Imitating non-Muslims
Fatwa No: 389452

  • Fatwa Date:3-1-2019 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 26, 1440
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Question

I have read that the Prophet -peace be upon him- forbids us to imitate the non-Muslims in any aspect of life. But I don’t understand how this could apply in clothing. Most people buy their clothes from non-Muslim brands and Muslim women, nowadays, like to follow non-Muslim fashion. Is this haram? Also, unfortunately, nowadays it is the non-Muslims who have the most advanced societies. Therefore, sometimes muslims like to follow them in their daily routines. For instance, having a healthy lifestyle, being openminded, and encouraging men to help their wives in cleaning the house (feminism). Is doing so haram?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

What you have mentioned is not true because you generalized. The imitation of non-Muslims that is forbidden and dispraised is in relation to matters that are specific to them in their religion, or which is one of their slogans in their customs. As regards what is common between them and others, then there is no harm in that. The latter [what is common] is the one that is most predominant.

Ibn Hajar  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said when speaking about saddle pads (usually made of silk): "If we say that they are forbidden because this is an imitation of the non-Muslims; then this is for a religious reason, as this was their symbol at that time and they are non-Muslims. Now, since this is not something that is peculiar to them, it is no longer related to them, then that definition no longer exists, and therefore, it is no longer disliked." [End of quote]

He  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him also said:

"Some of the Salaf (i.e. our righteous predecessors) were of the view that it is disliked to wear the burnoose (hooded cloaks), as it was the garment of the monks. However, when Imam Maalik was asked about it, he said there is nothing wrong in it. It was said to him: ‘But it is the clothing of the Christians.’ He said: ‘It is worn here [i.e. by the Muslims].'" [End of quote]

As regards having a healthy lifestyle, then this is a matter that is related to people’s interest and welfare in general in this life. Indeed, this is something advocated by Islam and Islam preceded others in it. For instance, it legislated the quarantine and so on. It also legislated what regulates married life and makes it at best condition, such as the husband helping the wife with housework, as the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) used to do with his wives; all of this is recommended in Islam. The Islamic civilization preceded others in these noble values and the first and foremost Muslims applied it in their real lives; it is for this reason that they (Muslims) did not follow or imitate any nation; rather, other nations followed them and sought to imitate them.

The Muslims did not deviate from the correct path except after they denied their religion and forgot those values and followed the West in its filthy ideas.

As for the fashion, then in principle all things are permissible, and nothing is forbidden unless it includes an Islamic prohibition.

As regards being open-minded, then this is a general term. If what is meant by it is a correct meaning, such as having the dialogue in a good manner, and so on, then this is something enjoined by the Sharee'ah. Allah Says (what means): {Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has strayed from His way, and He is most knowing of who is [rightly] guided.} [Quran 16:125]

However, dialogue has its foundations, among which is that the people who should debate with the non-Muslims, should have profound Islamic knowledge and will be safe from being affected by their misconceptions (when debating) and are able to refute such misconceptions.

For more benefit, please refer to Fataawa 3310, 21112, 163531 and 88123.

Allah knows best.

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