Chapter 41: The Natural Form (Fitra): Circumcision, Shaving the Hair, Dress, Covering the Private parts and the Like

[The fitra refers to the qualities by which a person is complete so that he has the best of qualities in his form and demeanour. The author also deals with what is commanded and forbidden under this topic, like forms and images.]

41.1. The fitra (natural form)

Five things are part of the fitra: 1) trimming the moustache, which is the curve which is the hair which curls around the lips, not shaving off the moustache completely, and Allah knows best, 2) trimming the nails, 3) plucking out the hair of the armpits, 4) shaving pubic hair, – and there is nothing wrong in shaving the hair off the rest of the body. 5) Circumcision is a sunna for men and honourable for women.

[ 1. Trimming the moustache, i.e. the hair which grows over the lip, meaning that which comes down over the lip. This is the sunna for shortening it, but it is not removed completely.

2. Trimming the nails for men and women.

3. Plucking out the hair of the armpits which is sunna for men and women.

4. Shaving pubic hair which is sunna for men and women. It is disliked to pluck out the hair for men and women because that weakens the area. It is permitted to use a depilatory. It is permitted to shave the hair on the hands and feet, and the rest of the body other than the head and beard. It appears it is permissible for men and mandatory for women to remove that whose removal entails beauty, because not doing it is mutilation.

[Hashiyya: Shaving is best because that was the sunna of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. 'Abdu'l-Wahhab said that removing other bodily hair is either permissible or sunna for men. Women should remove extra hair for beauty, even the hair of a beard if she grows one. She must let hair remain whose existence is part of beauty and so she is forbidden to shave her head. There is some disagreement about a man shaving his head. Some say that it is permitted for someone who wears a turban and disliked for the one who does not wear a turban.

5. Circumcision is sunna for men, adult or not adult, but the adult should do it to himself so as not to expose his private parts. It is removal of the foreskin. It is a stressed sunna. ]

41.2. Beards

The Prophet commanded that the beard be left and allowed to become thick without being cut off. Malik said that there is nothing wrong is shortening it if it becomes too long. Many Companions and Tabi'un said that.

[ It recommended to remove some of it if it too long. There is no limit to what is taken of it if one leaves it relatively full.]

41.3. Dying hair

It is disliked to dye the hair black, but not forbidden. There is nothing wrong is using henna and katam.

[ It is a prohibition for the sake of abstemiousness. This is particular ruling in relation to selling and jihad. It is forbidden in selling (i.e. to make a slave appear younger), but there is a reward for doing it in jihad to confuse the youthful enemy. There is nothing wrong with henna or katam, which makes the hair yellow. Henna makes it red. It is recommended or permissible, more likely the later.]

41.4a. The prohibition of using gold for men

The Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, forbade men to wear silk and gold or iron rings. There is nothing wrong in using silver to decorate a seal ring, a sword or a copy of the Qur'an, but that should not be used in bridles, saddles, knives or in other such things.

[ He means that the ring is made of silver, as it states in the two Sahih collections that the Prophet had a silver ring made and wore it on his hand and then Abu Bakr wore it after him. Then 'Umar wore it and then 'Uthman, may Allah be pleased with all of them until it fell into the well of Arish. 'Uthman searched for it and drained the well for three days but did not find it. It indicates that the khalifate was represented by the ring. Engraved on it was "Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah." Silver is not used on weapons of war in general.]

[Hash: It is permitted to use silver or gold on swords. It is said that that is because it will alarm the enemy. It is used on copies of the Qur'an to show esteem for it. The permission to use silver on swords is for a man's sword. It is not used on a woman's sword, even if she uses it for jihad.]

41.4b. Women's use

Women can wear gold rings, but he forbade them wearing iron rings.

[ It is preferred that they use silver. Iron is forbidden for both men and women.]

41.4c. Manner of wearing rings

What is preferred, according to what is reported about rings, is that they are worn on left hand, since the right hand is used for taking things. A person takes something with the right hand and puts it into the left.

[ This is the majority position, including that of Malik. It is related that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, wore his ring on the little finger of the left hand. He turned the face towards his palm. When he did istinja', he removed it and he removed it when he went to the lavatory. Also the left hand is further from pride.

41.4d. Khazz (fabric containing silk)

There is disagreement about wearing khazz. Some permit it and others dislike it. The same is true about silk badges on garments except for a thin strip.

[ Khazz is cloth whose warp is of wool, cotton or linen and its woof is silk. The first position is in the Qamus while Ibn Rushd takes the second position. There is a third that is unlawful. Al-Qarafi said, "It is the apparent position of Malik by the words of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, on the robe of 'Urtarid which was mixed with silk and he wore it and he said, "This is one who has no portion in the Next World." Badges are less than a finger in length.

41.5 Clothing

41.5a. Women's dress

When women go out, they should not wear thin clothing which lets their shape be seen.

[ That which lets the attributes of body be seen, like breast and rear end. In their house with they husbands, they can wear such clothes.]

41.5b. Arrogance in dress

A man should not drag his waist-wrapper out of pride nor his garment out of arrogance. His garment should reach the ankles, as that is cleaner for the garment and shows more godfearing.

[ In this case, the dragging originates from arrogance. The same would apply to a woman if she did it out of arrogance. It is more godfearing for it to reach the ankles because he guards against pride, and vanity. Pride refers to a person regarding himself as perfect while forgetting the blessing of Allah and the vanity to thinking little of others, Pride is more specific than vanity.]

41.5c. Samma'

It is forbidden to wear a samma' garment over nothing else. It is lifted up by the arm on one side and hangs down on the other. That is when there is nothing under it. There is disagreement about when there is garment under it.

[ Like wearing it over a waistwrapper. It is explained in the hadith of Abu Sa'id that a man puts his garment on one of his shoulders so that his side shows. Linguists explain it as a man wearing a garment in which he is wrapped and there is no way out for his hand. When he wants to put his hand out, his nakedness shows. The Qamus says that it means he brings the garment from his right side over his left hand and left shoulder, and then brings it back again over his right hand and shoulder and covers them all. Malik has two positions about when it is worn over a garment. One is that it is forbidden, taking the hadith literally, and the other that it is permitted since the legal cause does not exist, which is avoiding exposure of the private parts.]

41.6 Covering the private parts

41.6a. Covering the private parts is obligatory

One is commanded to cover the private parts. The waist-wrapper of a believer reaches mid-calf.

[ To hide the private parts from people's eyes is mandatory by consensus, and recommended in private in the well-known position. There is also a position that it is obligatory in private. The man's waist-wrapper should reach mid-calf since the Muwatta' reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The waist-wrapper of a Muslim should reach his mid-calves, and there is no harm - i.e. there is nothing wrong - in what is between that and the ankles. Anything lower than the ankles will in the Fire. Allah will not look at anyone who drags his wrapper out of pride."]

41.6b. The thigh

The thigh is a private part, but not an intrinsic private part.

[ What is between the thigh and the hip is a private part. This means it is not an actual private part, and the strictest position that it is disliked to show it with other than close friends and relations is unlikely because the Prophet, had his thigh uncovered with Abu Bakr and 'Umar. In Muslim, 'A'isha reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was reclining in his house with thighs and calves uncovered. Abu Bakr asked for permission to enter and he gave him permission while he was like that. He spoke and then 'Umar asked for permission and he gave him permission while he was like that and he talked with him. Then 'Uthman asked for permission and the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, sat up and straightened his garment. He entered and spoke with him and then left. 'A'isha said, "Abu Bakr entered and you were not concerned. 'Umar entered and you were not concerned, (meaning you did not worry and cover your thighs). Then 'Uthman entered and you sat up and straightened your garment." He said, "Should I not be modest before a man before whom the angels are modest?" Modesty is a virtue.]

41.6c. Bathhouses

A man should not enter the bathhouse without wearing a waist wrapper. A woman should only enter it for a reason. Two men or two women should not be together under a single cover.

[Hash: The ruling for men is when there are other people present. If the bathhouse is empty, then it is permitted without one.]

A reason for a woman to enter is like illness or lochia, not for menstruation or janaba.

[Hash: Abu Dawud reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The lands of the non-Arabs will be opened to you via conquest and you will find houses in them called bathhouses. Men should only enter them with a waist wrapper and forbid women to enter them unless they are ill or bleeding after childbirth." Ibn Rushd says it is disliked for them and is less than an actual prohibition.]

The rule about the single cover or cloth is when their private parts are not covered. This is a prohibition, whether they are relatives or not based on what Abu Dawud related that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "A man should not look at another man's private parts nor a woman at another woman's private parts. Two men should not lie naked under the same cover nor two women under the same cover."]

41.7. Women going out and music

41.7a. Women going out

A woman should not go out unless she is covered for what she must do in being present at the death of her parents or relatives or the like which is permitted.

[ Like funerals and weddings.]

41.7b. Unacceptable gatherings

Furthermore she should not attend a funeral where there are woman wailers or gatherings with playing of flutes or lutes or similar instruments, except for the tambourine in weddings. There is disagreement about kabar drums.

[ It is not permitted to attend such gatherings. The kabar is a small drum with a skin on one side. Ibn al-Qasim permitted it and others forbid it.]

41.8. Seeing Women

A man should not be alone with a woman for whom he is not a mahram. There is no harm in him seeing a woman for some reason like identifying her or the like of that, or when he proposes marriage to her. As a woman who does not provoke desire because of her age, there is nothing wrong in him seeing her face in any case.

[ He means a young woman who is not related to him since the Prophet, peace be upon him, forbade that, saying that Shaytan is the third of them. He can see her for a legitimate reason. The "like" includes a doctor looking at her.]

41.9 Hair extensions and tattoos

Women are forbidden to add someone else's hair to their own or to tattoo themselves.

[ Since the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace,said, "Allah has cursed anyone who joins hair together and the person to whose hair it is joined, women who tattoo and are tattooed, women who pluck their eyebrows, and women who file their teeth to make gaps for beauty, altering Allah's creation!" Plucking is to remove the hair of the eyebrows until they become thin for cosmetic reasons, and making gaps is to file the teeth so they are far apart. It is understood that the prohibition is when it is done for beauty. When it is done for treatment or a defect, there is no harm in it.]

41.10 Putting on footwear

When putting on a sock or sandal, begin with the right and when removing it, begin with the left. There is nothing wrong in putting on sandals while standing. It is disliked to walk in only one sandal.

[ This is a recommendation. One can put them on sitting down or standing, either being preferred. It is disliked to walk in only one sandal because the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, forbade that.

41.11. Images

It is disliked to make images on beds, tents, walls and rings. Designs on clothing is not part of that but it is better not to do it.

[ These are images of animals. Tents includes a cloth put over a howdah.]

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