On Dressing Well

O Children of Adam: Wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer. Quran 7-31.
According to a hadith narrated by the great Sahabi Ibn al- Hanzaliyyah, the Prophet (S.A.W.) told his Companions, when they were travelling to meet some brothers in faith:
“You are going to visit your brothers, so repair your saddles and make sure that you are dressed well, so that you will stand out among people like an adornment, for Allah (S.W.T.) does not love ugliness.” Reported by Abu Dawud, al-Hakim in al-Mustadrak.
I believe that dressing well is an important part of Muslim character. Personally I put a lot of emphasis on my appearance. I particularly like the hadith that instructs us to make sure our clothes are clean and that we look good as believers. Surprisingly many Muslims think that they should not pay attention to their outer appearance. I am not sure what is going on here, but perhaps they are thinking;” I don’t have nothing to do with dunya.” I believe it is un-Islamic for us to neglect our appearance in the name of asceticism or humility. If you are active in dawah, I can tell you that your appearance has everything to do with how you are perceived. Our Prophet (sallallahu `alayhe wa sallam) was the epitome of asceticism and humility yet he dressed well and was very particular about his appearance. When he (sallallahu `alayhe wa sallam) looked in the mirror he made this dua; “O Allah, just as you have made my external features beautiful, make my character beautiful as well”. (Hisnul Hasin) Also here is another favorite of mines; Ibn al-Mubarak, al-Tabarani, al-Hakim, al-Bayhaqi and others report that ‘Umar (R.A.A.) said:
“I saw the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) ask for a new garment. He put it on, and when it reached his knees he said, ‘Praise be to Allah, Who has given me clothes with which to cover myself and make myself look beautiful in this life.’”
Personally I wear suits or business casual clothing most of the time. Alhamdulillah, I can not begin to tell you how many compliments I get from non-Muslims. I am also active in dawah at work and in my business. Allah knows best, I think my attire has helped me break the ice many times in the business world. I have seen Muslims come to Jumuah wearing jeans with holes and a T-shirt. Haven’t they heard the saying of the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhe wa sallam), “What is wrong when each one of you specifies a certain garment for Friday prayer other than what he wears at work.” (Abu Daud) And from one of the wealthiest companions of the Prophet; ‘Abdul-Rahman ibn ‘Awf (R.A.) used to dress in a cloak or garment that was worth four or five hundred dirhams (Tabaqat Ibn Sa‘d, 3/131), and Ibn ‘Abbas bought a garment worth one thousand dirhams and wore it (Tabaqat Ibn Sa‘d, 3/131). Some of the best Sahabi dressed well and drove nice camels :). And in case you thought that if you began to pay close attention to your clothes, you would become arrogant…. Muslim reports from Ibn Mas‘ud (R.A.) that the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhe wa sallam) said:
“No one who has even an atom’s-weight of pride in his heart will enter Paradise.” A man asked him, “What if he likes his clothes and shoes to look good?” (Meaning, is this counted as pride?) The Prophet (S.A.W.) said: “Allah (S.W.T.) is beautiful and loves beauty. Pride means denying the truth and looking down on other people.”
Dressing well is a confidence booster. It’s important to feel good about what you are wearing and look poised and self assured in all situations. Yes, something as simple as how you dress can affect your attitude and confidence. How you dress is somehow related to how you feel. You can boost your attitude, self-confidence and feel good about what you’re wearing if you:
1. Know the occasion
2. Know your audience
3. Know your personal style
4. Know the effects of color

So if you can afford it, run out and revamp your wardrobe. You can also add on to what you have already. You can visit some online fashion stores and blogs to get some ideas about the latest fashions. You may also be able to better coordinate what you have. Make sure that your clothes are iron very well and that you always look nice, neat and sharp. You are representing Islam!

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9 thoughts on “On Dressing Well

  1. Marc says:

    السلام عليكم

    This is excellent nasīhah. I am saddened when I see brothers come to Jumu’ah with clothes that are in disrepair. For those brothers that work jobs that require them to wear workman’s clothes, I can understand, as they may not have the opportunity to change before coming. But I see many young men who do have the opportunity and don’t. But more in spirit with the article, I see so many Muslim men who dress with no care or attention to detail. This is regrettable, as we have had a tendency, at least in the indigenous expression of Islam, to cordon off our Islam to just rituals, while leaving the other aspects in a state of disarray. I was reading a piece on Willie Brown [non-Muslim], the former mayor of San Francisco in which he was once called “The Best Dressed Man in San Francisco” by Esquire magazine. I feel there is a self-esteem issue at play amongst us Muslims, which manifests in a variety of ways, but this is certainly one of its symptoms.

    Jazakallah for the post,

  2. RootedOnClouds says:

    wa alakum Al-Salaam Marc&Hello everyone,

    Top-shelf post muslimfitforlife.There’s not much from Qur’an or Hadith that I could think of that you didn’t already include.
    There’s an old American colloquilism that says “clothes make the man”;this isn’t entirely true,epecially if we adorn ourselves out of a sense of arrogance.
    But,folks…………..it doesn’t have to be that way,and this is why i enjoy this post so much.
    Grooming,dress,physical fitness,eating habits,and especially MANNERS are topics which seem to be woefully missing from our lectures and discussions as Muslims today.
    What’s particularly sad to me is that when I devoloped an interest in Islam,prior to conversion,over 20 years ago,it seemed like the Muslim men that I met had it so together in almost all of these areas.
    AND,not only that,they pulled it off while acting humble,AND very masculine at the same time!!!
    (how about that)
    Folks,this isn’t to hard if ya think about it a little.we are naturally more attracted to places,things,and people who seem attractive,intelligent,efficient,and probably most important for males:CONFIDENTLY COOL:YET POLITE!(it can be done,and that’s a big reason I emraced Islam-in addition to the obvious Truth of the Qur’an and Hadith).
    Peace,Mercy,and Blessings(Tranquility),

    Rooted On Clouds

    • Wa alaikumus salaam, Rooted On Clouds, thanks for stopping by. Yes when I embraced Islam about 18years ago, Muslims were well rounded on ALL fronts. That is part of my reason for starting this blog. I want to write about topics like this. I like your statement about pulling it off while acting humber and masculine at the same time.

  3. RootedOnClouds says:

    Al-Salaamu alaykum,
    Willie Brown was as sharp as a tack,good point Marc!
    This is kind of funny for me to admit,but I imagine that I’m not alone on this one.
    When I was in my teens,and even before,I thought that male clergy members and politicians were the smoothest dudes around(and for the most part they are).
    I would say things to myself like “these are men that men want to be like,and women want to be with!” hahaha
    That’s not a bad thing though,necessarily.We need to always check our intentions and only fear Allah ultimatly;but,if we want to “win hearts and minds”,we NEED to put our best selves forward in every way………..for the sake of Allah!

    Peace,
    Rooted On Clouds

  4. shuara says:

    Wa ‘alaykum as-salaam,

    Sorry I haven’t stopped by in a while but have been reading the blog from my emails alhamdulillaah – great reads and great wisdom!
    Funny I was reading the clothes post last week just before my interview at a corporate law firm. From a sister’s perspective if I may – I believe power dressing is hugely important in business and cultural environments in a society whereby everyone is concerned with outward appearances and is amazing how Islamically you can have beauty outwardly and inwardly subhanAllaah.

    A few tips for the sisters – after noticing that quite a few of my barrister friends wore triangle hijabs – I opted for this for the interview and it does look a lot smarter than the pashmina. Primarily I wear the abaya but try to wear a suit jacket or smart cardigan to complement it. Long smart tunics and smart dresses and skirts also work a treat for sisters like myself who feel quite compromised in western business settings and often you are the ONLY hijaabi!
    Also whether it be for casual or smart – I now try going for scarves that don’t need ironing and are fashionable creased – as it saves so much time alhamdulillaah!

    I don’t know about the clergymen – perhaps its a sign of ‘holiness’ that supposedly attracts these ‘women’ you are talking about but yes smart attire on politicians or your average Joe Bloggs still looks better on the eye!

    Well alhamdulillaah I did get the internship at the law firm, so thank you for the nasiha, now I need to work on that thing called TIME, inshaAllaah it’ll happen – du’aas please.
    Also perhaps when you get the chance – there could be some discussion on recreational activities and exercise. I recently started kickboxing and alhamdulillaah find it very beneficial especially as its at a sisters only gym.
    Perhaps there could be encouragement of the Prophetic Sunnah activities such as archery, horseriding etc

    JazakumAllaahu khair,

    Ps – if people are based in London would it be possible to recommend places and things to people inshaAllaah? I pray you continue to benefit us even more, ameen.

    • @Shuara, You are posting correctly. It just takes me some time to approve comments. Jazaka Allahu khair for your detailed comment. I was thinking today, what can I write that will benefit the sisters from a dress perspective. But, Alhamdulillah you nailed it! I will post soon on execise. It is one of my passions so stay tuned. Thanks again for stopping by.

  5. shuara says:

    Wasalaam – I don’t know if I’m posting it right??

  6. shuara says:

    Wa ‘alaykum as-salaam,

    BarakAllaahu feek, may this all be of benefit inshaAllaah.

    I also wanted to ask you if I wanted some personal advice – without it being published – how could I contact you??

    Jazakumullaahu khair.
    May Allaah make it easy to seek His pleasure, ameen.

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