Can Men Wear Watches With a Bit of Gold?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick


There is a watch crafted from steel, except for the bezel (the circular part with ridges and grooves surrounding the watch), which is made of solid white gold. I’m wondering if it’s permissible for me to acquire it. I know the hadiths prohibiting silk and gold, but opinions suggest that small quantities of gold are acceptable for men. Please advise.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to what pleases Him. Amin.

It is unlawful for men to wear gold jewelry, even the teeth of a ring’s setting that holds its stone. Unlike silk, there is no difference in the prohibition of gold between small and large amounts. [Keller, Reliance of the Traveller]

Nor may men wear objects painted or plated with gold, though if these tarnish so that the gold is no longer apparent, they are permissible. It is permissible to repair teeth with gold. [Ibid.]

Adornment in Islam

Beautification and elegance are not merely permitted but are required by Islam, and in general, it repudiates any attempts to prohibit them. [Qaradawi, The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam]

Allah (Most High) says, “Say: Who has forbidden the adornment of Allah which He has brought forth for His servants, and the good things of His providing?” [Quran, 7:32]

Islam has, however, prohibited two kinds of adornment for men while permitting them to women.

Gold and Silk are Forbidden for Men

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) took some silk in his right hand and some gold in his left, declaring, “These two are unlawful for the males among my followers.” [Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Nasa’i, Ibn Hayyan, and Ibn Maja, who reports the additional phrase, “but lawful for the females.”]

Imam Nawawi said, “Concerning gold rings, they are unlawful for men according to scholarly consensus. The same applies if they are part gold and part silver. Our companions said: If the top of the ring is gold or lightly plated with gold, it is unlawful because of the general meaning of the hadith concerning silk and gold, “These two are unlawful for the males of my ummah and lawful for the females.” [Nawawi, Sharh Sahih Muslim]

Alternate Opinions

Imam Nawawi’s verdict about the unlawful nature of using gold for the teeth of a ring’s setting that holds its stone, is the relied upon view (sahih) in the Shafi‘i School. [Nawawi, Minhaj al-Talibin]

The opposing alternate view (khilaf al-sahih), supported by Imam al-Haramayn, allows for using gold in the above-mentioned way, and Allah knows best. [Shirbini, Mughni al-Muhtaj]

Please visit this related answer from the Hanafi perspective.

I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar Shaykh Taha Karaan (Allah have mercy on him), where he taught.

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Shaykh Muhammad Awama, Shaykh Muhammad Hasan Hitu, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has been the Director of the Discover Islam Centre, and for six years, he has been the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has fifteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic podcast, education, and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy Prophetic living and fitness.