Question # 85: Is it fine for men to wear gold-plated or white gold bracelet or watch?
bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,
Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).
First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.
Shorter Answer: Wearing bracelet for men is haram because it comes under the heading of women’s clothing and adornments. No man wears them except one in whom there is an inclination towards effeminacy and imitation of women. As for gold-plated permitted apparels (like watch), scholars consider it haram or opine that it is better for a man not to wear it because the issue is in its appearance and not in its value, as many people will not make the distinction between gold-plate and real gold, and some may follow this person’s example and begin to wear pure gold. Lastly, white gold is gold mixed with other metals to change its color; based on which, wearing white gold is also haram for men.
Long Answer: The question has three different aspects, which needs to be addressed separately, namely, i) bracelets, ii) gold-plated and iii) white gold.
Ibn ‘Abbas (رضي الله عنه) said: The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) cursed men who imitate women and women who imitate men. (Al-Bukhari)
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) cursed effeminate men and masculinized women and he said: “Expel them from your houses.” (Al-Bukhari)
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” (Reported by Abu Dawood, Graded Hasan Sahih by Al-Albani)
From the above ahadith, it is clear that it is haram for men to imitate women, and vice versa. The actions of effeminate men are also forbidden; they are men who are effeminate in mannerisms and appearance.
Wearing bracelets [of any kind] …is haram for men, because they come under the heading of women’s clothing and adornments. No man wears them except one in whom there is an inclination towards effeminacy and imitation of women.
Ibn Hajar al-Haytami (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “It is haram to imitate them (i.e., women) by wearing fashions that are unique to them, such as wearing bracelets, anklets and the like, unlike wearing rings.” (al-Fataawa al-Kubra)
In the commentary on al-Qawaa’id al-Fiqhiyyah by Shaykh Sa‘d ibn Naasir ash-Shatri it says: “Custom (al-‘urf) in any country must meet certain conditions in order for it to be acceptable in shari‘ah… The first condition is that the custom should be consistent and widely practiced; it should not be inconsistent because if it is inconsistent and not widely practiced, it is not called custom. This is what they expressed by saying: What counts is what is widely known and practiced, not that which is rarely practiced.”
It is clear from the following ahadith that wearing gold is haram for men:
‘Ali (رضي الله عنه) reported that the Prophet of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) took a piece of silk in his right hand and a piece of gold in his left, and said: “These are forbidden for the males of my ummah.” (Reported by al-Nasai’i and Abu Dawud)
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) also said: “Wearing silk and gold is permitted for the women of my ummah and prohibited for the males.” (Reported by Imaam Ahmad)
‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al’Aas (رضي الله عنه) reported that the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “Whoever of my ummah wears gold and dies wearing it, Allah will deny him the gold of Paradise. Whoever of my ummah wears silk and dies wearing it, Allah will deny him the silk of Paradise.” (Reported by Imam Ahmad)
‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas (رضي الله عنه) reported that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) saw a gold ring on a man’s hand. He took it off and threw it aside, saying, “Would any of you take a burning coal and hold it in his hand?” When the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) had gone away, someone said to the man, “Take your ring and benefit from it (i.e., sell it).” He said, “No, by Allah, I will not take it after the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) has thrown it away.” (Reported by Muslim)
…As for gold-plating and gilding, some scholars are of the opinion that such articles are forbidden for men if it is possible to extract gold from them (by peeling or shaving off, for example); if no gold can be extracted from it, then such items are permitted. Some scholars say that it is not permitted to wear an item which is wholly or mostly gold-plated, but if only a little part of it is gold-plated (like the hands of a watch, or the numerals, or the tiny points denoting numbers), then it is permitted to wear it. They say that the issue is its appearance, not its value: if the gold-plating is very obvious and covers everything, it is not permitted, because many people will not make the distinction between gold-plate and real gold, and some may follow this person’s example and begin to wear pure gold. (Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah; Fataawa Islaamiyyah)
Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) said “…If it is imitation gold but is not really gold, it is still better for a man not to wear it, to protect his honor against accusations of going against the pure shari’ah. (Majmoo’ Fataawa)
Al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “With regard to gold rings, they are haram for men according to scholarly consensus. The same applies if they are part gold and part silver. Our companions said: If the top of the ring is gold or if it is lightly plated with gold, it is haram, because of the general meaning of the hadith concerning silk and gold, “These two are haram for the males of my ummah and halal for the females.” (Sharh Muslim)
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “There is nothing wrong with gold plated watches for women, but for men they are haram, because the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) forbade gold to the males of his ummah.” (Majmoo‘ Fataawa wa Rasaa’il Ibn ‘Uthaymeen)
The scholars of the Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas said: “If the watch or its band is made of gold, it is not permissible for men to wear it. If it is not made of gold, then it is permissible for men to wear it.”
In a press release issued by the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on 22/3/1410 AH, which spoke of mineral resources (gold) in the Kingdom, it said: “’White gold’ refers to a mixture of gold with 12% platinum or 15% nickel. The color of the gold may be made pinkish by adding 5% silver or 20% copper. A greenish color may be achieved by mixing 75% gold with 25% silver, or mixing it with zinc and cadmium. A bluish color may be achieved by mixing the gold with a small amount of iron. If the gold is mixed with 20% aluminum the resulting color will be purple. The degree of redness in the gold may be controlled by increasing or decreasing the amount of copper that is added.” [In a nutshell,] gold is originally yellow in color, and there is no gold that is white in color, rather other metals may be added to it to change its color to white… Based on this, wearing white gold is haram for men [as opined by The Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas].
(The above reply is based on various answers provided by Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid on the topic)
Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.