Imitation of the Kuffar
Tape (aadam al-tashabuh bil-kuffar/عدم التشبه بالكفار )
The Sheikh (Rahimahu Allah) began with kutabtah al hajjah
Then the sheikh (Rahimahu Allah) was asked:
Q: Bismillah ar-rahman araheem, we would like a further clarification and a clearer understanding of a previous lecture given, entitled: The Ahadith of the Prophet (sallah allahu alayhi wassalam) concerning the prohibition of imitating the kufar. Jaazakum Allahu khayr.
A: The sheikh Rahimahu Allah began: We state that anything that is specific to the kufar, their culture, and their traditions is not permissible. It is not permissible for the Muslim to neither beautify himself nor take for him self anything that is specific to the kufaar. There is no doubt it is not within our capacity at this time to enter into this topic in detail or in very precise levels because the imitation (Tashabuh) is of different levels. I will give you some examples concerning what I mean so it will become clear to you.
The Muslimeen up until this day walhamdulilah, wear on their heads a certain Islamic head gear. Like wise, the disbelievers have a certain headgear which is called "Al burnata" a type of head gear worn by the kufaar. If a Muslim puts this type of head gear on his head, then he has done something prohibited and has imitated the kufar in their way of dress, and this is not permissible. There is no doubt left in anybodies mind that understands or has come upon the ahadith of imitating the kufar, that whom so ever has put on this head gear, or has imitated the kufar in any other way, then he has fallen into the sin and/or prohibition.
Let us take for example that a Muslim has put upon his head this head gear and continued to walk between the Muslimeen wearing it. At this point, it is known that this "Muslim" has lost his Islamic character. He has also cut off his connection between him and his brothers in Islam. It is known that upon this Muslim are rights towards his fellow Muslim brothers and upon them are rights towards him. We know within our deen we have rights amongst each other, as the Prophet (sallah allahu alayhi wassalam) explained to us the right of the Muslim upon the Muslim is five. The first thing the Prophet (sallah Allahu alayhi wassalam) noted was: If you see or come upon your brother Muslim, give him salam (The greetings of peace). When you come upon a Muslim brother that is wearing this kafir head gear instead of the Islamic head gear, one will not recognize that he is Muslim because he is wearing another people’s clothing. One might come to him (he that is wearing this kafir head gear) and think that he one of the disbelievers themselves named George, Antonio, and other names such as these. Therefore, one will not go towards him to give him salam. Although it is an obligation upon every Muslim to greet each other, this person that is imitating the kufar has lost his Islamic identity/character by putting this kafir article on himself, and did not allow the Muslim brother to differentiate between him and the kufar. Due to this, Allah (swt) raises his mercy up off of him. I say this because “Assalam” that we send upon each other is from the names of Allah (swt’s) names. As it has come in the authentic hadeeth, the name “Assalam” has been placed on the earth, therefore spread it between yourselves. When a Muslim comes upon another Muslim and gives him salam, it’s like we say in the Syrian dialect, May Allah’s name be upon you (Issim Allah alayk)”.
Due to losing his Islamic identity/character, this person will lose out on the salam that the Muslims spread between themselves. Of course this will lead to greater things, such as cutting each other off, turning away from each other, and producing hatred between one another. So the issue with this clothing is not as many of the people may imagine of it not having any effect upon the person’s Islamic identity/character. Rather, it is the opposite, everything that is apparent on the person effects that which is within him. As has come in the authentic hadith of Al-nu’maan where the Prophet (Peace be upon him) states at the end of the hadith
“…Verily within the body there is a part, if it becomes correct and rectified the body becomes correct and rectified. If it becomes corrupt, likewise the whole body becomes corrupt. Verily this body part is the heart.”
The clothing of the kufaar is corrupt and not righteous, and the one who wears this clothing will affect his heart by allowing him to take on the kafir’s personality and their ways.
Here I would like to stop and take this opportunity before I continue on into the topic.
I want to point out how the Muslimeen’s personality and character today is deteriorating continuously. Recently there has come forth something that is very strange and has effected many of the youth. It is that they wear white shirts, and in the middle of the shirt on the front or back there is some type of picture. Some of the pictures on these shirts are what they claim to be their heroes from the wrestlers and the fighters.
Recently I went to one of the masajid to pray. While I was praying, there was a young man that I saw that I know and see regularly in the masjid praying wearing a T-shirt with pictures all over it. The picture on the T-shirt was a persons figure or some type of sports athlete. He was wearing it as he was praying and walking in and out of the masjid. This has become the new fad between the youth due to our ignorance, Islamic personality, and Islamic teachings. It has been a long time since the beginning of Islam, and it seems as though the further they get away from it, the more they are losing their Islam. Where is the honor? Where is being proud of the Islamic personality and Identity, the Islamic character, the Islamic deen they hold? Where are the people persevering the Islamic traditions, which we have inherited from our fathers and them from their fathers? Rather it is strange that a person today wears a shirt with somebody’s face on it. It is as though everything strange they come up with, it is upon us to follow and do as they do.
This just means that the Muslimeen are in the path of imitating the kufar. It is from the mercy of our Lord most high and honored is that he sent to us our Prophet and messenger Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him) with a legislation that our Lord has given the description of it in his saying “Today I have completed for you your religion and have accepted Islam as your religion…”. Like wise, The Prophets (Peace be Upon Him) statement is that I have not left anything that brings you toward Allah (subhanahu wa tala) except that I have brought you to it, and I have not left anything that brings you toward the hell fire that I have not warned you from it.
One of the things that the Prophet (saw) warned us from and restricted us from doing was to keep our Islamic personality in tact and preserved by not imitating the kufar.
Now, I have given you an example which no intellectual person, or person whom has left off his desires will not accept. The example of the Muslim wearing the kafir head gear “Al birnata” on his head and walking between the Muslimeen in this fashion thus disconnecting him self from the Islamic community and society. That is if within that community or society remains that which gives it the right to still be regarded as an Islamic society.
I will give you yet another example of the effect of the Muslimeen and their imitation of the kufar. I was on my way on a trip in a train where I met a Christian priest. We had a very long debate, but I won’t talk about the whole debate for it is too long. As we were speaking, the priest criticized the Muslimeen for being extreme against wearing this “burnaata” or kafir head gear to the point that the Muslimeen criticized this man named Mustafa Kamaal for making this something mandatory in his land. This man, Mustafa Kamaal was a Turkish ruler called Atta Turk that had an issue with the Muslimeen because the Muslimeen criticized Atta turk for making it a mandatory gear for the Turkish people that they wear this kafir head gear instead of the Islamic one they previously had. Due to this man’s action of forcing this kafir head gear, unfortunately, today we still see some of our Turkish brothers dressed with this kafir head gear.
He was trying to tell me that this hat and/head gear is a universal and international form of clothing, and it would not hurt anybody to wear it. Why are you so extreme in your position? The Sheikh (rahimahu Allah) then points out that the sect of Christianity this Priest came from would normally be dressed in a long black robe with a long black hat. So the Sheikh then said, “Then there won’t be any problem for you to take off this black hat that you have on, and instead put on this white or red hat (tarboosh – A long red hat that is mainly worn in the
)”. The priest then replied by saying “of course not, I will not do that.” The priest ran away from doing such a thing, so here is my place of proof. land of Syria
I then asked the Priest why he will not do it, and he told me that he cannot do that because he is a man of God and a man of religion. I stopped the priest at that point and told him here is the difference between us, the people of Islam and you, the people of Christianity. You made yourselves into two groups, men of religion, and men of no religion. Men of religion have their own rules and from those rules are that they have a specific type of clothing. Now, when I asked you to wear this other Islamic type head gear, you refused, why? Because you want to preserve your Christian personality.
As for us, the smallest lowest Muslim that we have has the same obligations and rights as the biggest Sheikh we have. Whatever is permissible for this one is permissible for this one and whatever is prohibited for this one is prohibited for that one.
The sheikh then ended his debate with the priest by telling him, as it is not permissible for you to imitate the Muslim; it is not permissible not just for the Sheikh, but all Muslims to imitate the kafir in any way.
This issue of imitation is not a subject of worship; it is an issue of knowledge a very precise psychological social issue. Some of the scholars of social studies say that nations continue to exist only through their preserving their ways and traditions. They preserve their ways and traditions by preserving their language and their history. The Muslims unfortunately continue to waste and lose these fundamental traits upon which their Islamic personality built upon. Due to this fact it has become something that the Muslims fall into easily, and it has become of a simple matter for them to imitate the kufar.
That was my example of the Muslim wearing a “burnata”. Let me give you another example of the person that wears this thing around their neck called a tie.
What do you see this tie signifies? This tie is meaningless, except that it is clothing that the kufar wear and they have introduced it into in our lands after colonizing us. The shaytan then came along and beautified this clothing to us, so we then imitated it. Furthermore, the person that has some type of intellect should pay attention to this time that is being wasted when putting this article of clothing on. They sit in front of the mirror wasting time, minutes of the hour trying to beautify this piece of clothing that they have. In fact they feel a certain type of discomfort in it such as one of you that has been tested with the dilemma of wearing the pants and other than it from the kufar styles and clothing. In summary there is nothing meant by this except for imitating the kufar only.
It should be noted that there are levels of imitation, so the one that put on the tie is not like the one that wore the “burnata”. They are not of an equal or similar level. It is as what we used to hear from some of the Mashayikh here, the person that has put the burnata on his head has raised a flag saying, that’s it… it’s over, I am no longer Muslim.
We will go down to another level of the certain type of clothing that the youth has been tested with and has been a general dilemma amongst them. They are the ones that wear the pants and the shirt and follow the new fashions with and designer clothing lines. One of them looks for the next outfit that is in fashion after the previous ones have gone old. It actually reminds me of a joke that used to be said about the women, but now it is said about the men. The joke is, there was a man running out with a bag on his shoulder when his brother ran into him and said, “Where are you going my brother? Why are you running so fast?” the man replied “I just got this new piece of clothing that’s in fashion for my wife and I better get it to her before it’s out of fashion and asks for the next one.” Unfortunately This joke is no longer just for the women, it has become for the young men as well. All of this that we see is something that makes it even clearer to us that the minds of the Muslimeen are in the hands of another. And these people that control their minds are not Muslims themselves.
In the end, you should know that the levels cannot be consolidated because they are so many in numbers. It is sufficient for the Muslim that he reckons himself and knows that the imitation of the kufar is anything that has come to us from the kufar yet no benefit can be found in it. Therefore, this type of simulation of them is what is considered imitation (At tashabuh).
There is another level that if the Muslim does not pay attention it then there is absolutely no benefit in asking about the different levels of imitation. This level is that the Muslim should go out of his way and have the intention to oppose the kufar. There is the imitation of the kafir, and as you have seen, it is of levels and types. But there are things in the legislation of Islam that you are asked to do in which you seek ways of opposing and being opposite to the kufar.
Even in a situation where it is not something that you own and control. The Prophet (Peace be upon Him) has benefited us his saying in the hadith that has come in Sahih Bukhari, “The jews and Christians do not dye their hair, so be opposite to them.” Since the Jews and Christians do not dye their hair when their hair becomes grey, so oh you Muslim be in opposition to them and dye your hair. The human being’s hair is going to become grey, this is the Sunnah (way) of Allah (swt) concerning his creation, and you will not find a replacement for the sunnah, the way of Allah (swt). There is no difference in this aspect between the Muslim and the kafir, the righteous and the corrupt. Everyone will have to pass by this stage that grows of age, and they will all turn grey. Even the Prophet (saw)’s hair turned grey as we know. Even though the grayness of his hair did not overwhelm his beard, rather it was the minority of his hair. With all of this, the person’s hair will become grey and change color. All of this being known to the Prophet (Peace be upon Him), he still commanded the believers and said “The Jews and Christians do not dye their hair, so be opposite to them”. The Prophet (Peace be upon Him) meant by all of this; Oppose the kufar.
So we are not just ordered not to imitate the kufar, but we are ordered to oppose the kufar and be different from them. If they wear certain clothing, we are ordered to wear a different type of clothing. Not just in our clothing, rather in our lives in general and specific, we are ordered to be different from them. It is as I have told you before; this is not an affair of uselessness that has no meaning behind it. Rather it has great meaning because the things that are apparent upon the person have an effect upon the things that are not apparent; the things are apparent upon him have an effect upon his heart. If good then good, and if evil then evil.
With these words, it is enough…. Walhamdu lilahi rab il alaameen.
Then the shaykh opened the floor up for questions.
A questioner asks about the Immama.
Shaykh answered as for the Immama it is a traditional for of head covering known to the Arabs. And it should be known that it is not true what has been narrarted in the weak and fabricated ahadith that the prayer (sallah) is seventy times better than the (sallah) with out it. Rather it is from the dress of the Arabs and it is still worn by them. But no one should believe that the Ammamah is that cover that is wrapped levels and stages and for each level on the ammamah it is an increased level in Jannah, this is not true. It is this covering we have on our heads to protect us from the heat or the cold or other than that.