Silk: Men wearing material similar to silk

Q600 :In the north eastern part of our sub-continent, people wear a particular type of clothing in winter woven from the thread made out of cocoon of a worm called Endi. The process of obtaining the thread is the same as that of obtaining silk thread from the silkworm. Unlike silk, Endi cloth is worn by men and women as winter clothing for all natives, rich and poor. We have been told that we cannot pray wearing Endi clothes unless the material is mixed with a large percentage of cotton. Please comment.

A600 : Whoever has given you this ruling is certainly mistaken. Islam does not forbid the wearing of material woven with the thread made by any type of worm with the exception of silk which is forbidden to men only. The analogy with silk on the basis of how the material is woven or obtained does not hold. This is due to the fact that when the Prophet wanted to make the ruling concerning silk clear, he took silk in one hand and gold in the other and said: "These two are forbidden for the men of any nation, permissible for women." It is highly significant that the Prophet started his statement by saying: "these two". This means that the ruling applies to those two particular substances. It cannot be extended to a third substance, because of the definitive nature of the Prophet's statement. What we should realize is that the Prophet was able to express any new thought he wanted to convey. His words were always precise and his meaning clear. Therefore, if any substance was to be added to gold and silk with regard to their permissibility or prohibition, the Prophet would have pointed it out. He could have said silk and similar materials, or silk and material that is obtained from similar worms. But he chose to say "these two substances," which means that the ruling applies only to them. In the same vein, there are metals which can be used for jewelry and which perhaps are more expensive than gold, such as platinum. Wearing a platinum ring is not forbidden for a Muslim man although it may be more expensive. [Similarly, white gold is forbidden for Muslim men to wear because the ruling is for gold, without reference to its color.]

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )