Prayers: Covering head

Q475 :Followers of the Hanafi school of thought argue that because the Prophet and his companions always covered their head in prayer, anyone who does not follow their example would go astray. Please comment. Is there any authentic Hadith to support the view that covering one's head in prayer is necessary?

A475 : There is no Hadith which requires or recommends Muslim men to cover their heads when they offer their prayers, whether obligatory or voluntary. It should be remembered that the Prophet and his companions used to cover their heads when they were in the mosque or in the marketplace or indeed anywhere else. So did the rest of the Arabs. In other words, this was the customary dress in Arabia which continued after Islam. [Certain head gears are linked to specific areas. Arabs, Indonesians, Nepalese, Russians, Pakistanis, Moroccans, etc. can be linked to their origin with their head gears.] As such, wearing a cap or covering one's head by a man for prayers is neither recommended nor obligatory. It is certainly not a Sunnah. Does it mean that every Muslim has to wear a head covering at all times? Wearing a head-covering was traditional in Arabian society at the time of the Prophet. He would have pointed out that it is recommended or obligatory in prayer if it was so. The fact that he did not tell us that means that he only had his head-covering as part of his traditional dress. If someone wears a head covering in prayer in order to follow the example of the Prophet, he is rewarded simply for his intention. However, since the Prophet has not pointed out anything regarding this particular matter, we cannot say that it is recommended. [When following this example of Prophet earns us a reward, why should we argue over it and not adopt this practice as far as it may be? ]

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