The Prohibition of Wearing Gold and Silk for Men
Prof. Dr. Mahmoud Hamdy Zaqzouq
President of Al-Azhar Center for Dialogue
Dr. Kamal Boraiqa Abdelsalam Hassan
Al-Azhar Magazine (Ramadan, 1442 A.H. April/May, 2021.)
1- This prohibition is based upon a number of the Sayings of the Prophet and has been approved by the majority of Muslim scholars. Their opinion is that strength and resolution are essential qualities in a man and Islam advocates that a man should not be surrounded by any signs of weakness, or for that matter signs of luxury since luxury usually goes hand in hand with social injustice. A man should be resolute, determined, and courageous in everyday life and when he participates in battles to defend his faith and homeland. Wearing gold ornaments and clothes made of silk arc indications of luxury which is not approved of by Islam.
Moreover, Islam does not forbid women to wear gold ornaments, any form of jewelry, or silk material, since women's love of gold, jewelry and adornment is an inherent trait in their nature.
2- In spite of this prohibition should the necessity arise for a man to wear clothes made of silk material, Islam permits its use. The Prophet Muhammad permitted Abde Rahman Ibn 'Awf and Al-Zubayr lbn Al-'Awwam to wear clothes made of silk when they suffered from a form of allergy of their skin.
3- The Imam Al-Shawkani, who died about 1840, made an intensive study of all the facts and data concerning this matter and he reached the conclusion that the use of gold and silk material are not prohibited but are looked upon with distaste, which signifies that it is a degree less than that of actual prohibition. He established his opinion on the fact that no less than twenty of the Companions of the Prophet, among whom were Anas and Al-Baraa' lbn 'Azib, wore clothes made of silk material. Had such a matter bee prohibited they would have never worn these clothes and the rest of their Companion would have never allowed the matter to pass undisputed.
4- As regards the wearing of gold rings most Muslim scholars declared its prohibition and they based their opinion on several sayings of the Prophet. Another group of Muslim scholars maintained that it was not prohibited but was looked upon with distaste. They came to this conclusion when they learnt that a number of the Prophet's Companions, among whom were Sa'd Ibn Abi Waqqas, Talha lbn 'Obayd Allah, Sohayb, Hudhayfa, Jabir Ibn Samra, and Al-Baraa' Ibn 'Azib wore gold rings. Therefore, wearing a gold rings is looked upon with distaste but is not prohibited.