On Carrying a Staff

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him).

 Is it a sunnah to carry a staff?

Someone may carry one out of need due to old age or poor health. Other than that, it is a sunnah for the khatib to carry it while delivering the khutbah on Friday and for someone travelling. At the age of forty, Imam al-Shafi`i started to carry a staff. When asked about this (since he was still in good health) he said that it was to remind him that he was travelling, meaning to the next life. There is no harm in anyone carrying one unless it is the custom in a certain area that only people of knowledge and piety or older people carry one. In that case, the custom of that area should be respected. A woman should only use a staff if she needs it due to old age or poor health. Otherwise her modesty should prevent her from doing so.