by Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (rahmatullah ‘alayh)
Fashion is a test of the very severe kind. It is a madness and an obsession that has afflicted many. It makes a person blind, except to the chase of keeping up with the latest fashion trends, styles and designs, which are ever-changing.
Have we ever stopped to think that one day, very soon, we will leave this world wrapped in a simple Kafan (shroud), the pattern and style of which has remained the same and will always remain as is?
How senseless it is to make fashion the ‘be all and the end all' of our lives when the inescapable occasion of death calls for just one Kafan, with no designer names or brand labels.
Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi (rahmatullah ‘alayh) makes shows this reality:
The world is ‘Darul Ghurur' – A world of deception
The day man is delivered to his grave,
Nothing except his shroud accompanies him.
Since some people would have even competed in giving a costly Kafan, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:
“Do not be extravagant in shrouding, for it will be quickly decayed.”
Abu Bakr Siddiq (radiyallahu ‘anhu) had also mentioned before his demise: ‘…New clothes befit the living, and old clothes befit the decaying body.'
This does not mean that new material must not be used for the Kafan; rather, it was said to prevent any “competition” and differentiation in the Kafan of the rich from the poor.
To wear good clothes, eat fine food and live well is not Haram (forbidden) if the earnings are Halal (lawful) and our obligations to the poor and needy are also met.
Many Muslims do not fulfil the obligation of Zakat and Sadaqat -which is obligatory upon them, thus denying the poor and needy what rightfully belongs to them. This is a very major sin, and the punishment is very severe.
Whilst it is permissible to eat good food and dress well etc., to be lavish, exceeding all bounds of Islamic guidelines, ignoring the plight and the dire circumstances of the poor and needy is not acceptable. Many are without employment, food and homes – more especially in these times wherein inflation has gone through the roof, and a loaf of bread and a litre of milk are beyond the means of the poor. We should be considerate and remember that we will be questioned about our expenditure on the Day of Qiyamah.
What has to be understood is that we must not become slaves of passion and fashion, nor should our dress be a source of pride and arrogance.
It is within acceptable limits to wear beautiful clothes out of appreciation for the wealth bestowed upon us. It is narrated in a Hadith:
“Allah loves to see the effects of His blessing on His slave.”
Another Hadith states:
“Allah is Beautiful and loves beauty. Pride means denying the truth and looking down on people.”
Allah Ta'ala highlights this outward adornment as a Divine Blessing but categorically states that the best adornment is the adornment of righteousness.
“O children of Adam! We have indeed sent clothing down to you so that you may conceal the private parts of your bodies, and as a means of beautification. And The clothing of Taqwa is best This is from the signs of Allah so that you may take heed.”
Thus, our clothing and accessories should not become the medium of us falling prey to the deadly diseases of Takabbur (pride), ‘Ujb (vanity) and Riya (show and ostentation) —as is so common today.
We have been cautioned in the Hadith regarding even the intention behind our dressing:
“Whoever wears garments for fame, Allah will clothe him with the garment of disgrace.”
It is this diversion and game of “fashion” which gulps and swallows our money and opens the doors of wastage, extravagance, rivalry, living beyond one's means, purchasing on interest, and being negligent of the purpose of this worldly life.
There is great ease and comfort in simple living without being shackled by the need to change with changing designs and fashion. Simplicity is a part of Iman.
There are those who use the Ahadith on neatness, taharah, etc., as justification for modern-day lavishness, whereas fashion, lavishness and extravagance are very different from neatness and good grooming.
Khwaja Azizul Hasan Majzub (rahmatullah ‘alayh) has very aptly stated :
You are always concerned: ‘I must remain above all.
My fashion and beautification must excel all.'
Is this how one who is going to die lives?
The outward beauty of the world has deceived you.
 Abu Dawud
 Sahih Muslim
 Abu Dawud