Decoration, adornment, embellishment or beautification, all these are regularly translated in Arabic in their noun forms as zinah and zukhruf, and in their verb forms as zayyana and zakhrafa. The Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) speak of the idea of decoration in diverse contexts, such as the built environment, natural environment, the meaning of life, man’s spiritual progression, family life, society, and the like. In this manner, Almighty God and His last Messenger convey powerful messages to people, regardless of their ages, vocations and overall life interests. The Qur’anic verses and the Prophet’s traditions of the mentioned type have adopted varied tones, styles and substance so that the intended messages could be conveyed effectively. However, all the messages and lessons that could be drawn from the mentioned Qur’anic verses and the Prophet’s statements and traditions can be placed, by and large, under the jurisdiction of two thrusts: decoration as an instrument of deception, and decoration as an instrument of enhancing the original qualities of a thing. It goes without saying, therefore, that due to their significance and implications for life with all its facets and secrets, the two cited thrusts lie at the core of the Islamic message.
Decoration as an instrument of deception
There are so many Qur’anic verses and statements or traditions (hadith) of the Prophet (pbuh) that refer to the subject of decoration as an instrument of deception. This type of decoration or adornment can be established in all spheres of life: the built environment, outward human appearance, human interactions, and even religious ceremonies. According to this type of decoration, decorative themes and media stand between a thing and a beholder revealing to the latter not what the former actually is, but what it is not.
A thing that is targeted by the pursuits of such a type of decoration is either disfigured in its totality, or its ungodly aspects are made falsely attractive, their false “attractiveness” grossly exaggerated and promoted so that the genuinely positive aspects of the same thing become effectively overshadowed by the former. In other words, a good thing, or the good aspects of a thing, are kept hidden. Then, by certain ostensible decorating or beautifying, but in effect disfiguring and illusory media, specific evil elements are made up and imputed to the same thing as a supplement for the concealed positive aspects. The purpose of this process is to make good things repulsive and unattractive. The other dimension of this process is that an evil thing, or the evil aspects of a thing, are made obscure. By the use of certain deceptive steps and media, the same thing, under the pretext of beautifying and adorning it, is presented as a nice-looking and wholesome one. The purpose of this is to make evil things beautiful and attractive. How much is needed for things to be camouflaged and presented as either evil, if they are originally good, or good, if they are originally evil, depends on the extent of their inherent goodness or evil.
At any rate, in this type of decoration and beautification the real character of a thing is hardly perceptible by a casual observer or by one who lacks desire, a sense of purpose, wisdom, cerebral and spiritual means and capacity to break through the phony garb of a thing and reveal its true moral fiber. To see things in their real light, it follows, is to grasp the real meanings of life and its multifaceted realities to which the Qur’an often alludes to by applying such terms as guidance, wisdom, knowledge and comprehension. But to see things in a different way, that is to be blinded by the false “attractiveness” of things and be unable to penetrate into their actual substances, on the other hand, is to succumb to and remain bogged down with the demands of human animal lusts and desires, thus failing to perceive a higher order of existence. The Qur’an often alludes to this situation too, but by applying such terms as deviation, going astray, ignorance and negligence.
Abu Hamid al-Ghazali gave the example of this worldly life as an illustration of how far this type of decoration and beautification can be illusory. “The world is like a beautiful unchaste woman who attracts the people towards her by her beauty, but she has got such secret diseases which destroy one who goes unto her. If you do good to the world for one hour, it does you harm for one year. If you carry on business with the worldly people, you gain no benefit but loss. He who seeks the world faces many dangers and difficulties which cannot be enumerated. Who so wants it, it flees away from him; and who so does not want it, it goes to him…Jesus Christ saw the world in his mind's eye like an old woman dressed nicely and asked her: ‘How many husbands have you taken?’ She said: ‘There is no limit’. He asked: ‘Have all of them died during your lifetime or have they divorced you one after another?’ The woman said: ‘I have ruined all of them’. Jesus Christ said: ‘Woe to your remaining husbands. You do not take lessons seeing the condition of your previous husbands. They do not take care even though you have ruined them one after another.”
Some of the many verses that touch on the subject of decoration or embellishment as an instrument of deception are the following verses:
“Likewise did We make for every Messenger an enemy,- satans among men and Jinns, inspiring each other with flowery discourses by way of deception. If thy Lord had so willed, they would not have done it: so leave them and what they forge” (Al-An’am 112).
“And were it not that (all) men might become one community We would provide, for everyone that blasphemes against the Most Gracious, silver roofs for their houses, and (silver) stair-ways on which to go up, and (silver) doors to their houses, and couches (of silver) on which they could recline, and also adornments of gold. But all this was nothing but enjoyment of the present life: the Hereafter, in the sight of thy Lord, is for the Righteous” (Al-Zukhruf 33-35).
“When the suffering reached them from Us, why then did they not call (Allah) in humility? On the contrary their hearts became hardened, and Satan made their (sinful) acts seem alluring to them” (Al-An’am 43).
“Even so, in the eyes of most of the Pagans, their ‘partners’ made alluring the slaughter of their children, in order to lead them to their own destruction, and cause confusion in their religion. If Allah had willed, they would not have done so: but leave alone them and what they forged” (Al-An’am 137).
“(Iblis) said: “O my Lord! Because Thou hast put me in the wrong, I will make (wrong) fair-seeming to them on the earth, and I will put them all in the wrong,- except Thy chosen servants among them” (Al-Hijr 39, 40).
“The life of this world is alluring to those who reject faith, and they scoff at those who believe. But the righteous will be above them on the Day of Resurrection…” (Al-Baqarah 212).
“Is he, then, to whom the evil of his conduct is made alluring, so that he looks upon it as good, (equal to one who is rightly guided)? For Allah leaves to stray whom He wills, and guides whom He wills…” (Fatir 8).
“Fair in the eyes of men is the love of things they covet: women and sons; heaped-up hoards of gold and silver; horses branded (for blood and excellence); and (wealth of) cattle and well-tilled land. Such are the possessions of this world’s life; but with Allah is the best of the goals (to return to)” (Alu ‘Imran 14).
Concerning the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), he too was very clear in censuring and warning against those acts of decoration and embellishment, which, in actual fact, served as means for advancing delusions. He did so on many occasions and under different circumstances. However, quite a number of his statements to this very effect were expressed while he was engaged in different building activities during his life-span, or while he was overseeing others doing the same. This clearly shows that the built environment is a fertile ground for this mode of decoration to establish itself and thrive.
In one of his hadiths (traditions), the Prophet (pbuh) is reported to have said that no sooner does the performance (‘amal) of a people deteriorate than they embark on decorating their mosques.That is to say, the people concerned start paying more attention to the form mosques take rather than to their function as centers for communities, neighborhoods, towns, villages, etc., fervently believing that they are right in what they do. Symbolically, by means of the decoration of mosques, the same people succeed in masking corrosion in their faith. Also, by the same action, they blind their cognitive senses, thus fortifying and protracting their appalling state.
In another hadith, the Prophet (pbuh) divulged that one of the signs that the Day of Judgment is imminent would be when people start vying against one another in mosques. Certainly, this statement covers planning, constructing and decorating mosques, as well as anything else that can be related thereto, directly or indirectly.At any rate, people’s vying against one another generally in erecting buildings is considered one of the signs of the Day of Judgment’s imminence.
The Prophet (pbuh) also proclaimed that he was not directed (ma umirtu) to erect (tashyid) monumental mosques. The narrator of the last hadith, ‘Abdullah b. ‘Abbas, commented that many Muslims will end up adorning their mosques like both the Jews and Christians had done.It should be stressed yet again that so alluring will such acts appear to the people concerned that they will be incapacitated to see that their deeds are not only wrong, but also blasphemous. ‘Abdullah b. ‘Abbas made this assertion not of his own accord; rather, he just paraphrased a hadith in which the Prophet (pbuh) is reported to have uttered the same.
On one occasion, after he had been told of the beauty of a Christian church in Abyssinia (Ethiopia) and how wonderful its paintings were, the Prophet (pbuh) observed: “Those people are such that if a pious man amongst them dies, they build a place of worship over his grave and paint these pictures in it. Those people will be Allah’s worst creatures on the Day of Resurrection.”
Furthermore, the Prophet (pbuh) commanded that every cloth or curtain decorated with figured designs be removed from the place where one prays lest they might disturb one’s prayers. He himself set a standard by doing so on a few occasions.On the word of yet another hadith, every house ought to be free of such articles as may get in the way of the absorption of those who perform their prayers there.
The Prophet (pbuh) once warned: “O people, put a stop to your women wearing their attractive clothes and behaving in boastful ways inside mosques. Truly, the Children of Israel were not cursed until their women started wearing their attractive clothes and behaved in boastful ways inside mosques.”
The Prophet (pbuh) also said that he feared for his followers the peril of the splendor of the life of this world and its (false) adornments which they will soon possess and with which they will be tested.
According to Abdullah b. Mas’ud, a Prophet’s companion, the Prophet (pbuh) has said to the effect that Allah curses those ladies who practice tattooing and those who get themselves tattooed, and those ladies who remove the hair from their faces and those who make artificial spaces between their teeth in order to look more beautiful whereby they change Allah’s creation.
Indeed, changing the tones of Allah’s pure creation, or creating the means and channels for one to be led away from the intrinsic purity and beauty of Allah’s creation toward false convictions, desires and superstitions is what the idea of decoration as an instrument of deception is all about. Such is but the work of Satan and his devotees. Blinded with fallacies, myths, vain aspirations and fears, it is only Satan’s faction that could see such an undertaking as a worthy and beneficial endeavor. However, the men of righteousness are well equipped to see the whole thing as a total fraud and delusion. Says the Qur’an: “Allah did curse him (Satan), but he said: “I will take of Thy servants a portion marked off. I will mislead them, and I will create in them false desires; I will order them to slit the ears of cattle, and to deface the (fair) nature created by Allah.” Whoever, forsaking Allah, takes Satan for a friend, hath of a surety suffered a loss that is manifest” (Al-Nisa’ 118,119).
This uncompromising attitude of Islam towards the decoration and beautification practices that do not serve the goals of truth, and which at best could be described as wasteful and unjustifiable efforts, has been encapsulated, so to speak, in the following words of the Prophet (pbuh): “We have not been commanded to dress (embellish) the stone and clay (bricks).”
In the same way, undoubtedly, if one gets excessively occupied with embellishing the physical aspects of one’s self, without paying any attention whatsoever to embellishing and polishing the spiritual dimensions, such an attitude becomes in many ways tantamount to embellishing the stone and clay which the Prophet (pbuh) has warned against. This is so because man is a dual creature made of clay and soul. No segment of the human character is to be cultivated at the expense of the other. In most cases, however, it is the spiritual side of human beings that is bartered for the unbound enjoyment of the pleasures offered by the corporeal side of humans, that is to say, the clay.
Many men thus fancy the decaying clay, that is, the body, which grows moldy as one grows older, over the eternal soul, which, conversely, grows stronger, tranquil, pure and complete as one grows older, getting ready to always take its purifier to some higher planes of life. It follows that since a body becomes more decayed the more time and dedication is needed for masking it and presenting it as of good quality and appealing, in turn limiting time and prospects for the soul to be cultivated.
From the above, we can easily deduce that the concept of decoration which functions as an instrument of deception signifies the partial or total camouflaging of a wholesome thing via different means and media, portraying the same as objectionable. It also signifies the partial or total camouflaging of an objectionable thing via different means and media, presenting the same as a wholesome one. The more a thing is wholesome, or objectionable, the more it is required from the agents of deceptive decoration and beautification processes so that the set goals become fulfilled.
For example, for some people, accumulating enormous wealth and living extravagant lifestyles, spending nothing or very little thereof on those tested with poverty, ill health or insolvency — is seen as an appropriate, trendy and gratifying approach, even though the same when observed in the light of pure common sense stands out as vicious profligacy, at best, and as a crime against humanity, at worst. Doing otherwise, that is, to be compassionate with less fortunate persons, caring for them and sharing with them some of their vast riches – such a dignified attitude is seen by the same men rather as a contemptible, degrading and “wealth squandering” approach.
Similarly, a structure whose functions center upon accommodating and further advancing some immoral acts is perceived by some people as great – in fact as a masterpiece in art and architecture — because of its awesome physical appearance which is further accentuated by ample splendid decorative designs. So blinded are some people by the glittering form of such a structure that little or no thought in any way is accorded to the hollow and iniquitous purpose of the same building. Surely, no thing, structure or event can be described as beautiful and wholesome if it violates the principles of divinity and the ultimate truth. Similarly, no thing, structure or event can be described as beautiful and wholesome if it serves the objectives and aids the interests of falsehood and evil.
The same could be asserted about those people who are prone to excessively adorning their bodies. Thus, the Qur’an cautions: “O ye Children of Adam! We have bestowed raiment upon you to cover your shame, as well as to be an adornment to you, but the raiment of righteousness – that is the best…” (Al-A’raf 26).
Although man is permitted, yet advised, to attend to the details related to beautiful and decent living, such as clothes that add grace to the wearer, cleanliness, hair, smell, and other small personal details, yet the caution against excess and any other vice that may thus emerge strictly applies. Even when one solemnly applies his mind to the presence of Allah Almighty, likewise is the case: “O Children of Adam! Wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer: eat and drink: but waste not by excess, for Allah loveth not the wasters” (Al-A’raf 31).
Certainly, responsible for the whole issue of deceptive beautification is nobody else but Satan and his associates from amongst the men and Jinns, hence Satan’s daring vow to God after he had rebelled against the divine will and plan: “He (Satan) said: “Because Thou hast thrown me out (of the Way), lo! I will lie in wait for them on Thy Straight Way. Then will I assault them from before them and behind them, from their right and their left: nor wilt Thou find, in most of them, gratitude (for Thy mercies)” (Al-A’raf 16, 17).
As to the strategies of Satan, they all center upon making wrong fair-seeming, and fair-seeming – in the spiritual sense of the word – wrong. “(Iblis) said: “O my Lord! Because Thou hast put me in the wrong, I will make (wrong) fair-seeming to them on the earth, and I will put them all in the wrong,- except Thy chosen servants among them” (Al-Hijr 39, 40).
Wrongly portraying things so as to mislead men is all Satan can do: “Satan makes them promises, and creates in them false hopes, but Satan’s promises are nothing but deception” (Al-Nisa’ 120). No real authority whatsoever does Satan possess over men, except over the servants of his who through their regular spiritual failings have invited him to enslave and take full control over them. However, no matter what Satan does, it is all about deceptions, trickeries and false promises – no more than that. On the Day of Judgment, the day when the real character of all things will be unambiguously perceived by all because the spell of deceptive beautification will be broken, it will be nobody else but Satan himself who will deal a final, and definitely the most painful, blow to his devotees from the earthly life. Surely, it will be most appropriate for Satan to do that and nobody else. Thus, his true colors, and the true colors of all the forms of evil which Satan cunningly sustained and induced so many people to take pleasure in will be revealed to all. The Qur’an says on this: “And Satan will say when the matter is decided: “It was Allah Who gave you a promise of Truth: I too promised, but I failed in my promise to you. I had no authority over you except to call you, but ye listened to me; then reproach not me, but reproach your own souls. I cannot listen to your cries, nor can ye listen to mine. I reject your former act in associating me with Allah. For wrong-doers there must be a grievous Chastisement” (Ibrahim 22).
Certainly it is because of this that the sinners are unable to catch a glimpse of the light and beauty of the truth and things associated with it, despite its clarity, immensity and expediency for men. They perceive it, the things related thereto and the ways leading to it as dull and unappealing. Whereas falsehood, the things related thereto and the ways leading to it, they see as delightful and attractive. The looming hazards concealed under the wrap of the hollow showy expressions in bogus pleasures, the sinners are unable to expose and so fend off. Only when they die, that is, when the spell of Satan comes to an end and when the veil is removed from before their senses, do the sinners come to terms with what really transpired on earth and where the truth really rests. Their bitter regrets are typified by their agonizing plea that they be returned to earth for as little as a short while so that they can conduct themselves accordingly. The Qur’an discloses this scenario in the following way: “(It will be said:) “Thou wast heedless of this; now have We removed the veil, and sharp is thy sight this Day” (Qaf 22).
It is perhaps on account of this reality underlying each and every brand of unbelief and transgression that anything taken as a deity together with, or apart from, the Almighty God is called al-zun. The word is derived from the Arabic words zinah and zayyana, which mean decoration and to decorate respectively. All the forms of sham deifying and worship are called thus because gods associated with the Almighty God are by and large richly decorated in order for them and the ideologies underpinning and sustaining their existence to appear as attractive as possible to their followers. The places where such deities are fashioned, collected and decorated are also called al-zun.
For the same reason, indeed, did the Prophet (pbuh) dub the books revealed to the earlier prophets, but whose substance had later been distorted beyond recognition, as the books of embellishment (zukhruf) devoid of light. The Prophet (pbuh) felt that using the word embellishment (zukhruf) in its negative sense, while underscoring the fate of the past holy books, was an appropriate course of action because what happened at first to such books was that they were stripped of their sanctity, which was followed by the grave distortion of their contents. And finally, in order to cover up their misdeeds and sell to people their conspiracies, the proponents of these unholy schemes tempered with the revealed books’ contents, thus charting new worldviews and dogmas set to be gradually followed under the pretext of vain assurances, superstitions and myths.
It is because of this, furthermore, that the believers, on the other hand, stand at the diametrically opposite side of the sinners and infidels. The believers easily see where the truth and where falsehood actually lie. To them, never are equal the things that are good and things that are evil, even though the abundance and phony glitter of the bad tend to dazzle many people. Due to a sixth sense that the believers have developed, thanks to the power of faith that saturates their lives, nothing could stand between them and seeing the most crucial aspects of the earthly existence in their truest colors. It goes without saying that one of the most significant supplications that a righteous servant of God offers almost on a daily basis is: “O God, show us the truth the way it is, and bestow upon us the blessing of following it. And show us the falsehood the way it is, and bestow upon us the blessing of resisting it.”
And according to the Holy Qur’an, the main trait of “those who walk in righteousness” is that “…Allah has endeared the Faith to you, and has made it beautiful in your hearts, and He has made hateful to you unbelief, wrongdoing, and rebellion…” (Al-Hujurat 7). Hence, one of the Prophet’s supplications was: “O God, endear the Faith to us, and make it beautiful in our hearts, and make hateful to us unbelief, wrongdoing, and rebellion…”
The idea of deceptively beautifying and adorning the outward appearance of a thing, thus disguising its real nature which is in contrast to the purpose of the adornment acts, if extended over to religious rituals, it then has a potential of becoming one of the most detrimental transgressions. Abu Sa’id reported that the Prophet (pbuh) came to a group of his companions while they were discussing about Dajjal (anti-Christ) and said: "Should I not inform you of that which I fear for you even more than the dangers of Dajjal? It is the hidden Shirk (associating gods with Allah). A person stands to pray, and he beautifies his prayer because he sees the people looking at him."
Moreover, due to the damaging consequences that are caused by adopting deceptive decoration and beautification as a life’s norm, hypocrisy has been in part strictly prohibited. So despicable in the sight of God is hypocrisy that the hypocrites “will be in the lowest depths of the Fire: no helper wilt thou find for them” (Al-Nisa’ 145). Thus, the Qur’an proclaims: “O ye who believe! Why say ye that which ye do not? Grievously hateful is it in the sight of Allah that ye say that which ye do not” (Al-Saff 2,3). Islam loathes hypocrisy very much because it propagates discrepancies between a person’s outer manifestations and expressions and his real self. In order to achieve this state, a person must have recourse to various acts of false adornment, that is, camouflaging his speech, performance and appearance.
For the reasons stated above, to a certain extent, are the acts of cheating, lying and conceit also strictly prohibited in Islam. What is more, they are deemed of the most damaging forms of vice. Their opposites, that is, honesty, faithfulness and modesty, are of the virtues most desired in human beings.
The respective outlooks of both the wrongdoers and believers on all modes of deceptive decoration are somewhat encapsulated in the Qur’anic story of Qarun who was of the people of the prophet Musa (Moses). Such were Qarun’s treasures that God had bestowed on him that their very keys would have been a burden to a body of strong men (Al-Qasas 76). So one day when Qarun went forth among his people displaying conceitedly his worldly glitter (fi zinatihi), both the wrongdoers and believers made their stand: “…Said those whose aim is the Life of this World: “Oh, that we had the like of what Qarun has got! For he is truly a lord of mighty good fortune!” But those who had been granted (true) knowledge said: “Alas for you! The reward of Allah (in the Hereafter) is best for those who believe and work righteousness: but this none shall attain, save those who steadfastly persevere (in good)” (Al-Qasas 79,80).
However, after the earth had been caused to swallow up Qarun, his house and all the riches that he possessed, the eyes of those persons who had initially been blinded by the glitter of Qarun’s pompous display, opened and they too could clearly see. They sighed with relief: “Ah! It is indeed Allah Who enlarges the provision or restricts it to any of His servants He pleases! Had it not been that Allah was gracious to us, He could have caused the earth to swallow us up! Ah! Those who reject Allah will assuredly never prosper” (Al-Qasas 82).
Bearing witness to the destruction of Qarun and his fleeting material wealth, the men who heretofore had envied Qarun were finally able to remove the spell of his position. Certainly, they were taught the lesson a hard way. Whereas the believers, from the very beginning, knew the actual character of Qarun’s condition due to the true knowledge that they had been granted. In his translation and commentary of the Qur’an, Yusuf Ali adds: “The rabble, that admired Qarun’s wealth when he was in worldly prosperity, now sees the other side of the question and understands that there are other gifts more precious and desirable, and that these may actually be withheld from men who enjoy wealth and worldly prosperity. In fact it is false prosperity, or no prosperity in the real sense of the word, which is without spiritual well-being.”
As a final point, performing the acts of decoration and embellishment for the purpose of spreading fallacy and deceit — as explained earlier — is by no means an easy proposition. This is so because through this unholy assignment, the truth, which is at the core of the divine will and plan, is meant to be suppressed, and the falsehood, which is totally alien and so never compatible with the spiritual paradigm of existence, is meant to be established instead. What’s more, God made the manifestations of the truth plain, unambiguous, universal and discernible to all in all the strata of the perceptible reality, in addition to the truth being innately beautiful, charming, beneficial and considered necessary for the well-being of man. Whereas falsehood, in contrast, is a forgery and an irreconcilable entity with the essence of earthly life and remains shrouded in the opposites of the mentioned qualities that characterize the truth. So therefore, manipulating the existing scenario is a daunting task. Surely, more than just some straightforward tactics and strategies are needed for making the truth appear as vile and repellent and the falsehood as pleasant and delightful in the eyes of a beholder.
Furthermore, the truth has been made the target of every person’s inherent cravings (fitrah). According to the Islamic worldview – as a small digression – God created man with the primordial natural disposition to thirst for and worship his Creator, Allah. God, therefore, knowing the character of man best on dispatching Adam, the father of mankind and the first of prophets, to earth to undertake the duty of vicegerency, consoled him by revealing that His guidance and signs will come to him and to all men, and “Whosoever follows My guidance, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve” (Al-Baqarah 38). “…Whosoever follows My guidance, will not lose his way, nor fall in misery” (Ta Ha 123). God’s guidance and signs, i.e., the religion of Islam preached by all prophets, will at all times be able to satisfy and quench man’s ever hankering and yearning soul — for it is all it yearns for — thus enabling him to contented and “healthy” keep up the focus of his undertakings only on worshipping his Lord in every act, word and thought (‘ibadah): “I have only created Jinns and men, that they may serve Me” (Al-Dhariyat 56).
Despite all these verities, however, many people still succumb to Satan’s cheap tricks and become hopelessly confused and disoriented and eventually lose their way. Based on this, it stands to reason that Satan is a very astute and competent creation insofar as his victims are concerned, and that the spell of his mean scams appears to be quite formidable. Resisting Satan’s advances requires a great deal of conviction, zeal, determination and perseverance.
 Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, Ihya’ ‘Ulum al-Din, http://www.ghazali.org/ihya/english/ihya-vol3-C6.htm.
Abu Dawud, Sunan Abi Dawud, Kitab al-Salah, Hadith No. 379.
Al-Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Fitan, Hadith No. 6588.
Abu Dawud, Sunan Abi Dawud, Kitab al-Salah, Hadith No. 378.
Al-Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Jana’iz, Hadith No. 1255.
Ibid., Kitab al-Salah, Hadith No. 360, 361. Abu Dawud, Sunan Abi Dawud, Kitab al-Manasik, Hadith No. 1735.
 Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad Ahmad b. Hanbal, Awwal Musnad Al-Madaniyyin, Hadith No. 16039.
 Ibn Majah, Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitab al-Fitan, Hadith No. 3991.
 Muslim, Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Zakah, Hadith No. 1744.
 Al-Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 7, Book 72, Hadith No. 822.
 Muslim, Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Libas wa al-Zinah, Hadith No. 3933.
The Holy Qur’an, English Translation of the Meanings and Commentary; see the translator’s comments No. 1008 and 11013.
Abu al-Fadl Ibn Manzur, Lisan al-‘Arab, (Beirut: Dar Sadir, 1990), vol. 13 p. 202.
 Ibid., vol. 13 p. 202.
 Ibid., vol. 9 p. 133.
 Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad al-Makkiyyin, Hadith No. 14945.
 Ibn Majah, Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitab al-Zuhd, Hadith No. 4194.
The Holy Qur’an, English Translation of the Meanings and Commentary; see the translator’s comment No. 3412.