Skin Rashes & SILK – Tibb-e-Nabawi

Skin Rashes & SILK

رَبَّنَا وَآتِنَا مَا وَعَدتَّنَا عَلَى رُسُلِكَ وَلاَ تُخْزِنَا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ إِنَّكَ لاَ تُخْلِفُ الْمِيعَادَ

Prophet’s Guidance on treating skin rashes and scabies caused by mites

In the Sahihain, it is narrated that Anas Radi Allaho Anh said,

فى ((الصحيحين)) من حديث قَتادةَ، عن أنس بن مالك قال: ((رخَّص رسولُ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم لعبد الرَّحمن بن عَوْفٍ، والزُّبَيْر بن العوَّام رضى الله تعالى عنهما فى لُبْسِ الحريرِ لِحكَّةٍ كانت بهما)).

“The Messenger of Allah had allowed Abdul Rahman bin Auf and Zubair bin AI-Awwam to wear silk garments because of the skin rash they had”. In another narration, Abdur Rahman bin Auf and Zubair bin AI-Awwam complained to the Prophet during a battle that they had mites, and he allowed them to wear silk garments which I saw them wearing”

There are two areas of interest regarding this Hadith, one in the area of Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) and the other is medical.

In the area of Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence), the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam is that wearing silken garments is allowed for women and disallowed for men, except when there is a legitimate need. For instance, men are allowed to wear silken garments in cold weather, when one has only a silk garment to wear and when complaining from mange, rashes, mites or lice, as evident by the last Hadith.

According to Imam Ahmad and Shafi’ee, wearing silken garments is allowed for men if a necessity warrants it.

Medically, silk is produced by an animal and is a remedy. Silk has many benefits, such as soothing and strengthening the heart and helping relieve certain ailments; it helps against black bile and strengthens the eyesight when used as eyeliner. Raw silk, which is used in preparing medications and remedies, is hot and dry in the first degree. When silk is used in clothes, it is mild and heats the body. Sometimes, it could chill the body.

Al-Razi said, “Silk is hotter than linen, colder than cotton and develops the flesh. Every type of thick clothes weakens the body and hardens the skin”.

There are three types of clothes, one that brings warmth and in addition heats he body. Another type of clothes brings warmth but no heat to the body. The third type does not bring warmth or heat. There is no type that brings heat but not warmth to those wearing it. For instance, clothes made of wool and animal hair elevate body temperature and bring warmth to the skin, on the other hand, silk, Kittan (linen) and cotton garments only bring warmth to the skin, Kittan clothes are cold and dry, wool clothes are hot and dry, while cotton garments are moderate. Silken garments are softer and less hot than wool. The author of AI-Minhaj stated that wearing silk does not bring as much warmth as cotton, because it is milder.

Every type of soft, polished clothes heat the body less and are less effective in helping the decomposition process. That is why it is better that these types of clothes are worn during summer and in hot areas.

Since silk garments are neither dry nor thick as other types of clothes, they help as a treatment for skin rashes that result from dry, thick material. Hence, Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam allowed Zubair and Abdul Rahman Radi Allaho Anhuma to wear silken garments due to their skin rash. Is addition, silken garments are the least hospitable to mites or lice, for it is not the best environment where mites live and thrive.

The types of body-wear that neither elevates the body temperature nor brings warmth are made of iron, lead, wood, sand, and so forth.

If one asks, “Since silk provides the best type of clothes and the most suitable for the body, why was it prohibited for men by the Islamic legislation, which is the most honorable legislation and which allows the good and pure things and only disallows the impure things?” We should mention that this is a question that the Muslims differ regarding its answer.

Those who deny that there is wisdom behind the Islamic legislation do not even need an answer to their question.

As for those who affirm that there is wisdom behind Islamic legislation, who are the majority, say that Islam disallowed silken garments for men so that they observe patience and abandon wearing them for Allah’s sake. In this case, they will be rewarded by Allah, especially since there are other types of clothes to wear.

Some people say that silk was created for the benefit of women, such as the case with gold. Hence, silk is prohibited for men so that they do not imitate women. Some Muslims say that silk was prohibited because it leads to arrogance and pride.

Others say that silk was disallowed because of its softness on the skin that leads to feminine behavior while weakening manly qualities and masculinity. Hence, you rarely see a man wearing silken garments who is not affected by its softness by inadvertently imitating feminine behavior and softness, even if he was among the most masculine men. Wearing silken garments will certainty diminish the manly qualities and masculinity, although these qualities will not disappear all together. As for those who do not comprehend these facts, let them submit to Allah’s Wise Decisions. Finally, we should state that according to the correct opinion, young boys should not be allowed to wear silken garments because they will acquire feminine behavior.

An-Nasaii narrated that Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam said:

إنَّ اللهَ أحلَّ لإِناثِ أُمَّتِى الحريرَ والذَّهبَ، وحَرَّمَه عَلى ذُكُورِها

“Allah has allowed silk and gold for the females of my Ummah (Muslim Nation) and disallowed them for the males of my Ummah”. In another narration, our beloved Prophet said:

Wearing silk and gold is disallowed for the males of my Ummah and allowed for the females.

Al-Bukhari narrated :

وفى ((صحيح البخارى)) عن حُذَيفة، قال: (نهى رسولُ الله صلى الله عليه وسلم عن لُبْس الحرير والدِّيباجِ، وأن يُجلَسَ عليه))، وقال: ((هُو لهم فى الدُّنيا، ولكم فى الآخِرَة)

The Messenger of Allah has disallowed wearing and sitting on silken garments and Deebaaj (pure silken clothes) and then added, “It is for them (whoever wears them among men) in this life and for you in the life hereafter (Aakhirah)”.