Monday, 18 October 2010

Women and Hair Cutting

 I have heard many Muslims saying that is fine for women to cut their hair, as long as its not a male hairstlyle. They say there's nothing in Islam to stop women cutting their hair. I heard this on Islam Channel years ago, and lots of websites are giving this opinion. They are giving the following hadith as evidence of it being permissable:

It was narrated in Saheeh Muslim that Abu Salamah ibn ‘Abd al-Rahmaan said: “The wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to cut their hair until it came just below their ears.” (al-Hayd, 320)

Abu Salmah ibn Abd ar-Rahman ibn Awf reports that the wives of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) used to cut (literally, take from) their hair until it appeared like a wafrah. Wafrah, as stated earlier, is the name given to the hair when it hangs up to the earlobes.

Response to this:

(the following passages are from 'Masa'il of the Hairs' by Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi)

 ''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.''
(from 'Masa'il of the Hairs' Written By Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi)

 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.

 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.
(from 'Masa'il of the Hairs' Written By Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi Rahmatullah Alaihi)

Hajj and Umrah

 During Hajj/Umrah, in order to come out of the Ihraam, a man can either make Halq (shave) or Qasr (trim) of the hair on the head. For a woman, she has to clip the size of the small finger (approximately 2cm.)

 From among the restriction imposed on her during Hajj is (as the text appears in the Fiqh book, Al-Quduri).

'She will not shave but trim'

'Because Rasulullah (Sallallaaahu layhi Wasallam) forbade women from shaving but commanded them to trim (the hair).' The fact that women are only allowed to trim - a short length (2cm) and not more - explains the issue under discussion.

Hair of the Wives of the Prophet (s.a.w)

 Once the wife of Rasulullah (Sallallaaahu layhi Wasallam), Hadhrat Umme Salamah (Radhiyallaahu Anha) asked him, 'O Prophet of Allah, I am a woman who keeps her hair closely plaited; should I unto it when I wash after sexual defilement?' 'No' he replied, 'It is enough for you to throw three handfuls over it (your head)'. (Muslim)

 Related by Saalim (r.a.) ''The Wives of Rasulullah (salallahu alayhi wasallam) would arrange (the hair on) their heads into four plaits. When they took ghusl they would assemble these (plaits) on the middle of their heads.'' (Al-Mujma-ul Kabeer of Tibraani, Vol.7 page 62)

The Rulings of the Fuqaha (experts in fiqh - Islamic jurisprudence)

(1). Ad-Durrul Mukhtaar, citing from Mujtaba states:

''A woman who cuts her hair, has sinned, and she is accursed.'' Bazaaziyah adds: ''...and even if her husband consents because there is no obedience to anyone in an act of disobedience to the Creator.''
(The Author of Mujtaba is a Faqeeh who died in 658 A.H. )

(2). ''In this Hadith is the daleel (proof) for the fact that it is not permissible to change anything on which Allah has created a woman whether it is by increasing or decreasing (any of her natural physical characteristics) for the sake of gaining beauty for the husband or for anyone else.'' (Bazlul Majhood, page 54)

Cutting hair is among the acts of taghyeer li khalqillaah (changing the natural appearance which Allah Ta'ala has created for women).

(3). ''It is not permissible for a woman to cut her hair even with the permission of the husband.'' (Al-Ashbaah Wan-Nazaair, page 178)
(Allaamah Zain Ibn Nujaim, the Author of Al-Ashbaah died in 921A.H.)

(4). ''If a woman cuts the hair of her head, she sins and is cursed (by Allah Ta'ala).'' (Shaami, Vol.10, page 431)  (Allaamah Ibn Aabideen As-Shaami died in 1306 A.H.)

(5). ''It is not lawful for a woman to cut her hair just as it not lawful for a man to cut his beard. Similarly, if the husband permits her to cut her hair, it is not permissible for her (to do so).'' (Al-Multaqat)  (Author of Al-Multaqat is Allaamah Abul Qaasim Muhammad Bin Yoosuf Husaini Samarqandi who died in 556 A.H.)

(6). ''If a woman cuts her hair, Istighaar (seeking forgiveness) from Allah Ta'ala is incumbent on her.'' (Khulaasatul Fataawaa, Vol.2, page 52) (The Author of this Kitaab is Allaamah Taahir Bin Ahmad Bukhaari who died in 542 A.H.)

(7)When a woman cuts her hair, she sins and she comes under la'nat (curse of Allah Ta'ala). It is incumbent on her to seek forgiveness from Allah Ta'ala, and to repent.'' (Kitaab Jumalil Ahkaam, Vol.3, page 165)
(The Author of this Kitaab is Imaam Abu Abbaas Ahmad Bin Muhammad Bin Umar An-Naatifi who died in 446 A.H.)

(8). ''Allaamah Abu Bakr Al-Iskaaf was asked about a woman who had cut her hair. He said: 'It is incumbent on her to seek forgiveness from Allah Ta'ala, repent and not again return to this act.' It was said (to him): 'If she cuts her hair with the permission of her husband?' He said: 'There is no obedience to any creature (person) in any act which is disobedience to Allah.' He was asked: 'Why is it not permissible for a woman to cut her hair?' He said: 'Because (in so doing) she emulates males. Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: Allah curses women who emulate men, and men who emulate women. And, because hair for women is like the beard is for men. (An-Nawaazil , page 111 Ta'leeqaat Kitaab Jumalil Ahkaam)
(Allaamah Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Abu Bakr Al-Iskaaf Al-Balkhi died in 333 A.H. His Sanad (Chain of Qualification) links up with Imaam Muhammad and Imaam Abu Yusuf via only two Links, namely, Muhammad Bin Salmah (Died 278 A.H.) and Abu Sulaiman Al-Jauzjaani (Died after 200 A.H.).

(9). Al-Maawardi said: A woman should not cut (even the size of one anmulah) from her tresses. But she should lift her tresses and cut from the hair under the tresses because (cutting from the tresses) disfigures her.
(Kitaabul Majmoo', Vol.8 page 177)  (Al-Maawardi was among the very senior Shaafi'i Fuqaha. This is the view of many senior Fuqaha of the Shaafi'i Math-hab. Imaam Nawawi narrates this Fatwa in his Kitaabul Majmoo'. Al-Maawardi died in 450 A.H. The permissibility for the cutting of one anmulah applies to tahallul (gaining release from Ihraam))

(10). 'A woman who has cut her hair has sinned and she is cursed (by Allah Ta'ala) even if her husband permits her because there is no obedience to any creation in any act which is disobedience to Allah.
(Fataawaa Bazaaziyyah)

(11). ''A woman shall be prohibited from shaving her head''..The obvious meaning of halq of the hair of her head, is its removal whether by shaving, cutting, pluking or lime. She should therefore abstain (from this act of removing the hair on her head). The meaning of not being permissible is that its is Makrooh Tahrimi. This is said in Miftaahus Sa-aadah. (Al-Hamawi, Vol.1, page 73)

(12). (According to the Shaafi'is) ''The law pertaining to Taqseer (cutting) more than anmulah (during Hajj) is just as the law pertaining to halq (shaving).''  (Tarhut Tathreeb Fi Sharhit Tatreeb, Vol. 5 page 116)

(13) According to the Shaafi'i Math-hab for the prohibition of halq for women there are two views. One is Makrooh Tahrimi and the other is Haraam. The same ruling will apply to Taqseer (cutting more than one anmulah ) during Hajj. While one anmulah in length is permissible to secure release from Ihraam, more than it is either Makrooh Tahrimi or Haraam according to the Shaafi'i Math-hab. In this regard, it appears in Tarhut Tathreeb :

 ''Should permission be given to cut more than this, (i.e. anmulah during Hajj), it will ultimately lead to disfigurement as we have already explained.''

 (14) Ibn Hajar (among the Shaafi'is) said (regarding cutting for release from Ihraam): ''..except from her tresses because cutting some of it disfigures her.'' (In the Annotation of Allaamah Shabramallisi of Ar-Ramali's Nihaayatul Muhtaaj) (Haafiz Ibn Hajar Al-Haitami died in 909 A.H.)

(15) In his Fatwa of the prohibition of hair-cutting, Hakimul Ummat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thaanvi says:

''In Ad-Durrul Mukhtaar narrating from Al-Mujtaba it appears: 'When a woman cuts her hair, she has sinned and is accursed.' Bazaaziayah added: 'And, even if the husband permits her because there is no obedience for any creature (person) in anything which involves disobedience to the Creator. The rationale for this (prohibition) is emulation of males.In Al-Ashbaah in the chapter on the ahkaam for females is this statement: 'A woman shall be prohi- bited from shaving the hair of her head..'. For the full Fatwa of Hakimul Ummat, see pages 106 and 107 of the reprint of our earlier book on THE FEMALE'S HAIR.

(16) Hadhrat Maulana Saeed Ahmad Palanpuri says:

''It is prohibited for a woman to cut her hair. It is haraam for a woman to shave or cut her hair. Such a woman is deserving of the la'nat (curse) of Allah Ta'ala.It appears in Shaami: 'A woman who cuts her hair has sinned and is cursed.' (The Beard and the Sunnats of the Ambiyaa, pages 96, 97)
(Hadhrat Maulana Saeed Ahmad Sahib is a senior Mufti and Ustaadh at Daarul Uloom Deoband)

(17) In his Fataawaa, Mufti Ludhyaanwi of Pakistan writes: ''It is not permissible for women to cut their hair.''  (Vol. 7 Page 132)

(18) In a lengthy Fatwa in Imdaadul Ahkaam, Allaamah Zafar Ahmad Uthmaani, the Author of I'laaus Sunan , explains the Fatwa of Prohibition , namely, hair-cutting for women is haraam. In his Fatwa he also mentions:

''No where is it proven from the Mujtahideen that they had given permission for either a married woman or a widow to cut hair without the valid reason of pain, sickness or Hajj. On the contrary, the Fuqaha have totally prohibited women from shaving or cutting their hair. There is no proof for permissibility in the statement (of Imaam Nawawi).''

(19) The Author of Fataawaa Rahimiyyah, Hadhrat Mufti Abdur Rahim Lajpuri states:

''It is a grave sin if a woman cuts her hair because her husband wants her to have a fashionable hair-style or even if she herself desires such a style. It is haraam. In an act of sin obedience to the husband is not permissible. In Ad-Durrul Mukhtaar it is said: 'When a woman has cut the hair of her hair, she has sinned. Bazaaziyah added: 'and, even if the husband permits her because there is no obedience for makhlooq in an act which is disobedience to Khaaliq.'' (Fataawaa Rahimiyyah, Vol. 10, page 321)

(20) In another place, Hakimul Ummat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thaanvi says: ''It is haraam for a woman to shave and cut her hair. In the Hadith it comes that la'nat is invoked on her.'' (Beheshti Zewer, Part 11, page 124)

(21) Shaikh Imaam Taahir Bin Ahmad Bin Abdir Rashid Al-Bukhaari states in his Khulaasatul Fataawaa:
''If a woman cuts her hair, then it is incumbent on her to seek forgiveness from Allah Ta'ala.'' (Vol.2, page 52)

(22) Imaam Naasiruddin Abul Qaasim Muhammad Bin Yusuf Husaini Samarqandi (died 556 A.H.), states in his Kitaab, Al-Multaqat:
''It is not lawful for a woman to cut her hair just as it is not lawful for a man to cut his beard. It (the prohibition) is the same even if the husband permits. It is not permissible for her.'' (Al-Multaqat, Page 107)

All this information has come from the following sites:

  Masail of the Hairs          

  Tresses of Jannat 1

  Tressses of Jannat 2                   

 Article from Jamatiul Ulama  found on MSA Publications                      
                                                                               And Allah Knows Best