in accordance with:
وَلَا تُبَذِّرْ تَبْذِيرًا ﴿٢٦﴾ إِنَّ الْمُبَذِّرِينَ كَانُوا إِخْوَانَ الشَّيَاطِينِ ۖ وَكَانَ الشَّيْطَانُ لِرَبِّهِ كَفُورًا
“And do not spend wastefully. Indeed, the wasteful are brothers of the devils, and ever has Satan been to his Lord ungrateful.”
Surah al-Isra’ (26-27)
- It is not such clothing that could lead to one being arrogant and vain. From Umar R.Anhuma, the Prophet PBUH said:
مَنْ لَبِسَ ثَوْبَ شُهْرَةٍ فِي الدُّنْيَا أَلْبَسَهُ اللَّهُ ثَوْبَ مَذَلَّةٍ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ
“Whoever wears a garment of pride and vanity in this world, Allah will clothe him in a garment of humiliation on the Day of Resurrection, then set it ablaze.”
Musnad Ahmad (5664), Sunan Abu Daud (4029), Suman al-Nasaie (9487) and Sunan Ibn Majah (3607)
- It is not something that resembles the clothing worn for other religious ceremonies. This is in accordance with a narration from Umar RA, where he said:
رَأَى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- عَلَىَّ ثَوْبَيْنِ مُعَصْفَرَيْنِ فَقَالَ : إِنَّ هَذِهِ مِنْ ثِيَابِ الْكُفَّارِ فَلاَ تَلْبَسْهَا
“The Prophet PBUH once saw me wearing two clothing that are dyed (resembles the clothing of the disbelievers), then the Prophet PBUH said: Indeed, clothing such as these resembles the disbelievers, you should not wear them.”
In our opinion, fiqh aulawiyat should also be considered that if it is in times when there are a lot of people who are in need, it is prioritized to avoid wearing such clothing.
May Allah SWT bless us with knowledge and understanding. Amin.