Desirable Colours and Dress Code
  • Question:

    I was told in a hadith that there are some colours that are prohibited for clothing. Could you shed more on the hadith and also tell us the colours and the best dress code for a Muslim.

    Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

    Thank you for your question.

    Please refer to the below mentioned article by Shaykh Khalid Sayfullah Al Rahmani, I had the honour of translated on the topic a few years ago:

    The Islamic law does not limit its followers, in wearing a specific colour. Islam respects the preferences and temperaments of humans. Hence, Islamic jurists (fuqahaa) state “There is no objection in any colour of clothing” (Al Dur Al Mukhtaar).
    The Prophet Mohammed’s (peace and blessings upon him) Preference (White & Black)

    It is known from narrations that white was liked by the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him).
    Ibn Abbas (may Allah be please with him) narrates the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) said, “Wear white clothing and shroud your deceased in it” (Tirmidhi & Abu Dawood). The very same point is also narrated by Hasan Ibn Ali (may Allah be please with him) (See Majma Al Zawaaid & Al Bazzaar).

    The use of white clothing is evident from the prevalent habit of the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) (Sahih Bukhari). It is for this reason, Islamic jurists have established the istihbaab (recommendation) of the white colour in clothing. They state, “White is mustahab (recommended)” (Al Dur Al Mukhtaar).

    Subsequent to white, the black colour was preferred by the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him). On the day of the victory of Macca, a black turban was on the Prophet’s (peace and blessings upon him) head (Tirmidhi). The Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) also gifted Umm Khalid a black garment (Sahih Bukhari). This is why the Islamic jurists have also regarded the black colour in clothing as mustahab (recommended) just as white is.

    It should be noted that the use of black clothing to mourn and express grief for the deceased is not permissible. “Wearing black coloured clothing is not permissible with the intent of mourning over the dead” (Alamghiri)


    Imam Abu Dawud has narrated from Rimthah (may Allah be pleased with him) that he saw upon the Prophet’s (peace and blessings upon him) body two green coloured sheets. (Fath Al Baari)
    Some jurists are of the opinion that green colour garments are one of the sunnahs of the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him). They have also stated, “Wearing green is a sunnah” (Rad Al Muhtar).

    Red For Men:

    As for red clothing, there is some what of a difference of opinion.
    It becomes evident through some narrations that it is prohibited to wear red clothing, however the reality of the matter is the status of such narrations do not reach that of authenticity by the masters of hadith (muhaddithoon).
    On the other hand there are various narrations that denote the permissibility of wearing red. For example, Baraa IbnAazib (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates he saw the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) in a red garb (Sahih Bukhari). For this reason the commentators of hadith have mentioned eight opinions of jurists and scholars, relating to the use of red clothing. They have recorded it’s permissibility by the scholars of the Maliki, Shaafie and other general schools (Fath Al Baari, Tuhfat Al Ahwadhi).

    The scholars of the Hanafi school have differed regarding this matter. Some state, wearing red is disliked (tanzeehan) while by others it is prohibitively disliked (tahreeman). Imam Abu Hanifah (may Allah's mercy be upon him) considered it’s use mubaah (allowed). As per the verdict of Imam Ibn Nujaym, it is disliked for men when the intent is imitation or resemblance to women, disbelievers, or royal arrogance. (Dur Al Mukhtaar)
    I believe the statement of Imam Al Tabari is nearest to the truth which has also been mentioned by Imam Ibn Hajr quoted as follows:

    “I believe the wearing of clothing in every colour is permissible except that I would dislike the wearing of that garment that is completely red and also the predominantly red outerwear as this is not the clothing of honourable people in our times. It is always important to consider the practices of the honourable people of every era, as long as there is no sin” (Fath Al Baari)
    The colours that the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) prohibited the men from are dark red dyed clothing (muasfar) saffron colour, and dark yellowish orange (Nayl Al Awtaar). The majority jurists are of the opinion that these colours are prohibited for men. (Al Dur on Haamish).

    It has been related that Imam Shafie (may Allah's mercy be upon him) prohibited the saffron colour for men but permitted dark red dyed colour. Imam Nawawi, elaborating on this writes, the reason for this verdict of Imam Shafie is that the narrations regarding the dark red dyed clothing had not reached him, had they reached him, he would have definitely prohibited them. (Sharh Al Muhathab)

    And Allah knows best.

    Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Badat
    Hadith of the Day Imam
    Imam of the Islamic Foundation of Toronto and Director of Mathabah Institute
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