Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat
I love writing with fountain pens. I have a small collection of these and like to have different ink colors in each of them. I have seen fountain pens with just the nibs made of 14k or 18k gold. I would like to know if it is permissible to use such a pen. Would the ruling be gender specific?
No, it would not be permissible to use gold pens, even at 14k. We have been prohibited from using gold and silver in such ways. I’m sure you can find pens made from other materials that perform just as well. This ruling applies to men and women, as opposed to silk, which is permissible for women. [Nahlawi, al Durar al-Mubaha]
The Wisdom in Not Using Them
Every ruling in the Shari’a has many pearls of wisdom behind it. Some we understand, others we don’t. In this situation, the prohibition is a test to see if we will refrain or not, much like not eating in the daylight hours of Ramadan.
The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Don’t drink from vessels of gold and silver and don’t eat from their utensils. They are for the [disbelievers] in this lie and us in the next life.” [Bukhari; Muslim]
This shows that there is no intrinsic harm in them. Instead, it is a ruling to see if we can refrain from some of the fineries of this life in expectation of more in the next. Also, excessive indulgence in such matters can lead one to forget the Afterlife.
Gold and silver are things people are naturally attracted to. Not being able to have them here but knowing we will get a particular form of them in the Afterlife is a form of encouragement to work towards attaining the good that awaits believers. It’s a good thing that you can’t have it all here. There’s something to look forward to there.
May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.