And Whoever Loves Me is With Me

January 1, 2008 § 25 Comments

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Why is the turban such an instigant? The turban is one of several traditional items of clothing that the Holy Prophet (alayhi salatu wa salam) would wear. It is of the Prophet’s Tradition to wear a turban cloth as headwear. Didn’t the Holy Prophet say, that whoever gave life to one of his traditions after his time passed would receive the reward of all those who practice it without their reward being diminished? He also said that, whoever gave life to one of his traditions, loves him. He then stated,

“[A]nd whoever loves me is with me.” (Tirmidhi, Book of knowledge)

The Holy Prophet, his Companions, the Successors and the righteous ones who follow their traditions have all worn the turban. Al-Manawi said,

“The turban is a Sunna, especially for prayer and self-beautification, because of the many narrations concerning it.”

The turban is not only a Tradition of the Holy Prophet (alayhi salatu wa salam) but was worn by the angel Garbiel (alayhi salaam) and his company of angels during the historic Battle of Badr,

“One of the believers was pursuing a man of the enemy, and the man’s head flew from his body before he could reach him, struck off by an unseen hand. Others had brief glimpses of the Angels riding on horses whose hooves never touched the ground, led by Gabriel wearing a yellow turban, whereas the turbans of the other Angels were white, with one end left streaming behind them.”

The above mentions, “one end streaming behind”, this identifies that it is not just the turban itself that is a Tradition of our Prophet but also the style in which a Muslim wears his turban as reported by Ali bin Rukanah,

“Rukanah wrestled with the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) threw him on the ground. Rukanah said: I heard the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) say: The difference between us and the polytheists is that we wear turbans over caps.” (Sunan Abu Dawud)

And on that glorious day of Victory, the day when the Holy Prophet (alayhi salatu wa salam) walked into Mecca destroying and removing 360 idols from the Ka’ba he wore upon his head a black turban as reported by Jabir bin Abdullah (Sahih Muslim). The best community among mankind, the Prophet’s Community, would follow everything that he did. They would see him and immediately apply whatever they saw him doing to their lifestyle. There are a number of examples of this. One such instance is found in Sahih Bukhari and narrated by Ibn ‘Umar saying,

“The Prophet wore a gold ring and then the people followed him and wore gold rings too. The the Prophet said, “I had this golden ring made for myself. He then threw it away and said, “I shall never put it on.” Thereupon the people also threw their rings away.”

Likewise we should be imitating the Holy Prophet (alayhi salatu wa salam). Didn’t the Prophet say,

“Pray as you see me pray.”

He prayed wearing a turban, he wiped it during ablution without removing it. He wore it during war and when giving Friday sermons. He would receive turban cloth as gifts, while his Companions and the Successors are reported having given them as gifts to distinguished and honorable persons.

I am not writing this article to criticize making prayers bareheaded. As praying bareheaded can be viewed an act of humility as discussed in al-Jazayri, al-Fiqh `ala al-madhahib al-arba`a, Kitab al- Salat,

“According to the Hanafi school [among] the disliked acts (al-makruhat) in prayer are:… i`tijar, which is to tie a scarf around the head and leave the center bare;… [or] praying bareheaded out of laziness. As for praying bareheaded out of humility and submission, it is permitted (ja’iz) and not disliked.”

However, I am pointing out that wearing a turban during prayer, worship and to beautify the appearance is the Holy Prophet’s Tradition. And it should not be criticized or looked down upon especially by Muslims. There are many Muslims who have a problem with the turban and it is for this reason that I decided to write this article.

When I walk the streets of New York City, non-Muslims get excited, smile and send compliments when they see a neatly wrapped turban cloth, loose fitting clothes and a cheery disposition. They become eager to talk about Islam, if for nothing else but sheer curiosity concerning the turban and its meaning. I never expected this kind of response from non-Muslim people that I would meet in the street. In fact I probably expected the opposite before I began donning a turban openly.

Then one morning, after the dawn prayer the strangest thing happened. I was with Shaykh Abdul-Kerim in Manhattan escorting someone to their car. And while I was finishing up my little task an ordinary middle-aged American woman was out power walking with another middle aged friend. The woman took one glimpse at me, then she looked at the turban; then she looked at the shaykh; then she looked at the other murids. All of the sudden her face brightened into a grin that stretched from ear to ear! The woman gave me a big hug and a kiss on my cheek. She then said, “I love you!” She looked toward Shaykh Abdul-Kerim holding her heart saying, “I love you”, and then to the other murids blowing kisses and showering us with sentiments of warmth and well wishes. Since that day this is the kind of treatment I get donning a turban in the streets of New York City.

Yet within some areas of the Muslim community there is a very different kind of response for wearing turban. I have been told stories of Muslim parents and family members against their sons wearing a turban and if that wasn’t enough someone once told me that my turban is a distraction to their prayer!

All of this leads me back to my first thought. Why is the turban such an instigant for Muslims? What exactly is the problem here, and why does it seem more of an instigant in the Muslim community than it is elsewhere? It seems to me that the turban should be a welcome element of our Prophet’s Tradition and not a stigma, especially for Muslims.

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§ 25 Responses to And Whoever Loves Me is With Me

  • brnaeem says:

    AA- Saifuddin,

    Muslims have an inferiority complex. No other explanation.

  • IBN DEEN says:

    MAY ALLAH BLESS THOSE WHO HOLD UP THIS FAITH

  • Merazul says:

    As’salamu ‘alaykum,

    Personally, I have seen that some people act differently when I wear an Imama Shareef (Turban). Some don’t want to associate with me because it might ‘cramp their style’. Whilst, their are some ignorants that think that I have joined the Taliban or Al Qaeda.

    Alhamdulillah, most people give me more respect when I wear the Turban. I have even had people kiss my hands, thinking that I’m a Shaykh.

    The benefits of this Sunnah of the Beloved Prophet (Sallal lahu alayhi wasallam) is endless. Just by wearing a turban, I feel like spending my spare time just praying additional Salah’s, reciting abundant Salawat and Salaams, reading and learning from Islamic litrature, etc.

    I have this little piece on the Turban on my blog:
    http://yasayyidi.wordpress.com/2007/12/03/the-turbanimamah-in-light-of-hadith-sharif/

  • Abdur Rahman says:

    Salaams Sidi Saifuddin

    Insha Allah you and yours are well. Jazak Allah for this post.

    Abdur Rahman

  • dawudwalid says:

    As-Salaamu `Alaykum,

    As we all know, there are different levels of what is sunnah according to the fuqahaa. I have no problem with anyone wearing a turban if they so choice.

    The Prophet (SAAS) was a product of his environment, however. He (SAAS) also rode a camel and wore sandals. I cannot ride a camel nor am I going to wear sandals in the snow of Detroit because that doesn’t conform with the practicality of my environment.

    No one should berate you for your understanding based upon hujjah that you accept. To do so shows a lack of understanding and violations the manners of disagreement. Some Muslims probably have a problem with the turban because they are more concerned with assimilation than tradition.

    I say to each his own.

    ALLAHU musta’aan!

  • Aaminah says:

    Asalaamu alaikum brother Dawud.

    You bring up an interesting point actually. There is a difference between “sunnah” in reference to what the Prophet (salalahi alahi wa salaam) taught and recommended and said “do as you see me do” versus the “sunnah” of things he did because they were practical in his environment but are not necessarily things he recommended.

    Riding a camel is not part of the sunnah of what he (salalahi alahi wa salaam) actually recommended or told his followers was part of their deen. Wearing the turban, and yes, wearing sandals, is.

    For the record, I know plenty of men (and women) in Detroit and throughout Michigan (I’m on the other side of the state) who do not find it impractical to wear sandals in the snows because they wear leather socks. I am not one who does, or at least not regularly, so I’m not faulting that you don’t, just pointing out that practicality is debateable.

    We each choose which sunnahs we think are “important” enough to warrant our adherence, but we must be honest about the actual status of a given sunnah and whether we are just looking for excuses to not adhere or if the act is a different type of sunnah that does not require strict adherence. The argument about being “with the times” or “in this environment” can be a fallacious one that pulls us away from many sunnahs that are not “accepted” in our current society. We should not allow ourselves to fall into such traps.

  • dawudwalid says:

    As-Salaamu `Alaykum,

    I want to reiterate that I don’t knock brothers that wear the turban. My only point was that there are different levels of sunnah.

    Many scholars say turban is mustahabb, not mu’akkadah. Some scholars don’t even go that far.

    The argument that adhering to the times or environment can be fallacious; I agree. Respecting environment, not relegating it, is part of wisdom though.

    I’m one of the “hypothetical” brothers who believes that if he (SAAS) had traveled to the snow covered mountains of the Caucus, he (SAAS) would have relinquished his sandals for some shoes or boots. Of course, this is hypothetical, but `aql dictates that if it’s -20 degrees wind chill, wearing khufayn and sandals in the name of “sunnah” could be the cause of frostbitten toes. I prefer to preserve my health in the winter than to wear sandals in the snow. I do wear sandals in warmer months, however. When I was in Masr, I wore sandals everyday.

    Another major point that I made is that as Muslims, we need to always keep in mind the fiqh of disagreement. There can be two or three opinions on a subject that are different that can all be respected. The key is not to belittle the opinions that disagrees with your opinion. This is something that we Muslims in this present day do a poor job of.

    WALLAHU musta’aan.

  • Saifuddin says:

    BismillaharRahmanirRahim

    as-salaamu ‘alaikum. dawudwalid, thank you for the comment, I understood where you were coming from but perhaps it needed a bit more explanation. You wrote,

    “I’m one of the “hypothetical” brothers who believes that if he (SAAS) had traveled to the snow covered mountains of the Caucus, he (SAAS) would have relinquished his sandals for some shoes or boots.”

    I agree and perhaps Prophet (s.a.w.s.) would have sported a look that more resembles this or this, when in the mountains and snow today.

    -Saifuddin

  • Merazul says:

    As’salamu ‘alaykum,

    These 2 questions came to my mind after reading some of the comments:

    Don’t get more reward for following s Sunnah in difficult situations?

    Should’nt we try to adapt our lives to the traditions of the Beloved Prophet (Sall’Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa’alihi Wa’sallam) instead of the other way round?

  • tnasreen says:

    “9 Merazul

    As’salamu ‘alaykum,

    These 2 questions came to my mind after reading some of the comments:

    Don’t get more reward for following s Sunnah in difficult situations?

    Should’nt we try to adapt our lives to the traditions of the Beloved Prophet (Sall’Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa’alihi Wa’sallam) instead of the other way round?”

    In response to the question above (as I have just started to learn about Islam) I would assume that following Sunnah in difficult situations would not yield in any more rewards as suppose to following the traditions of the Prophet in less difficult situations. All muslims are supposed to follow the footsteps of the Beloved Prophet regardless of the situation that they are in. And, by doing so, one can avoid or be rescued form such hard time. One of the comment made by one of classmates was that, the sufferings of the Muslim life are basically Allah’s way of testing his follower’s devotion for him. So, would you not address such difficult times as being tested on the strength of our faith? Also, I believe that by adapting the Prophet’s tradition into our lives will lead to a more fulfilling life where we may not interpret such test as difficult time, rather an opportunity to show our ultimate devotion for Allah.

  • dawudwalid says:

    ASA,

    tnasree, very thoughtful questions.

    JAK

  • Merazul says:

    Walaykum as’salam,

    I once read that a person performing wudhu in bitter cold conditions gets double the thawab. My question is, does this principal also apply to the Sunnah’s of our Beloved Prophet (Sall’Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa’alihi Wa’sallam)?

  • dawudwalid says:

    As-Salaamu `Alaykum,

    I would like to read the source of such a hadeeth or if it is a saying of a sahabi or taabi’ that one gets double thawaab for making wudu’ in the cold for authenticity purposes.

    I do know, however, of a hadeeth saheeh that states, “Surely the deen is easy.” (Innad deena yusr)

    Wassalaam.

  • Merazul says:

    Walaykum as’salam,

    I can’t remember the Hadith Shareef that you are wanting. If I find the book I read it in, I’ll post the Hadith Shareef here, Isha’Allah Azzawajal.

    I have also read that one gets the reward of 70 (maybe more or less) martyrs for reviving the Sunnah during difficult and hard times. Some say that current climate is a difficult time for Muslims.

    I would appreciate if someone can help me provide evidences for the above two paragraphs. It may take me a long time finding the book that have the references, so any help would be useful.

  • Saifuddin says:

    BismillaharRahmanirRahim

    as-salaamu ‘alaikum Merzul. It may prove useful to prepare to refer to your sources before citing hadith. Citing hadith from memory is very tricky business especially when writing them on blogs for the whole world to question. It is just a suggestion, wa Allahu a’alam.

    -Saifuddin

  • dawudwalid says:

    As-Salaamu `Alaykum,

    I’m not doubting that you read the hadeeth. I have no reason to doubt you.

    I like seeing sources attached to hadeeth that aren’t mashoor.

    JazakALLAHU khayran.

    Wassalaam

  • Said Bak says:

    BismillahirRahmanirRahim

    As-salamu ‘alaykum,

    MashaAllah a very nice article. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us.

  • Apologies brother Dawud for the late reply.

    Regarding receiving double reward for performing wudhu in difficult situations, the Hadith can be found here:

    Mulakhasan al mu’jamul aswat, V4, P106, Hadith 5366, Dar-ul-Kutubul Ilmiyyah Beirut

    I don’t know if you have access to the above reference. If you don’t, I’m afraid I can’t provide more than the above for now. If I can get a scanned copy, I’ll try post it on my blog. Insha’Allah.

  • Saifuddin says:

    BismillaharRahmanirRahim

    wa ‘alaykum as-salaam. Said Bak, welcome to you, and thank you for your comments. shukr alhamdulillah, I’m praying that these weak attempts at recording my experiences with Seyh Efendi are beneficial for someone, somewhere, inshaAllah.

    -Saifuddin

  • I am truly touched by this article. Thanks for making my life better.

  • Mohammad Saleh Mahesar says:

    whoever, loves the lovely and last of Prophet of Allah The Allah Jal Shanhoo loves him. and act one of the Sunat of Hazrat Muhammad S. A. W gets the reward of 1000 Shaheeds. which loves Hazrat Muhammad S. A. W he should to recite Durood wa Salam on the last Prophet of Allah Jal Shanhoo.

  • hAMID says:

    THIS IS NOT THE PROPHET PEACE BE UPON HIMS TOMB. IT BELONGS TO A SAINT CALLED JALALUDIN RUMI. LOOK ON GOOGLE IMAGES.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • kareemunnisa says:

    If we love our nabi Muhhammed Salalahi Alaywasalam then we shouLd accept the sunnah if u don’t like to wear don’t critise don’t wear no man on earth holds that great honour that Allah has bestowed upou him Salalahi Alayhi wasalam

  • kareemunnisa says:

    Alhamdullilah we should. Respect Quraan and sunnah it is the truth and beauty of. ISLAM we all must all live in Love and peace wslmf

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