QUESTION: I have seen a fatwa issued by the Jamiatul Ulama (South Africa) wherein it states that it is permissible for men to have their hair cut into two lengths if it is done for “Zinah (adornment)” and it also states that it is “Matloob (recommended)”, if it is done for a “beneficial purpose, so to appear neat and handsome for the wife”. Does this mean that a man may have his cut into any style, as long as it is not partly shaven or done in emulation of the kuffaar?

ANSWER: Not only is this “fatwa” totally misleading, it opposes the blessed Sunnah of our beloved Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and it encourages practicing contrary to the Hadith Shareef.

Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) had warned us that this time would come when the ‘ulama’ would lead people into deviation and away from his Mubarak Sunnah.

عن ابن عمر أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم رأى صبيا قد حلق بعض شعره وترك بعضه فنهاهم عن ذلك وقال احلقوه كله أو اتركوه كله (سنن أبي داود)

Ibn Umar (radhiallahu anhu) reports that Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) saw a child whose head was partly shaven and partly left with hair. He (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) forbade them from this and said, ‘Shave it (the hair) fully or leave it (hair) fully.’” [Abu Dawood]

This hadith is clear and unambiguous. Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) instructed that either the entire head is shaved or the hair is left to grow equally. This is the Sunnah. This is the way of Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and his Sahabah (radhiallahu anhum). The Fuqaha are unanimous that this ruling applies to men as well as children.

Also, the simple stupidity of the person who issued this ‘fatwa’ is glaring. Firstly, it has been the teaching of our Fuqaha all through the ages that it is Haraam for men to cut their hair into multiple lengths. There exists treatises authored by our Akaabireen explaining this mas`alah in detail. Cutting the hair into multiple lengths is most certainly in emulation of the kuffaar, whether one does it intentionally or not. Based on the Ahaadith and practices of Sahaabah (radhiallahu anhum), Tabieen (rahmatullahi alaihim) and down the line, it is evident that the practice of Muslims and Islam in this regard is that men either shave their heads entirely or allow the hair to grow evenly to the length of Zulfah (up to the earlobes or slightly lower).

Further to this, the author of this ‘fatwa’ appears to forget another basic Sunnah for men, which is the donning of a topi. Men are supposed to have their heads covered all the time. Even in their homes as far as possible. Now, if a man has some fancy hairstyle to impress his wife, how and when will she ‘enjoy’ this fashion of his? Even when he removes his topi occasionally and temporarily at his home, his hair will be flat and matted (owing to having worn the topi the entire time). This especially applies if he follows another Sunnah which is of applying oil liberally on his hair, like Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) always did.

So instead of encouraging the Sunnah practices – which are evident in Saheeh Ahaadith – of keeping the hair at one length, wearing a topi and oiling the head liberally, the molvis of today are steering the masses in a totally different direction. Not only that, they have the gall to classify an act which contradicts the Sunnah as being “recommended” – Wa Laa Howla

Also, by this molvi claiming it is “recommended” to cut the hair into styles that are contrary to the Sunnah, he is implying that the Sunnah of Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is neither “neat” nor “handsome”!!!

To add fuel to this already raging fire, whilst being guilty of not endorsing and encouraging the Sunnah, they promote practices and values that totally oppose the teachings of Nabi (sallallahi alaihi wasallam). Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) instructed that the hair be kept on the head without trimming it (into different lengths or styles). And the molvis of today issue ‘fatwas’ contradicting Saheeh Ahaadith!

It is also glaringly obvious that when the hair is trimmed or fashioned into different lengths, the back of the head is usually shaved to neaten the hair or the hair around the ears are cut off to ‘neaten’ it. All these acts fall squarely into the prohibition of the Hadith (which appears in Bukhari Shareef, etc.) where Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) forbade qaza (cutting the hair into different lengths or as some have interpreted it as shaving part head and leaving part hair on). It is Haraam to cut the hair into ‘steps’.

It must be kept in mind that it is HARAAM for men to have their hair cut into different lengths. This prohibition is clear from the Ahaadith Shareef.

A man may either have his entire head shaved or allow his hair to grow normally as it would after having been shaved. Once the length reaches the earlobes it may be trimmed at the back bottom end only, keeping the length uniform. A man is allowed to have his hair trimmed off totally (as with hair machines nowadays into a no.2 or 3, etc.). In this way also, the hair is cut to the same length throughout. This can also be done with scissors. However, the back of the head should not be shaved if the entire head is not shaved. Also, if the length is kept long, then the hair around the ears should not be trimmed off.

May Allah Ta`ala grant us to ability to always practice on the Mubarak Sunnah of Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).


May Allah Ta`ala guide this Ummah.