Shama-il Tirmidhi Chapter 8, Hadith Number 12 (64).

Qaylah bin Makhramah (R.A) says: “I saw Rasulullah (S.A.W) in such a state that he was wearing two old lungis (sarong, waist wrap) that had been dyed a saffron colour but there was no sign of saffron left on it.” There is a lengthy story in this hadith also.

It is prohibited in the hadith to use clothing dyed with saffron. For this reason it has been pointed out in the above hadith that the colour of the saffron had faded, so that there remains no contradictions in the ahaadith. Sayyidina Rasulullah (S.A.W) wore the two old sheets as a sign of humility. The sufis have for this reason chosen a rugged way of life. This leads one towards humility and keeps one away from pride and arrogance. It should also be borne in mind that if (the wearing of such clothing) does not have this effect then this manner is not preferred. It will cause more harm than good as we see it happening in these times. Many a time this way is adopted to show that one has reached the stage of perfection whilst the tongue is asking (begging).

An incident of Abul-Hasan Shaa-dhali who is from among the great sufis is famous. Once he was wearing smart clothing. Some raggedly dressed person objected. He replied, “My dressing in this manner shows praise and gratefulness to Allah, whereas this state of yours shows a state of asking (begging). You in your present state are begging from people.” In short, it is better not to wear showy clothing but only with the intention of humbleness, and on condition that it does not lead one towards some other harm. On the other hand, if it is worn for some religious benefits or to please a confidant who has given it as a present, then in this case to wear elegant clothing will also be mandub (desirable) and better. Sayyidina Rasulullah (S.A.W) once purchased a set of clothing in exchange for twenty seven camels and wore that clothing for this reason. The mashaa-ikh of the Naqshabandiyyah and Shaa-dhaliyyah Orders usually wear elegant type of clothing. It has been given preference because it saves one from the appearance of a beggar. Imaam Abul-Hasan Shaa-dhali has said: “It is important that one should keep away from the deceit of the heart from both angles. The gaining of fame by dressing shabbily, to show off by being humble, and to show pride by wearing smart elegant clothing, all are dangerous to our spiritual up-liftment.

There is lengthy story in this hadith that is not relevant to the dressing of Sayyidina Rasulullah (S.A.W). Therefore Imaam Tirmidhi omitted it here with the object of shortening the hadith. The story probably covers two sheets. The commentators have also omitted it for the same reason. In it are mentioned incidents of the early period and experiences of Sayyiditina Qaylah (R.A) after her acceptance of Islaam. In a few narrations it is also mentioned that Sayyidina Ralsulullah (S.A.W) was sitting with his old clothing in a humble manner. He had a branch (fan) of a palm in his mubaarak hands. A person entered his noble assembly. He saw Sayyidina Rasulullah (S.A.W) in this state of humbleness and dur to the awe-inspiring appearance of Sayyidina Rasulullah (S.A.W), began shivering. Upon seeing this person in this state, or being made aware of it, Sayyidina Rasulullah (S.A.W) said to him: “Keep calm.” As soon as Sayyidina Rasulullah (S.A.W) said this he became calm, and all the signs of fear vanished. In some ahaadith we gather that this incident relates to Sayyiditina Qaylah (R.A.) herself. Imaam Tirmikhi has therefore mentioned this briefly in the chapter on the sitting of Sayyidina Rasulullah (S.A.W). The incident is attributed to Sayyiditina Qaylah (R.A) and will be mentioned in the chapter on the sitting of Sayyidina Rasulullah (S.A.W).