14 February 2014 CE | 12 Rabbi al-Thanni 1435 AH

Hadith Explanation

Imitating Men

Ibn Abi Mulaikah (radi Allahu anhu) reported that once somebody asked Aishah (radi Allahu anha) about a woman who used to wear men’s shoes. Aisha (radi Allahu anha) replied, “The Messenger of Allah has cursed a woman who adopts the ways of men.” [Abu Dawud]

Tameem Daari (radi allahu anhu) narrated that he heard the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) prohibiting women from wearing men’s hats and shoes as well as from going to men’s gatherings and from wearing men’s trousers and shirts. [Kashfun Ni’mah]

If you go to a party and the host has taken care to make dishes that take your particular dietary requirements into consideration, aren’t you honoured? Doesn’t it show your host’s care for you? Or would you instead try to eat what the host had prepared for another guest, who is allergic to a different set of foods than you?

Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) has blessed you with a set of instructions on how to get to Paradise, that is meant specially for you. It takes into consideration the nature He (subhana wa ta’ala) created you with, your tastes, sensibilities and overall well-being. Consuming yourself with someone else’s instruction manual is ridiculous. Don’t forfeit your manual for man-made rituals and standards.

Distinguish yourself from men. Even if it has become the norm for men and women to wear identical dress, wear something different; wear something that only women wear. In a matter as small as shoes, Muslim women have been asked to maintain their distinctness so don’t fall prey to imitating them and competing with them in the larger matters of roles and responsibilities.

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