#127: Wearing Knockoff Clothing in Prayer

Question:

Assalamualaikum ustaz. What is the ruling for a person who prays whilst wearing knockoff clothing?

Answer:

Alhamdulillah, praise and gratitude to Allah SWT for His countless blessings for us all. Praise and salutations to our beloved Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his family, companions and all those who follow his footsteps until the Last Day.

Covering the aurah is a valid condition of prayer. If a person prays in a condition where his aurah isn’t covered then it is invalid and he has to pray again. Aurah for men is between the navel and knees while for women it is her whole body except her face and palms according to madhhab Syafie. [1]

As for what is considered covering or clothing that covers the aurah is explained by Imam al-Syairazi in al-Muhazzab (125/1), “And it is obligatory to cover the aurah with something that doesn’t make the skin color visible.” According to Syeikh Zainuddin al-Malibari: “(the covering of aurah) with something that doesn’t let the skin color be seen (visible) in a speech ceremony.” [2][3]

Regarding the above issue, we state the following:

Imam al-Nawawi explained this issue saying: “The scholars have agreed that it is prohibited for a man to pray wearing silk. Indeed, his prayer with the said clothing is valid according to us and the jumhur of scholars… We would like to state that both the prayer wearing silk and clothing obtained from prohibited means is valid. And this is the opinion of the majority of scholars…” [4]

There are two matters that should be considered:

  • If the prayer performed fulfilled the requisites and conditions, then the prayer is valid and it is not necessary to be replaced.
  • As for the issue of counterfeit or knockoff products, one must consider whether it has been patented or otherwise. If it has been patented then it is an offence and he can be punished under Trade Descriptions Act 2011 by the Enforcement Division of the Office of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism (PPDNKK). One should be aware that buying/selling counterfeit goods or making illegal copies/reprints of patented goods

In fiqh discussion, there is a terminology named jihah munfakkah (separation of parts). The issue of the validity of prayer and the issue of wearing counterfeit clothing are two different issues. Thus, it can be concluded that praying while wearing knockoff clothing is valid if it fulfils the requisites and conditions. However, the wearer is still considered sinful.

An almost similar matter was explained by Imam al-Nawawi when he discussed the issue of performing hajj using prohibited money. He said when a person performs hajj with prohibited money or riding an animal mount that is taken unfairly or prohibited for him, his hajj is still valid. The reason is the actions are specific (requisites and conditions) and the prohibited came from the outside (external factor). [5]

Here, we also include a hadith from Abu Hurairah RA for us all to reflect together. The Messenger PBUH said:

أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ، إِنَّ اللهَ طَيِّبٌ لَا يَقْبَلُ إِلَّا طَيِّبًا، وَإِنَّ اللهَ أَمَرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ بِمَا أَمَرَ بِهِ الْمُرْسَلِينَ، فَقَالَ: {يَا أَيُّهَا الرُّسُلُ كُلُوا مِنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَاعْمَلُوا صَالِحًا، إِنِّي بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ عَلِيمٌ} [المؤمنون: 51] وَقَالَ: {يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُلُوا مِنْ طَيِّبَاتِ مَا رَزَقْنَاكُمْ} [البقرة: 172] ثُمَّ ذَكَرَ الرَّجُلَ يُطِيلُ السَّفَرَ أَشْعَثَ أَغْبَرَ، يَمُدُّ يَدَيْهِ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ، يَا رَبِّ، يَا رَبِّ، وَمَطْعَمُهُ حَرَامٌ، وَمَشْرَبُهُ حَرَامٌ، وَمَلْبَسُهُ حَرَامٌ، وَغُذِيَ بِالْحَرَامِ، فَأَنَّى يُسْتَجَابُ لِذَلِكَ؟ “

“[Allah said], “O messengers, eat from the good foods and work righteousness. Indeed, I, of what you do, am Knowing. O you who have believed, eat from the good things which We have provided for you and be grateful to Allah if it is [indeed] Him that you worship. Then he mentioned a man who makes a long journey in a dishevelled and dusty state, who stretches out his hands to heaven saying, “My Lord, my Lord,” when his food, drink and clothing are of an unlawful nature, and he is nourished by what is unlawful and asked how such a one could be given an answer.” [6]

The word tayyib in this hadith means pure and clean from any deficit. It is also said that tayyib is one of the attributes of Allah. [7]

To conclude, we don’t see this as such a huge issue if it only involves the ethics of dressing. Mat Allah SWT accept our prayer and make us from amongst His grateful slaves. Wallahu a’lam.

 

[1] See al-Majmu’, 3/166-167

[2] The meaning of visible in a speech ceremony is explained by Syeikh Abu Bakar al-Dimyati: “If one sees another person praying and he has to get to see the skin color, then this is not harmful (not considered as having his aurah exposed)” (See I’anah al-Talibin, 1/134)

[3] See Fath al-Mu’in, 1/86

[4] See al-Majmu’ Syarh al-Muhazzab3/180

[5] See al-Majmu’ Syarah al-Muhazzab, 7/62

[6] Narrated by Muslim (1015)

[7] See Ikmal al-Mu’lim, 3/535

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