What’s an Islamic dress?

Is there such a thing as an Islamic dress for male Muslims? A couple of months back, I walked into a mosque in a village outside Karachi where everyone was dressed in the shalwar kurta, while I was wearing shirt and trousers. The few people in the mosque looked at me as if I was from another planet. I was scared one of them would attack me for being dressed like an infidel. Then I remembered the time when local mullahs used to urge Pakistanis to wear the shalwar kurta at all times, apparently believing that this dress was Islamic.

Actually, the shalwar kurta, which is the national dress of Pakistan, has been borrowed from the Hindus, and it originated in ancient Iran. So you can’t say that it is an Islamic dress. Neither, for that matter, is the robe worn by Arabs, because it was originally the dress of the pagans who lived in that region before Islam.

In Turkey, I saw even the religious scholars delivering sermons on TV wearing suits and ties. So it seems that there is no such thing as an Islamic dress for male Muslims.

10 thoughts on “What’s an Islamic dress?”

  1. I agree that there is no such thing as an Islamic dress. In our confusion between culture and religion, we have assumed the “abaya” to be an islamic dres when it is just an arab dress. Similarly Shalwar kameez is our national dress and so South Asian muslims are most often seen wearing it. Muslims around the globe, whose faith in the religion cannot be doubted by a mere human judgement prefer to wear trousers or any national dress that may be peculiar to their region.

    The point is that Islam is a religion for all humanity. It has the capacity to accomodate different cultures. Ofcourse this “Complete Code of Life” gives some outlines and then leaves it to the interpretation of the individual. It’s not about “feeling comfortable” because there are always regulations and guidelines but neither is it about dressing like the prophet (P.B.U.H). That’s like the most supreme level of faith but let’s start from the first step instead of jumping right there…(reminiscient-“Khuda kay liyay”)

  2. And “MY” religion ISLAM has complete code of LIFE which is essential so as to become a HUMAN.
    The sole purpose of Islamic teachings is to make human a “PERFECT HUMAN”.

    So you can’t separate Human Need from Islam.

    Any doubt that Islam doesn’t provide “Complete Code of Life” ?

  3. There was no shalwar kameez in stone age. i.e There is nothing in other dresses (generally wore public dress) that lack in anything against shalwar.

    Its just a self created assumption.

  4. They say Shalwar Kameez is an Islamic Dress because it very beautifully completes the basic requirements of the dress code defined by Islam.

    Islam has defined certain limitations and taught what is right and wrong, and its our duty to adapt such methods of living which come according to the principles of Islam. Like wearing Shalwar Kameez.

    It all depends upon your priorities

  5. Very much right. There is no such thing as ISLAMIC dress & CHRISTIAN dress or for that matter HINDU dress.

    A human is a HUMAN first & then a MUSLIM/HINDU/CHRISTIAN etc. So by logic, there will be a dress with or without religion & its the culture which prevails more in dressing then religion.

    Yes later on people do try to mix both & come up with an acceptable form of dress to satisfy their culture+religion. In most cases culture prevails & its actually religion which tries to overlap itself to culture. Those people who are too conservative ( from any religion) they try to adapt to a more distinctive form of dress so that they can be identified as MUSLIMS/HINDUS/CHRISTIANs etc.

    Those who consider dress as a HUMAN need are pretty much happy with anything they feel comfortable in.

  6. If someone is delivering a sermon ON TV he is not a religious scholar. He does not know that what he is doing is haram. If he himself does not know the basics of deen how can he teach you deen. There are extremely severe warnings in Ahadith regarding pictures of living beings whether on tv or without. Whether you look at them or whether you end up appearing on tv.

    عن نافع أن ابن عمر أخبره أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال الذين يصنعون الصور يعذبون يوم القيامة يقال لهم أحيوا ما خلقتم.

    It is narrated on the authority of Ibn Umar (Radhiallahu Anhu) that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “Those who make pictures will be punished on the day of judgment. It will be said to them: Bring to life what you have created!”

    (Hadith: 5501)

    عن مسلم بن صبيح قال كنت مع مسروق في بيت فيه تماثيل مريم فقال مسروق هذا تماثيل كسرى فقلت لا هذا

    تماثيل مريم فقال مسروق أما إني سمعت عبد الله بن مسعود يقول قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أشد الناس عذابا يوم القيامة المصورون

    It is narrated on the authority of Ibn Mas’ood (Radhiallahu Anhu) that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “The people who will be most severely punished on the Day of Judgment are those who make pictures (of animate objects)”.

    (Hadith: 5505)

    عن سعيد بن أبي الحسن قال جاء رجل إلى ابن عباس فقال إني رجل أصور هذه الصور فأفتني فيها فقال له ادن مني فدنا منه ثم قال ادن مني فدنا حتى وضع يده على رأسه قال أنبئك بما سمعت من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول كل مصور في النار يجعل له بكل صورة صورها نفسا فتعذبه في جهنم.

    It is narrated on the authority of Ibn Abbaas (Radiallahu Anhu) that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasalam) said, “Every person who creates pictures of animate objects will be in the fire of Hell. Every picture that he created will be given a life and will punish him in Jahannum”.

    (Hadith: 5506)

    عن النضر بن أنس بن مالك قال كنت جالسا عند ابن عباس فجعل يفتي ولا يقول قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم حتى سأله رجل فقال إني رجل أصور هذه الصور فقال له ابن عباس ادنه فدنا الرجل فقال ابن عباس سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول من صور صورة في الدنيا كلف أن ينفخ فيها الروح يوم القيامة وليس بنافخ.

    It is narrated on the authority of Ibn Abbaas (Radiallahu Anhu) that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasalam) said, “Whoever produces a picture (of an animate object) in this world will be forced to bring it to life on the Day of Judgment but he will be unable to do so”.

    (Hadith: 5507)

    Ref: Sahih Al Muslim Vol:14 Pg:317-319 ( Darul Ma’rifah)


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