Shaykh Farid Dingle answers the question of wearing jeans as opposed to wearing jubbas in relation to modesty and prayer.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I wanted to know about wearing certain clothes, I am 18 years old and live in the UK, I wear a Jubba everyday and pray in it and find it comfortable compared to other clothes for prayer, however I sometimes feel a bit embarrassed wearing a jubba outside sometimes, I also study Islam, one of my friends and fellow student doesn’t like me always wearing a Jubba in a sense, he even said to me that if you want to be accessible to people, wear the clothes that they wear.

Now based on this, I would tend to wear jeans whenever wearing other clothes, I don’t particularly like other types of pants, what i find about jeans is that, even though they may not be like skin-tight jeans, when sitting down in the tashahhud position they do tighten up to the skin, I think from what I have read that this may be makruh, I think many jeans would be like this,

Could you please advise about what to do in my situation, I do feel embarrassed at times wearing a jubba and also i am not sure about wearing jeans (even if they are loose they may still tighten up), could you pleased tell me the ruling about wearing such clothes as well as the fact that I am young so I wouldn’t wear a suit pant style, like most older people tend to,

Is it best for me to carry on wearing my jubbas? Is it allowed for me to wear clothes like people around me, even if they can become tight in certain prayer positions?

Jazak Allah khayr.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Clothes fulfill a number Sharia countenanced goals which I shall try to detail as follows.

Covering Oneself

The first and foremost is covering your nakedness, which is an obligation, and part of this is the covering of shape and form of the area between your navel and your knee. Clothes that show the shape of this area (like tight emo trousers) are un-Islamic.

Avoiding Sin

Another almost equally important goal is reducing avoidable attraction from the opposite sex. Showing off one’s vanity muscles is forbidden, not just because it constitutes pride, but almost because it can be a temptation to some women. The is nothing wrong with sex or sexual attraction in Islam, but it just has its place and time, and that is not the street.

Self-expression

We all know the maxim “You are what you eat.” This is often true regarding clothes too.

What we choose to buy and wear is a form of self-expression: people dress like they are businessmen because they want to show that they are effective people who achieve; people also dress like they are ‘straight outta Compton’ or ‘too cool for school’, then that is exactly what they are feeling inside and what they want to be seen as.

For this reason, the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, said, “Whosoever drags/wears anything out of pride, Allah will not so much as look at on the Day of Rising.” (Bukhari and Muslim) This applies to how you dress, what you drive, and how you carry yourself in general.

Message

What you wear is also a message, be it a good, bad, or neutral message. And this is very important. Wherever you are and in whichever setting you find yourself, the way you dress sends intended and unintended messages.

In the Middle East, for example, wearing a red hat with a white turban usually means, ‘I am a religious scholar so ask me questions.’ This will affect the behavior and reactions of those around such a person, and will affect how their words and actions are received.

This is true for a Muslim in the West, and for this reason we have to be careful about what exactly the messages are that we wish to convey. This is what you friend is talking about.

For example, are you trying to install awe in others, such that they see you as a ‘man of the cloth’, from a Christian perspective, or as ‘foreign and Eastern’? Are you trying to lead other Muslims to hold tighter to the ‘outward’ signs of religiosity, or are you trying to show them that you are more than they? These are all possibilities that you must think about with regards to your own intention, and with regards to what effect you might be having on other people, and no one can tell you the best thing to do but yourself.

The Upshot

Wear clean and smart clothes that are concealing of the area between your navel and knees, and then choose based on the above discussions whether you should dress Eastern or Western, or whether you should dress like a scholar or a average religious Muslim.

I am personally a big advocate of the wearing a Muslim-looking hat: I find that it almost a statement to oneself that one is a practicing Muslim, and it is also a way of giving emotional and religious support to sisters in the West who are having a hard time keeping the hijab.

And Allah knows best.

I pray this helps.

Farid

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


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