After having discussed about the topic ‘Gold Jewelry-permitted or prohibited for the Muslim women’, (LINK add kar den) the title of this post sounds uncanny, doesn’t it? I have discussed in detail about the common features of delicateness and femininity, found in both gold jewelry and women. Owing to this similarity, gold jewelry complements women beautifully, doesn’t it? And why not, after all women have been made feminine by nature. They have a right to appear beautiful in Islam by adorning themselves, as long as there is no coquettishness involved. However, as far as men are concerned, the traits get reversed. What comes to our mind is a picture of masculinity, chivalry, a strong physique and power. Just imagine a strong, robust man trying to adorn himself with delicate piece of gold jewelry such as a nose-pin! This sounds quite outrageous although these days we commonly find men who take pride in adorning themselves with ornaments such as studs, gold bracelets and chains. By doing this men are going against the nature so it looks inappropriate.
No wonder Islam has prohibited the men from indulging in such womanly pastimes. Many battles had to be fought by the early Muslims to establish a firm foothold for Islam. Fighting against the odds in the scorching heat of the Arabian dessert and braving the storm with undying loyalty towards Islam and Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) needed much valor. Would they have managed to win the battle with loads of jewelry on them? Could the gleaming jewelry give a boost to their morale in the hot, sandy battle field? Definitely not! What kept their spirits high was their unwavering faith in Allah (swt) and His Messenger (pbuh).
There are quite a few ahadith which tell us that Islam does not object to a woman wearing gold jewelry or even silk garments for that matter. Likewise, we find that there are many traditions of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) which show that Islam prohibits men from wearing gold and silk. During the period of Jahilliyah, the Warlords and others who belonged to the top rung of the society used to wear gold and pearl bracelets as a mark of social prestige. More than prestige their gold ornaments were a mark of their haughtiness and their superiority complex. After the advent of Islam Compulsory tax was levied on the wealth, (including gold) and men were forbidden from wearing gold and silk. It is not just due to the fact that men had to combat but generally speaking, men are the breadwinners in the Islamic society. Hence, their being rough and tough is more important rather than their indulging in feminine pastimes such as adorning themselves with gold ornaments.
At this point I would like to mention some relevant ahadith.
Imam Ahmad and Abu Dawud have related on the authority of Hazrat Ali (ra) that Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) took some silk in one hand and gold in another and declared, ‘Both of them are forbidden for the males amongst my followers’.
In another hadith Hazrat Aby Musa Ash’ari has related that Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) said, ‘Wearing of silken clothes and gold ornaments is unlawful for the men but lawful for women’.
Hazrat Umar (ra) reported that he heard Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) say, ‘Do not wear silk for those who wear it in this life shall not wear it in the Hereafter’.
Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) one came across a man who was wearing a gold ring. He took off the man’s ring at once and threw it down saying, ‘Does a person pick up a piece of burning coal and hold it in his hand?’ After Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) left that place someone asked that man, ‘Why do you not pick it up and benefit from it?’ The man replied, ‘No, by Allah! I shall not pick it up after the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) has himself thrown it away’. (Muslim).
Generally speaking, there is nothing wrong with the metal gold or silk as a fabric. In fact, the dwellers of Paradise will be gifted not just gold bracelets and fine silk garments, like the kings in this world, but even their couches, thrones and the bricks of their dwelling will be made of pure gold. So we find that gold or silk is not unlawful by itself. However, in the Islamic scheme of things, which looks at the larger picture, we find that for certain justified reasons which I have discussed in this post, gold is prohibited for men during this temporary worldly life.
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