Masa'il of the Hairs


Written By

Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi Rahmatullah Alaihi


Table of Contents
The Hair of the Head
The Beard
Miscellaneous Masa'il on the Beard
The Moustache
Nasal Hair and Eyebrows
Hair of the body
Pubic Hair
Laws related to finger-nails
Miscellaneous masail(laws)
Masa'il of khidhab(dyeing of the hair)
Khidab of the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam


This booklet is divided into five main chapters. The first deals with the hair on the head and face. The second discusses the hair of the entire body and the third chapter concerns laws related to the finger-nails. Chapter four comprises of miscellaneous masail (laws) and finally chapter five with the masail of khidhab (dyeing of the hair).  

The Hair of the Head

The boundary of the head according to the Shariah: A point from where the hair growth commences directly above the forehead extending towards the nape at the back, and up to the bones of the temple on both sides.

Masa'lah: The appearance of hair on the forehead, as in exceptional cases, does not include the forehead within the boundaries of the head but will remain within the facial limits.

Masa'lah: The nape is considered to fall beyond the perimeters of the head. However, a difference of opinion is maintained regarding the area named Tahzeef. It falls within the facial boundary according to Qadhi ibne Shuraih, whereas Imam Ghazali (RA) and Abu Ishaq Jalaluddeen Mahalli (R.A), maintain that it is included in the head region. Tahzeef: Soft hair between the temple and extreme corners of the forehead.

Masa'lah: Allowing the hair to grow long on the entire head is Sunnat. However, shaving or cutting the hair is Mubah (permitted). The shaving of the head on occasions other than Hajj and Umrah is not established from the practice of Nabi sallallahu alaihi wa sallam. Similar was the tendency of the Sahabah (RA) except for Hadhrat Ali (RA) who habitually shaved his head. It is reported in Mawahib: "To the best of my cognizance, shaving the head is not an established practice of the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam save on the occasion of Umrah. Hence, allowing the hair to grow is sunnat. The one who rejects this established sunnah should certainly be inflicted with severe punishment. Not to keep hair is also Mubah (permissible) without rejecting the established Sunnah."

Question: It is an accepted fact that Hadhrat Ali karramallahu wajhahu and the other Sahabah (RA) were meticulous in submitting to the Sunnah. Hence, the question naturally arises as to why he (Hadhrat Ali RA) was keen on shaving his head when the Sunnah inspires one to keep hair?

Answer: On grounds of penetrating circumspection and precaution in matters of Ghusl, Hadhrat Ali (RA) used to remove his hair completely. He himself narrates that the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam said: "Impurity (Janabat) exists beneath every strand of hair." (Mishkat, P48) Following this Hadith he states: "The one who overlooks an area equivalent to a single strand of hair whilst performing Ghusal-Janabat (bathing after ceremonial impurity) will be dealt like this and like that in hell." (A reference to austere punitive measures). Upon narrating this, he states: "Owing to the declaration of such ominous phrases, I chose to create enmity with my head i.e. remove all my hair." Certain Ulema support the view that both halaq (shaving of the head) and tark (allowing hair to grow) are sunnat practices.

Masa'lah: It is not permissible to remove a portion of the hair whilst leaving the remaining portion intact. This is referred to as Qaza' in Arabic.

Masa'lah: It is not permissible for women to shave or cut their hair. However, it is permissible on medical grounds. Nabi sallallahu alaihi wa sallam prohibited free women from allowing their hair to drop onto the shoulders (by cutting it short). (Faidul Qadeer, vol 6, page312) A woman who cuts her hair imitates a man and Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam cursed those women who emulate males. Emulation of the kuffar is also haram. Nabi sallallahu alaihi wa sallam said that one who imitates a nation becomes of them. It is the style of non-Muslim women to cut their hair. It is also in conflict with the natural beauty which Allah has bestowed to a woman. Allah Tala has chosen long hair for women and short hair for males. According to a hadith of Nabi sallallahu alaihi wa sallam, Allah has created a special group of angels whose duty it is to perpetually hymn the following tasbeeh: "Glory unto Allah who has glorified men with beards and women with long hair." Acting in violation of this natural virtue bestowed by Allah Tala is a major sin. According to the Quran (4:119), when Allah expelled shaitan from the heavens, he took an oath that he will mislead human beings by inducing them to change and tamper with their natural appearances. A woman cutting her natural long hair acts in fulfillment of shaitan's pledge of misguidance. It is a satanic act ensuing in the wake of the adoption of western profligacy.  Many unwary or misinformed women are being led astray by a Hadith appearing in Muslim Shareef which states that the wives of Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam used to trim the hair of their heads until it reached a length like wafrah. [Wafrah has different meanings: It may be hair collected upon the head or hair hanging down upon the ears or hair extending to the lobes of the ears only. (Lanes Arabic - English Lexicon)] On the basis of such Ahadith, many women had been misled to cut their tresses short. However the apparent meaning is a far cry from the actual meaning of the Hadith. Hadhrat Thanwi, in response to such misinterpretations states: "There are numerous authentic Ahadith prohibiting the cutting of hair for women. As for the afore-mentioned Hadith, it constitutes numerous probabilities i.e. the purport of the Hadith is indefinite. Therefore, it's prohibition remains intact and permissibility null and void. Also, the object of cutting is to emulate the kuffar. Hence, another notch to enhance its prohibition. Secondly, the word 'wafrah' as stated in the length of their hair also signifies a length of hair falling well below the shoulders - (as recorded by Ismaee')." Another factor to be noted is that the Hadith is mentioned under the chapter of Ghusl, thereby indicating that they (the wives) collected their hair on their heads and these lopped up to the ears whilst bathing. Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Uthmani has explained this Hadith in the following words: - "In my opinion, the Hadith explains that the wives of the Apostle (may peace be upon him) used to curtail the hanging hair and bind them on the back of their heads or on their heads as is commonly done by old ladies of our time or by women while taking a bath, especially after washing the head. If the hair is not twisted and is allowed to hang down, the water trickles down over the body." (Fathul-Mulhim vol.1 p. 472) Hence, it is totally prohibited for women to distort their long tresses by cutting them, and the Hadith apparently condoning such a practice holds no weight whatsoever as far as granting them permission to cut their hair is concerned.

Masa'lah: Women are not allowed to keep their hair up to the shoulders in emulation of men. The Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam imprecated (cursed) such women. Masa'lah: Even if the husband commands his wife to clip her hair to such a length, she is not permitted to concede to his demands since this is sinful.

Masa'lah: In view of preventing mushabahat (resemblance) with women, men are not permitted to arrange their hair in tresses like women.

Masa'lah: During the Haj period, a muhrim (haji in the state of Ihram) is neither permitted to clip a single strand of hair from any part of his body nor is he allowed to pare his nails prior to the prescribed time, nor is he permitted to employ hair removers such as sulphurate of arsenic etc.

Masa'lah: During Haj, it is more virtuous for men to shave the head completely at the termination of the prescribed time. However, cutting the hair evenly is also sufficient. A hairless or bald muhrim is compelled to make mere movements on his head with a blade (at the prescribed time).

Masa'lah: Either shaving or cutting the hair at the prescribed time is permissible for a muhrim. However, shaving becomes consequently fixed if cutting the hair is not possible due to the hair being matted (tangled). Similarly, cutting the hair is consequently determined if shaving is hurtful or detrimental, due to head injuries, pimples, pustules etc. Because of numerous head wounds, pustules etc. if both cutting and shaving are detrimental, a blade should be merely moved around the head. If this too proves to be harmful, it should be omitted.

Masa'lah: During Haj, muhrim women should clip a finger-tip length of hair from a quarter sections of the head. According to Imam Shafie (RA) the mere removal of three strands of hair is sufficient.

Masa'lah: Women are not permitted to shave their heads even during the Haj session.

Masa'lah: A hermaphrodite is to adhere to the directives issued to women in this regard. Hence, he should clip and not shave his hair during Haj.

Masa'lah: Shaving the head of a girl under nine is permitted.

Masa'lah: It is sunnat to commence hair-cutting from the right hand side. The barber should not start from his right (but from the right of his patron) even when clipping the eyebrows or paring the nails.

Masa'lah: Cut or shaved hair is tahir (clean). It should not be disposed of in various places but should be buried.        


STORY: Imam A'zam (Abu Hanifa RA.) says: "During Haj, when the need arose to shave my hair, the barber pinpointed and rectified three of my errors. Firstly, he instructed me to face towards Qiblah, after I sat for a haircut facing my back towards it. Secondly, when I offered him the left of my head for a haircut, he instructed me to commence from my right. Thirdly, upon the termination of my hair-cut, I started walking away. He directed me to bury my hair."

Masa'lah: It is Makrooh (abominable) for men to read Namaz whilst their hair is tied (or knotted). This can consist of various hair-styles:-

1.         To bundle the hair at the centre of the head whilst holding it down with the aid of hair-gum etc.

2.         To firmly arrange the hair of the temples around the head itself as a few women tend to do.

3.         To bundle the hair with the aid of a thread etc. on the nape, head or forehead.

4.         To bundle the hair at the back of the head by turning the ends towards the roots.

Masa'lah: At the time of Ghusl, mere wetting of the hair roots is sufficient for women who wear their hair plaited.

Masa'lah: Men are constrained to loosen their locks of hair and wet the hair entirely. Masa'lah: Men with long hair are permitted to arrange their hair in either the "faraq" or "sadal" styles.

'FARAQ' - to form a centre path by parting the hair whilst allowing the hair to hang onto the neck from behind the ears.

 'SADAL' - to gather the hair at the base of the head (towards the nape) without parting or separating the hair. However,  faraq is more virtuous.

Masa'lah: Men are permitted to grow their hair up to or above the shoulders. In fact this is sunnat. However, growing long tresses of hair akin to women is not permissible. Masa'lah: Both men and women are not permitted to lengthen their hair by joining human-hair onto their own. However, married women are permitted to attach artificial hair such as camel's hair etc. with prior consent from their husbands. Men and unmarried women are not permitted to do this.

Masa'lah: Women are permitted to perform their salat whilst adorned with such artificial hair. This will not be makruh (abominable).

Masa'lah: It is permissible for women to tie or plait their hair with the use of colorful ribbons etc.

Masa'lah: In resemblance to the customs of certain untidy faqeers (dervishes), if a person grows very long hair, but out of indolence fails to attend to it either by applying oil or combing it, resulting in the hair sticking together, will be contravening the sunnah. Together with this being a bidah (innovation), it resembles the custom of the Hindu jogees (ascetics or hermits).

Masa'lah: It is Makrooh (reprehensible) for non-Sayyids and non-Faqirs to arrange their hair in zulf style (curling locks falling over the ears or temples) in emulation of Sayyids and faqirs (mendicants). NB. 'ZULF' in the above context refers to a peculiar hair-style favored by the Sayyids and Sufis (mystics).

Masa'lah: Talbeed is permissible, i.e. to use viscous substances such as gum etc. to set the hair to prevent disheveling or to serve as a protective shield against dust etc.



Masa'il(laws) Pertaining to the Beard

The hair appearing on the chin and cheeks is referred to as the BEARD.

Masa'lah: It is wajib (incumbent) to allow the beard to grow up to a fist in length.

Masa'lah: It is haram (strictly prohibited) to shave the beard entirely or partially.

Masa'lah: Shortening the beard more than the permitted length (i.e. a fist in length) is not permissible. Cutting beyond a fist length is permitted. However, if the beard is exceptionally long, clipping (beyond the permitted length) is recommended (mustahasan). This is the interpretation of the texts of the jurists. And Allah Ta'ala knows best.

Masa'lah: There are 11 Makrooh tahrimi (abominable) factors with reference to the beard.

1.         The application of black dye.

2.         The whitening of a black beard spurred on by a morally wicked aim or intention.

3.         Unnecessary plucking of the strands of hair or plucking with the aim of seeming beardless at the threshold of youth.

4.         Plucking of white strands with the object of portraying oneself to be young.

5.         Growing a beard shorter than a fist in length.

6.         To join the hair of the temples with the beard.

7.         To beautify or adorn the hair ostentatiously or haughtily.

8.         Keeping unkempt or disheveled hair to display one's taqwa (piety).

9.         To insolently regard the blackness or whiteness of the beard as a sign indicating youth or senility.

10.       Application of red dye with the intention of exhibiting saintliness.

11.       Tying, knotting or raising the beard. (Mirqat/Ihyaul Uloom).

Masa'lah: Strands of hair that fall from the beard-either by fiddling, scratching or combing, should be broken up to prevent anyone from using them for black-magic.

Masa'lah: It is sunnat to trim or dress the beard and to straighten out uneven strands of hair. (The fist-length being conditional). Masail Pertaining to the Anfaqah (tuft of hair between lower lip and chin).

Masa'lah: The anfaqah is included in the beard. As in the case of the beard, it is not permissible to shave or clip the anfaqah. Shah Abdul Aziz Muhaddis Dehlawi (RA) states in Sirate - Mustaqeem: - "Amirul Mumineen Hadhrat Umar (RA) decreed that all persons who remove the anfaqah as mardoodush - shahadah. (Those whose testimony is rejected)."

Masa'lah: Strands of hair appearing on the extreme edges of the anfaqah i.e. on both corners of the lower lip may be shaved off. Muhaddith Dehlawi states in his annotation of Sirate-Mustaqeem: - "There is no harm in removing the hair appearing at the edges of the lower lip."


Miscellaneous Masa'il on the Beard

(The following is a Fatwa together with its answer extracted from Sirate-Mustaqeem (vol.1) by Moulana Yusuf Ludhianwi)

Question:  What is the Shar'ee ruling of the beard - is it wajib or sunnat? Is it permissible, makruh or haram to shave the beard? Many people are of the opinion that to keep the beard is sunnat - If somebody keeps a beard it is good and if the beard is not kept then too there is no sin! To what extent are these options valid?

Answer:  The shaving or trimming of the beard (when it is less then a fist's length) is a major sin and haram (forbidden). In this regard, I am stating a few Ahadeeth and thereafter will comment on them.

1.         Hazrat Ayesha radiyallahu anha narrates that she heard Nabi sallallahu alaihi wa sallam saying: "Ten things are included in nature (Fitrat). From amongst them is the trimming of the moustache and the lengthening of the beard."[Saheeh Muslim]

2.         It is reported from Ibn Umar radiyallahu anhu that Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasalam said: "Trim the moustache and lengthen the beard."

3.         It is reported in another narration that Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasalam ordered the cutting of the moustache and lengthening of the beard.

4.         Ibn Umar (RA) narrates that he heard Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasalam saying: "Oppose the fire worshippers - lengthen the beard and trim the moustache."[Saheeh Muslim]

5.         Hazrat Abu Hurairah (RA) narrates that he heard Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasalam saying: "Trim the moustache and lengthen the beard. [Mishkat, Bukhari, Muslim] 

6.         Hazrat Zaid bin Arqam (RA) narrates that he heard Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasalam saying: "Those who do not trim the moustache are not from amongst us."[Ahmed, Tirmizi, Nasai] 

7.         Ibn Abbas (RA) narrates that he heard Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasalam saying: "Allah's curse be on those men who emulate women and Allah's curse be on those women who emulate men."

Commentary: 1. From the first Hadeeth we learn that the cutting of the moustache and lengthening of the beard is a pre-requisite of human nature and the lengthening of the moustache and cutting of the beard is against the norms of nature. Those people who are involved in this act are deforming the nature of Allah. It is mentioned in the Holy Quran that shaitan, the accursed said to Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala: "I will lead the children of Adam (Alaihis Salam) astray and I will command them to do such acts that they will deform the creation of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala." It is mentioned in Tafseer-e-Haqqani, Bayanul Quran and other tafseers that shaving of the beard is also included in deforming the creation of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala. Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala has naturally bestowed the masculine face with the beauty and dignity of a beard. Hence, those people who shave their beards are, due to the inducement of shaitan, mutilating not only their faces but their entire nature. Since the conduct of the Ambiyae-Kiram is the only criterion for the correct nature of men, the word "fitrah" refers to their way and sunnat. In this context it will mean that to trim the moustache and lengthen the beard is a unanimous sunnah of approximately 124 000 prophets, that blessed group which Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasalam was ordered to follow. "These are the ones whom Allah guided, so follow their guidance." Therefore those who shave and cut their beards are opposing the ways of the Ambiya. Hence, this Hadeeth warns us that the shaving of the beard constitutes three sins:

a.         Opposing human nature. 

b.         Through the enticement of shaitan, disfiguring of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala's creation.

c.         Opposing the manner of the Ambiya.  Therefore because of these three reasons, to shave the beard is Haram.

2. In the second Hadeeth, the order of clipping the moustache and the lengthening of the beard is mentioned. Obedience to the command of Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasalam is wajib (compulsory) upon every Muslim and to oppose it is haram (forbidden). Therefore it is wajib to grow a beard and haram to shave it.

3. It has been mentioned in the third and fourth Hadeeth that the keeping of the beard and the clipping of the moustache is a distinguishing feature of a Muslim. On the contrary, to lengthen the moustache and shave the beard is the feature of a fire-worshipper and the mushrikeen. Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasalam has emphasized the inculcation of the features of the Muslims and emphasized the opposing of the fire-worshippers and the mushrikeen to his Ummah. Abandoning the features of the Muslims and taking up traits of other misguided nations is haram. Concerning this Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasalam said: "Whosoever resembles a nation is from amongst them." Therefore, those who inculcate the features of others (concerning which Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasalam has commanded us to oppose) should fear the grave warning of Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasalam that they will be resurrected amongst these people (non Muslims - whom they emulate) on the Day of Qiyamah (judgment).

4. In the fifth Hadeeth it was mentioned that those who do not clip their moustaches are not from amongst us. It is apparent that this very law would apply to the shaving of the beard as well. This is a very grave warning for those who merely follow their carnal desires and the deception of shaitan in shaving their beards. That is why Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasalam announced the dismissal of such persons from amongst his ummah. Is it possible for anyone having some relationship with Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasalam to tolerate this warning!? Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasalam disliked the shaving of the beard so much so that He even disliked looking at the ambassadors of the King of Iran when they entered the gathering of Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasalam, in the condition that their beards were shaved off and their moustaches were long. Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasalam addressing them said: "Woe unto you! May you be destroyed! Who has ordered you to do this?" They replied: "Our master i.e. the King of Iran has ordered us." Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasalam then said: "But my Lord has commanded me to lengthen the beard and clip the moustache."[Albidayah Wannihayah, Vol. 4, Pg 269] Those who violate the command of the Lord of Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasalam and follow the lord of the fire-worshippers should repeatedly consider how they will show their faces in the court of Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasalam on the Day of Qiyamah? If Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasalam has to say to them: "Because of distorting your appearance you are excluded from our group." Then for whose intercession will they hope for?

5. It has been deduced from the fifth Hadeeth that the lengthening of the moustache and trimming or shaving of the beard is haram and a major sin. The fact that Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasalam has warned that such a person is not of us, portrays that the perpetration of such a crime is in fact a very grave sin.

6. In the sixth Hadeeth Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasalam has cursed the men who resemble women and those women who resemble men. In the commentary of this Hadeeth, Mullah Ali Qari (Rahmatullah Alayhi), the author of 'Mirqat' writes that the words "Allah's curse" could be: - a curse which would mean: "May Allah's curse be upon such people", or it could be an informative sentence which would then mean: "Allah curses such people." Besides the above mentioned evils of shaving the beard, another evil is the resemblance of women. Since Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala made the beard a distinguishing feature between men and women. Hence, those who shave their beards eradicate the distinguishing feature and consequently resemble women thereby eliciting the curse of Allah and his Rasool sallallahu alaihi wasalam. Bearing in mind all these Ahadith, the Jurists have agreed upon the following facts: a) To lengthen the beard is wajib (compulsory) b) It is a sign of Islam c) To shave or trim the beard (if it has not reached the shari length) is haram and a major sin. May Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala grant every Muslim the ability to refrain from actions which Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasalam has severely warned us against. (ameen)           


Question: 2. Has the shariat stipulated the length of the beard or not? If it has, what is the stipulated length?

Answer: In the afore-mentioned Hadeeth, the order is given to lengthen the beard. There is a narration in Tirmidhi (Chapter on Etiquettes, Pg 100, Vol 2), consisting of a weak chain of narrators, that Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasalam used to trim the extra hair from the length and width of his beard. In substantiation to this there is another narration in Bukhari (Chapter on Clothing, Pg 875, Vol 2) that Hazrat Ibn Umar (RA), upon completing Haj and Umrah and removing the Ihram, would grasp his beard and cut whatever hair exceeded the extent of his fist. Another narration has been reported to this effect by Hazrat Abu Hurairah (RA) in (Nasbur-Raya, Pg 458, Vol 2). From this it is clear that the minimum length of the beard is a fist-full (Hidayah, Chapter on Fasting). Therefore just as shaving off the beard is haram, likewise to keep it less then a fist is also haram. It is reported in Durre Mukhtar: - Trimming the beard to an extent less then a fist-full, as some westerners and effeminate people do, has not been permitted by any jurist. Completely shaving the beard off is the trend of Jewish Indians and non-Arab Zoroastrians. [Shami, New Edition, Pg 418, Vol 2] The same subject matter is to be found in Fathul Qadeer (Pg 77, Vol 2) and Bahrur Ra'iq (Pg 302, Vol 2). Sheikh Abdul Haq Muhaddith Dehlawi writes in his book, 'Ashatul - Lamat':  "Shaving the beard is haram and allowing it to grow to the length of a fist full is wajib." Therefore it is haram to trim it if it is less than a fist full. (Pg 228, Vol 1). It is mentioned in Imdadul Fatawa: "Keeping a beard is wajib and trimming it so that it is less then a fist full is haram, due to the following Hadeeth of Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasalam: "Oppose the idolaters by lengthening your beards." [Bukhari and Muslim] It is mentioned in Durre Mukhtar: "It is haram for a man to cut his beard. The masnoon length is one fist."[Imdadul Fatawa, Pg 223, Vol 4]          


Question: 3 It is the habit of some Huffaz that some time before Ramadan they start keeping a beard and after Ramadan they shave it. Is it correct to make such Huffaz Imams for the Taraweeh? Is performing salah behind them correct or not?

Answer: The Hafiz who shaves or trims his beard has in fact perpetrated a major sin and is a Fasiq (flagrant transgressor of the Law). For him to lead the Taraweeh Salah is not permissible and to follow him in Salah is Makrooh-e-Tahrimi (i.e. it is haram in practice). Similarly, that Hafiz who only keeps a beard in the month of Ramadhan and thereafter shaves it, falls within the same category. Those people who permit such Huffaz to lead the fardh or Taraweeh Salah are, also Faasiqs and sinful.        


Question: 4. Some people show a disliking to the beard and look down upon it. If any friend or family member wishes to keep a beard then he is prevented and is frowned at. Some people stipulate the shaving of the beard as a pre-condition for marriage. What does the shariat say about such people?

Answer: To understand the answer to this question, one should bear in mind a basic principal that to mock any of the distinguishing features of Islam and to degrade or disgrace any of the Sunnats of Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasalam is tantamount to Kufr, whereby a person leaves the fold of Islam. We have learnt above that Nabi (sallallahu Alayhi wa sallam) has affirmed that the beard is a distinguished sign of Islam and a unanimous practice of all the Prophets. Therefore, those people who consider the beards as loathsome and detestable on the basis of it being a distortion of nature and prevent those who aspire to keep a beard from amongst their relatives or either mock at them and, likewise, those people who will not allow their daughters to marry without the bridegroom shaving his beard, such people should seriously ponder over the plight of their Iman. It is incumbent on them to sincerely repent and also renew their nikahs. Hakimul Ummat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Rahmatullah alayhi) writes in his book. Islahur-Rusoom on Pg 15, "Amongst these customs, the shaving of the beard, trimming it in such a way that it remains less then one fist in length and the lengthening of the moustache, is considered in today's times as a stylish appearance by most youth." The Hadeeth states: "Lengthen the beard and trim the moustache." [This Hadeeth has been narrated both by Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim] It should be noted well that Nabi sallallahu alaihi wa sallam has used the commanding tense in imploring both these actions and the commanding tense in the Arabic language signifies obligation and incumbency of an action. Hence, we deduce that these two actions are wajib and to discard a wajib is haram. Therefore both the shaving and the trimming of the beard is haram. Furthermore it has been mentioned in another Hadeeth that Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasalam said: "The person who does not trim his moustache is not from amongst our group." [Tirmidhi, Ahmed and Nisai] When we have now established it to be a sinful act, then those people who persist in doing it, have an affinity towards it, consider the lengthening of the beard as a defect and jeer at and ridicule those who keep a beard, it will become rather difficult and complex for them to maintain their Iman. It is incumbent on such people to sincerely repent, renew their marriages and formulate their lifestyle in accordance to the order of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala and His Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasalam.


Question: 5. Some people keep a beard during the period of Haj and shave it upon returning. Some people go to the extent of shaving their beards even during the period of Haj. Is the Haj of such people valid?

Answer: Those people who, during their Haj or on their return journey shave their beards or even trim them are even more pitiable and deserving of mercy than the general folk as they could not refrain from major sins whilst at the house of Allah, whereas only that Haj is worthy of acceptance which is free from sin. Some jurists maintain that the sign of an accepted Haj is that a total Deeni (religious) revolution or change takes place in the life of a person, i.e. he begins to commit himself to righteous actions and makes all attempts to abstain from sinning after returning from Haj. The person in whose life no change occurs even after the Haj, i.e. he still persists in discarding his Fardh obligations and persists in committing major sins as he used to do prior to the performance of the Haj, then such a person's Haj is in reality not a Haj but a mere leisure and pastime. However, from a Fiqhi (legal) point of view, he will be absolved of his Fardh obligation. Nevertheless, he will be deprived of the blessings and fruits of a true Haj. What greater despair and remorse may we express at that person, who spends so much of money and so bravely undergoes the difficulties of the journey, yet he is deprived of the ability to repent and returns home empty handed. If a person commits an act of theft or even adultery (zina) during his Haj journey and does not even regret his despicable action, or repents for it, each and every person may well perceive the plight of his Haj. In the some way, shaving of the beard is a major sin and, in one respect, even more grievous than stealing and adultery since these two are temporary sins. A person who shaves his beard despite him performing his salat, observing fast or even donning the Ihram of Haj, subjects himself to the curse of Nabi sallallahu alaihi wa sallam and infect, involves himself in the perpetration of a major sin even during the performance of such Ibadat (devotions). Hazrat Sheikh, Maulana Muhammad Zakaria (Rahmatullahi alayhi) writes in his treatise "Dhari Ka Wujoob": When I look at such people (who shave their beards), this thought comes to mind that there is no stipulated time for death and if death has to overtake them in such a condition then what face will they present in front of Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasalam when his blessed and illuminated face will appear before them. Together with this, this thought continuously comes to mind that major sins are many, e.g. adultery, sodomy, drinking etc, but they are all temporary. Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasalam has said: "When an adulterer carries out an act of adultery he does not remain a mu'min." The Muhadditheen have interpreted this Hadeeth in this way that the light of Iman leaves a person whilst carrying out the act of adultery. However, after the deplorable act, this light of Iman returns to him. However, shaving or trimming the beard is such an act which is perpetual, may it be whilst performing Salah or Fasting or Haj. In short, it remains with a person while performing any form of worship. Therefore, it is imperative for such persons who go for Haj to rectify their distorted forms before presenting themselves in the court of Allah, sincerely repent and make a firm conviction not to return to such haram actions, or else it should not be that they be credited with this Persian lyric of Sheikh Sadi (Rahmatullah alai):  "The donkey of Isa, even though it might travel to Makkah, yet when it returns, it will still remain a donkey." They should also consider as to how they will present themselves when conferring greetings at the Sacred Tomb of Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasalam and moreover what difficulty and pain will be caused to Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasalam when he will glance at their distorted faces.        


Question: 6. Some people do not keep a beard saying that if we keep a beard and do some wrong action, we will be disgracing those who keep beards and showing disrespect to the beard. What is the Shari ruling with regard to such people?

Answer: The sentiment of such people outwardly seems very pleasing. It seems as if they desire to uphold the honor and status of the beard, but yet if we ponder slightly deeper, we will recognize this shaitani trick. Through this very trick, shaitan has deceived many and involved them in this haram act. Understand this from the following example:  A Muslim has deceived a certain person; consequently the name of the entire Muslim brotherhood becomes blemished. Now, if shaitan deceives him to think: Because of me, the Muslims are being dishonored. Hence, (Allah forbid) I should now renegade from Islam and become a kafir? Definitely this is an action which he should never ever think of doing! Instead he should become a true Muslim and leave his misconduct. Similarly if shaitan provokes a person saying: "If you grow a beard and commit evil then the beard would be disrespected and those who are keeping beards will be disgraced. Hence, leave out this sunnah." He should never ever do this. Instead he should grow his beard and save himself from misconduct. If such people really intend to uphold and honor this sign of Islam, then logically, and from an Islamic point of view, they should lengthen their beards and refrain from misconduct and major sins. Furthermore, pray to Allah to grant to them the ability of upholding this great symbol and sign of Islam; so that on the Day of Qiyamah they could be raised up in the form and appearance of Islam and consequently be blessed with the intercession of Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasalam who had lengthened his beard. Hazrat Abu Hurairah (RA) narrates that Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasalam said: "Everyone from my ummah will enter Jannat except those who reject." The Sahabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) asked: "Who are those who reject?" Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasalam replied: "The person who follows me will enter Jannat and the person who disobeys me has rejected."



Laws Pertaining to the Moustache

Masa'lah: Fine clipping of the moustache is sunnat for a civilian (i.e. a non-Mujahid). It is reported in a Hadith: - "The one who does not clip his moustache is not of us." (Tirmizi, Nasaie). Imam Tirmizi relates on the authority of Hadhrat Ibne Abbas (RA) that the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam used to trim his moustache.

Masa'lah: Evening out the surface of the moustache without actually thinning it whilst clipping strands of hair appearing on the lower end of the moustache directly above the mouth with a scissors etc - resulting in the exposure of the reddish area of the lip - is also proper. However, very fine clipping falls within the sunnat practice. It is stated in Fatawa alamgiri: - "It is commendable to cut the moustache very fine." Allamah ibne Hajar (RA) states in his commentary of Shamail: - "According to Imam Abu Hanifa (RA) and his two most eminent and outstanding pupils (RA), instead of mere clipping, it is most desirable to cut or clip the moustache very finely." It is reported that Imam Ahmad (RA) was in the habit of trimming his moustache very finely.

NOTE: Religious books are replete with stern warnings and denunciations regarding growing of long moustaches in simulation of Hindus and non-Muslims. It is reported in one Hadith that Allah will command all the people to prostrate on the day of judgment. The long - moustaches ones of this world will not be in a position to prostrate since their moustaches will become like iron rods. (Khazanatur Riwayat). It is reported in another Hadith: - "The one who sports a long moustache will be deprived of my intercession and Haudhe - Kauthar (a pond in Jannat from which the believers will drink at the hands of the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam. Munkar and Nakeer (the two angels who question the dead) will be assigned to him with extreme wrath and indignation." Nowadays, shaving the beard and lengthening the moustache is a peculiar and distinguished custom of the Hindus and non-Muslims. And strict opposition to the trends, behavior, patterns and dresses of the non-Muslims have been rigidly enforced by Shariah. Henceforth, it is incumbent upon Muslims to assume the appearance of faithful Muslims and remain distinct from others.

Masa'lah: Mujahideen (Muslim warriors) are permitted to lengthen their moustaches in Darul Harb (a non-Muslim country where war is waged). According to Fatawa Hammadiyyah, it is commendable in Darul Harb for a warrior to lengthen his moustache with the sole purpose of instilling awe and terror within the ranks of the enemy. It is reported that Hadhrat Khalid (RA) used to grow his moustache longer than normal with the same object in mind.

Masa'lah: It is permissible to abstain from clipping the two extreme ends of the moustache. Shaikh Muhaddith Dehlawi (RA) states in his commentary of Mishkat: "There is no problem in leaving the two corners of the lips (moustache) intact." Numerous authentic Ulama of contemporary times also practice this i.e the extreme ends are left intact whilst the moustache itself is clipped to a fine texture.

Masa'lah: During wudhu, water not reaching below the moustache of a mujahid will not affect the validity of the wudhu. However ghusl in this case will not be valid (Khazanatur Riwayat).


Masa'il Pertaining to Nasal Hair and Eyebrows

Masa'lah:       Both clipping and tweezing of the nasal hair is permitted. It has been reported by Abdullah bin Basheer that tweezing of the nasal hair can lead to a disease called akilah (cancer or gangrene).

Masa'lah: Trimming the eyebrows is permissible if they are extremely long (Khazanah).

Masa'lah: Both men and women are neither permitted to remove the eyebrows nor the hair appearing on the tip of the nose.

Masa'lah: It is permissible to neaten hair appearing on the face itself.


Decrees pertaining to hair of other parts of the body other than pubic hair

Masa'lah: According to Imam Abu Yusuf (RA), removing hair of the neck is permissible. It is mentioned in Matalibul Mumineen: "It is most appropriate not to shave (the hair on the neck). However, cutting with a scissors etc. is recommended if such hair causes harm.

Masa'lah: Plucking under-arm hair is preferable because of it being the sunnat of all the Prophets (AS) of Allah. However, employing a razor etc. is sufficient and permissible, if one is not in the habit of tweezing which may cause excruciating pain.

Masa'lah: Removing hair growing on the chest, arms and legs is unethical (khilafe-adab).

Masa'lah: The following method is preferable. Firstly tweeze the right arm-pit using the fingers of the left hand. Thereafter, the same hand should be employed for the left arm-pit if possible; otherwise the fingers of the right hand may be used. NOTE: In view of preventing an under-arm odor being emitted from the fingers, plucking hair strands should preferably be performed with the aid of a tweezers etc.


Injunctions Relating to Pubic Hair

Masa'lah: Both men and women are constrained to remove pubic hair either by employing a razor-blade or with the aid of hair-removers etc. However, shaving is recommended for men, whilst tweezing or removing with lime etc. is desirable for women.

Masa'lah: Application of hair removers such as lime and sulphurate of arsenic etc. is permissible for both sexes.

Masa'lah: On their husband's request, women are compelled to remove (their own) pubic hair.

Masa'lah: It is permissible to arrange another person to remove under-arm hair. However, this is not permitted in the case of removing pubic hair. Nonetheless, this is allowed between those persons for whom gazing at each others private parts is permissible eg. husband and wife (although this is not commendable). It has been reported from Imam Ahmad bin Hambal (RA) that the use of a scissors etc. is also permitted to get rid of pubic hair. (Ai'nah Jamale Muhammadi) Removing hair growing around the anterior and posterior private parts is laudable. (Ai'nah Jamale Muhammadi)

Masa'lah: When removing pubic hair, commence from the area directly below the navel. (Behisti Zewar)

Masa'lah: Men should remove pubic hair with a razor or other hair-removers whilst the Sunnah for a woman is to remove pubic hair with tweezers. (Behisti Zewar) {However if this causes great discomfort and pain, she may employ any other hair-remover. Compiler}


Laws Relating to Finger-Nails

Masa'lah: Paring of finger nails should be preferably executed on Fridays. According to certain narrations, clipping is preferable on Thursday. Imam Naw'wi (RA) mentions a narration: - "The one who cherishes aspirations of peremptory Ghina (wealth or contentment) should pare his nails on Thursday." Apparently, it appears from this narration that paring could be a subtle reference to trimming or neatening the beard because every Thursday a number of saints pay serious attention towards neatening the beard in preparation for the Friday prayer and Allah knows best.

Masa'lah: Finger-nails should be cut within the week if they are extremely long. Undue delay up to Thursday or Friday is abominable. Qadhi Khan and the author of Durre Mukhtar maintain that a person's sustenance (Rizq) decreases if his nails are very long.

Masa'lah: Growing long finger-nails is recommended for the Mujahideen in darul-harb (or on the battle field) - (Darul-Harb- non-Muslim country where war is waged). Amirul Mumineen Hadhrat Umar (RA) issued an edict commanding all warriors to lengthen their finger-nails as this may serve as a weapon. (Alamgiri)

Masa'lah: Reducing the length of finger-nails with the teeth (i.e. by biting) is not permissible. Such a habit can give rise to leprosy.

Masa'lah: Paring of nails is permissible at night as well. It is reported that Khalifa Haroon Rashid asked Imam Abu-Yusuf (RA) this masa'lah, upon which the latter replied: "Acts of virtue need not be postponed."

Masa'lah: Amongst the masses it is popularly believed that finger-nails should not be pared on Saturdays and Sundays. It is mentioned in Gharaib: - "Paring of nails should not be delayed." It is permissible to clip on any day of the week. Determining a specified day is tantamount to Mushabahat-bil-Ghair (resemblance to non-Muslims in their actions).

Masa'lah: Imam Ghazali states that he has not come across any hadith wherein the method of paring the nails is mentioned. With regards to a hadith mentioning the sequence of fingers when paring the nails, Allamah Naw'wi and Iraqi have stated that it has no basis. According to them it is better to begin with the forefinger and end at the thumb. It is mentioned in Maqasid (p.489) that there is no specific sequence to be followed when paring the nails nor is any specific day mentioned. Imam Ghazali states in Ihyaul Uloom that there is no sequence mentioned in any hadith concerning the feet. Allamah Sakhawi has quoted his ustad as saying that the paring of fingernails should precede the toe nails just as washing the hands precede the feet in wudu

Masa'lah: Hair and finger nails should be preferably buried. Disposing of them is also permitted. However, consigning them to ghusl and wudhu places or places of filth is makrooh (abominable). This can lead to adversity. Baihaqi narrates on the authority of Wail bin Hajar (RA) that the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam had the habit of burying his hair and finger-nails. And he used to say: - "This (hair etc.) should not allow sorcerers to overpower you." (They should not be allowed to formulate a charm etc. with hair in order to cause harm). Similarly, Hadhrat Umar (RA) used to bury his hair. According to Fatawa Hindiyyah: - "Four things must be buried:- blood, hair, nails and sanitary pads used by women." 


Miscellaneous Masa'il

Masa'lah: It is Makrooh to pluck the strands of white hair appearing on the head, beard, moustache etc. Imam Abu Dawood (RA) reports on the authority of Amar bin Shuaib that the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam said: - "Do not pluck the strands of white hair for verily they are the noor (splendour and refulgence) of Islam. Whomsoever advances in age in the state of Islam, in lieu of that, Allah (S.W.) will record a good deed and obliterate a sin from his book of deeds." Imam Tirmidhi relates that white hair will be transformed into noor (refulgence) on the day of Qiyamat (judgement). A feeling of uncertainty and doubt could arise at this juncture that since white hair is a source of noor in this world and the hereafter, dyeing white hair should be consequently impermissible? The answer to the above lies in the fact that the permissibility of applying hair-dye is based on a very significant religious expedience i.e. the elderly warriors won't ostensibly appear feeble or senile. Subsequently, the enemy remains awe-inspired and browbeaten.

Masa'lah: To pluck white strands of hair is not permissible. Tweezing the hair of the head is repugnant and is tantamount to second degree muthlah (a mild form of mutilation). Khidhab (dyeing the hair) augments the attributes of a person. Ibrahim (AS) was the first and foremost person to experience the whitening of hair. When he asked Allah (S.W) concerning this, He replied: - "This is (a token of) your dignity and reverence." Hadhrat Ibrahim (AS) responded by supplicating: - "O Allah! intensify my dignity and reverence." (Muwatta Imam Malik) He was the very source of encouraging formal hospitality towards guests. He laid the foundation for numerous acts viz. clipping the moustache, paring the finger-nails, removing under arm-hair, forming a pathway on the head, donning a trousers, employing hair-dye compounded with mehendi and oil, introducing a pulpit to deliver his discourses and embracing when meeting. He was also the first to divide the advancing army into four contingent's viz. Maymanah (right wing), Maysarah (left wing), Qalb (central contingent) and Muqaddamah (vanguard or advanced guard). (Sharah Muatta lis Suyuti).

Masa'lah: Women are not allowed to tweeze facial hair including their eye-brows. However, in the event of a beard or moustache developing, it is permissible, in fact preferable, to get rid of such superfluous hair. Imam Naw'wi states in his commentary of Muslim Shareef: "To remove hair of the eyebrows and face is haram (prohibited). However, this is permitted in the case of a woman who starts developing a beard or moustache."

Masa'lah: Clipping the moustache, paring the nails, removing under-arm and pubic hair and shaving the head etc. should be preferably executed on Fridays. A maximum time-limit of forty days has been imposed for getting rid of under-arm and pubic hair. Exceeding this limit is impermissible and sinful. The lofty companions (RA) said: - "The Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam was in the habit of clipping his moustache and finger-nails on Fridays, and he was accustomed to removing pubic hair every twenty days and hair of the armpit every forty days." (Majmaul Bihar). Mullah Ali Qari (RA) states: - "The object is to ensure that the warranted forty days limit is not exceeded."


Masa'lah: Weekly removal of pubic and under-arm hair is superlative (afdhal). Every fifteen days is considered average and forty days is the point of extremity.

Masa'lah: Cutting the hair should be preferably carried out on Fridays. It is reported in a Hadith that the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam set aside Friday from the remaining days of the week, to pare his finger-nails, neaten his beard etc. According to another narration, the beard should be neatened on Thursday. However, this narration is deficient to some degree. Mulla Ali Qari (RA) states in the commentary of Shamail: - "No authentic Hadith is established corroborating the paring of nails on Thursdays. The famous poem in this regard attributed to Hadhrat Ali (RA) is fictitious." According to Imam Tahawi (RA), paring finger-nails on Wednesdays can cause leprosy. Incident: The author of Madkhal ibnul Haj narrates: "On a certain Wednesday I resolved to clip my nails which had become extremely long. No sooner had I recalled the prohibition regarding paring of nails, I restrained from going any further. Following this, I recalled that not a single authentic Hadith substantiates this. In fact, the masa'lah sanctions immediate paring if necessary. Hence, I pared my nails and as a result I became afflicted with leprosy. Once I was honored by visiting the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam in a dream. "Did you get the message?" he asked. I responded; "O Prophet of Allah! on the basis of my investigations, the concerned Hadith is incorrect." Thereafter, he rubbed his blessed hand on my entire body and I recovered. Following this incident, I repented and firmly committed myself to be acquiescent with everything attributed to the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam." NOTE: It is neither incumbent to yield to a command issued in a dream, (in other words, a decree incongruent with explicit ordinances and religious proofs) nor can a dream serve as evidence to prove the approbation (Qabuliyat) of the matter concerned.

Masa'lah: Whosoever resolves to offer Qurbani should desist from clipping the hair, finger nails etc, during the first ten days of Zil-Hijjah.

Masa'lah: Hair, finger-nails and other detached parts of the body should be buried - such as teeth, amputated hand of a thief, blood extracted by phlebotomy (blood-letting) etc.           

It is mentioned in Sirajul - wahhaj Matalibul Mumineen:- "Instead of burying the nails etc. there's no objection in discarding them in any suitable corner. However, consigning them to the toilet or bathroom is makrooh (reprehensible)."

Masa'lah: Paring of finger-nails, trimming the hair and removing pubic hair etc. is makrooh in a state of Janabat (when ghusl is incumbent).

Masa'lah: Abstention from combing the hair and beard or from applying oil to the hair is makrooh. Oiling and combing the hair when the need arises is sunnat. According to Tirmidhi Shareef, the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam had a tendency to apply oil copiously and comb his beard excessively. He frequently used a qana (a cloth used to wipe off and absorb oil). This cloth was similar to the cloth of an oil-seller. NOTE: Daily combing and undue involvement in dressing the hair is Makrooh. Disproportionate involvement in adornments and embellishments is considered effeminate and does not behave the nature and prestige of men. In fact, certain Ahadith prohibit the daily combing of hair by men. Hadhrat Shaikh Dehlawi (RA) states: "Certain people are disposed to combing the hair after wudhu. It is unfounded in shariah. Daily combing for women is not makrooh. However, even they should abstain from excessive adornment and dressing their hair etc."

Masa'lah: Shaving both the beard and moustache is astringently prohibited (haram). Likewise, this applies to the application of mehendi to the hands and feet. Similarly, conversing and walking like women, donning effeminate clothing etc. is haram. The same rule applies to women who are masculine in appearance or manner. The Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam casted imprecations (lanat) upon such men and women. Removing the beard and moustache etc, at times of extreme remorse, adversity or death, is not permissible. The Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam is reported to have said that I am disgusted by he who removes his hair, beard or moustache when struck by calamity or misfortune or who mourns (un-Islamically) or wails loudly or tears his clothing (in display of extreme sorrow).        

Masa'lah: A fresh repetition of wudhu is not compulsory if one removes his hair, beard and moustache or clips his nails, beard, etc.

Masa'lah: It is incumbent to make certain that water reaches below the finger-nails if they conceal the finger-tips due to their length.

Masa'lah: A barber is strictly prohibited from un-Islamic hair dressing or shaving the beard etc. Whether his patron concedes to this or not is immaterial.

Masa'lah: Gold and silver oil-containers are permitted if the oil is firstly poured onto the palm and thereafter transferred onto the head or beard. It is stated in Shir'atul-Islam: "The Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam applied oil as follows: firstly he poured oil onto the left palm, thereafter the eyebrows, then the beard and lastly the head. He set aside every alternate day to comb his hair." 

Masa'lah: In view of reaping blessings, it is permissible to retain in ones possession strands of hair belonging to the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam. Hadhrat Anas (RA) narrates that the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam summoned the barber and firstly presented the right portion of his head. Accordingly, he cut the right and thereafter the left. Following this he summoned Hadhrat Talha (RA) and instructed him to distribute his hair amongst the people. According to Ashiattul-Lamat each companion (RA) received a strand or two from the holy hair. According to Mawahib, Hadhrat Anas (RA) narrates that the companions assembled around the Holy Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam) while he was having his hair cut. They seized the opportunity to take possession of his hair the moment it was cut without allowing it to fall to the ground. Muhammad bin Seereen narrates: - "I informed Hadhrat Abu Ubaidah (RA) that I have in my possession few strands of the Prophet's sallallahu alaihi wa sallam hair which was acquired through the good offices of Hadhrat Anas (RA)." Upon this Hadhrat Abu Ubaidah declared: - "Even if I possess a single strand of this holy hair, I will cherish it as more beloved and precious than the whole world and whatever it contains." According to Allamah Aini (RA) the commentator of Bukhari, this Hadith indicates that retaining in ones possession the hair of a living person is permitted. Burying it is not compulsory as considered by certain scholars.


Injunctions regarding Khidhab(or dyeing of the hair)

Masa'lah: Red and yellow shades of dyes are permitted for both men and women. In fact, application of such shades are recommended. Imam Ahmad relates on the authority or Hadhrat Abu Umamah (RA) that the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam passed by a group of white-bearded Ansaries. He said: - "Dye your beards with red or yellow dye. Expose your disparateness with the people of the book (Jews and Christians) since they are not inclined to apply hair dye." The author of Jamul-wasail (Mulla Ali Qari) and Allamah Naw'wi (RA) state: - "Numerous individual views have been expressed in connection with khidhab (hair-dyes). The most credible is that all colours save black are preferred for both sexes. Employing black hair dye is haram." Imam Muhammad (RA) states in Muatta: - "Application of mehendi and yellow hair dye is unobjectionable. Dyeing the hair and refraining from the use of hair-dye i.e. by retaining the original whiteness of the hair - both are commendable."

Masa'lah: Black dye which has the similitude of the original blackness of the hair is haram for all save the mujahideen (Muslim warriors). Imam Muslim reports in his saheeh on the authority of Hadhrat Jabir (RA) that when Hadhrat Abu-Quhafah (RA) submitted to Islam at the conquest of Makkah, the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam commanded him to dye his white hair but at the same time prohibited him from using black dye. According to the Sunan of Abu-Dawood and Nasai, the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam is reported to have said that in the latter era (prior to Qiyamat) many people will use a black dye which resembles a dove's crop. Such people won't even smell the fragrance of Paradise. Shaikh Muhaddith Dehlawi (RA) states: - "Dye compounded with mehendi is unanimously permissible. As for black dye, the mukhtar mazhab (most favoured opinion) supports its vehement prohibition." The underlying reason for it's prohibition lies in the fact that black dye resembles the original black colour of the hair (Mirqat). In other words it tantamount to deception and delusion. For this reason, whoever applies black dye is referred to as Kazib-fil-Lihyah (delusive in terms of the beard).

In the Khilafat (caliphate) of Sayyidina Umar (RA) an elderly man married a young woman after he dyed his hair black. Following the marriage ceremony, she realized that he was not a young man as he portrayed himself to be. Subsequently, she laid a charge against him in the court of the Khalifa. Hadhrat Umar (RA) annulled the marriage and took suitable punitive measures against him. He thereafter declared: "You are guilty of deceiving the people with your (simulated) youth." 

Masa'lah: In view of instilling terror and awe within the infidel enemy, the Mujahideen (warriors and soldiers) are permitted to use black dye. In Muheete Burhani it is stated: - "According to the unanimous opinions of the scholars, application of black dye is commendable for intimidating the enemy." Application of black hair dye is makrooh (tahrimi) if the intention is to appease or attract women. This is the favoured opinion of the scholars at large. This opinion is also transcribed from Hadhrat Umar (RA). A narration of Ibne Majah states: - "Black dye is the most excellent of all shades of dyes. It will render you desirable in the eyes of your women and terrifying or awe-inspiring against your enemy." However, this narration is deemed deficient to some degree. Hence, in comparison to the authentic narrations, inference (Istidlal) on the basis of such a weak narration is incorrect. An authentic narration mentions that Hadhrat Abu Bakr (RA) was in the habit of using dye compounded with mehendi and oil. Naturally, black is the resultant colour of a dye compounded with mehendi and oil. Allamah Jazri states in Nihayah: - "A mixture of mehendi and oil employed in the dyeing of hair appears black in colour and this was the nature of khidhab applied by Hadhrat Hussain, Hadhrat Uthman and other Sahabah (RA). It transpires from the aforementioned that the narrations interdicting the use of black dye are not binding. However, an objective scrutiny reveals that the dye applied by Hadhrat Abu Bakr (RA) was not pitch black in colour. In fact it was deep-red and profound red produces a blackish hue thereby appearing black. Bukhari narrates on the authority of Hadhrat Anas (RA) that Hadhrat Abu Bakr (RA) was the eldest of the Sahabah. When the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam migrated to Madinah he used to apply dye compounded with Mehendi and oil. As a result, his hair assumed a deep-red colour. Hadhrat Muhaddith Dehlawi states in Ashi'atul-Lamat: - "It is firmly established on the basis of an authentic narration that Amirul Mumineen Hadhrat Abu Bakr (RA) was in the habit of dying his hair employing a mixture of mehendi and oil. However, it was not black in colour but deep red inclined to blackness. This is the interpretation of those narrations which indicate the use of black dye by certain Sahabah (RA)."

We deduce from a close study of the above that a composition of mehendi and oil does not yield a pitch black colour.  A composition of mehendi and oil subsequently brings forth two varying textures of khidhab. The first produces a pitch black colour by firstly applying mehendi followed by oil. The second texture is prepared as follows: one part of mehendi to three parts of oil. Both are finely crushed together. Thereafter, water extracted from sour-milk is added to the compound and left out in the sun to be applied a little later. This also produces a dark, though not pitch-black colour. A cursory glance is sufficient to recognize the artificial colour. We conclude from the above that all narrations which mention the application of black dye are valid and effective and the Sahabah were not contravening (practically) the Ahadith (narrations).

Masa'lah: Application of mehendi to the hands, feet and finger-nails is permitted for women only, provided that images (of animate objects) are not formed. However, this does not extend to males. In Fatawa Bazzaziyyah it is stated: - "Women are allowed to apply mehendi to their hands. However, refraining from sketching animated objects is conditional." According to Fatawa Zaheeriyyah: - "The permissibility of applying mehendi to the hands and feet does not extend to young boys."

Masa'lah: An unmarried woman is not allowed to use khidhab or make-up. However, even without her husbands consent, a married woman may apply make-up or khidhab.

Masa'lah: Application of colour to the teeth is not permissible for anybody - civilians and warriors alike. It is mentioned in Targheebus-Salah: - "Tinting the teeth is not permissible for both sexes."          

QUESTION:  Certain narrations laud and sanction the use of khidab as the Hadith which ordains us to be at variance with the Jews and Christians since they were not in the habit of applying hair-dye. On the basis of such narrations, various Sahabah habitually applied hair-dye, e.g. Hadhrat Uthman, Hasan, Hussain etc (RA). In striking contrast to this, certain narrations cite numerous virtues of white hair. Therefore, refraining from the use of dye seems more appropriate. Accordingly, Tirmizi and ibne Majah narrate from Hadhrat Ka'b ibne Murrah: - "The hair of a person which turns white in a state of Islam will serve as a source of noor (refulgence) for him on the day of Qiyamat (judgement)." Tabari reports on the authority of Hadhrat Abdullah ibne Masood (RA) that the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wasalam showed abhorrence and displeasure towards the transformation or removal of white strands of hair. On these grounds many Sahabah abstained totally from dyeing their hair e.g. Hadhrat Ali (RA), Hadhrat Salmah bin Akwa (RA), Hadhrat Ubay bin Ka'b (RA) etc. The answer to the conspicuous inconsistency and disparity is as follows: - Certain scholars favor the opinion that khidab is recommended for totally white haired individuals whilst it's prohibition is for those whose hair has turned partially white. Shah Abdul Ghani (author of hidayatun noor), holds the view that the most suitable answer to the apparent contradiction is that the prohibition of khidab is confined to black dye only, since the use of black dye is tantamount to characteristically transformation and deception thereby eliciting it's prohibition. Non-black dyes are recommended since their application is in conflict with the Jewish trend of applying black dye. Similarly, it's use does not entail the prohibited transformation and deception simply because the whiteness of the hair remains manifest.     

QUESTION:  The Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wasalam referred to white hair as noor (refulgence) whilst Hadhrat Ibraheem (AS) entitled it waqar (a token of dignity and prestige). Hadhrat Anas (RA) on the other hand depicts white hair with the words: - "Allah (SW) safeguarded the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wasalam from developing white hair. "(What is the answer to the apparent contradiction between the two above narrations?)"

The answers are as follows:

1. Hadhrat Anas (RA) was conscious of the fact that the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wasalam laid great emphasis on transforming the whiteness of the hair and applying khidab or,

2. He probably had an aversion to white hair because he was not cognizant with those Ahadith which cite the virtues of white hair or,

3. There is a possibility that Hadhrat Anas (RA) considered those Ahadith which mention the virtues of white hair as mansookh (abrogated) whilst those Ahadith which stress on the application of khidab as nasikh (abrogative) (Madarij).

Masa'lah: Yellow hair-dye is superior than khidab compounded with mehendi and oil. Dye composed of mehendi and oil supersedes the dye containing mehendi only. Abu Dawood narrates on the authority of Hadhrath ibne Abbas (RA) that a person who applied dye compounded with mehendi passed by the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam. The Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam lauded him by saying: - "How splendid." Thereafter, another person who applied yellow khidab walked by upon which the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam remarked: - "This (action) surpasses that."


The khidab of the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam

Most Muhadditheen support the view that the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam never applied any type of khidab. In substantiation of this view the following Ahadith are adduced:- "Hadhrat Anas (RA) narrates that the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alaihi Wassallam) never applied khidab. The barely noticeable strands of white hair did not necessitate the application of khidab. In another narration Hadhrat Anas (RA) narrates:- "The Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam refrained from applying any type of khidab. He developed only a few strands of white hair on his chin, temples and head. Nothing more." Similarly another narration states:- "The Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam had so few strands of white hair that the application of oil rendered them invisible." The scholars have stated that he barely had seventeen, eighteen or twenty - according to varying views - strands of white hair. According to certain jurists and Muhadditheen, the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam used yellow or red khidab i.e. mehendi khidab or khidab compounded with mehendi and oil. As narrated in Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood and Nasai that Hadhrat Abdullah bin Umar (RA) states:- "The Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam was disposed to apply yellow khidab made up of wars (a yellow plant) and saffron onto his beard." Similarly, Bukhari and Muslim narrate from Hadhrat Abdullah bin Umar (RA) that he saw the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam using yellow dye or saffron. Tirmizi reports from Hadhrat Abu Rimsah (RA) that he saw the white hair of the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam had been dyed red. Similarly, another Hadith narrated by Abu Rimsah (RA) appears in Ibne-Majah which makes mention of the Holy Prophet's sallallahu alaihi wasalam white hair being dyed red with mehendi.           

Ibne Jawzi states in Al-wafa on the authority of Hadhrat Abu Rimsah (RA) that the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wasalam was inclined to apply khidab compounded with mehendi and oil. Bukhari narrates from Hadhrat Uthman bin Abdullah bin Musab (RA). He says:- "When I paid Hadhrat Umme Salimah (RA) a visit, she honoured me by displaying before me a strand of dyed hair of the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam." In the very same narration reported by ibne Majah and Musnad Imam Ahmad, khidab compounded with mehendi and oil is cited. According to Shamail, Hadhrat Anas (RA) narrates that he saw the hair of the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam which was dyed. It transpires from the aforementioned Ahadith that the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam sometimes used red and sometimes yellow or bluish shades of khidab. To sum it up, two apparently contradictory narrations - of applying and refraining from hair-dyes - have been transcribed. In response to the above contradiction, Imam Naw'wi (RA) states that the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam applied khidab very rarely as this fact is manifest from the narration of ibne-Umar (RA) related in Bukhari and Muslim. Also, the Hadith related by him is accepted (maqbool) by the Muhadditheen and it cannot be interpreted differently.

NOTE :- Most people's hair generally turns white by the time they reach the age reached by the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam. However, he did not undergo the whitening of his hair. One underlying reason for this - as stated by the Muhadditheen - is that women tend to have an aversion towards white hair and aversion towards any attribute of the Prophet (Sallalahu alaihi wassallam) is tantamount to kufr (rejection). Hence, to prevent such a contingency his hair did not turn white. Shaikh Abdul Haq Mahadith Dehlawi, in explanation of the above wisdom states: - "Without a shadow of doubt, youth, aptitude, intrinsic ascendancy and awe are attributes of such perfection - in terms of intimidating the enemy - that they play a prominent role in exposing the grandeur of Islam and they serve to fortify the religion itself. Particularly in the blessed epoch of the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam when Jihad in the path of Allah and war with the infidels was commonplace. The far-reaching wisdom of Allah sought to deliver the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam from the whitening of the hair which is generally reckoned to be a sign of weakness and senility. The Holy Prophet's sallallahu alaihi wa sallam edict issued to the Sahabah (RA) in favor of applying khidab was based on the same expediency i.e. they would appear young and powerful. As for the few strands of his (the Prophet's Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam) hair which had turned white, this was due to the intense fear and dread of Allah. As the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam states in his own words: - "The surah Hood, Waqia'at, Mursalat, Amma and Shams have rendered me old." However, the whitening of a few strands did little to bring about any transformation in his youthful appearance. In short, white hair is a source of noor (refulgence) and prestige (waqar). With intent to practically demonstrate its permissibility, he himself applied dye to his hair. On the basis of the afore-mentioned distinctive expediency, the application of khidab is not in conflict with white hair being a source of noor and refulgence.