What is the Islamic ruling in regards to the permissibility of wearing a necktie?
Would it be considered imitation of the kuffar/infidels/non-Muslims?
Answers in the light of relevant hadith and Qur'anic verses would be preferred.
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Scholars agree that there is nothing wrong in wearing a tie. Indeed on one hand we are told by prophet Muhammad NOT to imitate the Kuffar, but not in case of clothes (in most cases).
And we should know that the origin of Tie is from Bosnia, and NOT from any religion or any western culture. So it can in no way be attached to identitfy of West. Western culture just adopted it from Bosnia and Bosnia has majority Muslims in it.
For scholarly reference here is answer:
There is nothing wrong wearing a tie according to Islam. Wearing tie can not be considered as "imitating kuffar" as the imitation has to be something that is a distinguishing factor of some religion. e.g. a clerical collar of a priest or cross. A person wearing this collar or cross signifies that he is a Christian.
The necktie is originally a European style of cloths, but many Muslims wear it today so it has come out of being specifically Kuffar wearing it, but whoever wears it just because the west wears it then that would be imitation of the Kuffar and the rulings in that as well as the Ahdeeth in the subject are known. The best thing is not to wear it. If a women were to wear it then it would be haram as it would be imitation of men, and the Ahadeeth in regards to that are also known, among them:
لعن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم المتشبهين من الرجال بالنساء، والمتشبهات من النساء بالرجال
The Messenger of Allah () cursed those men who are effeminate, and women who imitate men.
For more information see this(Arabic)
Below is a survey of online fatawa regarding the matter. They tend to lean towards it being halal, but it's not universal. Since there are reputable scholars on both sides of the fence, we can conclude there is no Islam-wide consensus on the matter.
The key deciding factor is whether or not it's considered impersonating non-Muslims (and, in particular, whether or not it resembles the Christian cross).
It's usually considered forbidden if it's made from silk. It was noted as forbidden for women in one fatwa (as it's a way of impersonating men).
It is normally believed that the origins of ties is the Christian cross and thus it is totally unlawful (haram) to wear them. ... It is also not considered imitation of the non-believers because it is not something that is a unique characteristic of them, unless one wears a tie because one WANTS to be like the disbelivers. ... Therefore, it would be permissible to wear ties ... -- Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam, DarulIftaa.com
The same applies to wearing a suit and tie. These are not garments that are unique to the kuffaar, so they are permissible, unless the wearer intends to imitate them. -- Islam Q&A
Now wearing the tie is merely a custom for many Muslims; no longer is it considered the characteristic of non-Muslims. So, wearing the tie is not regarded as imitating them unless one wears it only for the reason that Westerners wear it. ... On the other hand, it is forbidden for a woman to wear a tie since it is considered imitating men -- IslamWeb.net
I do not see anything wrong with Muslim men wearing neckties, because the necktie is no longer a distinguishing mode of dress for the unbelievers. It is now a part of the Muslims’ dress in many Muslim countries like Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Morocco...etc. Therefore, the purpose of forbidding it does not exist. ... It is not permissible for men to wear a necktie made of silk. -- Sheikh Salman al-Oadah, IslamToday
The same applies to suits and ties, for they are not of the clothes designated to the Kuffar, therefore, it is permissible to wear them, unless the person who wears them does this with the intention of resembling the Kuffar. -- Fatwas of the Permanent Committee, Saudi Arabia
It is not forbidden to wear a tie, even if it is from pure silk because it is not [big enough material] to cover the private parts that must be covered [in prayer]. -- Ayatollah Sistani
It is permissible in the Shari'ah to wear silk neckties since they are accessories and not essential garments. -- Dar Alifta
...many scholars have stated that wearing the tie is not free from reprehensibleness (karahiya), that is, it will be Makrooh to wear it since it is adopting the ‘way’ of others – (non Muslims). -- Mufti Waseem Khan, sourced from IslamQA.org
... The tie has absolutely no religious representation. It will, therefore, be permissible for Muslims to wear the tie under certain conditions. Since the tie has become a formal and traditional dress of the West, and because Shariah discourages Muslims from wearing clothing that serve no purpose and are merely donned for fashion, it will be Makrooh to wear the tie. In other words, it would be preferable and rewarding NOT to wear it where possible. -- Mufti Siraj Desai, AskMufti
According to the Shari’ah, it is Makrooh to wear a tie as it is the clothing of non-Muslims. -- Mufti Ebrahim Desai, AskImam.com
Hozoor Muftee-e-Azam Hind Aleh Rehma-tu-Rizwan writes that to wear a tie is definitely Haram and is a resemblance of Kafir. It is a bad deed and an open disobedience of ALLAH Tala Wal Ikram. -- Darul Uloom Amjadia, Islamic Academy
The Cross, as well as anything like the Cross, is the religious symbol of the Christians. Now, either you admit that the tie is a Cross or you accept that it is similar to the Cross. On both the conditions: that it is a religious sign of the Christians, and whichever thing that is considered to be a sign of non-Muslims would not be legitimate on any account even if, Allah forbid, that it becomes common in any manner. -- Mufti Mohammad Akhtar Raza Khan Qadiri Azhari, taajushshariah.com
Generally speaking, it is not permissible to wear a tie, or other kinds of clothes that are considered as the attire of non-Muslims, in such that their wearing will promote vile Western culture. -- Ayatollah Khamenei, from http://www.leader.ir
To the best of my knowledge/research, according to the most Shia Islam scholar view/Farwas, it is Haram (impermissible) to wear tie; since it is imitation and promotion from attacking culture of non-Muslims.
On the other hand --at least from an aspect of the reason(s) which made it impermissible-- is that:
Based on historical/religious books, factually tie de facto is cross; and Christians used to hang cross in war against Muslims ...
Most of Shia scholars agree that wearing a tie is Haram. But still there are scholars who say it is not Haram if it does not spread western culture. The hadith saying "imitation to Kuffar is Haram" is used in this case. All scholars agree that imitation to Kuffar is forbidden. But some scholars consider the tie a case of imitation to Kuffar and some other believe wearing a tie is not imitation to Kuffar. For each case it should be determined that if it is imitation to Kuffar or not. For example cases like bike, cars, and internet... are not imitation to Kuffar. But tie is a different case and is not considered a technology or useful tool of life and is only based on western culture and life style which in many cases has root in Paganism.
لا تشبهوا بالکفار
Do not imitate to Kuffar.
This hadith is narrated in both Shia and Sunni hadith books.
Another point about tie is that it is not a useful technology or tool of life and in fact has no benefit and even can have some risks for health and Quran discourages doing any frivolities deed while defining believers:
وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَنِ اللَّغْوِ مُعْرِضُونَ
Who shun all frivolities http://tanzil.net/#23:3
There is a principal in Islam that anything harmful to body is Haram that can be applied to necktie according to health risks of necktie. I do not how much those risks are proved scientifically but if it is proved certainly it becomes Haram and if not Islam still recommends caution. If there is at least probability of health danger Islam recommends avoiding. For example about cigar some scholars say it is not harmful and some other say it is harmful. Anyway scholars only say the basic law and determining the case is not mainly by scholars and is by experts in each field and about the cultural cases it is determined by the common law and can vary from one society to another.
Also this is the fatwa of a Shia scholar regarding this issue:
Wearing a Tie
Q: I would like to know if wearing a tie is ḥarām?
A: It is prohibited to wear a necktie that contributes to the spreading of western culture.
Reference: QA from Imam Khamenei (a great scholar of Jafari Fiqh)