Wearing A Topi


Kindly advise if the wearing of a hat is compulsory or optional. Many of our youngsters are being influenced in not wearing a hat either during Salaat or Quran reading. They say this is a indo-Pakistan ritual. 


It is a great shame that some of our brothers due to their sheer ignorance and lack of knowledge are very zealous to deceive the vulnerable youth by presenting fallacies which the learned and knowledgeable personalities are well aware of. The wearing of the Islamic headgear (Topi) was part of the attire of our Noble Nabee Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, which has been established
from the prophetic traditions, statements of the illustrious companions and the great Ulama of the Ummah.

How can this possibly be a mere Indo-Pakistani ritual, when Allamah Azeezi Rahimahullah clearly states in his book Mahasin Al-Wasail that it was common amongst the Arabs. He writes that Islamic hats (Topis) were very common amongst the Arabs, from the time Nabee Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam was sent to them.

Abul Qasim Al-Baihaqi Rahimahullah has mentioned that the first person to adopt the topi was Shith, the son of Adam.

Abu Al-Shaykh Al-Asbahani Rahimahullah has recorded in his book Akhlaq Al-Nabiyy an acceptable narration:

Translation: It is reported that Aishah Radiallahu Anha said that Nabee Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam used to wear in journeys a hat with earflaps and when at home the Mushammarah (a Syrian hat).

A noteworthy point here is that Aishah Radiallahu Anha used the words “كان يلبس“ which gives the meaning of continuity in the Arabic language. There are also other Ahadeeth showing that the best role model for all Muslims, our beloved Nabee Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam use to don the Islamic hat.

We wish to present a translation of some extracts from an article with regards to the performance of Salah bareheaded, written by the great recent Turkish scholar who held a prominent post in the Ottoman Khilafah, and later after residing in Egypt, became one of the greatest scholars Egypt has ever seen, known as Allamah Zahid Al-Kawthari Rahimahullah. After shedding some light on the division, confusion and hesitation the Salafis have been creating and propagating amongst the masses, he states:

“The ruling concerning the Salah of a person bareheaded without a valid excuse, is that it is valid, as long as all the conditions and prerequisites of Salah are met. However, this is in direct conflict to what has remained the practice in every Muslim populated land from amongst the Muslim lands throughout the annals of history. It also entails emulation of the people of the book in that they worship bareheaded, as is evident. It is also discarding the adornment Muslims have been ordained to take with them to every Masjid and prayer.”

After quoting some Ahadeeth for proof of adornment in Salah, he further writes:

“It is on this basis, the jurists say that it is Makrooh to perform Salah wearing such clothing in which one would not normally present himself in front of those whom he holds in high esteem. And there is no doubt that a man will not visit a person he honours with an uncovered head as per the habit of the Muslims in every era. Thus, his Salah will be disliked whilst his head is uncovered…” 

“And this is the ruling in the remaining schools of thought. In addition to that, the uncovering of the head has become a hallmark of a deviated sect of our times which is all the more reason to leave it out staying far away from their imitation. In conclusion, it is not proven from Nabee Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam that he performed Salah bareheaded without a reason. It has previously been mentioned that it is the habit of the Christians to uncover their heads in their prayers, rather they do the same in every situation of respect they find themselves in…”

We also find narrations to substantiate the covering of the head in Salah. It is narrated in the Saheeh of Ibn Khuzaimah and the Sunan of Abu Dawud that Wail Ibn Hujr Radiallahu Anhu said he performed Salah with our beloved Nabee Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam and the Sahabah Radiallahu Anhum who were wearing burnuses (i.e covering their heads with hoods).

In the classical books of Hanafi Jurisprudence, we find the ruling for the one who offers his Salah  bareheaded in the following words:

“It is disliked that a person performs Salah bareheaded”

In the following books of Hanafi jurisprudence Sharh Munyah al-Musalli, Al-Muheet al-Burhani, Al-Fatawa al-Hindiyyah, Durar Al-Hukkam it is written:

 “It is disliked to perform Salah bareheaded out of laziness”, in other words, when one feels a burden in covering his head and he does not consider it an important matter, thus he discards it.

We are now left with the question on wearing the Topi when reciting the Qur’an. Although it is not necessary, due to the Topi being a sign of respect and reverence, it will better to wear the Topi during recital.

We conclude by saying it is due to sheer ignorance, some brothers regard the donning of a hat an Indo-Pakistani ritual. This claim is baseless as you may have gathered from the abovementioned 3 proofs i.e. Ahadeeth, statements of the Sahabah, and the statements of the great traditionalists and Jurists of the Muslim Ummah. We wish to highlight that the scholars we have quoted from in our answer were not from an Indo-Pakistani background and would never have supported and encouraged the wearing of the Islamic headgear if it was merely an Indo-Pakistani ritual. May Allah Ta’ala grant us the ability to accept the truth and save us from following our whims and fancies. Ameen

Checked and Approved By:

Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.

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