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I know that, as a man, I am banned from wearing various forms of clothing. According to a relevant fatwa on IslamQA, brocade is one such forbidden based on the following hadith:

narrated by al-Bukhaari (5837) from Hudhayfah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) forbade us to wear silk and brocade and to sit on them.

What I want to know is what is 'brocade'? I wish to avoid it, but without an image I'm finding it difficult.

When I search for 'brocade' I see lots of different patterns and styles. Are these all haram? Is one particular design haram? Is it in combination with the material etc haram?

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    the hadith is about material. not about the pattern. – Battle of Karbala Mar 19 '14 at 14:48
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According to Hafiz Salahuddin Yusuf's commentary on Riyadh al-Saliheen, dibaj (translated in your case as "brocade") refers to a particular kind of silk cloth, but there are different opinions as to exactly what it is. He lists the following two:

  1. A thick silk cloth, differentiated from normal silk cloth due to its weight.
  2. A blended fabric, which contains some waft/weave threads that are made of silk but the remainder is cotton.

In both cases it's referring to the fabric, not the pattern, and in both cases, silk is a significant factor therein; most likely the prohibition is just a natural extension of the prohibition of silk itself. So long as the fabric you're concerned about does not contain silk, it's not likely to fall under the (literal) definition of dibaj.

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