Figure 1A: There is a well known difference of opinion about men wearing silver jewellery. It is our hope that this article will be of some use

Section on men wearing silver


We then have the statement of Imam `Abdullah Khalaf Ad-Dahyan:[1]

“It was mentioned by Imam Ibn Muflih[2] in Al-Furu`: ‘I did not find them arguing in favour or using proof on the prohibition of wearing silver for men. I do not of any explicit prohibition from the Imam, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, may Allah be pleased with him, and the statement of our Shaikh in the same vein…’

This statement was narrated by the high ranking scholar, As-Saffarini[3] in his commentary on Al-Adab[4] and he did not follow it up with any rebuke. I then saw in the different Hashiyah texts of the high ranking scholar Ibn Qundus[5] a statement narrated from Ibn Muflih in his parting words on Al-Muharrar[6] what would constitute on a proof on that.

In spite of this he did say in a separate remark: ‘In some of this Hashiyah there are statements that require a correction. And in some of what has been said there is some debate.’

What is the basis around this debate? What are the different points of reference used and what needs clarification that he mentioned? Please explain.


Imam `Abdul Qadir ibn Badran Ad-Dumi (d. 1346 AH), may Allah have mercy upon him, gave the following reply:

Our scholars differ in the permissibility of men wearing small amounts of gold and silver. A group of them go to the understanding that it is impermissible and this is the preferred ruling given in Al-Furu`.

Another group hold to the position of it being disliked as expressed in Al-Furu` under the wording, “It has been said.” The author of Ar-Ri`ayah[7] follows the ruling that gold is permitted and then he said, “Or silver as well.”

The high ranking scholar, Shams ud-Din Ibn Muflih Al-Qaquni Ar-Ramini As-Salihi Ad-Dimashqi[8] mentioned in his book Al-Furu`[9] in the chapter of Zakah on gold and silver his position that it is impermissible for men to wear gold and silver. He followed that up by quoting the statement of three of the four great Imams. This is the most authentic in their position.

He then said after this: “I did not find them arguing in favour or using proof on the prohibition of wearing silver for men. I do not of any explicit prohibition from the Imam, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, may Allah be pleased with him, and the statement of our Shaikh [meaning the Imam, Taqi ud-Din Ahmad Ibn Taymiyyah[10]] in the same vein indicates the permissibility of men wearing silver as there is nothing in the Revealed Law that indicates its impermissibility.”

Imam Ibn Muflih says further: “So wearing silver remains permitted – when there is no general prohibition for it – and it is not for anyone to prohibit that unless there is some evidence in the Revealed Law on its unequivocal prohibition.

So when the Sunnah allowed a silver ring, then this is also evidence on the permissibility of whatever falls within that category and that this matter would have more right to fall under the category of permissibility. As long as the matter remains like this, then there would need to be a discussion about the permissibility or impermissibility of the matter.

This is further strengthened by the words of the Exalted One,

He created for you all of what is in the Earth.[11] 

This establishes that anything prohibited requires a proof to establish that. The principle in all affairs is permissibility.

Those in favour of prohibition cite the following arguments:

a) The evidence used for prohibition is that the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, narrated from him, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, used a small portion of silver in well-known narrations. So this serves as a proof in that specifically being allowed.

If silver had altogether been permitted on the whole there would have been no narration of a small portion of it being used. This would have rendered no benefit in being mentioned. The small portion being mentioned in the narrations is an indication that a large portion would be impermissible.

Thus for those that advocate silver being impermissible, they use this hadith without the first meaning that comes to mind. Rather they are depending on a deeper meaning. It is forth this reason that they narrate this hadith as evidence.[12]

It is not said by them, ‘We narrate that ruling and there is no evidence for it.’ They narrate the evidence just as it is under the discussion on the impurity of the utensils and clothes made of silver and affairs besides that.

b) There is the statement of Anas ibn Malik, ‘The helmet of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was broken with the chain mail. So he took a chain of it out and replaced it with a silver chain.’

This is a proof to them in a small portion of silver being permitted in utensils although the general evidence for it being impermissible remains. This is due to the fact that he, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was asked about the ring and what thing it would be made from and  he replied, ‘It should be from silver and not reach a mithqal in terms of the purity of silver.’

The chain of transmission of this is weak and it was collected by five of the Sihah authors from the hadith of Buraidah. Imam Ahmad said of this, ‘He narrates wrong hadith.’ If this is the case, then where does this side take their position that the hadith has within it a prohibition?

c) The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, gave a dispensation to the women regarding silver but forbade them from gold in some narrations collected by Imam Ahmad and others and some of them are Ahadith with good chains.

If the permissibility had been general, then it would have been specified by being mentioned and been made more general as the general and explicit ruling benefits the listener. On the contrary it was specified for men regarding the matter and the ruling on wearing was not lifted and the truth has been made clear.

d) It has also been mentioned that he specified it for them on account of the fact that he forbade them from bold before and then permitted for them silver. I would say that this is not a proof in and of itself. So just as the ruling on women being permitted silver stands then so does it for men as well as there is equality in rulings unless the evidence specifies it.

e) Those in favour of prohibition say that due to the fact that utensils are prohibited when they are gold and silver, then it stands to reason that this is an evidence of the same ruling applying in other situations. It has been mentioned that the prohibition of gold is for a surety without doubt and the wording is supported.

The Lord of the Revealed Law has made equality between the rulings on this matter and this is emphasised. In response to this I would say that the prohibition on utensils is not a proof on there being equality in other affairs. And Allah knows best in this regard.”

[1] Trans. note: 1292-1349 AH (AD 1875-1932). The son of Bedouins from Al-Majma` in the Sudair province of Najd region in Arabia, Ibn Ad-Dahyan was born in today’s Kuwait to a family of knowledgeable people. In the year 1310, as an 18 year old he travelled in search of knowledge in `Iraq, Arabia and later Kuwait and studied with its premier scholars before moving on to his final teacher, the grand marja`, Shaikh `Abdullah Sufan Al-Qaddumi (1295-1331 AH). Imam Ad-Dahyan was declared marja` in 1348 AH in Kuwait and set about teaching, writing and giving rulings. He left behind many books but is notably mentioned as having broke the custom among Bedouins in the area by insisting on the wearing of the `imamah as a regular action and not the keffiyyah. cf. `Alamt ul-Kuwait ish-Shaikh `Abdullah il-Khalaf id-Dahyan, pp. 26-37; 218-219.

[2] Trans. note: d. 762 AH (AD 1363). He is Shams ud-Din Muhammad ibn Muflih ibn Muhammad ibn Mufarrij Al-Maqdisi Ar-Ramini As-Salihi. Grand marja` and scholar of many disciplines, he is the author of major works such as Al-Furu`: Sharh ul-Muqni`, Al-Adab ush-Shar`iyyah wal-Minah il-Mar`iyyah, An-Nukat wal-Fawa’id us-Sanniyyah `ala Mushkil il-Muharrar li-Majd id-Din Ibn Taymiyyah and other classics. cf. As-Suhub ul-Wabilah `ala Dara’ih il-Hanabilah, vol.3, pp. 1089-1093.

[3] Trans. note: d. 1188 AH (AD 1774). He is Muhammad ibn Al-Hajj Ahmad As-Saffarini. Marja` of his time and one of the revivers of the Religion in his age, he wrote two multivolume sets on theology and a well sought after fiqh commentary on Dalil ut-Talib. cf. As-Suhub ul-Wabilah `ala Dara’ih il-Hanabilah, vol.2, pp. 839-841

[4] Ghudha’ ul-Al-bab Sharhu Manzumat il-Adab is written by Imam As-Saffarini and acts as a commentary on Sharh ul-Manzumah by Imam Al-Mardawi which was the commentary on Al-Adab ush-Shar`iyyah, vol.2, p. 174, Dar ul-`Ilm, Beirut

[5] Trans. note: d. 861 AH (AD 1456). He is Taqi ud-Din Abu Bakr ibn Ibrahim ibn Yusuf Al-Ba`li As-Salihi. Born in Balabek, Lebanon to a family of scholars, he was a foremost commentator on Al-Muqni` and wrote countless commentaries on high level books of law. He became marja` at the age of thirty and was chief preacher up until the day that he died. He was buried next to Imam Muwaffaq ud-Din Ibn Qudamah. cf. As-Suhub ul-Wabilah `ala Dara’ih il-Hanabilah, vol.1, pp. 295-298

[6] Trans. note: d. 653 AH (AD 1256). The author of this work is Majd ud-Din `Abdus-Salam ibn Taymiyyah. The second highest voice in the School after Imam Ahmad, his Al-Muharrar is a standard use manual for scholars and students alike. cf. Adh-Dhailu `ala Tabaqat ul-Hanabilah, vol.3, pp. 201-205

[7] Trans. note: d. 695 (AD 1298). The author of the work is Najm ud-Din Ahmad ibn Hamdan Al-Harrani. One of the depended upon authorities in the later age, his two extensive texts on fiqh are used as reference works for deep research into fiqh issues. cf. Adh-Dhailu `ala Tabaqat ul-Hanabilah, vol.3, pp. 271-272

[8] It has been written down by Al-Qaquli, which is a corruption of Al-Qaquni which refers to Qaqun. Qaqun is a castle near Ar-Ramlah in the land of Palestine. Ibn Hajar mentioned this in Ad-Durar ul-Kaminah, vol.6, p.14, Printed in Haidarabad, India; Mu`jam ul-Buldan, vol.4, p.299, Sadir Printers. Another point is that Qaqun is a district of Caesaria in the outlands of Sham.

[9] Al-Furu`, vol.2, p.467, Dar Nahdah, Egypt

[10] Trans. note: 661-728 AH (AD 1263-1328). He is Abul `Abbas Taqi ud-Din Ahmad ibn `Abdul Halim ibn `Abdus-Salam ibn Taymiyyah. Born in Harran to a family of scholars, he learned from his father, Imam Shihab ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 682 AH (AD 1283) and read the books of his grandfather, Imam Abul Barakat Majd ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 653 AH (AD 1256), who is the second highest authority in the school and was the chief judge in Iraq. At a young age, Imam Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah showed promise and studied with various scholars until he was given the title of Mujtahid Murajjih. A vast pillar of knowledge, he made restricted juridical reasoning in the creed and some areas of Consensus, and was opposed by scholars from the schools. A quiet man who was known for his referencing, he was often pardoned due to his retraction of some of his positions that were divergent. Some of his more novel rulings include prophets committing sin, three pronouncements of divorce in one sitting being counted as one, the three categories of Tawhid (although he did teach the end result that Muhammad ibn `Abdul Wahhab inserted into it) as well as rulings he passed against scholars of the Ash`aris and Maturidis, two groups within Muslim Orthodoxy. Scholars of the school sifted through his works and corrected the things in them, i.e. in books such as Al-Ikhtiyarat ul-Fiqhiyyah, Kitab ul-Furu`, Tashih ul-Furu` and others. It is in the best interest of the wise man to read these documents first, to know what can be kept or discarded from the works of Imam Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah.

[11] Surat ul-Baqarah (2), ayah 29

[12] Al-Furu`, vol.2, p.468

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