while a believer decides on what clothes he is going to wear during the day and gets dressed, he is aware of an important fact: that clothing is one of allah's countless blessings and there is good reason for its existence. everyone benefits from this blessing, but only a muslim who lives according to the teaching of the qur'an properly appreciates that beautiful clothing is a mercy from allah and thanks him for it. clothing immediately reminds the believer that living things are the source of wool, cotton and silk clothing. the articles of clothing we use, almost every moment of our lives, are obtained from plants and animals that are wonders of creation. in other words, if allah had not created some living things with the ability to provide human beings with every kind of clothing from the most basic to the most luxurious, these raw materials would not exist.
despite the fact that they know this, some people either ignore it or, because of the error of their ways, don't appreciate the blessings they have. because they were given the clothes they need from the minute they were born, dressing has become a habit for them. this habit prevents them from realising that their clothing is a blessing and from giving thanks for it. but one of the reasons why our lord created blessings in this word is that human beings would thank him for them. so, let's examine the reasons why allah created clothing for us beginning with the benefits it provides us.
clothing is like a shield that protects the human body from cold, the dangerous rays of the sun and minor dangers such as cuts and bruises from our environment. if we didn't have clothing, the thin skin that covers the human body would often be injured by these kinds of small accidents. they are painful, a threat to health and the skin could take on a very bad appearance.
our lord in the qur'an reveals another reason behind the creation of protective clothing:
children of adam! we have sent down clothing to you to conceal your private parts, and fine apparel. (surat al-a'raf: 26)
as this verse point out, clothing gives human beings a much better appearance aesthetically.
it is clear that clothing is an indispensable need and an extremely important blessing that allah has provided for our use. a believer who is aware of this will be very careful and fastidious in the use of his clothing, and this will be an indication that he is truly thankful to allah for the blessings he has been given.
another quality given to the believer from the values taught by the qur'an is moderation in spending money and this applies also when buying clothing. he buys items that he needs, that suit him and are sensible. he does not waste money in needless spending. the following verse brings out this fact:
those who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor mean, but take a stance mid way between the two. (surat al-furqan: 67)
the care with which a person living according to the teachings of the qur'an dresses is not limited to this. for example, besides dressing in clean clothes, a believer with a sense of values will be careful to dress as well and as suitably for the occasion as possible. as the qur'an shows, clothing is pleasing to the eye (surat al-a'raf: 26). there are examples of how our prophet, may allah bless him and grant him peace, dressed and his recommendations on this matter in the sayings that have come down to us:
"eat what you like, and wear what you like provided that it is free from two things: extravagance and vainglory." (maulana muhammad manzoor no'mani, ma'ariful hadith)
and here is another bit of information that has come down to us about how our prophet, may allah bless him and grant him peace, dressed:
whenever a delegation came to meet the messenger of allah, he would wear his best clothes and order his leading companions to do likewise." (tabaqat hadith, volume 4, number 346)
when one of his companions gave no importance to his appearance and seemed unkempt, our prophet, may allah bless him and grant him peace, warned him immediately. an example of this has been passed down to us:
"the messenger of allah was in the mosque, when a man with unkempt hair and an untidy beard came in. the prophet (saas) pointed to him, as if indicating to him that he should tidy up his hair and beard. the man went and did so, then returned. the prophet (saas) said, 'is this not better than that any one of you should come with unkempt hair?'" (malik's muwatta, volume 2, number 949)
in the qur'an, allah says that clothing and adornments will be among the finest blessings of the garden. some of them are mentioned in the following verses:
but allah will admit those who believe and do right actions into gardens with rivers flowing under them where they will be adorned with gold bracelets and pearls, and where their clothing will be of silk. (surat al-hajj: 23)
wearing fine silk and rich brocade, face to face with one another. (surat ad-dukhan: 53)
they will wear green garments of fine silk and rich brocade. they will be adorned with silver bracelets… (surat al-insan: 21)
in these verses, our lord speaks of robes of silk and rich brocade, and adornments made of gold, silver and pearls. the adornments we have in this world are similar to those in the garden, and for a person of faith, seeing these adornments—whether he possesses any or not—is a means that leads him to contemplate the garden and desire even more to go there. a believer sees the purpose of these things in creation and realises that all the blessings of this world are transitory. the only real blessings and those that will last forever are in the afterlife.
but as for those who believe and do right actions, we will not let the wage of good-doers go to waste. they will have gardens of eden with rivers flowing under them. they will be adorned in them with bracelets made of gold and wear green garments made of the finest silk and rich brocade, reclining there on couches under canopies. what an excellent reward! what a wonderful repose! (surat al-kahf: 30-31)
one of the things a person living according to the teachings of the qur'an and the sunnah must consider about clothing is that outer appearance is very important when establishing relationships with other people. for this reason, a believer will give even more attention to what he wears when he invites people to accept the deen (religion) of the qur'an. he will be as eager as possible to dress in clean clothes that are modest and suitable for him. this shows that he has a devout regard for the commands of allah and respect for other people.
only those who live according to the teachings of the qur'an are as considerate of a person's psychological state and careful to be as effective as possible in telling that person about eternal salvation as they are meticulous about what they wear.
in conclusion, a person of faith, taking our prophet, may allah bless him and grant him peace, as his example, always goes about in clean, well cared-for and attractive clothes; he or she takes pleasure in this and by it hopes to win allah's approval.