KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 20 — A Muslim consumer group warned today that the wearing of pure silk batik cloths is not only forbidden among Muslim men but is also a sign of Islam’s apocalypse, a prophetic revelation on the end of days.
The Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia (PPIM) said many Muslims here are unaware of this fact, which it said is enshrined in several hadiths, also known as the collection of words and deeds of the Prophet Muhammad.
“Rasulullah SAW has said that Muslim men cannot wear silk and gold.
“Hadiths also state that one of the tanda kiamat (signs of the apocalypse) is when pure silk is being worn, and that there is no awareness about this,” PPIM activist Sheikh Abd Kareem S Khadaied told reporters at a press conference here.
Batik is a form of textile art often marketed as a national heritage in Muslim-majority Malaysia and Indonesia.
Government leaders and religious figures here commonly use batik, which comes in a variety of materials, including pure silk, rayon and cotton, for official functions.
But Sheikh Abd Kareem said pure silk cannot be the way to go for Muslim men and suggested that alternatives to the material be used instead.
He took aim at the Malaysian Handicraft Development Corporation, saying that it had not done anything to research on alternative materials besides pure silk to make batik, despite having enough funds to do so.
“In the current industry most of the silk batik worn by Muslim men is pure silk. Only about ten per cent is silk mixture,” he said.
When asked to explain how PPIM might make non-Muslims understand the reasoning behind the banning of pure silk for Muslim men, Sheikh Abd Kareem said it was unnecessary.
“When the Prophet says it is forbidden, that means it is forbidden, we listen and abide by it.
“Logic is a (part of human) desire,” he added, saying that when it came to Islam one should not demand a reasoning or explanation on a matter.
But Sheikh pointed out that PPIM had no problems with batik cloths which used silk mixed with other materials such as linen and cotton as there was no hadith which forbade this.
He said he had brought the matter up with the National Fatwa Council and the Malaysian Islamic Department (Jakim) but they have yet to provide a solution on the matter.
“There has to be labelling done on each batik cloth for that people will know it is pure silk and therefore haram,” Sheikh said.