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Author Message
Posted: 25/08/2012 08:25

Praying (Salah) without Headgear (Kufi, Taqiya or Turban)
(A discussion for the benefit of all)


Assalaamu Alaikum,


There has been a difference of opinion on wearing a cap and turban.  Few consider as obligatory during Salah which is wrong. Salah is complete even without a cap. Wearing a hat or a cap (Qalansuwa in Arabic) is the Sunnah of our blessed Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), Sahaba (Allah be pleased with them all) and the great scholars and pious predecessors of this Ummah. Few argue saying it is not a Sunnah but a Arab tribal tradition. Prophet SWAS discarded many tribal traditions which were wrong and Haram but wearing a cap is mentioned in Seerah of Prophet SWAS. In addition to this we need to keep an identity as Muslim. Polytheists bear the beard but they don’t wear cap, Jews wear a cap but their wearing is different. Hence, it is advisable that we make a habit to wear a cap always or atleast during Salah. Here are few Sahih Hadiths from the recognized Muhadith which must be accepted in good faith and one shall not argue stating that it is not the Sunnah of Prophet SWAS and Sahabah RA:-


  1. Hasan al-Basri (Allah be pleased with him) says: The people (Sahaba-Allah be pleased with them all) used to perform Sajdah (prostration) upon their turbans and hats (Sahih al-Bukhari, 1/151)
  2. Abdullah Ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) used to wear a white hat (Recorded by Tabrani).
  3. Hasan al-Basri (Allah be pleased with him) says: The people (Sahaba-Allah be pleased with them all) used to perform Sajdah (prostration) upon their turbans and hats (Sahih al-Bukhari, 1/151-156)
  4. Rukanah (Allah be pleased with him) says, I heard the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) say: The difference between us and the polytheists is, wearing the turban over the hat (Sunan Abu Dawud, 4075 & Sunan Tirmizi, 3919).
  5. In the Musannaf of Ibn Abi Shaybah, the wearing of a hat is reported from Ali ibn al-Husain, Abdullah ibn Zubair, Dahhak and Abu Musa (Allah be pleased with them all).
  6. Sahih Al-Bukhari Volume #1 pg#536: Ibn Abbas (RadhiAllaahu nhu) reports that Rasulullaah (SallAllaahu layhi Wa sallam) addresses the Sahabah while wearing a black turban. Sahih Al-Bukhari Volume 2 pg #863It is mentioned that Anas Bin Malik (RadhiAllaahu Anhu) used to wear a kufi (cap).
  7. Tabrani And Imaam Suyuti: Ibn Umar (RadhiAllaahu Anhu) narrates that Rasulullaah (SallAllaahu Alayhi Wa sallam) used to wear a white cap (kufi). Tabrani has reported this hadeeth to be Hasan (reliable) and Suyuti has classified this hadeeth as highly authentic (Sahih) in the book Sirajul Muneer vol #4 pg#112)
  8. Sunan Abu Dawood Book 3, Hadeeth # 0948:Narrated Umm Qays bint Mihsan: Hilal ibn Yasaf said: I came to ar-Raqqah (a place in Syria). One of my companions said to me: Do you want to see any of the Companions of the Prophet (SallAllaahu Alayhi Wa sallam)? I said: A good opportunity. So we went to Wabisah. I said to my friend: Let us first see his mode of living. He had a cap (kufi).


It is not established at all that the Messenger (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) ever prayed outside the pilgrimage with bare head, without a turban/cap. Whoever thinks he did so then he should bring the proof. If he (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) had done so, it would have been recorded. The narration attributed to Ibn 'Abbaas that the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) would sometimes remove his cap and place it as a sutrah in front of him is weak (da'eef).


Shaikh Albaani (May Allaah's mercy be on him) (Al-Din al-khalis (3:214) and al-Ajwiba al-nafi'a 'an al-masa'il al-waqi'a (p. 110) who is considered as a learnt and respectable scholar states:-

"All acknowledge that it is desirable for the Muslim to enter prayer in the most perfect Islaamic appearance, due to the hadeeth: "Allaah is worthier of your self- adornment" [hasan]. And it is not part of excellent attire in the custom of the Salaf to habitually bare one's head, and walk in that guise on the road and when entering places of worship. Rather, it is a foreign custom which infiltrated many Islaamic countries at the time the disbelievers invaded them and brought their habits with them. The Muslims began to imitate them in this, and they lost thereby their Islaamic personality as well as through other similar acts... Nor is it established that the Prophet ever prayed bareheaded and without a turban other than in the state of ihram, although there were plenty of occasions to report it if he did. Therefore, whoever claims that he did, let him produce the proof, for truth is more deserving to be followed."

Shaikh Albani (May Allaah's mercy be on him) goes on to explain the mistake of some brothers in Egypt who brought the proof of the permissibility to pray without covering the head by analogizing with how the head is uncovered for someone in ihraam during the pilgrimage.

This is wrong since not covering the head during the pilgrimage is from the law (Sharee'ah) of Allaah. If their analogy was right then they should make it compulsory to pray without any head covering at all since it is obligatory to do so during the pilgrimage and to follow all the other restrictions of Ihraam in regular life! [Tamaam-ul-Minnah fee ta'leeq 'alaa fiqh-us- Sunnah by 'Allaamah Albaani]

Hambali Fiqh (Quoted By Ibn Qudama, al-Mughni (1994 ed.) 1:404-405) it is Mustahab.
Maalik Fiqh (as quoted by Ibn Abi Zayd, al-Jami' fi al-sunan (1982 ed.) p. 228) Imaam Maalik said "The turban was worn from the beginning of Islaam and it did not cease being worn until our time. I did not see anyone among the People of Excellence except they wore the turban, such as Yahya ibn Sa'id, Rabi'a, and Ibn Hurmuz. I would see in Rabi'a's circle more than thirty men wearing turbans and I was one of them, and Rabi'a did not put it down until the Pleiades rose (i.e. until he slept) and he used to say: "I swear that I find it increases intelligence."
Shafi'i Fiqh (Quoted by Al-Misri in Reliance of the Traveller p # 122): It is mustahab or praiseworthy to pray using "three of one's best clothes, a Thawb, Silwar (Sunnah pants), and turban or kufi" According to the Hanafi school (Al-Jazayri, al-Fiqh 'ala al-madhahib al-arba'a, Kitab al- Salat p. 280-28) [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.
The scholars are in agreement that covering the head for men in prayer is likable, whether with a turban or the like. The Prophet (may Allah's peace and blessing be upon him) used to perform prayers wearing a turban. It is dislikable for a man to pray with his head uncovered, if he does so out of laziness then this is a neglect of solemness that contradicts humbleness and submission. Wearing a turban during prayers and for good attire is a Sunnah (a practice of the Prophet, peace be upon him), based on the many Ahadith on this issue. The weakness of many of such Ahadith is amended by the abundance of ways in which they are narrated, and to claim that most of these narrations are fabricated is a matter of indifference
We NEVER saw any of my teachers or students of knowledge in Saudi with their head uncovered, by the same token it is NOT compulsory. but We have never seen Yasir Qahdi wear anything being an scholar following Ahle-Salaf, so We  wonder why?? If you see his earlier Video files, you see him always wearing a cap (Kufi). It is only on his association with Al-Maghrib, we see him bareheaded. Are we again promoting an Egyptian cult as explained by Shaik Albaani (RA) above? Astagfirullah!! May Allah guide the brothers of Egypt.

Furtherermore, for men, if covering the head is customarily regarded as a part of adornment in a particular country, then the head should be covered, otherwise it does not have to be covered. 
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar said to his freed slave Naafi’: “Do you go and meet people bareheaded?” He said: “No.” He said: “Allaah has more right that you should be modest before Him.”
This indicates that it is better to cover the head, but if we apply the words of Allaah - (interpretation of the meaning): “O Children of Adam! Take your adornment (by wearing your clean clothes) while praying” [al-A’raaf 7:31] – to this issue, we will see that covering the head is better among people who regard covering the head as a kind of adornment. But if we are among people who do not regard that as a kind of adornment, we do not say that covering it is better or that leaving it bare is better.
Muslims wear taqiyah, also spelled tagiyah, gefiyah, keffiyah, and kufiyyah is a short, rounded cap worn by Muslim men. Muslims wear the taqiyah cap to emulate Muhammad SAWS. The companions (RA) of Muhammad SAWS were never seen without their heads being covered. In order to emulate their actions, Muslims throughout the world wear a variety of taqiyah caps, fez hats, and other headgear. Another goal of wearing a tagiyah is to be more like Muhammad SAWS and therefore obey and follow his tradition.

It is evident in the opinion of the scholars that leaving the head uncovered is Makruh (since it proved beyond doubt that Prophet SWAS always wear one of the other head gear, even if take the Daif Hadith that he remover Turban and kept in front of him as Sutra during prayer, he (SWAS) still had a cap) unless if it's done with a valid excuse to not wear something can also be added to this I think. Most of the scholars take this as Makruh Tah'reemi due to not being explicitly mentioned what type of Makruh it is.
Some of our Desi mosques are very particular about this issue. These Masjids usually have a container full of hats for people who don't bring their own. While the attitude of some (or maybe many) people might be a bit rude and extreme when it comes to reprimanding people who don't wear a hat while praying, this doesn't take away from the fact that leaving the head uncovered is Makruh. This is another extreme side.


While the Prophet (saws) was never seen without a head-covering, there is no hadith reaching us from him (saws) that legislates covering the head while praying. The actions of the Prophet (saws) are divided into those that form part of the shari'ah (in this case, actions of the Prophet (saws) that are legislated for us to perform and emulate and receive reward for), and those that form his own actions, or 'aadah. The general principle is to wear clothes that are respectful when in prayer. If in the culture you are in it is respectful to wear a head-covering (or disrespectful not to!), then do so out of an intention to be respectful to Allah.


It is clear from the above facts that wearing a hat is a Sunnah. It has been the practise of the Ummah throughout history, and has become one of the symbols of Islam.

Wearing of the hat has become one of the salient symbols of Islam. (Mirqat al-Masabih, vol.8 pg.246).

Due to the above, the scholars mention that even though, not wearing a hat cannot be classed as unlawful (haram), as it is a Sunnah, but due to the fact that it has become one of the signs of Islam, it is generally undesirable to keep the head exposed. One should try to keep the head covered whenever reasonably possible.


As such, I think we need to have a more balanced approach to this issue. On the one hand - in light of what is aove and what is related from the Prophet (Sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam) and his companions - we should emphasize the importance of praying with our heads covered to people who don't do it in a polite and diplomatic manner. On the other hand, we should advise those brothers who're very particular in this not to openly criticize and reprimand other people for not doing it and use Hikmah when they approach such people. Allahu 'alam.

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You may add your comments and facts supported by Hadith, to remove the arrogance and negligence of our youngsters who never consider and give importance to this aspect of modesty when stand in front of Allah SWAT. It looks our youngsters are following Bible as said by St. Paul at 1 Cor 11:4-7 “Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head” rather following Sunnah of Prophet SWAS.

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