I am a revert. My question is: why do Shia scholars have to show if they are Sayyeds (descendants of the Prophet Muhammad) or not by wearing a black turban on their heads? I mean, aren’t the best people in the eyes of Allah (swt) those who are most pious?
You are correct. The only criteria which distinguishes people is their piety or taqwa. Some scholars wear a black turban because they are honoured to be related to the Prophet (s) and want to show this feeling. There is also a historical background to it. The enemies of the Prophet (s) were blaming him that he won’t have any offspring as he had no living son. In order to disprove this, the offspring of the Prophet (s) have always been recommended to wear something special to show their relation to the Holy Prophet (s). From that time on it has been a green shawl, or black turban etc. They are not suggesting that they are better than other people. In Shia Islam, there is nothing to indicate that a person who is a descendant of the Prophet (s) is any better than a person who is not.
Answered by: Dr Ali Alsamail
Certified by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei