Question:

What is the ruling on wearing red clothing?

Answer:

As for Red, then the Scholars have differed on the issue. Hafidh Ibn Hajr rahimahullah mentioned eight different opinions on the issue and concludes:

“The verified opinion in this issue is that if the prohibition of wearing red is due to imitating the disbelievers, then the statement regarding it is like the statement regarding red saddle cloths as will come. If it is due to it being the adornment of the women, then it criticism for imitating the women. So it is prohibited due to that [imitation] and not in and of itself. If it is due to red clothing being clothing of popularity or clothing that decreases the manhood, then a person is prevented from falling into that. Otherwise, it strengthens the opinion of Malik of differentiating between wearing red in [public] gatherings and wearing it in the houses”

[Fathul-Bari (10/319)]

Shaikh al-Albani rahimahullah said:

“There has not been reported a prohibition of red clothing and there is no authentic Hadith on it. As for the Hadith that says: “Red is the adornment of Shaytan” then that it is from the weak Ahaadith in Jami’ as-Sagheer. Everything authentic in this issue is relating to the color of saffron (المزعفر) and safflower (المعصفر). So this color is either safflower (المعصفر) which is the the adornment of women, so it is not allowed for men. Or saffron (المزعفر) which is the clothing of the disbelievers and is not allowed. So the reason is imitation of either the disbelievers or the women”

[Silsilatul-Huda wan-Nur no. 265]

Imam Shawkani rahimahullah wrote an entire treatise on the subject entitled “القول المحرر في حكم لبس المعصفر وسائر أنواع الأحمر” where he also argues that the prohibition is specific to dye safflower (المعصفر) and red itself.

This seems to be the stronger view, and Allah knows best. Although other Scholars argue that prohibition is regarding pure red. Among them is Imam Ibn al-Qayyim in Zaad al-Ma’aad, Shaikh Fawzan and Shaikh Ibn ul-‘Uthaymeen (as the brother Abu Layth mentioned) and others.

As for the Hadith in Abu Dawood (no. 4066), then it is not referring to orange.

Shaikh Abdul-Muhsin al-‘Abbad hafidhuhallah said:

“That is: it is stained with safflower. That is (معصفرة). The prohibition of safflower has come in some Ahaadith. And it has come in this chapter about red clothing and safflower has the color of yellow [at times] and it also has the color of red. Perhaps this clothing mentioned had something else along with it or was forbidden due to it being safflower even if it is not red. However the issue is that this Hadith is reported in the chapter about red clothing. So it is either in consideration that it has something of redness in it or something of safflower [along with it] which gives it a red color. Safflower itself has Ahaadith that prohibit it and from them is this Hadith”

[Sharh Sunan Abi Dawood no. 456]

As for saffron, then yes it is prohibited.

عَنْ أَنَسٍ، قَالَ نَهَى النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنْ يَتَزَعْفَرَ الرَّجُلُ

Narrated Anas (may Allah be pleased with him)

The Prophet (ﷺ) forbade men to use saffron

[Bukhari no. 5846]

And Allah Knows Best

Faisal Ibn Abdul Qaadir Ibn Hassan
Abu Sulaymaan