In the Hadith books, most of the narrations mention that our beloved Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wassalam) had a black turban on his head.
Shaykhul Hadith Moulana Zakariyya (rahimahullah) mentions that wearing a white turban is the sunnah.
Without objecting on Shaykh (rahimahullah), as a student of Din I want more clarification on this.
How did Shaykh (rahimahullah) come to this opinion?
It seems to me (from the narrations I have come across) that wearing a black turban is closer to the sunnah. Can you please explain further?
Your initial observation is correct, many narrations do mention the black turban, and there is no proper mention of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) himself wearing a white turban.
However, it is clear that the turban is part of clothing, and as a general rule, the ‘Ulama have declared white as the best colour for clothing. This is based on numerous clear Hadiths from Rasulullah (sallallahu ’alayhi wasallam) in which he exhorted the ummah to wear white. (Faydul Qadir, Hadith 15630, Ad-Di’amah, pg.88 and Sharhul Munawi ‘alash Shamail, vol.1 pg.204)
See some of these Hadiths here.
‘Allamah Muhammad ibn Ja’far Al-Kattani (rahimahullah) -who has written a detailed treatise on the turban- mentions his conclusion as follows:
‘I haven’t seen in the Hadiths that I have come across: any mention of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) wearing the white turban. However it is clearly understandable that He (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) would have worn the white turban frequently, especially on grand occasions like Fridays and Eid days. This is because of the fact that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) is known to have preferred white clothing most of the time.’
These are some of reasons for which Shaykh Zakariyya (rahimahullah) probably mentioned that the white turban is sunnah. This is actually the popular view of the ‘Ulama too, as is evident from the references provided above.
Also see here for more about the preferred colours of the turban.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,
Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar