Footwear: Manners, Rituals, Culture and Fashion in Early Islam Cover Image

Footwear: Manners, Rituals, Culture and Fashion in Early Islam

Author(s): Hadas Hirsch
Subject(s): Cultural history, Customs / Folklore, Culture and social structure
Published by: Институт за етнологију и антропологију
Keywords: Footwear; Islam; jurisprudence; personal appearance; adornment; gender; rituals

Summary/Abstract: Footwear is a cultural issue, thus has its own aesthetics, function and symbols. The legal Muslim discussion of footwear in pre-modern Muslim societies is an example of the importance of one’s outward appearance and its multi-meanings in past Muslim societies. According to medieval Muslim sources, footwear of different kinds of color, shapes and raw materials were in use for men and women as an integral part of their personal appearance as well as a manifestation of their socio-economic status. Footwear customs were aimed at improving daily practices and instructions regarding their use, as well as for the purpose of differentiating among different groups and even discriminating against some of them. In addition, footwear is related to two basic Islam rituals, namely prayer and ḥağğ, as shoes must been taken off before prayer and during ḥağğ, and male believers must wear only sandals to protect their feet on the one hand and be modest and close to earth, in more than one way, on the other.

  • Issue Year: 17/2017
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 37-50
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: English