chapter  XXXII
15 Pages


As regards the materials of dress, the Prophet forbade the wearing of silk, satin, sitting on quilted red saddle-cloths, wearing silk and cotton mixed (mashru', 'what is ordained by the Law '), but this last is now permitted, and a Musalman who may not wear silk in his lifetime may be shrouded in it. 1

The fashion of dress varies throughout the country, particularly among converts from Hinduism to Islam. The following account from Gujarat may be taken as an example. 2 A rich Musalman wears indoors a cap of velvet or embroidered cloth, or, if he be of simpler tastes, of plain muslin or cotton cloth. The upper body is covered with a short shirt (pirahan) of fine muslin, and his lower limbs in trousers made of cotton, cotton and silk (ilacha, 'cardamom-like') or chintz. In the cold season a waistcoat (kabcha) of velvet, brocade, or broadcloth is sometimes worn. In the house his feet are bare, but in the cold season well-to-do people put on socks. When he goes out the rich man changes his cap for a turban or scarf (dopatta) wound loosely on the head, and over his shirt he draws a coat ( angarkM), tight round the chest and rather full in the skirts, which hang to the knee, it being usually made of muslin, embroidered broadcloth, or velvet. Sometimes, if he affects the Hindostani or north Indian fashion of dress, he puts on light red leather or green shagreen shoes which come from Delhi. The ceremonial dress differs from the ordinary dress only in being richer, the turban of gold cloth, the coat richly embroidered on the shoulders and breast, the shoulder scarf bordered with silk, and the trousers made of brocade or Chinese silk cotton. Fashions, too, vary under the influence of large cities like Delhi, Lucknow, or Hyderabad. Fashions, again,

are rapidly changing, and there is a tendency among younger men to abandon the graceful flowing draperies of a former generation, and to replace the older dress by trousers of European cut, an imitation of the European frock coat, or a woollen coat buttoned to the neck, to wear patent leather shoes, and instead of the cap or turban to wear the Turkish or Egyptian dark red fez.