بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
GREY HAIR IN ISLAM: CAN WE COLOUR IT OR PLUCK THEM OUT ?
AND WHAT IS THE RULING ON SISTERS HAIR COLOURING ?
Gaining grey hair while in the state of islaam carries certain merits, and though brother rush to dye their beards as dark as possible to try and look younger, having grey hair also carries rulings which may not be known by many people.
To start, we must understand some basic Maqasid:
- “All acts and things other than acts of worship are permissible unless prohibited.”
- The second Maqasid we must grasp is “the prohibition of imitating the kuffar.”
GREY HAIR RULINGS
Grey hairs will be light for the Muslim on the Day of Resurrection, as is stated in saheeh ahaadeeth. In Sunan al-Tirmidhi (1634) it is narrated that Ka’b ibn Murrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “If a person’s hair turns grey in Islam, it will be light for him on the Day of Resurrection.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.
In Musnad Ahmad and Sunan al-Tirmidhi (1635) it is narrated from ‘Amr ibn ‘Absah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If a person’s hair turns grey for the sake of Allaah, it will be light for him on the Day of Resurrection.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.
Al-Bayhaqi narrated in Shu’ab al-Eemaan that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Grey hair is the light of the Muslim; no man’s hair turns grey in Islam but for every grey hair he will have one hasanah and will rise one degree in status.” Silsilat al-Ahaadeeth al-Saheehah (1243).
This hadeeth has supporting evidence in the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him), that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do not pluck out grey hairs, for they will be light on the Day of Resurrection.” And; “If a man’s hair turns grey in Islam, for each grey hair he will have one hasanah and will rise one degree in status.” Narrated by Ibn Hibbaan. Al-Albaani said in Silsilat al-Ahaadeeth al-Saheehah (3/247): its isnaad is hasan.
لا تنتفوا الشيب؛ فإنه نور المسلم يوم القيامة
It was narrated by Ibn ‘Adiyy and by al-Bayhaqi in Shu’ab al-Eemaan that Faddaalah ibn ‘Ubayd (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Grey hair is light on the face of the Muslim, so whoever wishes, let him pluck out his light.” Silsilat al-Ahaadeeth al-Saheehah (1244).
‘Amr b. Shu’aib, on his father’s authority, told that his grandfather reported the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Do not pluck out grey hair. If any believer grows a grey hair in Islam, he will have light on the Day of Resurrection. (This is Sufyan’s version). Yahya’s version says: Allah will record on his behalf a good deed for it, and will blot out a sin for it.“
لاَ تَنْتِفُوا الشَّيْبَ مَا مِنْ مُسْلِمٍ يَشِيبُ شَيْبَةً فِي الإِسْلاَمِ
. قَالَ عَنْ سُفْيَانَ ” إِلاَّ كَانَتْ لَهُ نُورًا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ” .
وَقَالَ فِي حَدِيثِ يَحْيَى
” إِلاَّ كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَهُ بِهَا حَسَنَةً وَحَطَّ عَنْهُ بِهَا خَطِيئَةً ”
These ahaadeeth indicate that it is makrooh (very disliked) to pluck out grey hairs from the head and the beard, and there is no difference between them in this ruling, because of the general meaning of these ahaadeeth; they do not apply only to the hair of the head or beard, so it is known that the ruling applies to both.
Al-Nawawi said in al-Majmoo’ (1/344):
It is makrooh to pluck out grey hairs, because of the hadeeth of ‘Amr ibn Shu’ayb from his father from his grandfather, that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do not pluck out grey hairs, for they will be light on the Day of Resurrection.”
لا تنتفوا الشيب؛ فإنه نور المسلم يوم القيامة
It is a hasan hadeeth that was narrated by Abu Dawood, al-Tirmidhi, al-Nasaa’i and others with hasan isnaads. Similarly our companions also said that it is makrooh, as was stated clearly by al-Ghazaali, al-Baghawi and others. If it were said that it is haraam because the prohibition is stated so clearly, that would not be far off the mark, and there is no difference between plucking hairs from the beard or the head.
DYEING THE HAIR/BEARD
Abd ar-Rahman ibn al-Aswad ibn Abdal-Yaghuth used to sit with us and he had a white beard and hair. One day he came to us and he had dyed them red, and the people said to him, ‘This is better.’ He said. ‘A’isha the wife of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, sent her slave girl Nukhayla to me yesterday. She swore that my hair would be dyed and she informed me that Abu Bakr as- Siddiq used to dye his hair.’ “
Yahya said that he heard Malik say about dyeing the hair black, ‘I have not heard anything certain on that, and other colours than that are preferable to me.”
Yahya said, “Not to dye at all is permitted, Allah willing, and there is no constraint on people concerning it.”
Firstly: Dyeing grey hairs is a Sunnah and is part of the teachings of Islam. It means dyeing grey hairs on the head and in the beard, for men. For women, it refers to the hair of the head.
It was reported that Abu Hurayrah said: the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“The Jews and the Christians do not dye their hair, so be different from them.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3275; Muslim, 2103).
إِنَّ الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَى لاَ يَصْبُغُونَ، فَخَالِفُوهُمْ
It was reported that Abu Umaamah (may Allaah be pleased him) said: “O Ansaar, dye your hair red and yellow, and be different from the A’aajim (Persians).” (Narrated by Ahmad, 21780. The isnaad of this hadeeth was classed as hasan by al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar in al-Fath, 10/354).
Secondly: Changing grey hair by dyeing it black is disliked and graded as haram by some. This is the opinion of scholars, who forbid it completely, because of the hadeeth of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), when he saw Abu Quhaafah. Jaabir said: the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him_ said, when he saw his head looking as white as the thaghaamah plant, “Change this…” (Narrated by Muslim, 2102).
As for the hadith in the Sunan of Ibn Majah narrated by Suhaib Al-Khair: “The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘The best thing with which you can dye your hair is this black (dye). It makes your women desire you and creates fear in the hearts of your enemies.’” Is Weak in both its isnad and matn.
It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbas said: There are people who dye their hair black like the crops of pigeons; they will never smell the fragrance of Paradise.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood, 4212; al-Nasaa’i, 5075).
“ قَوْمٌ يَخْضِبُونَ بِهَذَا السَّوَادِ آخِرَ الزَّمَانِ كَحَوَاصِلِ الْحَمَامِ لاَ يَرِيحُونَ رَائِحَةَ الْجَنَّةِ ”
Ibn Hajar said: the isnaad of this hadeeth is qawiy (strong), but there is some dispute as to whether it is marfoo’ (narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)) or mawqoof (the isnaad stops at the Sahaabi). But even if we agree that it is mawqoof, it still has the status of being marfoo’, because the Sahaabah would not have spoken on the basis of their own opinions, i.e., it must be something that they heard from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)). Fath al-baari, 6/499.
Thirdly: With regard to Katam (Black-Red Dye), Ibn Hajar said:
Katam is a plant from Yemen which produces a reddish – dark black dye. Henna produces a red dye, so when they are used together as a dye, they produce a colour that is between black and red. Fath al-Baari, 10/355.
Did the Sahaabah use katam? Yes, they did that and so did the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
It was reported that ‘Uthmaan ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Wahb said: we entered upon Umm Salamah (may Allaah be pleased with her) and she brought out a lock of hair of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to show us, and it was dyed red. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5558. Ibn Maajah (3623) and Ahmad (25995) added: “… with henna and katam.”)
The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The best things to use to change grey hair are henna and katam.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 1753; Abu Dawood, 4205; Ibn Maajah, 3622). Al-Tirmidhi said: the hadeeth is hasan saheeh).
إِنَّ أَحْسَنَ مَا غُيِّرَ بِهِ هَذَا الشَّيْبُ الْحِنَّاءُ وَالْكَتَمُ
Abu Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with him) dyed his hair with henna and katam. (Narrated by Muslim, 2341).
Fourthly: It may be noted that in the ahaadeeth where katam is mentioned , it is always accompanied by henna, because what is meant by the ahaadeeth is that the hair should be dyed with katam mixed with henna.
Ibn al-Qayyim said:
What is prohibited is making the hair pure black, but if something else is added to henna, such as katam etc., there is nothing wrong with that. Katam and henna make the hair a colour between red and black, unlike wasmah (woad leaves) which make the hair black as coal. This is saheeh.
(Zaad al-Ma’aad, 4/336).
(Wasmah or woad is a plant that is used for dyeing).
Hence we know that katam is not to be used on its own, because it gives a pure, Darkest coal-black colour, but it may be used with henna to give a black colour with reddish highlights. Hence we can reconcile the ahaadeeth.
The hair can be a darkest brown and all the way to Orange/Red. However it should never resemble the disbelievers, as opposing them in looks, precedes the Hair Colour Mas’ala.
Fifthly: Sisters also fall under the same ruling because; “The basic principle concerning things other than acts of worship is that they are permissible.”
Based on this it is permissible for a woman to dye her hair if she wishes, unless it is black dye that is used to conceal grey hairs, which is not permitted because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) enjoined changing grey hair but he said “avoid black”; or if this dye is something that is used only by kaafir women such that if this woman was seen, people would say that she is a kaafir woman, because no one uses this dye except kaafir women. In that case, it is haraam for a woman to dye her hair with it, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.”
“If the dye is free from these two elements, i.e., black to cover grey hairs and dye that is used only by kaafir women, then the basic principle is that it is permissible, so the woman may dye her hair if she wishes.” End quote.
Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him).
We ask Allah for beneficial knowledge that will benefit us in the dunya and akhira, may Allah guide us to what pleases Him best, Ta’ala.
والله تعالى أعلم
وصلى اللهم وسلم وبارك على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه والتابعين
أخوك أبو ناصر