As time takes us further away from the era of the Prophet (S.A.W) and his companions (R.A) (and the Khairul Quroon), we realise that the Sunnahs of the Prophet (S.A.W) are vanishing from the lives of the Ummah.
More worrying and dangerous is the fact Sunnahs are not only discarded but they are also questioned.
This is why I (named below) have taken this opportunity to write about one of the Sunnahs which is increasingly questioned (i.e. the Topi), to get the message across to those Muslims who have mistakenly fallen into this trap and to those who face questions of this sort from other people with such misunderstandings.
The main aim in this short article is to lay out the Shar'ee status of the Topi. Also to touch briefly on the topic of Salaah with out a Topi.
The Deen that is laid down by Allah and with which our Prophet (S.A.W) was sent to practically show the Ummah is complete and has no room for modification. Allah clearly spells this out in the following verse:
Also this Deen is there to remain complete and intact until the day of judgement as is the promise of Allah:
Topi in its literal sense.
Topi is an Urdu word the Arabic equivalent of which is Qalansuwah. Although many other words are used in the Hadith to define the word Topi but the most common one is Qalansuwah.
Topi in the lives of the Prophets (A.S).
Description of the Topi of Musa A.S has been mentioned in Tirmizi, a famous book of Hadith. The narration is as follows.
Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud (R.A) narrates the Nabi (S.A.W) said: "On the day when Musa (A.S) spoke to his lord, he had a woollen Kummah (a small, flat and round Topi").
Abdul Qasim Al-Baihaqi (R.A) has mentioned that, "the first person to adopt the Topi was Shith, the son of Adam A.S".
Topi in the life of our Prophet (S.A.W).
Many narrations have been reported with regards to the Topi of Rasullulah (S.A.W). below are 2 of the many availabe.
Ibn Umar (R.A) is reported to have said that "Rasullullah (S.A.W) used to wear a white Topi".
Similar narrations have been reported from at least five other Sahaaba.
Aishah (R.A) narrates that Nabi (S.A.W) would wear a Topi that had earflaps. Imam Tibrani R.A mentions.
Ibn Umar (R.A) narrates that Rasullah (S.A.W) would wear a white Kummah (a small, flat and round Topi).
Topi in the lives of the Sahabah and Tabe'es (i.e. those believers who have seen the Sahaaba).
Zaid Ibn Jubair (R.A) says that he saw Abdullah Ibn Zubair (R.A) wearing a Topi. (In the narration the Arabic word "Butula" appears which refers to a specific type of Topi).
Easa Ibn Tahbaan says that he saw Anas Ibn Malik (R.A) wearing a Topi. (In the narration the word "Burnus" comes which means a long hat.)
In Bukhari too, the wearing of a Topi by Anas (R.A) is mentioned. (Vol.2 Page 863.)
The father of Ash'as reports that he saw Shuraih wearing a Topi.
Abu Shihaab says that he saw Sa'eed Ibn Jubair (R.A) wearing a Topi. (Both Shihaab and Ibn Jubair are Tabees.)
And the list goes on.
After such a vast number of narrations, one cannot or rather one is foolish to doubt the Topi being a practice of the Prophet (S.A.W), the Sahaaba (R.A) and our pious pre-dessessors.
As a matter of fact, it is only when western culture started entering the lives of the Muslims, the issue of the Topi came about. Thus, one can understand that initially it was not really a question of "Sunnah or not", but rather it was a question of fitting in to the western society. And this was hidden behind the arguments of "Sunnah or not".
Never the less, once we have understood the authentication of the Topi, it becomes the duty of every believer to hold firm on to this great Sunnah. We as believers claim to love Allah and claim to be wanting to be loved by Allah, to adopt every action and practice of Rasullulah (S.A.W). Says Allah:
Say (Oh Mohammed) if you love Allah then follow me, and Allah will love you.
Yes no doubt that the Ulama have divided the Sunnahs in to two, Sunan-E-Huda and Sunan-E-Zawaid. (For details, look in the relevant books.)
However, in this Ayah (following) is (general) and not (confined) to certain Sunnahs only. Also one should realise that this division only took place long after the time of the Sahaaba. To this illustrious group, the mere fact that Rasullulah S.A.W did it, was sufficient impetus for them to go to any lengths to practice it. Likewise, it should be the attitude of any true believer.
The Topi in Salaah.
The following is a summary of a fatwa by Allaamah Muhammed Zaahid Kowthari R.A, a world-renowned Muhaddith and Faqih who held a prominent post in the Ottoman Khilaafah in Turkey and who later went on to emerge as one of the greatest scholars Egypt has ever seen.
Allaamah Kowthari (R.A) writes:
People often ask concerning the ruling of performing salaah bareheaded without an excuse. The question has come to the fore, due to the emergence of a group who seem to take delight in denying those actions, which are accepted by the Muslims and have passed down from generation to generation. They strive hard to cause discord in the Masjid and greatly resemble the Khawaarij (a deviant sect which emerged in the time of Ali R.A) in that they lay great stress on trivial matters while ignoring major issues.
The ruling concerning the Salaah of a person bareheaded without an excuse, is that it is valid if all the conditions and pre-requisites are met, however this is in direct conflict to what has remained the practice of all the Muslims throughout the ages.
It also entails emulation of the Christians in that they worship bareheaded, as is well known.
Allah Ta'ala has ordered the Muslims:
"Adopt clothing of beauty when performing Salaah."
Leaving the head uncovered is discarding this beauty.
Imam Baihaqi (R.A.) narrates that Nabi S.A.W said:
"When performing salaah, one should wear two items of clothing as the most deserving being for whom you should dress up, is Allah."
Imam Baihaqi (R.A) has also mentioned the following incident.
Nafi (R.A), the slave of Ibn Umar (R.A) says that Ibn Umar R.A saw him performing salaah wearing only one item of clothing. He rebuked him saying, "Have I not given you clothing?" "Yes, you have!" replied Nafi. "So who," asked Ibn Umar R.A "has more right that you dress up well for him? Allah Ta'ala or the people!"
It is on this basis, that the Fuqaha (jurists) say that it is Makrooh (reprehensible) to perform Salaah wearing such clothing in which one would not normally present oneself in front of those whom he holds in high esteem.
There exists no doubt in the fact that it has always remained the practice of the Muslims not to appear bareheaded in front of those whom they respect. In the very same way, Salaah performed bareheaded would be reprehensible in the light of Shari'aah.
Note: Sheikh Albani (a great Muhaddith and a Scholar) says:
"And my view is that, surly the performing of Salaah bareheaded is Makrooh. This is because everyone agrees on the fact that it is Mustahab for a Muslim to begin his Salaah with the most complete appearance due to the Hadeeth:
"Allah is most deserving to be beautified for."
May Allah S.W.T give us all the ability to cling to every Sunnah no matter where we are and how strong the wrong environments around us are and also may he give us the true understanding of Deen.
Aameen. By (Molana) Zakaria Maljee (Jamiah Madinatul-Uloom Emd'ee Stamford Hill)
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