Wear Turban: signifies the love of the Tausug

I had with hundred Muslims in a Friday congregation at Darussalam Mosque, Sandakan on 10 December 2010.  As the “Khatib” stood at the pulpit I noticed he was wearing a white turban. By that moment, my mind was busy with question as why the Tausug wear turban after performing hajj. Whereas the other Muslim nowadays who were also gone to Makkah for hajj just wearing a “kuffiya” (head cup); there are some none at all. All these had quite disturb me in a moment before the khatib deliver a sermon. Although many were from among the congregation wearing the turban most especially the Jamaatut Tabligh, the thing which I was curious about, why only after gone for hajj some Tausug like to wear turban? What do they have in minds?

To wear turban is not only applicable to a Muslim. There are societies believe to wear turban is a part of their culture and social status. Such as some people in India, Arabia, Africa and other countries.  Although currently wearing turban received negative impression from some non-Muslims especially after 9/11, this shows that to wear turban has no link at all to terrorism.

In Islam, to wear turban is a Sunnah. The authenticity of this claim can be referred to the hadiths of Prophet Muhammad compiled in many books.   

As have mentioned by Maulana Fazlur Rahman in the book Turban Thowb and kufi (pp. 34) Ibn Abbas (RA) reports that Rasulullah(SAW) said “Adopt the Turban as it will increase your Hilm ( good character, intelligence, patience).”

Habib Umar Al-hafiz
Another hadith can be found on Mishkat vol. 1 (pp.630), which says “The holy Prophet (SAW) used to wear a Turban and he said that the angels also wear it in the heavens and the turban protects the head and adorns the face.”

Also in other hadith cited by Hakim in the book Mustadrak Hakim vol. 34 (pp.540), Aisha (RA) reports on the occasion of the battle of the trench a man came to Rasulullah (SAW) wearing a Turban and when she asked Rasulullah(SAW) about this man he  informed her this was Jibraeel.

With these we can see the wearing of turban, though a sunnah, have a deep emphasis over life of a Muslim. That’s why the Muslim clerics such as the Habaib from Yemen and other parts of Muslim countries are wearing turban. This ahlul bayt (households of the Prophet) show the neatness and coiffure in winding the turban.

According to Murtada al-Zabidi in his Ithaf al-sadat al-muttaqin (3:253.)

“The turban is desired on Fridays for both the imam and the congregation, and Nawawi said that it is desired for the imam to beautify his appearance (i.e. more than everyone else), wear the turban, and wear a rida’ (jubba, a loose outer garment or robe). The application of the Sunnah consists in winding the turban on the head or on top of a qalansuwa (kufi). It is preferable to wear it large, but it is necessary to define its length and width by what fits the wearer’s custom according to his time and place. To add to this is disliked by the Law.”

In the Tausug milieu, to wear turban without gone to hajj will become a cause of shyness to an individual. To them the one who put a turban on his head must be excellent in character, knowledgeable and pious. The Tausug regarded going to Makkah for hajj is unlike to travel somewhere for a tour. It is believe, the one who return from hajj is like a newly born baby free from sin.  

To Tausug and other Muslims in Likusantara (Southeast Asian region) to wear turban symbolizes a person has been performing hajj to Makkah. Perhaps, they have in mind once a person gone to Makkah for hajj that is the time he must fully follow the sunnah of the Prophet. The Tausug ought not to be an Arab by wearing a turban, but to devotedly follow some lifestyle, if not at all, left by a Prophet of Allah.   

A Tausug pious
With the wearing of turban, we can see the strong symbol of unification among Muslims in the ummah. Nevertheless, the Tausug from the dawn of Islam in Sulu never abandoned this symbol of love to the Prophet (SAW) and unity among the Muslims. For it is welded in their minds, Islam is the only reason why until now they are still alive; it is also the reason they became fervent in their stand to defend what they believe is true for many years. No matter their blood would be spilled from their veins as long as the religion sowed by the descendants of Prophet Muhammad - such as Karimul Makhdum, Sultan Shariful Hashim, Sharif Alawi, Sharif Balpaki, the wali 7, Timhar Maqbalu, and other ahlul bayt missionaries - could not be extracted from the land of Sulu.

With the wisdom brought by turban wearer, Islam arrived to Sulu not by means of war and coercion. Hopefully, the second rise of Sultanate of Sulu Darul Islam will be headed by a turban wearer and adhere by followers whose hearts as soft as a cotton to spread the truth; as hard as a metal to defend the truth from falsehood.

Turban still wears by Tausug in Sulu as a symbol of hajj and a sign of peaceful man living in peaceful place disturbed by the enemies. No matter what reasons do have other people to wear turban the most important the turban wearer in Sulu show their reverence to the peaceful religion of the world – ISLAM.