Translations can be misleading

Translations can be misleading, and incorrect, at times. Consider the following translation of the Hadith of Sahih Al-Bukhaari:


'Ali b. Abu Talib reported:

Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) forbade me to use gold rings. to wear silk clothes and to recite the Qur'an in ruku' and sajda (prostration), and to wear yellow garments.

[Sahih Al-Bukhaari Hadith No.2078 ]


The words translated as "yellow garments," in Arabic, are:

لِبَاسِ الْمُعَصْفَرِ

Al-Mu'aSfar is the passive participle of the verb 'Asfara. 'Asfara al-Thawb means to dye a garment with dyestuff obtained from safflower. Libaas al-mu'aSfar means a garment dyed with safflower dye.

When you dye a garment with safflower dye the color which results is usually red and not yellow. Hence, the Fatwaa on IslamWeb regarding this Hadith which reads:


فالثوب المعصفر هو المصبوغ بالعصفر – وهو نبات يصبغ صباغا أحمر – ولهذا كان غالب ما يصبغ بالعصفر يكون أحمر، كما قال الحافظ ابن حجر، ولبسه مباح للنساء، محظور على الرجال


And al-thawb al-mu'aSfar is that which has been dyed with safflower dye – and it is a plant which dyes with red dye – and for this reason mostly that which is dyed with 'usfur [safflower dyestuff] is red like Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar said. Wearing it is permissible for women, forbidden for men.