Haircuts in Islam
An unusual topic for me to discuss, but one Muslims generally overlook. Although not the strictest of rulings, there are hadith that stress keeping an adequate hair style. You can argue there’s far more important things to worry about but purity is in all aspects of your life. The main underlying factor is that adopting any hairstyle that entails shaving some part of the head and leaving the other unshaved is impermissible or at the least disliked and explicitly prohibited by the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace).
There is an Islamic principle where the scholars have stated:
Everything is Halal (Permissible) unless proven otherwise.
So let’s look at some ahadith:-
Nafi’ reports that he heard Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him) say: “I heard the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) forbidding the practice of Qaz’a.” Ubaid Allah said: “I inquired, what is Qaz’a?” So he said: “When the head of a child is shaved and hair is left here and there, and Ubaid Allah pointed towards his forelock and the sides of his head.”Sahih al-Bukhari, No. 5576
Abd Allah ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that: “The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) saw a child, part of whose head was shaved and the other unshaven. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) forbade them (the Companions) from doing this and said: “Either shave it completely or leave it completely.”Sunan Abu Dawud, No. 4192
A Keyword here is Qaz’a. A prominent scholar, Imam al-Nawawi has commented on this:
Qaz’a means to shave some part of the head and leave the other. Others have said, to shave different parts from the head, although the first opinion is correct … The scholars have unanimously agreed that it is disliked to shave parts of the head except if it is for a medical reason, and this is somewhat disliked (karaha tanzihiyya)… The scholars have said: The wisdom behind it being disliked is because it is distorting the fair nature on which one is created. Others said that this is the appearance of Shaytan, and it was said that, this is the fashion of the Jews.”Sharh Muslim li al-Nawawi
The great Hanafi jurist Allama Ibn Abidin states:
“The practice of Qaz’a is disliked (makruh), and that is to shave part of the head and leave the other to the amount of three fingers”Radd al-Muhtar ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar, 6/407
So due to the above narrations and statements of the Fuqaha, scholars mention that it is disliked to shave some part of the head and leave the other unshaved. This, according to Imam Nawawi, is somewhat disliked (makruh tanziha) however, if the aspect of imitating the Kuffar is taken into consideration, then it will be unlawful.
Therefore, adopting hair styles that entail shaving part of the head and leaving the rest, such as the mohican hair cut, flattops, fades, wedge, crue cut, etc will be somewhat disliked or even impermissible if practiced due to imitating dis-believers.
The second factor of imitating the Kuffar is effected in one of two ways.
a) One imitates the non-believers (Kuffar) or a particular non-believer (kafir) with the intention of imitation, meaning one does so because one wants to be like the Kuffar or a Kafir,
b) The practice has a direct connection with their religion or is unique with them.
Think of a particular gang or cult that have a certain identity, through a certain hairstyle. If you cut your hair accordingly then the act is haram as you are associating false/negative with Islam.
However, if one does not intend to imitate the Kuffar and the style is not unique with them, then it will not be totally unlawful, although disliked.
If one was to really look at the various hair cuts prevalent today, it would be evident that the styles normally appear and come into the market due to some celebrity, icon, pop star, actor, sports player adopting that hair style. Not to say all are Kafir, but how many of us overlook the fact that they may be.
In conclusion, contemporary scholars hold two kinds of positions in this issue. Some are stricter in that they prohibit such hair cuts given the aspect of imitating the Kuffar, which is (imitating) without doubt unlawful in Shariah. Others are lenient in the matter given that these hair cuts have become widespread and are not unique characteristics of the Kuffar, although hair cuts that entail shaving some part of the head and leaving the other unshaved will be disliked, for that is clearly mentioned in the Hadith.
Examples of Permitted hairstyles?: Note that every strand does not need to be exactly equal, but your hair shouldn’t be styled like that of the models above.
the examples used are for illustration purposes only.
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