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Salafee Issues

The Ambiya (Alayhimus Salaam) being alive in their graves



Topi in the light of the Sunnah

Q: I had always been taught that the topi is the crown of a believer and part of the Sunnat attire. However, I was recently told by a close friend that the topi is not part of the Sunnat attire and has no basis in deen. It was worn in the time of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and the Sahaba (Radhiyallahu Anhum) as a customary or traditional dress. Could you please enlighten me with regard to the following:

Is any mention of the topi made in the Ahaadeeth?

What importance did the topi hold in the sight of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and the Sahaba (Radhiyallahu Anhum)?


A: Wearing the topi is a Mubarak Sunnat of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and a salient feature of Islam. It is reported in authentic Ahaadeeth that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and the Sahaba (Radhiyallahu Anhum) wore the topi while performing Salaah as well as out of Salaah.

During the Khilafat of Hazrath Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhu) the kuffaar began wearing topis and turbans in order to deceive the Muslims and receive the same recognition in society which was afforded to the Muslims in the Islamic state. When Hazrath Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhu) perceived this he immediately prohibited them, and drew up a constitution which was governed by the Sunnat of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). He enshrined in the constitution the distinguishing characteristics and salient features of Islam and thus prohibited the kuffaar from adopting these codes of conduct and Islamic attire. Just as he prohibited the kuffaar from adopting the ways of the Muslims, he prohibited the Muslims from emulating the ways of the kuffaar and their lifestyles. Among the issues underlined by Hazrath Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhu) in the constitution was that there be marked differences between the Muslims and non-Muslims in the following aspects:

The Muslims should be completely distinct from the non-Muslims in their mannerisms, behaviour, dressing, and dealings. They (the kuffaar) should not wear the topis of the Muslims nor their turbans. Below is part of the constitution of Hazrath Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhu) which he enforced upon the kuffaar.

إن أمير المؤمنين عمررضي الله عنه في الصحابة رضي الله عنهم ، ثم عامة الأئمة بعده ، وسائر الفقهاء ، جعلوا في الشروط المشروطة على أهل الذمة من النصارى وغيرهم فيما شرطوه على أنفسهم : أن نوقر المسلمين ، ونقوم لهم من مجالسنا إذا أرادوا الجلوس ، ولا نتشبه بهم في شيء من ملابسهم : قلنسوة أو عمامة… ( قاله ابن تيمية رحمه الله في كتابه اقتضاء الصراط المستقيم و قال بعد نقل الحديث رواه حرب {الكرماني} باسناد جيد, 1/363-364)

Ibn Taimiyyah (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) states in his kitab ‘Iqtidha us Siraatil Mustaqeem’: “Indeed the Leader of the Believers, Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhu) in the presence of all the Sahaba Radhiyallahu Anhum) drew up the constitution which he enforced upon the Zimmis (Christians, Jews etc.) residing in an Islamic state that they abide by the under-mentioned laws:

  1. We (the non-Muslims) will honour and revere the Muslims.”
  2. When they enter the gatherings we (the non-Muslims) will stand up in honour for them and allow them to be seated in our places if they intend sitting.”
  3. We (the non-Muslims) will not resemble them in their dressing and attire, neither will we wear their topis nor turbans.”

روى الشيخ ابو الحافظ الاصبهاني باسناده في شروط أهل الذمة عن خالد بن عرفطة قال كتب عمر رضي الله عنه الى الأمصار في حق النصارى " أن لا يلبسوا لبسة المسلمين حتى يعرفوا " ( قاله ابن تيمية رحمه الله في كتابه اقتضاء الصراط المستقيم 1/366 )

Khaalid bin Urfutah says that Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhu) had written to the governors of the various towns regarding the Christians: “They should not adopt the attire of the muslims in order that they be distinguished.”

Ibn Taimiyyah (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) states that all the muslim leaders that had followed as well as the Jurists, implemented the constitution of Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhu) in every era.

During the khilaafat of Umar bin Abdil Azeez, the disbelievers began adopting the clothing of the muslims. In order to create a distinction between them and the muslims he issued the same ruling of Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhu) that they should not wear the clothing of the muslims.

We clearly gauge from the above that the topi and turban were among the salient and distinguishing features of Islam from the time of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and Sahaba (Radhiyallahu Anhum).

Hereunder a few authentic Ahaadeeth shall be presented to further elucidate the position of the topi in the life of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), Sahaba (Radhiyallahu Anhum) and Taabi’een.