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I have noticed that a majority of men cover their heads head with a cap or something to cover the hair while offering salah. Is this mandatory? What if sometimes you don't find a cap or cloth to cover your head or if you are deliberately not covering your hair while praying? Is this considered sinful?

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While it is true that the Prophet (saws) was never seen without a head-covering, there is no hadith reaching us from him (saws) that legislates covering the head while praying. The actions of the Prophet (saws) are divided into those that form part of the shari'ah (in this case, actions of the Prophet (saws) that are legislated for us to perform and emulate and receive reward for), and those that form his own actions, or 'aadah.

The general principle is to wear clothes that are respectful when in prayer. If in the culture you are in it is respectful to wear a head-covering (or disrespectful not to!), then do so out of an intention to be respectful to Allah.

Imam ash-Shatibi (rahimahullah) says in his book Al-Muwafaqat that

“[Customs] change matters from something praiseworthy to something blameworthy, and vice versa. For example, uncovering the head, for this is an issue that varies from place to place. In Eastern lands, it is something frowned upon for people of stature [muru’a], while in Western lands, it is not. Therefore, the Islamic ruling on it changes from place to place, and in Eastern lands, it would be taken into account for considering someone not worthy, while this would not be the case in Western lands”

Imam ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullah) says the following in Zad al-Ma'ad:

The custom of the Prophet (saws) with regards to clothing was that he would wear whatever Allah had facilitated for him of the clothes of his people, so he would wear a qamis, a turban, an izar, a rida, a shawl, etc. And he would wear cotton and wool, and other garments, and he would also wear what was imported from Yemen and other lands. So his Sunnah actually necessitates that a man should wear whatever Allah has facilitated for him in his land, even if it be more luxurious [than this] ..."

Shaykh Yasir Qadhi adds that in fact the true sunnah is to wear clothes similar to those of the people around you, as the Prophet (saws) did with his clothes and headgear.

And Allah SWT knows better. (This is not a fatwa. I am merely pointing out facts that I've learned from my teachers, and quoting two of the great scholars of the past.)

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    I would like to ask you about your mentioned quote that "true sunnah is to wear clothes similar to people around you" so following people around you would be the true sunnah or following Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. – Faqirah Nov 10 '15 at 0:24
  • @servant Please don't take it out of context. Islam describes general guidelines for modest dress. The specifics are not necessarily part of prescribed sunnah. The Prophet (saws) rode camels - if someone rides in a car, is there a dichotomy between doing what people do nowadays and what the Prophet (saws) did? – Ansari Nov 10 '15 at 17:12
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Wearing a cap in salaah (prayer) is masnoon (derived from sunnah). Wearing a cap all the time too is sunnah. The holy prophet (pbuh) covered his head for most of the time, not only during prayer. Though one condition: the cap should not contain things that are forbidden to wear like gold and silk. And wearing a cap is not at all a compulsion because no hadith or a verse of the Holy Qur'an relates it farz to pray wearing a cap. But it's a sunnah you'll be missing out if you don't.

And Allah knows best.

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For me wearing a cap is not just a sunnah nowhere day because a lot of brothers who is doing hair style which is as i know not allow in islam (may Allah show them the right way) They should put a cap while they pray they have self respect for themselves they are in front of Allah some how.It been say come in pray in your most beautiful way ...So here where self respect came on

  • The Prophet (SAW) always covered his head when not at home. But most Muslims today have restricted it to only covering it during prayers which distorts the sunnah. – Ahmed Jul 6 '18 at 9:20
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The only place where prophet pbuh ask us to cover our head is when entering toilet. And majority us are not following that Sunnat. On the other hand people are bent upon proving that covering of head is a sunnat. But with a cap..topi..prophet never wore cap..so the advocates should wear exact dress wore by prophet pbuh...And mind it the same dress was wore upon by Abu jahal...Abu Lahab etc

Wearing of cap...especially the rounded one is a pick from Jews clergy etc..we r not imbibing sunnat of prophet pbuh on the contrary we r imitating Jews.

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    Answers should be elaborate and focused on addressing the question. Claims should be supported by evidence. Please visit our tour in the help center, and refer to How to Answer. – III-AK-III Jul 7 '18 at 17:14
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Prophet pbuh did not order people to wear cap whilst praying salat sometimes he used to take off his head covering to use as a sutra. Only Indo-Pak moulanas say that covering head in salat is better without any proof.

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Since we all know that Muhammad {Peace be upon him} always covered his head so it is declared a sunnah and if we following a sunnah of PBUH we surely will get reward. Plus to revive a sunnah is also big rewarding. (Allah SWT knows the best)

  • Adding sources would be better. And don't assume "since we all know", we learn, we need sources to learn. – nim Jan 18 '16 at 9:28
  • @muhammad noroz It is true that the Prophet (SAW) always covered his head when not at home. But most Muslims today have restricted it to only covering it during prayers which distorts the sunnah. – Ahmed Jul 6 '18 at 9:20
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As we know that God is everywhere we can't hide from Him. But while prying we have to cover hair or head, as part of tradition. It doesn't affect anything.

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Actually, no. The Jews are imitating Muslims. Caps come from the Muslims of the southern Asia and Turks. During Muslim rule of the region, the Jews adopted the garments of the Muslims. Just like they did with suits and hats in the west because Jews don't really have any cultural clothing

  • Hi Lasam Welsome to Stack Exchange Islam. please justify your answer with proper reference. – xitas Sep 25 at 21:42

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