By Shaikh Zaahid Kauthari (Rahmatullahi Alaih)
These days discussion is rife on the Hukm (Shar’i Rule) of Salaat bareheaded without any reason. This is on account of a group of people mushrooming who take pleasure in denying ma’roof (good), disseminating munkar (evil) and confronting the Jumhoor in opposition to what has been inherited from generation to generation from the Salaf (Earliest Muslims – the Sahaabah, Taabi’een and Tab’e Taabi’een).
These plastic ‘mujtahids’ who excel in fitnah by stoking commotion among Muslims in the Buyoot of Allah (the Musaajid) whilst they (Muslims) are making Ibaadat of Allah Subhaanahu are the most weird of people in intelligence and strikingly close in resemblance to the Khawaarij (the first deviant sect to raise its ugly head in Islam) by virtue of making a big thing of a non-issue and trifling with a grave matter.
There is no urgency here to reveal their true colours, as the masses have seen through their efforts to break Muslims apart and have thus dropped them and their call everywhere. I will therefore restrict this discussion to two Mas’alahs, with the Taufeeq of Allah Subhaanahu.
In so far as a Musalli performing Salaat bareheaded without any reason is concerned, the Salaat is valid per se, provided that the requisites and constituents of Salaat are in order. However, it is against the Inherited Sunnat and Inherited Practice of all regions of Muslims over the centuries. It furthermore resembles the (practice of the) Ahl Kitaab (the Christians) for they pray bareheaded as we see.
It also is in abandonment of the Zeenat (beauty) which Muslims have been instructed to adopt for the Musjid and for Salaat…
Thus, Baihaqi has narrated in his Sunan Kubra…through the medium of Abbaas Doori…that Naafi’ said: “Ibn Umar saw me performing Salaat (wrapped up) in one piece of cloth. He (Ibn Umar) questioned me: ‘Did I not give you clothes?’ I replied: ‘Yes, you did.’ ‘So,’ he said, ‘If I send you somewhere, will you go like this?’ I replied, ‘No!’ ‘Then Allah is more deserving of you beautifying yourself for Him.’”
This is the rationale for the Fuqaha stating that it is Makrooh (reprehensible and not permissible) for a person to dress for Salaat in a manner that he would not go in that state to an honourable gathering. Undoubtedly, in the custom of Muslims from the later generations to the earliest generation a person does not go to an honourable gathering bareheaded.
Imam Maawardi (the great Shaafi’ Faqeeh) said: “Adopting beauty means: wearing beautiful clothes.” Imaam Abu Hayyaan (the renowned Mufassir) said: “Apparently ‘Zeenat’’ means: beautifying and adorning oneself for Salaat. Covering the satar is not the purport, as that is ordered unconditionally.”
This statement of (Imaam Abu Hayyan) is fully legitimate. Therefore, the inclusion of covering the head is not something to doubt at all. It is the practice from the beginning of Islam right till today. Never in any time of Islam and any land of Islam was it seen that anyone standing in the Saff of Muslims for Salaat was bareheaded. Denial of this fact is sheer contumacy. Thus, to attempt to excise covering of the head from Zeenat is baseless. Zeenat includes covering of the head. Thus, it comes within the injunction of the Aayat (of beautifying oneself for Salaat).
The idea of the Aayat being restricted to the particular circumstance of the Revelation decrying the people of Jaahiliyyah making ‘tawaaf’ of the Ka’bah in the nude, is at odds with the System of Ijtihaad in that consideration is given to the broader meaning, not for the particular instance of Revelation. For this reason, you will observe that there is consensus in the Math-habs of the Istihabaab of wearing a qalansuwah (topi), a top garment and a lower garment for Salaat, as mentioned in Sharh Munyah, Majmoo’ of Nawawi, etc.
Muhaddith Sayyid Muhammad Bin Ja’far Al-Kattaani (Rahimahullah) has exhausted in his Ad-Di’aamah the Ahaadith showing the extent of the constancy of Nabi (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) in wearing a topi with and without an amaamah (turban) and the statements of the Ulama in this regard…
It appears in Sharh Munyah: “It is Makrooh to perform Salaat bareheaded takaasulan, that is to take it to be onerous and to think of it as unimportant for Salaat, thus leaving it out. There is no harm when it is done out of tazallul and khushoo’ (lowering oneself and humbleness). The words ‘no harm’ indicate that it is better not to (be bareheaded), rather to be humble and condescending at heart, for these are qualities of the heart.”
The ruling is the same in the other Math-habs.
Furthermore, exposing the head in Salaat has become a salient trait of some deviant sects in our times. Thus, the practice shall be shunned in entirety to stay far away from their emulation.
To summarize, it is not proven that Nabi (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) performed Salaat bareheaded without any reason…
Earlier we mentioned that it is the practice of the Nasaara to leave their heads exposed when praying. In fact, they do that at every place where they stand out of respect.
An interesting episode of exposing the heads
When Russia annexed the Muslim Countries of the Caucasus in the year 1280 Hijri after a war lasting half a century, the Russian rulers obligated Muslims to expose their heads when coming before the governors and administrative officials. An Aalim Rabbaani whose heart was brimming with the Pride of Islam scoffed at accepting this compulsion. He said to the governor-general: “You have given your word not to interfere in our religious affairs. Exposing their heads in front of rulers is prohibited for Muslims in the Deen of Islam. Therefore, how can you intend now to compel us to do that?”
The governor-general replied: “I shall call a meeting of your Ulama to ascertain whether their view concurs with your opinion.”
He thus convened the meeting. Those Ulama dissented, but the Aalim was adamant over his view.
The governor-general said to that Aalim: “Put on record your case, I shall send it to the Chief of the Ulama of Islam in the motherland. If he agrees with your view, I shall decree that Muslims are exempted from this rule in your land, regardless of you being alone in your view. Otherwise, you shall face the consequence of your insistence.”
The Aalim replied: “Very well,” and he wrote that Muslims do not take off their topies when entering the Musaajid and when performing Salaat for Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu. If they had to do that (expose their heads) when coming in your presence, it will be tantamount to honouring you more than honouring Allah. This is not permissible in Islam.
The governor-general sent the letter to the Chief Mufti. The Chief Mufti concurred with the view of that faithful Aalim. The exemption of Muslims in that region was thus ratified.
This is pride for one’s Deen and disgust and distancing oneself from tashabbuh (resemblance) with the Christians, unlike what we see of the demeanour of the interfaithers who call for a common platform and removal of obstacles between the religions.
(End of the Shaikh’s Proclamation of the Haqq. May Allah Ta’ala reward him.)