Context for the Hadith: Whoever Imitates a People Is of Them

Ustadh Farid Dingle is asked if wearing clothes that are not traditionally Muslim in itself puts one beyond the pale.



Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

May Allah reward you for your great answer service. I was wondering if there is a specific historical context for the hadith: “Whoever resembles a people is one of them”? Is it a literal, self-constrained, all encompassing statement, or is it part of a longer hadith? Also, if you live in Canada and dress like everyone in Canada why is that bad? What are the Islamic limits that prevent racism and the forming of ethnic ghettos? Is saying Merry Christmas or sending your kids out to Halloween going to make you a kafir as they tell us in Khutbahs locally?


Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Mimicking non-Muslims or the morally corrupt is only sinful when:

  1. It is done out of veneration and esteem for their non-Islamic beliefs or practices.
  2. It is in something bad in itself.
  3. It is in something religiously idiosyncratic to them.

So, if for example you have a certain haircut or wear certain clothes because you like them, not because you want to be identified with a certain group of non-Muslims or morally corrupt people, then it is fine.

However, if you just feel like dressing like a Buddhist monk, or just feel like taking off your hijab in front of men, then regardless of your intention, you are doing something wrong, either because it is something obviously specific to that non-Muslim group, or because it is forbidden or offensive in itself.

Please also see Clothes of the People of the Land.

I pray this helps.


Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


Are Jeans Allowed for Men?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Are jeans allowed for men? Would my prayer be valid in them? Someone told me it would not be allowed as it is a non-Muslim dress.

Answer: Assalamu alaykum

Wearing jeans is permitted. It would not constitute an impermissible form of imitation as it is not a distinctive feature of non-Muslims. Rather, it is a common and widespread form of clothing in many parts of the world that is worn by both Muslims and non-Muslims.

Further, it would be valid to pray in jeans. The basic requirement when it comes to clothing and the validity of the prayer is that one’s nakedness (awra) is covered. For men, this is the region from the navel up to and including the knees.

Lastly, I should add that tight jeans that define one’s nakedness would not effect the validity of the prayer. However, depending on the degree of definition, it may be somewhat or severely disliked. It is, therefore, best to wear jeans that are not fitting but loose.

[Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar (2:384); Taqi Usmani, Taqrir al-Tirmidh (2:331)]

[Ustadh] Salman Younas

قال ابن عابدين في رد المحتار: ( قوله لأن التشبه بهم لا يكره في كل شيء ) فإنا نأكل ونشرب كما يفعلون بحر عن شرح الجامع الصغير لقاضي خان ، ويؤيده ما في الذخيرة قبيل كتاب التحري . قال هشام : رأيت على أبي يوسف نعلين مخصوفين بمسامير ، فقلت : أترى بهذا الحديد بأسا ؟ قال لا قلت : سفيان وثور بن يزيد كرها ذلك لأن فيه تشبها بالرهبان ; فقال { كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يلبس النعال التي لها شعر } وإنها من لباس الرهبان . فقد أشار إلى أن صورة المشابهة فيما تعلق به صلاح العباد لا يضر ، فإن الأرض مما لا يمكن قطع المسافة البعيدة فيها إلا بهذا النوع . ا هـ وفيه إشارة أيضا إلى أن المراد بالتشبه أصل الفعل : أي صورة المشابهة بلا قصد

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir.

Is Wearing Jeans Prohibited in Islam for Women?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Is wearing jeans prohibited in Islam for women?

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

It would be permitted to wear jeans so long as it covers one’s nakedness in a modest fashion.

For more details, please see:

Denim Clothing, Saris, and Imitating the Unbelievers

Tight or Revealing Clothing on Men and Women


Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani