The Material of the Topi

The material of the topî

Topîs of many different types of material were worn by Nabî (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the Salafus Sâlihîn (the pious predecessors viz. the Sahâbah (radhiyallahu anhum) and the Tâbi`în). The following are the different materials we found mention of in the books of hadîth and history, however we were unable to find an exact description of most of these materials.


`Abdur Rahmân Ibn Ziyâd (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Nabî (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) wore

قلنسوة من الِممْطَر السِيْجان

a black, woollen topî.[1]

Ibn Mas`ûd (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Nabî (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

كانَ على موسى يومَ كلَّمهُ ربُّهُ …… و كمَّة صوفٍ

Mûsâ (alayhis salaam) wore a woollen topî when he spoke to Allâh. [2]

The following great personalities wore woollen topîs:

  1. Ibn `Umar [3]
  2. Anas [4]
  3. Aswad [5]
  4. `Abdullâh Ibn `Awn [6]
  5. Anas Ibn Sîrîn [7]  رحمهم الله

`Allâmah Suyûtî رحمه الله writes: “It seems that the topî generally worn by Nabî (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was of cotton or of wool.” [8]

Green-striped Yemenî material (الحِبَرة)

`Allâmah Abû Shaikh رحمه الله writes:

عن ابن عباس t: كان لرسول الله eثلاث قلانس. قلنسوة بيضاء مضربة وقلنسوة برد حبرة وقلنسوة ذات آذان يلبسها في السفر فربما وضعها بين يديه إذا صلى

Ibn `Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Rasûlullâh (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had 3 topîs: (from amongst them was) a green-striped topî of Yemenî material.[9]

`Abdullâh Ibn `Awn also wore a similar topî.[10]

Khaz- A blend of silk and wool

This type of material was very common and is permissible on condition that the silk content is less than the wool content.[11]

Imâm Mâlik رحمه الله has mentioned that the Sahâbah (radhiyallahu anhum) would wear topîs of a blend of silk and wool.[12]

This type of topî is reported to have been worn by:

  1. Wâbisah [13]
  2. Anas [14]
  3. Abû Mûsâ Ash`arî[15]t
  4. Imâm Mâlik [16]
  5. Qâsim Ibn Muhammad [17]
  6. Sha`bî [18]
  7. Mûsâ Ibn Talhah [19]
  8. Qâdhî Shurayh [20]
  9. Rabîah [21]
  10. Abû `Ubaidah [22]
  11. Ibn Abî Awfât[23]

A leather topî   (الأسماط)[24]

Ibn `Abbâs (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates:

كان لرسول الله e قلنسوة أسماط – أي جلود- و كان فيها ثقبة

Nabî (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had a leather topî, which had a hole in it.[25]

Abû Salît (radhiyallahu anhu) also reported seeing Nabî (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) wearing a leather topî. [26]

A leather topî was also worn by Nâfi` Ibn Jubayr Ibn Mut`im. [27]

A Shâmî (Syrian) topî

Abû Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates:

رأيت رسول اللهe وعليه قلنسوة بيضاء شامية

‘I saw Rasûlullâh (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) wearing a white Syrian topî.[28]

A similar narration is reported by `Âishah (radhiyallahu anha).[29]

`Abdur Rahmân Ibn Yazîd and Abu Mushir رحمها الله are also narrated to have worn similar topîs.[30]

A Fox-skin topî (الثعالب)

A topî of fox-skin or lined with fox-skin was worn by:

  1. Dhahhâk [31]
  2. Abul `Âliyah [32]
  3. Ibrâhîm An-Nakha`î [33]  رحمهم الله

Ibrâhîm An-Nakha`î also wore a topî of sable. [34]

Note: Any animal skins to be worn will first have to be tanned and will thus be rendered tâhir (pure). Pigskin however, cannot be worn even if it is tanned.

A Misrî (Egyptian) topî

A Misrî topî is reported to have been worn by:

  1. Alî [35]
  2. Abû Dardâ [36]
  3. `Umar Ibn `Abdul `Azîz [37]
  4. Makhûl [38]
  5. Rajâ Ibn Haywah [39]
  6. Maymûn Ibn Mahrân [40]
  7. `Alî Ibn Husain [41]رحمهم الله

The wearing of an Egyptian topî has been attributed to Nabî (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) in the book ‘Subulul Hudâ’ (Vol. 7 Pg. 284) but it seems to be an error as the same hadîth appears in other books[42] with the word  مضربة(double-layered)  in place ofمصرية  (Egyptian).

And Allâh knows best.

(The above was written in the first edition while the following paragraph has been added to this edition)

I later found that Shaikh `Abdul Karîm Ar-Râfi`î mentioned in his book “At-Tadwîn fî Akbâri Qazwîn” that he saw Ibn `Abbâs (radhiyallahu anhu) in a dream and asked him whether the topî of Nabî (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was مضربة (double-layered) or was it مصرية (Egyptian) as certain people claim? Ibn `Abbâs (radhiyallahu anhu) answered that it wasمضربة(double-layered).[43]

Note: While dreams, even of great `ulamâ like `Allamah  Al-Râfi`î do not constitute proof in Sharî`ah (Islamic Law), yet it helps confirm that what seemed a mistake was really one.

A Turkish topî (التركي)

A Turkish topî was worn by:

  1. Ayyûb Sakhtiyânî [44]رحمه الله
  2. Imâm Mâlik [45]رحمه الله

We were unable to find an exact description of the Turkish topîs worn at that time, however the former Grand Muftî of Pakistân, Muftî Muhammad Shafî` رحمه الله passed the following fatwâ regarding the Turkish topîs presently being worn in the Indo-Pak sub continent:

“ It is permissible to wear a Turkish topî when not in salâh, however the `Ulamâ should preferably not wear it. It is inappropriate to perform or lead the salâh wearing one, as firstly, it is completely red. The preferred ruling regarding completely red clothing is that it is makrûh tanzîhî. Secondly, this topî is generally worn in our country by those who don’t follow a mazhab.” [46]

If any of these two negative aspects are found, then one should refrain from wearing these topîs. If, however no such drawbacks exist, then there will be nothing wrong in wearing a Turkish topî.

This was also mentioned by Muftî Kifâyatullâh[47] and Moulânâ Rashîd Ahmad Ganghohî  رحمهما الله.[48]

A thick double-layered topî with padding in-between (قلنسوة مضربة مبطنة)

عن ابن عباسt: كان لرسول الله eثلاث قلانس. قلنسوة بيضاء مضربة وقلنسوة برد حبرة وقلنسوة ذات آذان …إلخ

Ibn `Abbâs (radhiyallahu anhu) has narrated that Nabî (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had 3 topîs: A white, double-layered topî, a green-striped topî of Yemenî cloth and one with earflaps.[49]

This type of topî was also worn by:

  1. Anas Ibn Mâlik [50]
  2. `Uthmân [51]
  3. Abû Dardâ [52]
  4. Abul `Âliyah [53]
  5. Imâm Ahmad Ibn Hambal [54]
  6. Rabî`ah Ar-Râ`î  [55]
  7. Ibrâhîm An-Nakha`î  [56]رحمهم الله

A buttoned topî( المزرورة)

`Allâmah Zhahabî narrates:

عن جعفر بن محمد عن أبيه عن جده t :

أن رسول اللهe كان يلبس القلانس البيض و المزرورات و ذوات الآذان

“Nabî (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) used to wear white topîs as well as buttoned ones and also topîs with earflaps.”[57]

(This is a very weak narration)

Anas Ibn Mâlik (radhiyallahu anhu) was also seen wearing a buttoned topî.[58]

`Uthmân (radhiyallahu anhu) would wear a topî which was (strapped and) buttoned around his neck.[59]

Thin Topîs

Thin topîs were worn by:

  1. `Alî [60]
  2. `Abdullâh Ibn `Umar [61]
  3. Hammâd Ibn Zayd [62]
  4. Sa`îd Ibnul Musayyab [63]
  5. Anas Ibn Sîrîn [64]
  6. `Abdullâh Ibn `Awn [65]رحمهم الله

 Cotton Topîs

Imâm Ahmad Ibn Hambal رحمه الله wore a cotton topî.[66]

`Allâmah Suyûtî رحمه الله writes: “It seems that the topî generally worn by Nabî (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was of cotton or of wool.” [67]

Embroidered topîs

The following personalities are narrated to have worn embroidered topîs:

  1. Al-Mas`ûdî [68]
  2. Sa`îd Ibn Abul Hasan [69]
  3. Abû Qursâfah [70]رحمهم الله

The great Khalîfah, Hârûn Ar-Rashîd, used to wear a topî on which was ascribed:

غازٍ حاجٍ

“I am a warrior;I am a pilgrim”[71]

The Tâqîyyah (الطاقية)


The Tâqîyyah is a white cotton-skullcap. The Egyptians also call it the Arraqîyyah ((عرّقية. It came into vogue before 100 A.H. but gained popularity much later, especially in Egypt.

The following personalities were accustomed to wearing it:

    1. Ahmad Ibn Muhammad Al-Baghdâdî [72]
    2. Mahmûd Diwân [73]
    3. Ibrâhîm Ar-Raqî (702 AH) [74]
    4. Ibn Wazîr (730 AH) [75]
    5. Abul Fayyâdh Al-Jamâlî  (783AH) [76]
    6. `Abdul Qâdir Dowst Jîrî (561 AH) [77]
    7. Ibn Nahhâs (698 A.H ) [78]
    8. Hâfiz Abû Zakarîyâ (+-700 A.H) [79]رحمهم الله

The tâqîyyah of `Allâmah Ibn Taymîyah رحمه الله was sold for 500 dirhams (silver coins), after his death. [80]

A topî of felt ( اللِباد)

The great scholar, Ibn `Abdus Salâm, is reported to have worn a topî of white felt. [81]

A topî with holes

In spite of an exhaustive search we were unable to find any mention of a topî with many holes pierced in it. However `Abdullâh Ibn `Abbâs (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates:

كان لرسول اللهe قلنسوة أسماط -أي جلود- و كان فيها ثقبة

“Rasûlullâh e had a topî of leather, which had a hole in it.” [82]

The great scholar, Abû Bakr Ibn `Arabî رحمه الله has written in his commentary of Tirmizî, `Âridhatul Ahwazhî:

“The ruling regarding topîs is that they should be flat, not domed, however if one feels that he needs to protect his head from the steam rising from it by making the topî dome-shaped with holes in it, then this can be done as a medical remedy and should not be done out of pride or to distinguish oneself from others.” [83]

However, as already mentioned, wearing any type of topî will, inshâ Allâh, allow one to accrue the reward of practising on the Sunnah of wearing a topî.

Hard topîs

In addition to wearing topîs of soft material it was the practice of Nabî (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the Sahâbah (radhiyallahu anhum) to wear topîs of hard material. This may be deduced from the following:

  • `Abdullâh Ibn `Abbâs (radhiyallahu anhu) mentions that Rasûlullâh (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had a topî of leather. [84]
  • The many narrations showing the wearing of thick topîs, containing padding and an inner lining.
  • The narrations concerning the high topîs worn by our Salafus Sâlih also indicate that those topîs were of firm and solid materials thereby enabling them to stand up high and not fall in.
  • The use of the topî as a sutrah (barrier) also bears out the same point.
  • The hadîth of Anas Ibn Malik (radhiyallahu anhu) that when performing wudhû, Nabî (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) would lift up his turban and make masah underneath it, without the turban unravelling.[85]
  • A hadîth to this effect, narrated by `Atâرحمه الله . [86]
  • Lifting the turban and making masah beneath it has also been narrated as the practice of:
  1. Ibn `Umar [87]
  2. Ibrâhîm An-Nakha`î [88]رحمه الله

It would only have been possible to lift the turban off the head without it unravelling, if the topî on which it was tied was made of a firm material.

This is also borne out by the following statement of Shaikh Ibn `Arabî , “A turban without a topî underneath is not very stable as it could unravel especially during wudhû. By tying it on a topî, the turban becomes steady and its shape is greatly enhanced.” [89]

These benefits mentioned by `Allâmah Ibn `Arabî رحمه الله can only be accrued if the topî is hard. A turban on a soft topî normally unravels when the topî is removed and doesn’t really improve the shape.

The Khalîfah’s tolerance

Ubaidullâh ibn Sulaimân, the minister of the Khalîfah Al-Mu`tadhid, mentions:

I was once in the presence of the Khalîfah while a servant was swatting the flies that were around him. A sudden slip of the hand caused the swatter to knock off the Khalîfah’s topî. I watched with a deep sense of foreboding growing within me, fearing the consequences of this deadly blunder.

However, the Khalîfah simply placed the topî back on his head and said to the other servants:

“Tell this unfortunate one to take a rest. It seems that we caught him dozing. In the future, increase the number of servants appointed to operate the fly-swatters.”

The Minister says that I then began praising the Khalîfah and thanking him for his tolerance, but he simply replied, “This poor soul did not do it willfully, he just happened to doze off. Punishment and reproach are only for one who intentionally commits a wrong not for one who blunders or errs.”[90]

Mujâlid says: I once asked Sha`bî the reason for it being popular amongst the people that Qâdhî Shurayh is craftier and wilier than a fox. Sha`bî replied: The reason is that when Shurayh would go out (in the fields) to perform salâh a fox would stand in front of him and imitate him, thus distracting him from his salâh. When this became too much for Shurayh, he removed him kurta and placed it on a pole, putting his turban and topî on top of it (thus creating a dummy).The fox came and stood in front as normal and thus wasn’t prepared for Shurayh who caught him from behind. This is why he is said to be craftier and wilier than a fox. (Tahzîbul Kamâl Vol.12 Pg. 444)


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Next: The Sunnah is to Wear the Topi at ALL times


[1] رواه البلاذري في تاريخه, كذا في سبل الهدى 7 /287.

[2] الترمذي و مر التفصيل في “باب الكمة” رقم 1

[3] ابن سعد 7/198 و راويه ثقة

[4] تاريخ بغداد 8/208

[5] المصنف لابن أبي شيبة1/297 و ابن سعد 6/137 و رجاله رجال الصحيح

[6] ابن سعد 7/198 و راويه ثقة

[7] ابن سعد 7/198 و راويه ثقة

[8] الحاوي للفتاوي 1/83

[9] أبو الشيخ في أخلاق النبي ص 104 و مر التفصيل في “باب الأبيض” رقم 2

[10] ابن سعد7/198 و رجاله ثقات إلا بكار بن محمد ,  قال البخاري يتكلمون فيه

[11] مجمع بحار الأنوار

[12] التمهيد 13/239

[13] البيهقي 2/288 بسند صحيح جدا و قد مر التفصيل في “باب الأغبر” رقم 2

[14] رواه البخاري تعليقا ص 863 (5803( و قال الحافظ: وصله مسدد. الفتح 10/272

[15] السنن الكبرى للبيهقي 3/272

[16] شعب الإيمان 5/165

[17] ابن سعد 5/144 و رجاله رجال الصحيح

[18] ابن سعد 6/264 و رجاله رجال الصحيح

[19] ابن سعد 5/125 و رجاله ثقات

[20] ابن سعد 6/190 و رجاله رجال الصحيح

[21] التمهيد 14/261

[22] ابن سعد 6/237

[23]ابن سعد 4/226 وسكت عنه الحافظ في الدراية 2/222 و له شاهد في مسند ابن أبي أوفى 1/129

[24] أصلُ السَّمْط: أن يُنْزَع صوفُ الشاة المذبُوحة بالماءِ الحار فلذا فسره الشامي الصالحي هنا بأن المراد “جلود”

[25] رواه أبو الحسن البلاذري في تاريخه, كذا في سبل الهدى 7 /284

[26] الآحاد والمثاني 3/303 وفيه عبد الله بن يزيد البكري قال أبو حاتم:ضعيف الحديث ذاهب الحديث

[27] ابن سعد 5/158 و رجاله رجال الصحيح

[28] أبو الشيخ في أخلاق النبي ص104 و  السند ضعيف جدا ولكن له شواهد ,

[29] أبو الشيخ ص 104.قال العراقي:هو أجود الأسانيد في القلانس, كذا في الإتحاف 7 /129

[30] المصنف لابن أبي شيبة 1/297 و ابن سعد 6/175 و رجاله رجال الصحيح و تاريخ دمشق 33/434

[31] المصنف لابن أبي شيبة 6/49 و رجاله موثفون

[32] المصنف لابن أبي شيبة 2/62 و ابن سعد 7/83  و رجاله رجال الصحيح

[33] ابن سعد 6/287 و رجاله رجال الصحيح إلا أبا الهيثم وهو صدوق

[34] المصنف لابن أبي شيبة 6/49 و ابن سعد 6/287 و رجاله رجال الصحيح

[35] ابن سعد 3/22 وسنده ضعيف

[36] ابن عساكر 8/197

[37] تاريخ دمشق 60/360 و 67/41

[38] تاريخ دمشق 60/360

[39] تاريخ دمشق 60/360

[40] تاريخ دمشق 60/360

[41] المصنف لابن أبي شيبة 6/33 و رجاله موثفون

[42] أخلاق النبي ص104 و المغني عن حمل الأسفار 2/376

[43] التدوين في أخبار قزوين 1/400

[44] حلية الأولياء 3/10 و  تاريخ الإسلام للذهبي 8/382

[45] الديباج المذهب  ص60

[46] إمداد المفتين (أردو) 2/981 , فتاوى دار العلوم ( مكمل و مبوب ) 3/159

[47] كفاية المفتي (أردو) 9/153

[48] فتاوى رشيديه (أردو) ص 572, تاليفات رشيديه ص 480

[49] أبو الشيخ في أخلاق النبي ص104 و قد مر في “باب الأبيض” رقم 2 و له شاهد عند ابن عساكر و الروياني

[50] رواه البخاري تعليقا (5803( و قال الحافظ: “قد رويناه موصولا في مسند مسدد.”

[51] الجرح و التعديل 9/119 ولكن ما كان في قلنسوته حشو

[52] الدعامة عن ابن عساكر ولكن عند ابن عساكر 8/197 “مصرية” بدل “مضربة”

[53] ابن سعد 7/83 المصنف لابن أبي شيبة 2/160 و رجاله رجال الصحيح

[54] سير أعلام النبلاء 11/209

[55] التمهيد 14/239

[56] ابن سعد 6/287 و رجاله رجال الصحيح

[57] أورده الذهبي في سيرته ص491 و فيه عاصم بن سليمان فقال الذهبي: عاصم هذا هو

البصري متهم بالكذب. و عزاه الشامي في سبل الهدى 7 /285 إلى ابن عساكر و لكني

لم أجده في بحث القلانس من المطبوع فلعله سقط منه لأنه في المختصر 2/233

[58] عبد الرزاق 1/190 و البيهقي في السنن الكبرى 1/285 و فيه سعيد بن عبد الله,

قال أبو حاتم :ليس بالقوي

[59] الجرح و التعديل 9/119

[60] ابن سعد 3/22 و رجاله رجال الصحيح

[61] ابن سعد 7/198 و راويه ثقة

[62] ابن سعد 7/210 و رجاله رجال الصحيح

[63] ابن سعد 5/105 و رجاله موثقون

[64] ابن سعد 7/198 و راويه ثقة

[65]ابن سعد 7/198 و راويه ثقة

[66] سير أعلام النبلاء 11/209

[67] الحاوي للفتاوي 1/83

[68] العقيلي 2/336 و رجاله ثقات

[69] ابن سعد 7/133 و رجاله ثقات

[70] العلل و معرفة الرجال لأحمد 2/356

[71] تاريخ الطبري 10/106

[72] المنتطم 10/356, تذكرة الحفاظ 4/1285

[73] الدرر الكامنة لابن حجر 6/105

[74] الدرر الكامنة لابن حجر 1/13

[75] الدرر الكامنة لابن حجر 5/442

[76] الدرر الكامنة لابن حجر 5/500

[77] سير أعلام  النبلاء 20/449

[78] معجم الشيوخ للذهبي 2/137

[79] كتاب المغرب في حلي المغرب (150)

[80] البداية و النهاية 14/136

[81] در الغمامة ص 20

[82] رواه أبو الحسن البلاذري في تاريخه, كذا في سبل الهدى 7 /284.  و له شاهد في حديث أبي سليط عند ابن

أبي عاصم في الآحاد و المثاني 3/303 ولكن فيه ضعف شديد.

[83] عارضة الأحوذي 7/242

[84] رواه أبو الحسن البلاذري في تاريخه, كذا في سبل الهدى 7 /284

[85] أبو داؤد ص 19 (147) , ابن ماجه ص 41 (564) , الحاكم 1/169 و فيه أبو معقل

مجهول ولكن سكت عنه أبو داؤد و المنذري فهو صالح.

[86] ابن أبي شيبة 1/36 مرسلا و رجاله رجال الصحيح, قال البيهقي 1/61 : قد روينا معناه

موصولا في حديث المغيرة.

[87] الدارقطني في سننه 1/107 و قال الشيخ عظيم آبادي في تعليقه: إسناده صحيح.

[88] ابن أبي شيبة 1/36 و رجاله رجال الصحيح.

[89] عارضة الأحوذي 7/244 و القطعة الأخيرة من شرح المناوي على الشمائل 1/203

[90] البداية و النهاية 11/91

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