By Shaykh Fadl al-Rahman al-A’zami
One must affirm that there can be absolutely no doubt in the fact that each and every Sunnah of our beloved Prophetsallallahu `alayhi wa sallamis considered supreme and well worthy of emulation by a true believer and follower of his esteemed lifestyle. In fact a true lover of the Prophetsallallahu `alayhi wa sallamwould be prepared to give his life for the practical preservation of even one Sunnah. A true [member of the Ummah] of the Prophetsallallahu `alayhi wa sallamis one who endeavors to emulate every Sunnah, whether it is connected to theIbaadah(worship) of the Prophetsallallahu `alayhi wa sallamor his habit or lifestyle (the manner of his eating, walking, dressing, etc.).
Concerning the turban, Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Muhammad Zakariyya al-Kandhlawi has written inKhasa’il-e-Nabawi(commentary ofShama’il Tirmidhi):
“The tying of the turban is aSunnah Mustamirrah(a practice perpetually adhered to by the Prophetsallallahu `alayhi wa sallam). The Prophetsallallahu `alayhi wa sallamhas enjoined the tying of the turban upon us. It has been reported, ‘Tie the turban. It will increase you in forbearance.'” (Fath al-Bari)
It is also reported that somebody enquired from Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (R) whether the tying of the turban was aSunnahor not. He replied in the affirmative.
It is reported in one hadith that the Prophetsallallahu `alayhi wa sallamsaid, “Wear the turban as it is a sign of Islam and it distinguishes between a Muslim and a Kafir.” (`Aynee)
Hadiths Pertaining to the Turban
Hadhrat Huraith (R) reports that the Prophetsallallahu `alayhi wa sallamaddressed the people while wearing a black turban. (Sahih Muslim, Vol.1 p.439)
In another narration it is reported: “I saw the Prophetsallallahu `alayhi wa sallamwearing a black turban.” (Shama’il Tirmidhip.8)
Hadhrat Jabir (R) reports that on the occasion of the conquest of Makkah, the Prophetsallallahu `alayhi wa sallamentered MakkahMukarramahwhile wearing a black turban. (Sahih Muslim, Vol.1 p.439)
Hadhrat Ibn Abbas (R) reports that during the illness just prior to his passing away, the Prophetsallallahu `alayhi wa sallamaddressed the Sahabah (R) while wearing a black turban. (Sahih Bukhari, Vol.1 p.536)
Hadhrat Anas (R) reports: “I saw the Prophetsallallahu `alayhi wa sallamperforming Wudu. He had on aQitriturban…” (Abu Dawud, p.19) (Qitri: a type of thick coarse cloth with an element of redness in it.)
The Sahabah (R) and the Turban
Hadhrat Abu Umar (R) reports that he saw Hadhrat Ibn Umar (R) purchasing such a turban which had designs on it. Thereafter he requested for a scissors and cut it off. (Ibn Majah, p.26)
A lengthy incident has been mentioned inSahih Bukhariwhere Hadhrat Abdullah bin Ateek (R) says: “It was a moonlit night when I fell down breaking my calf. I used my turban to form a bandage around it and proceeded ahead.” (Vol.2 p.577)
Hadhrat Sulayman (R) says: “I saw those Sahabah who were from theMuhajirin Awwalin(those who were among the first to migrate to Madinah) wearing turbans of cotton material.” (Mussanaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, Vol.8 p.241)
It is mentioned that on the day of the martyrdom of Hadhrat Uthman (R), Hadhrat Ali (R) had on a black turban. (Ibid, Vol.8 p.235)
Nafi’ says: “I saw Ibn Umar (R) wearing a turban the tail of which hung between the shoulders.” (Ibid, Vol.8 p.2)
The Scholars of Hadith and the Turban
It is mentioned concerning Imam Bukhari that when he prepared to travel towards Samarqand, he tied a turban and wore leather socks. (Muqaddamah Fath al-Bari, p.493)
It is also reported regarding Imam Muslim that once he placed his shawl on his turban in front of his teacher and left the class. (Ibid, p.491) This proves that Imam Muslim attended the lessons of Hadith wearing a turban.
Virtue of the Turban
The mere fact that the wearing of the turban is proven to beSunnahis in itself a sufficient and complete appraisal of its virtue and should provide the necessary impetus towards its adoption. However, there exist a multitude of narrations expounding the virtue of the turban. Many of them areDa`eef(weak). However it is an accepted principle that a coupling of a multitude of weak narrations concerning the virtue of a specified act lends credence towards its practice and acceptability of the said virtue.
The Prophetsallallahu `alayhi wa sallamis reported to have said:
“Hold on to the turban as it is a sign of the angels. Also let the loose end hang from the back.” (Bayhaqi)
“Adopt the turban as it will increase your forbearance.” (Mustadrakof Hakim)
“Some of Allah Ta’ala’s angels stand at the door of the Masjid and seek repentance on behalf of those wearing white turbans.” (Al-Maqasid Al-Hasanah, p.466).........