Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Question: I have heard an opinion related to the hadith forbidding gold and silk which states that the reason the Prophet, may peace and mercy of Allah be upon him, forbade us from wearing gold and silk was because they were expensive commodities in that era, as they are now, and that the prohibition is related to wearing things which are very expensive.
Also, since silk is relatively not that expensive now, I have seen men wear silk shirts because they are following the opinion stated above. At the same time, I have seen people wear extremely expensive clothes, is it ok to do so if it is not being done out of riya’?
What is the essence of the hadith, and how shall it be interpreted?
Answer: I’m not aware of a legal position–within mainstream Sunni scholarship–permitting gold or silk for men on the basis of specifying the legal cause of the prohibition being expensiveness.
(Even in the time of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), where were things more expensive than gold, and clothing more expensive than silk.)
And if that were the case, then why only for men?
As for the “opinions” of those not ascribing to recognized scholarship, “their presence is no more consequential than their absence,” as the scholars would say.
And Allah alone gives success.