Tabliq men’s fashion has always been controversial. DORCUS MURUNGI gets to the gist of the matter
You must have noticed that that a section of Moslem men put on trousers that are shorter in length as compared to the trousers that non-Moslem men wear. In this day and age of consciously evolving fashion in men’s wear, their choice of attire is confusing.
Sheikh Musa Ssetenda, an Islamic teacher in Katooke, Nansana, says the mistake non-Muslims make is to assume that Tabliqs are a distinct sect. “The phrase, Tabliq, simply means teaching the true message of Allah and Prophet Mohamed (PBUH). All Muslims are supposed to spread Allah’s word.”
Sheikh Ssetenda adds that total submission to Allah’s work goes hand-in-hand with adhering to what the prophets in the Quran taught and practised. “Unfortunately, some Muslims have opted to ignore some of these teachings and practices, and this has brought a polarisation among the Muslim community. There is now a clear difference between Tabliqs and other Muslims.”
The evolution of short trousers
Before the advent of Islam in Arabia, the locals, especially the men, had a culture of wearing flowing robes. In those days, clothes were a sign of extreme wealth.
If one could afford to ruin their garments in the dust, then they were considered very rich. Sometimes, the robes were so long that the men had to have helpers to help them lift the garments off the ground.
According to Sheikh Sirajje Nsambu Kifampa, a former spokesperson of the Tabliq community, this practice was influenced by pride.
“Islam does not allow pride and since this practice was against the teachings of Islam, they came up with a system of wearing mid-length trousers (pants), which did not reach the ankles. The Quran says that no one will enter paradise in whose heart is a mustard seed of arrogance. Although Allah is Beautiful and loves beauty, arrogance means rejecting the truth and looking down on people.”
Sheikh Kifampa adds that wearing short trousers conforms to the teachings of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).
Adherence brings rewards
According to Sheikh Ssetenda, those who practise that which Allah and Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) require them to do will be rewarded.
“All Muslims should work for that reward. Although wearing short trousers is sunnah (traditions and practices of the Prophet which are now followed by Muslims, although they did not come from divine revelation) those who repeatedly ignore these things end up committing graver sins. The small sins of Muslims who do not practise sunnah will soon amount to big ones which are punishable by Allah.”
A sign of uniqueness
Sheikh Kifampa says short trousers are an identity that differentiates Muslims from adherents of other faiths. “This uniqueness unites us in obedience to Allah’s prophets.
Ahmed Wetaka, a Tabliq, says short trousers are a sign of purity. “As a Muslim enters a mosque, he is supposed to be pure on the inside and the outside. Long trousers that go beyond the ankles collect impurities (from the ground). On a rainy day, if you walk on the streets of Kampala in a long trouser, by the time you reach the mosque, you will be unclean.”
Wetaka adds that although wearing short trousers is deep-seated in the teachings of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), there is also an element of hygiene in the practice. It is very disconcerting for a man wearing dirty trousers to enter a mosque.
What the Hadīths say
Prophet said: “There are three at whom Allah will not look on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He sanctify them, and theirs will be a painful torment: the one who does not give anything except that he reminds (the recipient of his gift), the one who drags his garment (below the ankles), and the one who sells his product by means of false oaths.”
Sunan an-Nasa’i Hadith Number 4464
Prophet said: “Whatever of the izaar (lower garment) is below the ankles is in the Fire.”
Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith Number 5787
Allah’s Apostle said: “Allah will not look, on the Day of Resurrection, at a person who drags his izar (behind him) out of pride and arrogance.”Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith Number 679