Q&A: Jammies in the Masjid

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Question:
 
Recently I went for Salaah to the Musjid dressed in a bermuda shorts (jammie) and T shirt. In the Musjid a brother approached me and harshly reprimanded me for coming to the Musjid dressed in the bermuda. I tried to explain to him that my knees were also covered therefore my Salaah is valid. He insisted that I should not come to the Musjid in that manner. I was very disappointed and left. Would my Salaah have been valid or not? Was the brother correct in reprimanding me?

Answer:

While the brother's intentions were obviously good, it would have been better if he advised you with kindness and wisdom.

You are also correct that your Salaah would have been valid in the sense that the obligation would have been fulfilled. In fact your Salaah would have been valid even if you came dressed only in your "jammies" without any other clothing, provided that you were covered from the navel to the knee. The question is whether such attire is appropriate for Salaah?

     In this regard Allah Ta'ala declares: "O you who Believe! Take your adornments for every Salaah" (S8:V31). Salaah is the most important pillar of Islam after Imaan. In Salaah one is in the court of Allah Ta'ala and communicating directly with him. Thus for this great occasion one must adopt such attire which is dignified (in terms of Shariah) and befitting.

     The "jammies," you will agree, is not regarded as "dignified" clothing even in the Western sense. If a person wears "jammies" for his wedding, he is bound to become a news item even in the Western media. He will surely be regarded as "odd." Let alone one's own wedding, one will not wear jammies at the wedding of a close family member or friend because the person getting married may find this offensive. If such attire is inappropriate even in the purely worldly sense, how much more inappropriate it will be in the Deeni sense is obvious.

     Adorning dignified attire for Salaah applies to every person who is performing Salaah — even to a woman performing Salaah in the inner-most room of her house, as has been encouraged by Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Apart from being greatly inappropriate for salaah, the respect and honour of the Musjid is also compromised by undignified attire. The Musjid is the house of Allah Ta'ala; it is the "court of Allah Ta'ala." A person attending a mere worldly court is careful about what he wears. If one was invited by the president of the country to come to parliament and present one's requests and needs to him, will one dress in jammies? The "court" and house of Allah Ta'ala deserves much greater respect. Such great respect is accorded to the house of Allah Ta'ala that a person in need of a compulsory ghusal (bath) is not allowed to enter the Musjid. Allah Ta'ala declares: "Those who honour the distinguishing signs of Allah Ta'ala, verily this (respect)  emanates from the piety of the heart" (S22:V32). The Musjid is among the distinguishing signs of Islam. To uphold it's honour is compulsory upon every Muslim. Attending the Musjid in appropriate clothing is also among the dictates of the respect of the Musjid.
 

NULL AND VOID


While you are correct that the salaah will be valid, the rewards will be greatly decreased in such attire if the person has the means to wear dignified clothing. However, it should be noted that if the "jammies" (or any other garments) are tight-fitting in such a manner that the shape of the satr (part of the body compulsory to cover) is discernible, the salaah will be null and void. Often when even slightly loose garments are worn, the shape of the satr becomes discernible when going into ruku and sajdah. Many people are unmindful of this!         

May Allah Ta'ala keep you and us steadfast on performing all our Salaah with Jamaat in the Musjid and enable us to uphold the honour and respect of the Musjid in every aspect. Aameen.

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