A human being has to wear clothes necessarily for a variety of reasons. For men, concealing the parts of body starting from abdomen upto knees is obligatory. Covering other parts of the body is a Sunnah. The women, however, have to cover their body from head to toe necessarily.
The clothes enhance one’s personality and also prevent loss of heat from the body. Further, nobody can afford to remain naked in a civilized society. Clothes also distinguish a human being from an animal. The animal needs no clothes and when a human being takes off clothes in the name of modernization or whatever, he actually behaves like an animal and not like Ashraful Makhlookaat (crown of creation).
The Holy Prophet (SAW) has laid down guidelines ranging from the type of cloth to its colour and texture. The most revered Prophet (SAW) forbade males from wearing silk. However, there is no such restriction on the females. (Al Bukhari).
Narrated Ali ibn Abu Talib (RA), “The beloved Prophet (SAW) took silk and held it in his right hand, and took gold and held it in his left hand and said: both of these are prohibited to the males of my community.” (Abu Dawood).
The Holy Prophet (SAW) would thank Allah the most exalted and supplicate on wearing a new garment. He would mention it by name, turban or shirt, and would then say: “O Allah, praise be to Thee! as Thou hast clothed me with it, I ask Thee for its good and the good of that for which it was made, and I seek refuge in Thee from its evil and the evil of that for which it was made.” (Narrated by Abu Sa’id al-Khudri (RA) reported by Abu Dawood (RA)).
Mu’ash ibn Anas narrates in Abu Dawood: “If anyone puts on a garment and says: ‘Praise be to Allah Who has clothed me with this and provided me with it through no might and power on my part,’ his former and later sins will be forgiven.”
The most revered Prophet (SAW) liked cleanliness and urged Muslims to remain clean and wear clean clothes. Narrated Jabir ibn Abdullah (RA): “The Apostle of Allah (SAW) paid a visit to us, and saw a dishevelled man whose hair was disordered. He said: ‘Could this man not find something to make his hair lie down?’ He saw another man wearing dirty clothes and said: ‘Could this man not find something to wash his garments with.’”
In another hadith narrated by Abul Ahwas Awf ibn Malik (RA), the Holy Prophet (SAW) urged Muslims to make a show of Allah’s favour on them. Ahwas being a rich person was told to wear quality clothes to express Allah’s favour on him. (Abu Dawood).
The wording of this hadith merits special consideration. One must show Allah’s favour and honour. However, one must refrain from a crude show of one’s wealth. Allah does not like those who cross the limits.
The Holy Prophet (SAW) also forbade Muslim men from wearing saffron coloured clothes. (Al Bukhari). In another hadith reported by Abu Dawood, the Holy Prophet (SAW) expressed displeasure over red clothes worn by a man. The man wearing two red garments greeted the Holy prophet (SAW). He did not respond to his greeting. The Holy Prophet (SAW) liked white and unmarked garments.
Narrated Ayesha (RA): “The Apostle of Allah (SAW) once prayed wearing a garment having marks. He looked at its marks. When he saluted, he said: Take this garment of mine to Abu Jahm, for it turned my attention just now in my prayer, and bring a simple garment without marks.”