Muslim Matrimonials and More

Articles and Essays on Marriage and Family in Islam


Can Muslim Men Wear Earrings or Silk?

By Jamaal al-Din Zarabozo (this is one of a series of questions answered by brother Zarabozo on Al-Jumuah Magazine's website)

Question: I have a dilemma. I am an incarcerated Muslim youth. I am uncertain about the law governing Muslim males and jewelry. I know we cannot wear gold. My question is as Muslim men, can we wear earrings (so long as they are not gold)?

Answer: This question is being asked more and more by Muslims in the west. This leads one to consider the development of this phenomena as this will reflect on the proper answer to it.

This question has been asked recently in the light of the practice of western, non-Muslim men wearing earrings during the past couple of decades. Among those non-Muslim men, the earrings were originally worn to demonstrate one of two things (depending on which ear the ring was worn): either that the person was homosexual or the person wore an earring to demonstrate his toughness.

Now this practice has "matured" somewhat and men are wearing earrings in both ears as a kind of adornment or decoration. Therefore, the following matters shed light on the Islamic ruling concerning the wearing of earrings by men. First, obviously, homosexuality is forbidden and any outward show of it by any Muslim must also be considered forbidden. Second, the wearing of earrings to demonstrate how tough one is, also does not seem to be proper Islamic behavior, especially if worn around other Muslims. Muslims are taught to be humble and polite to others and not to be arrogant or proud. Third, this is a custom that has developed among non-Muslim men and is being copied by Muslim men--- that is why this question never came up before this became a fad among the non-Muslim men of the West. Therefore, it is a kind of imitation of the fads and customs of those men. The Prophet (saw) stated:, "Whoever imitates a people is one of them." (Authentically recorded by Abu Dawud). Finally, earrings are still generally considered a type of adornment for women and even in the West they were originally worn by those men who wanted to imitate women. The Prophet (saw) cursed effeminate men-those men who appear like women. (Authentic Hadiths on that subject have been recorded by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Al-Tirmidhi and others)

Given all of the above, it is clear that Muslims must avoid this recent fad of the non-Muslims of the West. Earrings, even if they are not gold, should not be worn by Muslim men.

Question: I know that tit is forbidden to wear silk garments if you are a man, but what about nylon, which is man made? Please give me sunnah or legal law concerning this question.

Answer: Obviously, there is no stated text prohibiting the use of nylon. One cannot make an analogy between it and silk simply because it is man-made. Silk is considered forbidden for men because of its luxuriousness and the fact that its qualities are befitting women rather than men. Hence, one would have to conclude that nylon is permissible since there is no text forbidding it and there is no cause to believe that it is forbidden based on any prohibition of any similar items. Of course, a man should not wear nylon clothing if such clothing is feminine.

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