Wearing red colour
Fatwa No: 83820


I need to know the ruling on wearing the colour red (such as a shirt). Is there any evidience that it is not permissible?


Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the World; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.

Men and women are allowed to wear clothes of any color since there is no prohibited color. But, according to the Hanbali and some scholars of Hanafi schools, it is detestable for men to wear pure red clothes. Al-Baraa Ibn 'Azib (one of the Prophet's (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) companions) said: "The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) prevented us from sitting on red silk cushioned saddles and wearing clothes made from a kind of cloth with mixed silken and cotton yarns". [Reported by Imam Bukhari]
Another Hadith reported from 'Abdullah Ibn 'Amr Ibn al-'Aas (Radiya Allahu Anhu) reads: "A man, wearing two red garments, passed by the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) and greeted him, (but) the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) did not return Salaam". [Abu Dawood and al-Tirmizi]
There is weakness in the last Hadith, but the first Hadith testifies to authenticity of its meaning.
As for narrations that furnish proof of the Prophet's (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) wearing red clothes, it is reported from al-Baraa Ibn 'Azib who said: "Allah's Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) was moderate height having broad shoulders (long) hair reaching his ear-lobes. Once I saw him in a red cloak and I had never seen a more handsome person before". [Reported by Imam Bukhari]
By the way, "red cloak" means two Yemeni gowns woven with red and black yarns or green threads as all Yemeni garments. But, they are described as red due to its red lines; otherwise, pure red color is detestable in accordance with the preponderant opinion.
As for a woman, she is allowed to adorn herself for her husband or at her home with red garments, but not to use them outside. Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, while answering al-Mirwazi's question about woman's wearing of red garment, said: 'I strongly hate red garment except for beautification'.
In the same vein, according to the book of al-Sunan, children are allowed to wear red clothes. Buraida reported that "Allah's Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) was delivering us a sermon while al-Hasan and al-Hussein came wearing red gowns. They were going to stumble, but the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) got down al-Mimbar (a dais), carried them and put them between his hands and said: "Allah and His Messenger tell the truth". (Your wealth and your children are only a trial) 64:15, "I looked at these two children, walking and stumbling, but I could not have patience. So, I stopped speaking and raised them".
Allah knows best.

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