Praise be to Allaah.
The ruling on wearing clothing on which there are kinds of
images, writing and patterns is subject to further discussion.
If these images are of haraam things, such as pictures of
women, crosses, symbols of nations that are hostile towards Muslims, or they
are drawings of animate beings, or images of haraam things such as alcohol
and cigarettes and the like, then it is haraam to wear them in the first
place, and the prohibition on praying in them is even more emphatic. Because
these images are haraam in and of themselves, it is not permissible to wear
garments with them, according to the more correct of the scholarly
See the answers to questions no.
If these garments do not have any images, but they have some
words and phrases that call to sin, such as the words “Kiss me” or “Follow
me”, and so on, or similar words that are used by those who promote
immorality, or words that promote corrupt beliefs, then it is also haraam to
wear them outside of prayer, so wearing it when praying is even more
forbidden. The reason for the prohibition is obvious, because it involves
indecent words and is a visible evil; it is also a call to evildoing or
kufr, and Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe! Follow not the footsteps of Shaitân
(Satan). And whosoever follows the footsteps of Shaitân (Satan), then,
verily he commands Al-Fahshâ' [i.e. to commit indecency (illegal sexual
intercourse)], and Al-Munkar [disbelief and polytheism (i.e. to do evil and
wicked deeds; and to speak or to do what is forbidden in Islâm)]”
If the garments in which one is praying are free of images or
haraam words, but they have decorations or shapes or other words, the ruling
on them depends:
If they are things that catch the eye and one thinks it most
likely that they will distract the worshippers who see them and make them
think too much about them, then it is makrooh to pray in these garments,
because it is proven that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon
him) forbade anything that will distract one when praying, as it says in the
hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her):
The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) prayed
in a garment that had markings, and he glanced at its markings. When he
finished praying, he said: “Take this garment of mine to Abu Jahm, and bring
me the plain garment of Abu Jahm, because it distracted me just now when I
The hadeeth was narrated by al-Bukhaari in his Saheeh
(373), where he included it under a chapter heading: If a person prays in a
garment that has markings and looks at its markings. And it was narrated by
Muslim in his Saheeh (556), where Imam al-Nawawi gave it the title:
Chapter: It is makrooh to pray in a garment with markings.
Al-‘Allaamah Ibn Daqeeq al-‘Eed (may Allah have mercy on him)
From this report the fuqaha’ deduced that anything that may
distract one from praying of colours, decorations and artifacts is makrooh.
The ruling is general in application because the reason for it is general,
and the reason is distraction during prayer.
End quote from Ihkaam al-Ahkaam, p. 219
Al-Qurtubi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
In this hadeeth we see that there are some reservations about
everything that could distract one in prayer by looking at it.
End quote from al-Mufhim lima
Ashkala min Talkhees Muslim,
Ibn Qudaamah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
Everything that may distract the worshipper from his prayer
is makrooh… If the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) –
despite the infallibility and focus in worship that Allah bestowed upon him
– was distracted by that, then it is more likely in the case of other
End quote from al-Mughni, 2/72
Al-Bahooti al-Hanbali (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
It is makrooh to face that which will distract him because it
will keep him from praying properly.
End quote from Kashshaaf al-Qinaa‘, 1/307
See also the answer to question no.
But if those decorations and words – so long as they are not
haraam – are insignificant and the worshippers will not pay attention to
them, or if there are things that people usually have on their clothes in
such a way that they will not distract the one who looks at them, then it is
not makrooh to pray in them because the reason for it being makrooh is not
present in this case.
I asked Ishaaq about praying on a cloth – What do you think
about praying on a cloth with green markings and stripes?
He said: It is permissible.
End quote from Fath al-Baari by Ibn Rajab, 2/206
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
If we assume that the imam will not be distracted by that
because he is blind or because this is something that he has seen many
times, to the extent that he does not care about it or pay any attention to
it, then we think that there is nothing wrong with him praying on it.
End quote from Majmoo‘ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen,
To sum up: if the shirt asked about includes writing that is
not haraam but it attracts attention and distracts the worshippers who look
at it, then it is makrooh to pray in it in that case, otherwise it is not
But if the writing carries haraam meanings, it is not
permissible to wear it at all, whether outside the prayer or when praying.
And Allah knows best.