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Topee (Headgear) in Islam

6th April 2007

Allah (swt) says in the Quran:
He That Obeys Allah And His Rasul (saw), has already attained The Great Victory (Surah Ahzab, 71)

Why Wear The Topee?
The question may occur as to what the virtue of the topee is? In order to understand this, a correct perspective of the Shariah has to be gained. The mere fact that the wearing of the topee is proven to be sunnah is in itself a sufficient and complete appraisal of its virtue and should provide the necessary directive towards its adoption. An explicit example of this is that of wearing white clothing. This has been enjoined by Nabi (saw). This alone is sufficient even though the special virtue of it may not be known.

Due to this fact the Ulema have written that whomsoever, in an important act of Ibaadat such as Salaat, has their head uncovered, performs an action which is Makruh.
(Al Duri Muhktar, Shaami, II, p 407)

It is thus emphasised that in the condition of prayer (in Salaat) the head should be covered, keeping with the respect and manners of standing in front of Allah (swt).

Ibn ul Arabi writes: ‘The topee is amongst the clothing of the ambiya and pious ones. It protects the head and keeps the turban in place, which is sunnah. The topi should sit of the head and should not be standing like a dome. Should anyone feel the necessity of making holes in the topee in order to keep the head cool, then this would be regarded as a means of treatment.
(Faizul Qadeer vol 5, p247)

The Virtue of The Topee and Rasul (saw)’s Topees
Hazrat Ibn Umar (RA) narrates that Nabi (saw) used to wear a white topee. (Tabrani)
(Allamah Suyooti has written in Jamius Sagheer that the sanad of this hadith is Hasan, the commentator Azeezi has affirmed this viewpoint)

It is reported from Ibn Umar (RA) that Nabi (saw) wore a white topee (Mujamul Kabeer, Tabrani)

Nabi (saw) has said that a Muhrim (a person in Ihram) must not wear a kurta, turban, pants or a burnus (a type of topee) (Sahih Bukhari, Vol I, p 209)

It is thus learned that people were in the habit of wearing the topee in the time of Nabi (saw). Due to this fact Nabi (saw) has emphasised that it should not be worn in the condition of Ihram specifically.

Abu Sheihk reports from Ibn Abbas (RA) that Nabi (saw) had 3 topees in his possession. (Bazlul Majhood, vol 6, p52)

Hazrat Ayesha (RA) narrated that Nabi (saw) would wear a white topee which lay flat and compressed to his head.
(Faizul Qadeer, vol 5, p246)

Ibn Abbas (RA) has related that Nabi (saw) would wear a topee under his turban and would sometimes wear only a topee. (Ibn Asaakir)

Hazrat Ayesha (RA) narrates that Nabi (saw) would wear a topee which covered his ears while on a journey and while at home he would wear a thin (Syrian style) topee. (Faizul Qadeer, vol 5)
Iraaqi has written that of the Ahadith dealing with the topee, this hadith is the most authentic and reliable.

Mention of the Topee of the Sahabaa and Tabieen
Esa Ibn Tahmaan says that he saw Anas ibn Malik (RA) wearing a topee. (Sahih Bukhari, vol 2, p 863)
The mention of the topee of Abu Ishaaq Sabee Tabiee is found in Sahih Bukhari vol 1, p159.

Hazrat Ali (RA) was seen wearing a white Egyptian topee. (Tabaqaat Ibn Saad, vol 3, p187)

It is mentioned in Sunan Tirmizi from RasulAllah (saw) that there is a Martyr whose Iman is complete and when meeting the enemy has accepted & believed in Allah’s promise, and fights with valour and is martyred. His status will be so elevated that on the Day of Qiyamah people will look at him with raised heads. (in saying this, he lifted his head to such an extent that the topee which he had on fell off (Al Hadith) (Tirmizi, vol 1, p294)

May Allah (swt) grants us the tawfeeq to following the footsteps of RasulAllah & the Salaf-As-Saliheen, Aameen.
Al Kauthar


Mufti Yusuf Danka (CMIC)