I live in France is it ok to resemb...

Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta

I live in France is it ok to resemble them in their way of dressing?


I live in France so what are the appropriate clothes that I can wear when I go out or during prayers. What are the limits of resembling non Muslims in their outfits in a non Muslim country?


The issue of dress codes, outfits and clothes in Islam are bound to customary practices and traditions in a manner that does not contradict Islamic teachings. In other words, prohibition only falls on the outer look which goes against Islam such as if the clothes are revealing, transparent or cut in a way which shows the private body parts. As for a Muslim wearing the same outfits that the people in his country wear- whether Muslims or non Muslims- is not counted as part of the prohibited resemblance. Islam does not ask his adherents to be unique and stand out through being different in their dress code. Islam rather calls for uniqueness and distinctiveness in terms of fine manners, high moral standards, respecting human dignity, fulfilling promises and covenants, abiding by the general rules and state system, respecting people with love and mercy. This understanding was very clear in the minds of the companions and for this reason when the companions of the Prophet entered Persia , they prayed in their trousers as dressing up in the non Muslims’ outfits is only disfavored due to two reasons: first of them is when the outfit is prohibited in itself and the second reason is when a Muslim wears a certain dress code for the sole purpose of imitating non Muslims without any necessity to do so. If these two reasons do not exist, then dressing in non Muslims’ outfits is not prohibited.

As for the Prophetic hadith which was narrated by ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar in which the Prophet said, “whoever resembles a group of people is one of them”, the scholars said that this hadith means that resembling the outfit of non Muslims for the sole purpose of only resembling them is prohibited. Therefore wearing the outfits of non Muslims out of customary practices and cultural traditions without having the intention of resembling non Muslims is not impermissible. It was reported by both al Bukhari and Muslim that the Prophet (peace be uponhim) prayed in a gown that was brought from the Levant area and the Levant at that time was a non Muslim state.

Muslims nowadays wear outfits which were originally the dress code of non Muslims and it is not considered a resemblance to them because with the passage of time the original act of resemblance to non Muslims was forgotten and it ceased to be a motto for their dress code. So scholars said that it became a customary outfit that got popular among people and its origin was forgotten.

More importantly resemblance does not take place by the mere fact of wearing similar outfits as intention and purpose are required for resemblance to take place. Sheikh Taqi al Din ibn Taymiya stated that differing from non Muslims in terms of outfits and general habits is not obligatory if it will lead to a religious benefit or drive away a negative consequence and sometimes it reaches a point where it becomes highly favored to conform with their customary dress codes and practices and in other times this recommendation reaches a state of obligation as long as no compromise is being made in the general guidelines for Islamic dress code.

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