Pearl of Wisdom
There are two kinds of possessiveness in which Allah likes one of them and dislikes the other: Possessiveness over being accused, which Allah likes, and possessiveness without accusation, which Allah the Exalted dislikes.'
Prophet Muhammad al-Mustafa [sawa]
Bihar al-Anwar, v. 47, p. 214, no. 1
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Ask Qul - QA
Subject: clothing in western society
Question: If the times of a society change and a certain style of clothing doesn't spark sinful thoughts anymore - and it is now considered modest clothing....is it then okay to wear taking into consideration that perhaps during the Prophet's time it would have been seen as ridiculous?
Salaam Alaikum. Inshallah this finds you well. In regards to clothing in public, there are three main criteria for which the clothing would be haram (forbidden).
The first is related to sexual attraction and corruption. If a clothing is causing that it will not be allowed to wear. Obviously, the implications of this law differs based on gender as well as, sometimes, social norms.
The second is related to what is termed as libas, al-Shuhrah, literally translating to clothing which makes one noticed and famed. There is a difference of opinion amongst the maraji' in regards to the definition of this criterion. For example, Ayatullah Sistani considers it to refer to clothing which would cause one disgrace in society. However, Ayatullah Khamenei considers the criterion to be standing out in a negative way, which is slightly different than the first explanation and more inclusive.
The last is related to kuffar (disbelievers). There may at times be certain clothing which distinguishes kuffar and is known to be clothing which the kuffar wear. In this case, many of the maraji would agree that wearing such clothing wouldn't be allowed. This may differ based on the society one lives in. Many argue in the Islamic republic ties aren't common and it is associated with the Kuffar. However, in Western countries the tie isn't associated with any religion or belief or disbelief.
Based on the above, if a clothing fell under one of above mentioned categories at the time of the Holy Prophet (PB) but no longer fits the rule or the other two, it will be permissible for us to wear it today whereas it wasn't allowed at the time of the Holy Prophet (PB).
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