I would like to know the Islamic Rulling of attending the Graduation Ceremony at an American University. I am a doctoral student at an American University and I am planning to graduate in the end of this term Spring 2001. I know it is optional to attend this event, however it is very important for doctoral students and their advisors to attend. At these ceremonies, the students must were what so called CAP and GOWN, and I do not know what the historical background of these types of clothing.
If attendance is optional, do not attend, so as to be free from imitation of the kaafirs in wearing this dress which is unique to them, and also to avoid the evils that are usually present in such celebrations.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 4031, from the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him), and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
For more information, see Question # 21643
And Allaah knows best.