It’s a hairy issue


Q. Hair piece versus wig for men. Can either one of them be worn? Most of the Hadith I see are against woman wearing hairpieces, so does this allow men to wear it? (Answer: See circumstances)

Q. I was told that if the man is willing to take the sin then his wife can wear a wig. Does this seem correct? (Answer: No)

Q. I have hair loss…? Can anything artificial be placed on my head for marriage? I am pretty much bald. I have proof that rejection of proposals did take place due to my hair loss.(Answer: see below for details)

Q. Can one make a wig out of their own hair ?(Answer: No)

Q. Undergoing cancer treatment, can a wig be worn? I was told for treatment is can be used. Correct? Answer: (yes and no, see below as to conditions that apply)

Q. Is it permissible for one, due to circumstances, to wear a wig made from synthetic hair. (Answer: yes to synthetic, but see below as to conditions that apply to wearing of hairpieces and wigs.)

Answer: Walikumus-Salam

May Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) make bring ease to all our matters and reward all for their sincere questions which have been forwarded to us over a period of time. We also thank Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) for the patience he has given you all due to the extensive delay is responding. Upon viewing the various ahadith, we are inclined to give an answer abstaining for its usage.

‏ ‏حدثنا ‏ ‏محمد بن المثنى ‏ ‏وابن بشار ‏ ‏قالا حدثنا ‏ ‏أبو داود ‏ ‏حدثنا ‏ ‏شعبة ‏ ‏ح ‏ ‏و حدثنا ‏ ‏أبو بكر بن أبي شيبة ‏ ‏واللفظ له ‏ ‏حدثنا ‏ ‏يحيى بن أبي بكير ‏ ‏عن ‏ ‏شعبة ‏ ‏عن ‏ ‏عمرو بن مرة ‏ ‏قال سمعت ‏ ‏الحسن بن مسلم ‏ ‏يحدث عن ‏ ‏صفية بنت شيبة ‏ ‏عن ‏ ‏عائشة ‏
‏أن جارية من ‏ ‏الأنصار ‏ ‏تزوجت وأنها مرضت ‏ ‏فتمرط ‏ ‏شعرها فأرادوا أن ‏ ‏يصلوه ‏ ‏فسألوا رسول الله ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏عن ذلك ‏ ‏فلعن ‏ ‏الواصلة ‏ ‏والمستوصلة ‏

Sayyidina Aysha (RA) reports that a woman from the Ansar was married and she became sick and all her hair fell out. They (family) were intending to provide her with false hair. They asked the Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) responded, “Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has cursed the lady who artificially lengthens (her hair or someone else’s) hair and also the one who gets her hair lengthened. Muslim

‏ ‏حدثنا ‏ ‏محمد بن عبد الله بن نمير ‏ ‏حدثنا ‏ ‏عبدة ‏ ‏حدثنا ‏ ‏هشام ‏ ‏عن ‏ ‏فاطمة ‏ ‏عن ‏ ‏أسماء‏
‏جاءت امرأة إلى النبي ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏فقالت إن لي ضرة فهل علي جناح أن ‏ ‏أتشبع ‏ ‏من مال زوجي بما لم يعطني فقال رسول الله ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏المتشبع ‏ ‏بما لم يعط كلابس ثوبي زور ‏

Sayyidinah Asma’, daughter of Abu Bakr (RA) narrates that a woman came to Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) and said: My husband has another wife, so is it sinful of me to claim that he has given me what he has not given me (seeking permissibility for misrepresentation)?” Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) responded, the one who pretends that he has been given (be it hair, etc) what he has not been given, is just like the (false) one who wears two garments of falsehood. Muslim

‏ ‏حدثنا ‏ ‏يحيى بن يحيى ‏ ‏أخبرنا ‏ ‏أبو معاوية ‏ ‏عن ‏ ‏هشام بن عروة ‏ ‏عن ‏ ‏فاطمة بنت المنذر ‏عن ‏ ‏أسماء بنت أبي بكر ‏ ‏قالت ‏
‏جاءت امرأة إلى النبي ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏فقالت يا رسول الله إن لي ابنة ‏ ‏عريسا أصابتها حصبة ‏ ‏فتمرق ‏ ‏شعرها أفأصله فقال ‏ ‏لعن الله ‏ ‏الواصلة ‏ ‏والمستوصلة ‏

Sayyidina Asma’, daughter of Abu Bakr(RA), reported that a woman came to Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) and outlined: I have a daughter who has been newly married. She had an attack of smallpox and thus her hair had fallen; should I add false hair to her head? Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has cursed the woman who adds some false hair and the woman who solicits for it. Muslim

Although we only have used three Hadiths, we have made our conclusions based on many more. There are multiple things to take into consideration. The ahadith mentioned are utilized by us are found in numerous books, for example, in the works of Imaams Ahmad, Muslim, Bukari, etc. The succinct points which cause for rulings that pertain to wigs and hairpieces are based on some of the following points which must be reflected upon to understand the issue better. The critical points linked to the above questions are as follows:

Understanding the pulse of the rulings:

  • A married is brought forth to Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam). From other ahadeeth we learn that if a husband makes a request to his legitimate wife, then a woman should follow the request so long as there is Islamic validity to the request. The requested action must conform to the sharia. If the request does not conform to her idea of what is ‘normal,’ an unbiased pious judge (or mufti or learned scholar on the issue) must agree with her so as to accept her decline of a certain motion. Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) wanted couples to be content, and thus many martial rules are in actuality exist to help couples, even if we may think otherwise. Simply illustrated, a woman cannot keep optional fast without prior consent of her husband, due to certain relational needs that may cause hindrance to the relationship. Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) desire was not about female servitude, it was about helping relationships thrive. Quran is filled with such examples, and so is ahadith.
  • From the above ahadith, we learn that the woman were married, she was brought forth by her family, which also means they possibly wanted her to have hair on her head for beautification; another Hadith makes clear that sometimes a spouse may have a preference for long hair; despite such requests, Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) declined the appeal despite the unlimited possibilities of perceived potential harm to relationship. For example, her husbands marrying another woman, her being divorced as a lack for fulfilling the ‘ideal’ societal appeal, etc. Despite these possible concerns, she was still denied the right to what may resemble a hairpiece. There must a reason we are unaware of to illustrate its refusal in deen (religion).
  • We can ascertain that if the Hadith proves that if a woman is denied the right to a hairpiece and/or wig, then most certainly a man would be denied that right for the purposes of seeking a spouse. (Imaam Shafee disagrees with this as outlined below.)

§As far as attracting a spouse for marriage is concerned, two issues must be mentioned:

§ If a person wears a hair piece to attract someone with it, as in a hook and bait strategy, the hadith is clear that such an action is deceptive. Such deception is haram in Islam. Be it via hairpiece, or other forms of misrepresentation that would affect the relationship adversely. Should a person be willing to make clear the changes they have made to their ‘ornaments’ then the matter would be different. Such clarity should obviously be brought out only in discrete terms so as to safe guard the integrity of all parties.

§ If a person knows that they are bald or balding, and still married that person regardless of such outward ‘defect,’ then the issue of hairpiece would not apply.

  • Should a person seek medical justification for hairpiece/wig usage, had the word ‘illness’ not existed (repeatedly) in the ahadith, the matter would be easy to resolve. To ignore a word of hadith can be detrimental. The prohibition was linked to a medical condition. The word مرضت makes that very clear.
  • As far as using ones natural hair in concerned, as determined from the Ahadith of a man wanting his wife to have long hair, despite the woman being married and the husband having a desire for it from his halal wife, Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam)did not allow her to be dressed in such falsities. Note, if Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) did not allow her to wear false hair, then absolutely the issue of real hair, even if it belongs to oneself cannot take place. A subtle fine point to note is that in genuine Islam, once a man cuts his hair, it must be disposed of in a respectful manner. It is only during the Hajj can a woman cut her hair, and that too in limited quantity.

  • Other Hadith also make clear, that for a woman to use extension like hair products are clearly forbidden, Again, if it is forbidden for woman who sometimes function to beautify themselves, for men it would be impermissible to wear such ornamentation as well.

So what’s the ruling by the great Imaams:

The irony of modern day rulings are that the hairpiece and similar articles are allowed for woman, when above Hadith indicate that woman were the ones told not to wear it perplexes us most!!! In respect of the great mujtahids, their great wisdom has shed some critical points to this topic.   They have noted unanimously that:

  • Synthetic hairpieces and wigs are allowed under conditions of extreme need as outlined by the great imaams (May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala continue to bless them and all those that love the people of good, Ameen.)

o Imaam Abu Hanifas student Imaam Abu Yusuf allows for its permissibility. Thus, the Ahnaf allow for its permissibility in conditions of medical treatment.

o Imaam Shafee makes a more subtle point. He allows it for a man that is already married. His response indicates that since the hadith is clear that woman cannot wear it, a man can do so only for his wife! Thus, this wearing of a synthetich hairpiece should be confined to the home, since ones wife can only derive benefit from her husband within the privacy of the home enviroment.  (However, as outlined, if woman are more into beauty then a man, then in reality, a wearing of a wig for men would only be santioned only under strict conditions of shared intimacy, etc.)

o Imaam Malik has clearly forbidden its usage, for the Hadith and arguments against its usage are very clear.

o Hambalies are with the like Malikies and have the word ‘disliked, reprehensible’ used as well regarding its usuage.

The facts in a nut shell:

  • All scholars agree that wigs and hairpieces made from natural hair is prohibited.
  • All agree that in general circumstances it should not be worn by Muslims.
  • All agree that it cannot be used as trickery.
  • Most agree that it can be traded unless it is made out of synthetic fiber. And all agree that its consumer should be non-Muslims for the purposes of using it as personal ornamentation.
  • Difference as to its usage for medicals reasons does exist. An allowance has been made for patients undergoing treatment that facilitated hair loss.  The Hadith we use prove for its prohibition even under medical conditions, however, an allowance has been made under these circumstances.

And thus our answer is as follows:

Since enormous clarity does exist regarding the general consensus that hairpieces and wigs are prohibited in Islam, it should not be used. Ahadith sanction such a response. As for those suffering health conditions, it is best to abstain from its usage even under medical conditions, as mentioned by our Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam).Wearing it under medical concerns however would not make it haram.

Allah certainly knows best.


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