Adornment for beautiful living

‘’O Children of Adam! Wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer: eat and drink: but waste not by excess, for Allah loveth not the wasters (Al A’raf: 31)
Adornment for beautiful living
Men making ablution for prayers. [Image for representational purpose only]Wikimedia/ Brian Jeffery Beggerly

Adornment or the apparel may not be taken to mean merely the clothes that add grace to the wearer but it covers cleanness in all its aspects and personal details vis-à-vis appearance, while we apply our minds to the presence of Allah (SwT):

‘’O Children of Adam! Wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer: eat and drink: but waste not by excess, for Allah loveth not the wasters (Al A’raf: 31)

Taking care of personal cleanliness and attending to personal details vis-à-vis appearance such as doing your hair properly, putting on a befitting apparel is not only mandatory in a state of prayer, but at all times, keeping in mind that Allah (SwT) is omnipresent, and enjoins upon his subjects to be ever and always clean and put up a decent appearance, cleanliness is thus a part of belief/faith. Hence an untowardly appearance carries no sanction in Islam.

One of the foremost commentators—Abdullah Yusuf Ali takes it to mean that it may not behove men to wear silk or ornaments, which could be interpreted as men should be manly in appearance, and not effeminate. Excesses of any sort may not be indulged in manner of dressing and in putting in an appearance not in sync with the gender—either male or female.

Similarly sober food, good and wholesome may not be divorced from religious practice. Here too the caution of excess applies, not only in abiding by what religion lays down as lawful in the manner of eating and drinking, but also exercising discretion in eating and drinking what religion allows.

Decent living thus entails a decent appearance—beautiful, yet not ostentatious, and sobriety in food habits, which may not exceed the prescribed standards of health and hygiene.

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