Wearing a Hat (Qalansuwa)

<QUESTION>

What is the ruling on a topi (hat) in shariah? sunat, mustahab etc? If it is possible can you please provide dalil?

<ANSWER>
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

Wearing a hat (Qalansuwa in Arabic and Topi in Urdu) is a Sunnah of our blessed Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), Sahaba (Allah be pleased with them all) and the great scholars and pious predecessors of this Ummah.

There are many evidences which support this, just to mention a few:

1) Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that “the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) used to wear a white hat.” (Recorded by Tabrani)

2) Hasan al-Basri (Allah be pleased with him) says: “The people (Sahaba-Allah be pleased with them all) used to perform Sajdah (prostration) upon their turbans and hats.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, 1/151)

3) Rukanah (Allah be pleased with him) says, I heard the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) say: “The difference between us and the polytheists is, wearing the turban over the hat.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, 4075 & Sunan Tirmidhi, 3919)

4) In the ‘Musannaf’ of Ibn Abi Shaybah, the wearing of a hat is reported from Ali ibn al-Husain, Abd Allah ibn Zubair, Dahhak and Abu Musa (Allah be pleased with them all).

It is clear from the above that wearing a hat is a Sunnah. It has been the practise of the Ummah throughout history, and has become one of the symbols of Islam.

The great Hanafi jurist, Mulla Ali al-Qari (Allah have mercy on him) states that the wearing of the hat has become one of the salient symbols of Islam. (Mirqat al-Masabih, 8/246)

Due to the above, the scholars mention that even though, not wearing a hat can not be classed as unlawful (haram), as it is a Sunnah, but due to the fact that it has become one of the signs of Islam, it is generally undesirable to keep the head exposed. One should try and keep the head covered whenever reasonably possible.

And Allah knows best

[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester , UK