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Last Updated: 2011/12/07
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Why is it forbidden for men to use gold?
Why is it forbidden for men to use gold?
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Detailed Answer

Scientifically, men who wear gold objects are prone to the following destructive effects of gold: a) neurological stimulations,[i] b) excessive proliferation of white blood cells[ii].

It should be noted that science is responsible for man's well-being whereas the development of man's celestial and spiritual aspects must constitute a Muslim's main concern. He should, therefore, look at the "body" and "science" as mere tools that help him attain his divine goals. That is because man is not an earthly and material entity; he is a human being whose real essence rests in the blossoming of his potentialities which have been bestowed upon him by Allah in order for him to attain the caliphate of God. What is the way through which these potentialities could be realized? What are the hindrances and barriers on this way?

God, the Exalted, has made known, out of divine grace, the ways and hurdles that hinder the growth of potentialities. These ways and hurdles have been presented in the form of Shari'ah rules.  With this principle kept in mind, it becomes clear that Shari'ah of Allah contains rulings that are in the best interests of people in this world and in the Hereafter, because it is a law that was revealed by the Creator of mankind, Who knows what is good for them and what is bad for them. But the reason behind the laws may or may not be apparent to everyone. The believer is enjoined to submit and accept the laws of Allah because that is a requirement of his faith in Allah as his Lord and God.  Nonetheless, when it comes to understanding or finding reason behind the laws, the following points should be kept into consideration:

1 – Can mankind gain access to the philosophy or reason behind the laws? Certainly, the answer is in the negative because:

A) The reasons behind all the laws have not been mentioned in Islamic textual sources.

B) The laws whose reasons have been mentioned are not known to be the entire reasons for those laws; in fact, it is likely that there might be numerous other reasons for a single law but the divine legislator has mentioned some of them selectively.

C) The human sciences are also capable of finding out some of the reasons and rationales of the Islamic laws, not all of them.

Therefore, to expect man to have comprehensive knowledge of the reasons behind all the laws is wrong as it is beyond his scientific capability and the constraints with which he is faced.

2 – The philosophy of Islamic laws is not restricted to material and physical reasons – which come within the category of experimental sciences.  In fact, the reasons behind the Islamic laws are higher and loftier than they can be perceived and reached through scientific and experimental research. For example, human sciences have provided elaborate accounts on the hygienic features of fasting but the Holy Quran makes mention of a more important point and that is "attaining piety". Perhaps, one of the reasons that the Quran has not mentioned the hygienic points is that basically it does not want to draw the attention of the Islamic Ummah to inferior or low goals and objectives; rather it always wants to steer them towards lofty values.

3. When it comes to the reason behind the prohibition of gold for men, it should be said that in addition to the aforementioned points another reason could be to prevent men from falling into expensive and heavy costs of buying and using ornaments.


[i] - Vide: Hygiene in Islam, Dr. Ahmad Sabur Ardubadi

[ii] - Vide: Payam Islam Calendar, year 1357

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