Saturday, 5 February 2011

The amama of scholars.

It's a standard among our scholars to wear an amama (turban). But is their  method of wearing amama in accordance with ahadith and the fatawa of our classical scholars?

Man la Yahdhuruhul Faqih

وسمعت مشائخنا رضي الله عنهم يقولون : لا تجوز الصلاة في الطابقية ( 6 ) ولا يجوزللمعتم أن يصلي إلا وهو متحنك

( 6 ) الطابقية : العمامة التي لا حنك لها

And I (Shaikh Sadooq) heard from our blessed mashaikh (senior teachers) saying: "Not valid is the prayer in tabqiyah* and not valid is it for the amama wearer to pray unless he does tahannuk(drop an end of the turban between the shoulders).

*Tabqiyah: Amama without hanak (end of the turban dropping down between shoulders).

Man la yahdhuruhul Faqih

وقال النبي صلى الله عليه وآله : الفرق بين المسلمين والمشركين التلحي
وذلك في أول الاسلام وابتدائه

And Prophet(PBUH) said "The difference between muslims and mushriks (polytheists) is hanaks (dropping an end of turban down) in turbans."

Authors note: "And that was in start of Islam and at beginning."


  1. Salaam alaikum,

    Bro, why is it that NONE of our Shaikhs follow this Hadith?

  2. Walaikum assalam,

    Bro Hussain, you're correct. I've not seen a single shaikh follow this. I'm not exactly sure why. Ayatollah Murtaza Mutahiri has tried to provide an explanation, here:

    He argues that since currently it's the norm to tuck the end of the turban in at the top, doing tahannuk(letting the end hang down) these days would be drawing attention to one's self and that's haram. I'd made a post about wearing attention seeking clothes haram, here:

    One of the brothers commented on that post that this hadith is "illogical" and therefore is false. But as you can see, the scholars themselves use that hadith to justify their not doing tahannuk. Of course, I do not agree with this reasoning since that's just qiyas. Ahadith explicitly tell us to do tahannuk with amama so we should follow that, period. And even if we were to accept that doing tahannuk falls in the category of seeking attention, then why do they wear special clothes in the first place? I mean why not just stop wearing amama like the public?

    Unfortunately the reality is that the curriculum of hawzas' is too focused on fiqh, kalam, mantiq, falsafa and such subjects on the expense of ahadith therefore the mujtahids who are produced tend to just ignore ahadith.

  3. Salaam alaikum,

    Could it be possible that some Shaikhs like Sistani and Khoei considered the Hadiths weak?

    But yes, if they acknowledge their authenticity, then they MUST follow them.

    By the way, is it even necessary for them to wear an Amama? Can't they just wear the type of caps that Sayed Ammar Nakhshwani wears?

  4. Walaikum asalam brother,

    Although I can't speak for Syed al Sistani and Syed al Khoei in particular, but generally speaking it's highly unlikely that any of the scholars do not do tahannuk because they consider those ahadith unauthentic.

    In fact, the earlier mujtahids such as Allama Hilli in his Sharai al Islam also wrote that praying in an amama without doing tahannuk is makrooh. Sharai al Islam is one of the core fiqh texts that's included in the hawza curriculum.

    Sharai al Islam
    ويكره أن يأتزر فوق القميص (86)، وأن يشتمل الصماء (87) أو يصلي في عمامة لا حنك لها

    Besides, as you can see in the article at I linked you to), Ayatullah Murtadha Mutahiri (a modern scholar)also doesn't question the authenticity of the hadith but argues that doing tahannuk will make the person stand out and that's haram. But as I said, that doesn't make sense because ahadith explicitly tell us to do tahannuk and if they're so worried about standing out from others, then why do they wear special clothes in the first place?

    As for wearing caps, there's no special merit or reward for wearing a cap so wearing it or not doesn't make any difference. In fact, I've seen Nakshwani in some of his videos wearing black cap and wearing black cap is MAKROOH. So I would rather stay bare head then wear a black cap or wear an amama without hanak.

  5. Assalaamu `Alaykum,

    There is a whole chapter in Wasaa'il Al-Shee`ah, vol. 4, pg. 386, ch. 20, that is dedicated to the karaahah (makrooh) of wearing black caps IN salaah, but this is in regards to wearing it during salaah.

    بَابُ كَرَاهَةِ الصَّلَاةِ فِي الْقَلَنْسُوَةِ السَّوْدَاءِ وَ غَيْرِهَا مِنَ الثِّيَابِ السُّودِ عَدَا مَا اسْتُثْنِيَ

  6. @Nader: Walaikum assalam,

    I understand, in fact I made a separate post about wearing black clothes and caps and included the hadith which states dislike for wearing black cap in prayers. But the point is that black is OK only for amama, khuff and kisa; not caps.

    Besides, even if black cap is not makrooh while not praying, AFAIK wearing cap is not mustahab (or makrooh either) anyway. So I definitely don't get as to what's the obsession religious figures have for wearing headgear as a symbol of religiosity. If they want to wear something symbolic then why not just wear the amama as it's recommended to be worn?

  7. isnt there a whole section in wasial about wearing white caps? (kufi hats basically)

    ill try and find the section

    1. here it is:

  8. @Anonymous: Yes there is a chapter in Wasail about headgear ( قلنسوة) but it's hard to say it's specifically about kufi hats. Qalansuwah (قلنسوة) just means headgear and can refer to any types of caps, hats etc so one may just wear a baseball/sport cap for that matter(القَلَنْسُوَةُ : لباسٌ للرأْس مختلف الأَنواع والأَشكال . والجمع : قلانسُ ، وقلانيس ، وقَلاَسٍ ، وقَلاسِيّ .
    المعجم: المعجم الوسيط)

    And in any case, you can see for yourself via your link that the ahadith in Wasail do not talk about any istihbab as such for wearing hats. In fact that same chapter on headgear also mentions that Imam Ja'fer al Sadiq (as) used to wear a "sunhat" (yes, probably not of the modern types, but basically a long shady hat), so why doesn't anyone consider wearing a sunhat mustahab then??: قال : وسئل الرضا ( عليه السلام ) عن الرجل يلبس البرطلة فقال : قد كان لأبي عبدالله ( عليه السلام ) مظلة يستظل بها من الشمس
    قلنسوة طويلة كانت تلبس قديما.
    وفي كتاب مجمع البحرين: البرطلة بالضم: قلنسوة
    المِظَلَّةُ : ما يستظلُّ به . والجمع : مَظَالٌّ .
    المعجم: المعجم الوسيط

    All in all there are ahadith about the rewards of wearing amama with tahannuk, but there doesn't seem to be any istihbab per se about kufi hats. For example, on amama you have:

    7 ـ قال : وقال ( عليه السلام ) : اعتموا تزدادوا حلماً.
    [5894] 8 ـ وعن النبي ( صلى الله عليه وآله ) قال : ركعتان مع العمامة خير من أربع ركعات بغير عمامة

    Propeht (pbuh) said: Wear amama, they increase Hilm.
    Prophet said: 2 rakats while wearing amama are better than 4 rakats without it.

    We have no such ahadith for kufi hats.