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Revive a Sunnah: The Etiquette of Dressing and Undressing

Kanika Aggarwal shares the sunnah of the Prophet (SAW) that we can implement into our lives, right now!

“Its sunnah!” or “we must follow the sunnah!” are statements you probably are accustomed to hearing quite often. But what does “sunnah” really mean?

 
Lexically, the meaning of the Arabic word “sunnah” is “road” or “practice.” Technically, sunnah takes on many meanings. According to hadith scholars, sunnah refers to any sayings, actions or tacit approvals by the Prophet (SAW). It also includes his attributes – both moral and physical, before or after he (SAW) attained prophethood. An example of this would include the length of his hair or the types of clothing he wore. However, scholars who study the fundamentals of Islamic jurisprudence see sunnah as any sayings, actions or tacit approvals of the Prophet (SAW), other than the Qur’an. An example of this includes his statements such as, “actions are judged by
intentions.”

 

Sunnah has a third meaning according to the scholars of Islamic law. Here, sunnah denotes all matters that are formed on the basis of legal proofs including matters that are obligatory, recommended, indifferent, disliked and prohibited. An example of this includes orders such as praying five times a day or making wudhu before praying. So next time somebody points out an action and says we must follow it because it is sunnah, you need to find out if the action is a legal sunnah that the Prophet (SAW) wanted us to follow or is it a part of his human attributes. For example, it would not be a part of the religion to ride camels to work just because the Prophet (SAW) rode a camel.

 

With that in mind, let us proceed to understand why it is important for Muslims to follow the sunnah. Imam Malik (one of the esteemed scholars of the past) said, “The sunnah is like the ark of Noah. Whoever embarks upon it achieves salvation and whoever rejects it, is drowned.”
The ultimate salvation is entering paradise and avoiding hellfire completely. And to enter paradise, we must follow the sunnah. Allah (SWT) says in the Qur’an about those people who did not follow the sunnah: “On the day the faces will be tossed about in the fire, they will say: ‘Woe to us! Would that we had obeyed Allah and His messenger.” (Surah Az-Zukhruf:67)

 

This is in contrast to the one who held on to the way of the Prophet (SAW), about whom Allah (SWT) says: “Whoever obeys Allah and His messenger will be admitted to gardens beneath which rivers flow to live there (forever), and that will be the great achievement” (Surah An-Nisa:13)

 

This is further confirmed by the Prophet (SAW) himself when he said: “He who obeys me enters paradise, and he who disobeys me refuses to enter paradise.” (Bukhari)

 

As Muslims we must not undermine the importance of the sunnah that was passed on to us by the Prophet (SAW). There are many practices that we can implement in our daily lives, while eating, drinking, sleeping, waking up, while making wudhu, dressing, undressing and more, for the pleasure of Allah I and gain the greatest success of jannah (paradise).

 

The Prophet (SAW) advised, “Whoever cherishes my sunnah, indeed he cherishes me and whoever loves me will be with me in jannah.” (Tirmidhi)

 

As we have seen, the reward in adhering to the sunnah of the Prophet (SAW) is great. However, there is an even greater reward in reviving the forgotten sunnahs of the Prophet (SAW). The Prophet (SAW) said, “Whoever revives an aspect of my sunnah that is forgotten after my death, he will have a reward equivalent to that of the people who follow him, without it detracting in the least from their reward.” (Tirmidhi)

 

Let’s start with a practical sunnah that we can start implementing in our lives right away.

 

The etiquette of dressing and undressing:
1. The Prophet (SAW) would say the following when getting dressed:
Alhamdu lillaahil-lathee kasaanee haathaa (aththawba) wa razaqaneehi min ghayri hawlim-minnee wa laa quwwatin
Praise is to Allah Who has clothed me with this (garment) and provided it for me, though I was powerless myself and incapable. (Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, At-Tirmidhi)

 

2.The Prophet (SAW) would say the following when putting on new clothes:
Allaahumma lakal-hamdu ‘Anta kasawtaneehi, ‘as’aluka min khayrihi wa khayri maa suni’a lahu, wa ‘a’oothu bika min sharrihi wa sharri ma suni’a lahu
O Allah, praise is to You. You have clothed me. I ask You for its goodness and the goodness of what it has been made for, and I seek Your protection from the evil of it and the evil of what it has been made for. (Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi)

 
3. The Prophet (SAW) would say the following when undressing:

Bismillaahi
In the Name of Allah (Tirmidhi)

 
4. The Prophet (SAW) would say the following when someone else put on new clothes:
Tublee wa yukhliful-laahu ta’aalaa
May Allah replace it when it is worn out. (Abu Dawud)

 

Ilbas jadeedan, wa ‘ish hameedan, wa mut shaheedan
Put on new clothes , live a praise-worthy life and die as a martyr. (Ibn Majah)

 

I hope we can make these practices a part of our lives and let this be a measure of how much we love the Prophet (SAW).