The ruling concerning praying in a red garment | The official website of Sheikh Muhammad Ali FERKUS
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Saturday 2 Safar 1442 H - September 19, 2020 G



Fatwa: 2

Category: fatwas about prayer

The ruling concerning praying in a red garment

The question:

What is the ruling concerning praying in a red garment?

The answer:

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.

Concerning your question about wearing a red garment during a prayer, this question depends first on the ruling regarding wearing a red garment. The Maliki and Shafi`i schools and some scholars consider it absolutely permissible to wear a red garment, in accordance with the hadith of Al-Barâ' Ibn `Âzib who said: “The Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم was of moderate height, having broad shoulders, and (long) hair reaching his earlobes. Once I saw him, wearing a red cloak, and I had never seen anyone more handsome than him(1). And according to the hadith of Abu Juhayfa in Sahih Al-Bukhâri and others, he said that “He saw the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم coming out tucking up his red cloak and led the people in a prayer of two Rak`as(2). In Sunan Abu Dâwûd, the hadith of `Âmir Al-Muzani with a chain of narrators upon which there is difference (among scholars of hadith) he said: “I saw the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم at Mina giving sermon on a mule and wearing a red garment(3).

This been said, there are arguments which forbid to wear a red garment. They only indicate, if they are correct, that it is detestable but not forbidden, so what to say that they are not valid to be taken as arguments because their chains of narration are uncertain? In addition, they are opposed by authentic and evident hadiths. Besides, the hadiths which are authentic are capable of being interpreted differently.

Hereupon, we can explain the prohibition from wearing a red garment by these arguments which are all questionable:

- If we explain the prohibition by the fact that the red is the color liked by Satan and by which he beautifies himself, by using as arguments reported hadiths in this subject; these hadiths, if they were authentic, (are opposed by the fact that) the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم wore a red cloak several times. Thus, it will be improbable that the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم wears something he forbade us to wear. Moreover, we cannot take as argument the fact that there is no contradiction between the speech and act of the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم, as the mentioned reason indicates that there is no specificity, on the contrary, the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم is the one who is the most entitled to avoid what Satan wears, taking into consideration the rule that : “What is established for the Prophet’s صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم nation is also applied for him, until there is something that indicates its specificity to him صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم” and in this case there is no specificity.

- If we explain the prohibition by the fact that it is forbidden to copy the disbelievers in accordance with what is reported by Muslim from the hadith of `Abd Allah Ibn `Amr who said: the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم saw me wearing two garments dyed with safflower. Upon this, he صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم said: “Those are the garments (worn by) the unbelievers, so do not wear them”(4). The interdiction concerns a specific kind of red which is the red resulted from the dye of safflower, as it is established by Ibn Al-Qayyim who reconciled between this and what was reported in the two Sahîh (Al-Bukâri and Muslim), “that the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم used to wear a red cloak(5).

With the same arguments, we can answer what is authentically reported in “Sahîh Al Bukhâri” and other books about the prohibition to use the red silken cushion (put on the saddles)(6). These hadiths indicate only that it is forbidden to use the red silken cushion, and there is nothing indicating the prohibition of other things, taking into consideration the fact that the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم used to wear a red cloak several times, as it is established.

- If we explain the prohibition from wearing red because it is an imitation of women as it is of their adornments, or because it is a garment for gaining fame and because it indicates lack of virility, the prohibition –as it is evident- is not because of the redness itself, but for other reasons, and this is opposed by the Prophet’s صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم wearing red.

- As for what is established by Ibn Al-Qayyim – by reconciling the hadiths that the red cloak is from two Yemeni garments woven with red and black strips, this reconciliation lacks proof, as the Sahâbi (companion of the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم) is one who knows perfectly the Arabic language, and he described it as being red, so it should be understood as described (pure red) only, because it is the real meaning of this word, and explaining the speech of the Sahâbi by what it means in the language of his people is sounder and more correct, and “we should not interpret figuratively unless there is a proof that makes us do so”, as it is established in books dealing with such issues.

For this reason, we should take into consideration the fact that, in principle it is permissible to wear red. This is supported by the established deeds of the Prophet صلَّى اللهُ عليه وسلَّم that indicate the permissibility of wearing red, especially if we know that it is established that the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم wore red after Hajjat Al-Wadâ`(7) (The Farewell Hajj) after which he did not live but only few days.

This opinion is the choice of a group of Companions and Tâbi`ûn (Successors), it is also the opinion of the Malikis and Shâfi`is as we mentioned before, it is also the view of Ash-Shawkâni. So, if this ruling is established, praying in a red garment is valid without any undesirability.

The perfect knowledge belongs to Allah عزَّ وجلَّ. Our last prayer is all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon our Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم, his Family, his Companions and Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.



(1) Reported by Al-Bukhâri, chapter of “Virtues” (hadith 3551), Muslim, chapter of “The merits” (hadith 6210), An-Nassâ'i, chapter of “Adornment” (hadith 5249), Ibn Hibbân, chapter of “History” concerning the description of the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم and information about him, and Ahmad (hadith 18971) from the hadith of Al-Barâ' Ibn `Âzib رضي الله عنه.

(2) Reported by Al-Bukhâri, chapter of “Prayer” (hadith 376), Muslim, chapter of “Prayer” (hadith 503) and Abu Dâwûd, chapter of “Prayer” (hadith 520), from the hadith of Abu Juhayfa رضي الله عنه.

(3) Reported by Abu Dâwûd, chapter of “Clothes” concerning the permissibility of wearing a red garment (hadith 4073) from the hadith of `Âmir Al-Muzani رضي الله عنه. Al-Albâni said in “Sahîh Abou Dâwûd” about the (hadith 4073): that it is an “Authentic hadith”.

(4) Reported by Muslim, chapter of “Clothes and adornment” (hadith 2077), from the hadith of `Abd Allâh Ibn `Umar رضي الله عنهما.

(5) Previously mentioned from the hadith of Al-Barâ' Ibn `Âzib and the hadith of Abou Juhayfa رضي الله عنهما.

(6) Reported by Al-Bukhâri from the hadith of Al-Barâ' Ibn `Âzib رضي الله عنه: chapter of “Clothes” concerning wearing Al-Qassiy (hadith 5500) and An-Nassâ'i from the hadith of `Ali رضي الله عنه: chapter of “Adornment” concerning gold ring (hadith 5182).

(7) The last Hajj of the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم the year before he died. Translator’s note.