On Dressing Well

O Children of Adam: Wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer. Quran 7-31.

According to a hadith narrated by the great Sahabi Ibn al- Hanzaliyyah, the Prophet (S.A.W.) told his Companions, when they were travelling to meet some brothers in faith:
“You are going to visit your brothers, so repair your saddles and make sure that you are dressed well, so that you will stand out among people like an adornment, for Allah (S.W.T.) does not love ugliness.” Reported by Abu Dawud, al-Hakim in al-Mustadrak.
I believe that dressing well is an important part of Muslim character. Personally I put a lot of emphasis on my appearance. I particularly like the hadith that instructs us to make sure our clothes are clean and that we look good as believers. Surprisingly many Muslims think that they should not pay attention to their outer appearance. I am not sure what is going on here, but perhaps they are thinking;” I don’t have nothing to do with dunya.” I believe it is un-Islamic for us to neglect our appearance in the name of asceticism or humility. If you are active in dawah, I can tell you that your appearance has everything to do with how you are perceived. Our Prophet (sallallahu `alayhe wa sallam) was the epitome of asceticism and humility yet he dressed well and was very particular about his appearance. When he (sallallahu `alayhe wa sallam) looked in the mirror he made this dua; “O Allah, just as you have made my external features beautiful, make my character beautiful as well”. (Hisnul Hasin) Also here is another favorite of mines; Ibn al-Mubarak, al-Tabarani, al-Hakim, al-Bayhaqi and others report that ‘Umar (R.A.A.) said:
“I saw the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) ask for a new garment. He put it on, and when it reached his knees he said, ‘Praise be to Allah, Who has given me clothes with which to cover myself and make myself look beautiful in this life.’”
Personally I wear suits or business casual clothing most of the time. Alhamdulillah, I can not begin to tell you how many compliments I get from non-Muslims. I am also active in dawah at work and in my business. Allah knows best, I think my attire has helped me break the ice many times in the business world. I have seen Muslims come to Jumuah wearing jeans with holes and a T-shirt. Haven’t they heard the saying of the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhe wa sallam), “What is wrong when each one of you specifies a certain garment for Friday prayer other than what he wears at work.” (Abu Daud) And from one of the wealthiest companions of the Prophet; ‘Abdul-Rahman ibn ‘Awf (R.A.) used to dress in a cloak or garment that was worth four or five hundred dirhams (Tabaqat Ibn Sa‘d, 3/131), and Ibn ‘Abbas bought a garment worth one thousand dirhams and wore it (Tabaqat Ibn Sa‘d, 3/131). Some of the best Sahabi dressed well and drove nice camels :) . And in case you thought that if you began to pay close attention to your clothes, you would become arrogant…. Muslim reports from Ibn Mas‘ud (R.A.) that the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhe wa sallam) said:
“No one who has even an atom’s-weight of pride in his heart will enter Paradise.” A man asked him, “What if he likes his clothes and shoes to look good?” (Meaning, is this counted as pride?) The Prophet (S.A.W.) said: “Allah (S.W.T.) is beautiful and loves beauty. Pride means denying the truth and looking down on other people.”
Dressing well is a confidence booster. It’s important to feel good about what you are wearing and look poised and self assured in all situations. Yes, something as simple as how you dress can affect your attitude and confidence. How you dress is somehow related to how you feel. You can boost your attitude, self-confidence and feel good about what you’re wearing if you:
1. Know the occasion
2. Know your audience
3. Know your personal style
4. Know the effects of color

So if you can afford it, run out and revamp your wardrobe. You can also add on to what you have already. You can visit some online fashion stores and blogs to get some ideas about the latest fashions. You may also be able to better coordinate what you have. Make sure that your clothes are iron very well and that you always look nice, neat and sharp. You are representing Islam!