What is the Ruling on Wigs and Extensions?


Asalamu alaykum,

What is the meaning of the following hadith and what are its legal implications? Is it allowed for people to go to authentic hadith like this and derive rulings?

Narrated ‘Aisha: An Ansari woman gave her daughter in marriage and the hair of the latter started falling out. The Ansari women came to the Prophet and mentioned that to him and said, “Her (my daughter’s) husband suggested that I should let her wear false hair.” The Prophet said, “No, (don’t do that) for Allah sends His curses upon such ladies who lengthen their hair artificially.” Related by al-Bukhari

The Answer:


According to Dr.al-Qaradawi the legal implication of this hadith, and there are many others like it, is that it is forbidden for a man or a woman to wear false hair: wigs, extension and so on. He states clearly that the nature of these different narrations [I don't have time to mention them all here but they are sound] is that of a definitive prohibition about which there is no doubt.

Conditions and Differences:

1. The scholars agree that if the extensions or wig is made from human hair then they are not permissible to wear.

2. If the hair comes from non-human sources [ pure animal] then the scholars differed over the permissibility of wearing such things :

  • The Hanafi’s considered it permissible as related on behalf of Abu Yusuf
  • The Maliki’s considered it forbidden
  • The Shafi’s allowed it but only for a woman’s husband
  • The Hanabalis took the same opinion as the Malikis except there is another statement, attributed to them, that considers it disliked

3. If the source of the hair is impure then the scholars agreed that it is forbidden

4. If the hair is synthetic then the scholars considered it permissible, and if a woman is married, it should be done after seeking her husband’s council as long as the goal is beautification, ease of lifestyle; not trickery or false identification. This is because the reason behind this prohibition is forgery and trickery. [Ahkam al-Sh'ar fil al-Islam Taha Muhammad Faris pg(s) 180-181. al-Fiqh al-Islami wa al-Dilatuhu, Dr. Wahba Zuhali vol. 4 pg. 2681. Contemporary Religious Rulings, Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi vol. 3. 427]

How do we know that the Hadith above prohibits such an action?

This is based on the legal axiom that any text in which Allah, or His Messenger [sa], threaten people with the Fire [may Allah save us from it], punishment, the word haram is used, or one of its synonyms, or in which Allah’s curse is mentioned, the legal implication of that text is understood to be forbidden; unless there is a secondary text which reduces the magnitude of the punishment to that of being merely disliked instead of forbidden, or if there is another text which conditions the text that contains the threat, thereby limiting its scope to a certain group of people making the act permissible to the others. Regarding this text, there is no such secondary text.

Why?

The reason for this prohibition is that wearing false hair involves trickery and deception; something which the Muslim is ordered to stay away from. For that reason, in another narration where the Prophet[sa] forbade this he [sa] referred to extensions as “falsehood.”

Some Examples of When One Could Wear Such Things:

     

  1. One born with a defect which causes his/her hair to be absent or abnormal
  2. One who suffers from a disease which cause his/her hair to fall out [chemotherapy is an excellent example]
  3. One who has been in some sort of accident [burning]
  4. Women forced to wear wigs out of desperation for an education: such as Tunisia where wearing the Hijab is forbidden, Turkey, until recently, and France.

Finally:

It is not allowed for anyone who is not qualified to issue fatwa. However, they can relate what they have heard from scholars to others but they should be very careful in relating that information. My advice is this: if you can’t swim, stay in the shallow end. Reason being that this is equivalent to practicing Law without passing the law examination [a federal crime]. People should be very careful in assuming that they understand texts and are able to derive rulings from them especially when they are relying on translations. For that reason, there is a famous axiom in the law that states: “If an unqualified person issues a ruling and he is correct, he is a sinner. If a qualified person issues a ruling, and he is incorrect, he is rewarded.”

It should be noted that four years in the college of Shari’ah at al-Azhar will not give one the right to issue fatwas. There is a two year program which requires an Azhari degree which one most go through before given a license in law. Thus, if this is the case of an Azhari who spent, at least, a good 6-7 years, and for most 15-16 years, of studying, what can we say of one who has had no training? As Ibn al-Qayyim mentioned in al-’Ilam, “One quick to give fatwa is the quickest to go to the Fire” and the statement of some of the Companions, “Only a fool will give fatwa for everything.”

This does not mean that Islam wants us to be ugly or impure. Islam encourages us to look, dress and speak in the best ways. If you have any more questions please feel free to contact me.

Allah knows best

Suhaib

www.suhaibwebb.com

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15 Comments

  1. Abdul Sattar says:

    Salam,

    Aw man! I have to get rid of my wigs! Hehe

    I’m glad you included the concluding few paragraphs about law.

    “…this is equivalent to practicing Law without passing the law examination [a federal crime]. People should be very careful in assuming that they understand texts and are able to derive rulings from them especially when they are relying on translations. For that reason, there is a famous axiom in the law that states: “If an unqualified person issues a ruling and he is correct, he is a sinner. If a qualified person issues a ruling, and he is incorrect, he is rewarded.”

    Especially that part.

  2. Aboo Imraan al-Mekseekee says:

    السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

    Brother Suhaib,
    You said:

    {In light of the above, I’m skeptical of the above translation and assume that “the girl’s hair falling out” did not mean one of the above, but, perhaps, it was more of a natural issue. It is well known that Muhsin Khan’s translation of the Qur’an and al-Bukhari are suspect for a number of reasons. This takes nothing away from the great effort they did, and I’m sure that they will be greatly rewarded for their efforts, inshallah. However, my concern is more of quality, understanding and not related to them as people or personalities.}

    Could you elaborate more on why the translation of the Noble Quraan and Saheeh al-Bukhaaree are suspect? You stated that this is well known but did not list sources to indicate this. You also stated that you were skeptical of the translation but you did not cite knowledge based reasons for this skepticism such as grammatical errors, etc. I await your reply.

    جزاك الله خيراً

    أبو عمرآن المكسيكي

  3. susan says:

    Assalamu Alaykum warahmatu Allah,

    The following hadeeth states that even if someone has a disease or illness, then he/she is still not allowed to wear a wig or extension:
    Book 24, Number 5295:
    Asma’, daughter of Abu Bakr, reported that a woman came to Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) and said: I have a daughter who has been newly wedded. She had an attack of smallpox and thus her hair had fallen; should I add false hair to her head? Thereupon Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: Allah has cursed the woman who adds some false hair and the woman who asks for it. – Sahih Muslim

    Ofcourse scholars are way more knowldegable than I am, but doesn’t this hadeeth in a way say that even though the daughter’s hair had fallen out due to smallpox, she still wasn’t allowed to put on false hair?
    Please correct me if I’m wrong or if I misunderstood this hadeeth.
    jazaka Allahu kheir.
    wa Allahu ta’ala a3lam

  4. admin says:

    Asalamu alaykum,

    Susan:

    Thanks for your comments. There are a few points that I need to put in the article after further review:

    1. The prohibition is related to the use of human hair. I don’t think that the translation carries that, plus I failed to mention it, very clearly.

    2. Synthetic hair is permissible to use as noted by Um Salama [may Allah be pleased with her] see Umdat al-Qari

    3. For the exception on the sick see ahkam al-Sh’ar fe al-Islam by Taha Muhammad Faris

    5. Also, one of my first year school book in al-Azhar mentioned something similar to this.

    SDW

  5. admin says:

    Aboo Imraan

    Asalamu alaykum,

    This is a great question and you are correct to ask for evidences. First and foremost I would recommend you read the introduction to Sahih international’s translation of Qur’an. There, in some detail, they note the methodology used by Muhsin and Khan in translating the Qur’an. It is well known that they did not translate but merley combined the works of other translations, added footnotes and hadith from al-Bukhair’s chapter on tafsir. I have problems with the names of al-Tabari, al-Qurtubi and Ibn Kathir being used, as their is very little reference given to them. At least there is not enough that their names should be put on the front of the texts. As for the Sahih of al-Bukhari I have heard different Imams, who are masters of the Arabic language and English, say that it has some issues. In addition, I’ve noticed problems in the translations as well. That does not mean one should not read it, nor does it take anything away from the translators.

    SDW

  6. Tree says:

    Assalamalaykum

    A friend pointed out this article and a specific paragraph

    http://www.anwary-islam.com/life/men_wonem_menses.htm
    “ABOUT SALAT

    1 : If one is giving birth to a child but only a small portion of the child had appeared, then also it is Fard (obligatory) to offer Salat, provided she is conscious. To give up Salat is not proper. But if offering of Salat endangers the life of the child, then she is allowed to give up Salat. In the same way, if the mid-wife thinks that offering of Salat on her part may harm the child to be born, then she also cane give up the Salat. But all of them should offer compensatory Salt as soon as possible.”

    Could you shed some light?

    Also I find that rulings people find online published by a Shaykh they never heard of and then spreading it around is frightening. I know full well my knowledge doesn’t compare to anyone that’s been studying for years… but I feel online anyone can call themselves an Imam… is my alarm even valid? Where’s the balance?

    Jazakullahkhair

  7. susan says:

    Assalamu Alaykum,
    jazaka Allahu kheir. That cleared things up a lot.
    insha’Allah i’ll try checking out the book by Taha Muhammad Faris. It seems like it deals with the issue in depth.
    ~susan

  8. Aboo Imraan al-Mekseekee says:

    السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

    Brother Suhaib, may Allah reward you for the prompt reply.

    So that we understand one another my brother in Deen I comprehend that you are not warning from reading the translations of the Noble Quraan and Saheeh al-Bukhaaree. However there is a smidget of disparagement implied in this post that is not befitting for one who is seeking knowledge. May Allah guide me, you, and all of the Muslims to what is pleasing to Allah.

    Our Salaf would take great efforts in enjoining the good and forbidding the evil based on the Book and the Sunnah. When errors appeared amongst them they would look for the best of ways to correct one another in a matter that produced positive results and benefit. In Ibn Taymiyyah’s “Al-Amr bil-Maroof wa an-Nahee an al-Munkar” he relays a beautiful statement from al-Qadhee Aboo Ya’laa who once said:

    لا يأمر بالمعروف أو ينهى عن المنكر إلا من كان فقيهاً فيما يأمر به فقيهاً فيما ينهى عنه رفيقاً فيما يأمر به رفيقاً فيما ينهى عنه حليماً فيما يأمر به حليماً فيما ينهى عنه

    (There is no enjoining the good or shunning the evil except for one who is Faqih (one with understanding) in what he enjoins, understanding in what he shuns of evil, Rafeeq (one who is gentle) in what he enjoins, gentleness in what he shuns of evil, Haleem (one who has patience and forbearance) in what he enjoins, patience and forbearance in what he shuns of evil.)

    This is very important Yaa Akhee al-Kareem! As you know translating is not easy. It is an extremely difficult task and is always prone to error because of the intricate details of the Arabic language that are lost in translation. More so the translation of Allah’s Book. If we find error in a translation then we should contact the publishers of the book and notify them of the error. If the book is out of print and old then we should clarify the error along with the evidences for the public in a knowledge based manner. Merely hinting to errors in posts is not becoming for the students of knowledge. Allah has laid a responsibility on the Ulamaa and thier students and that is to be sincere and to convey Allah’s Book and the Sunnah of His Messenger-may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him-to thier Muslim brothers and sisters. We should always be aware of this huge responsibility and be concerned for one another when we err or when we correct others.

    Likewise when conveying what others say the students of knowledge should always reference thier sources so that others may refer to the source. In this case may Allah reward you, you supplied me with the source for your first statement which was Sahih International but there was no mention of the names of the Imams who found errors in the English translation of Saheeh al-Bukhaaree or the explanation of the errors that they found. May Allah forgive us for our shortcomings.

    If anything I said was incorrect and against the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger-peace & blessings be upon him-then it was from me and from the Shaytaan and Allah and His Messenger are free from it.

    If anything I said was correct then it was from Allah Alone the Mighty & Majestic.

    I ask Allah that He accept my advise to my brother Suhaib and that my brother will not hold it against me just as I would accept his advice and not hold it against him and Allah is a witness over what we say.

    Your brother in Islaam, the one in need of Allah and your Duaas.
    Aboo ‘Imraan al-Mekseekee

  9. Abu Hamza says:

    Asalamualaikum wrt wb,

    Thank you Ustadh for the nice post. I just wanted to add some information from my personal experience that might help.

    I recently completed, by the grace of Allah, a reading of Saheeh al-Bukhari for Ijaza in Dabt (accurate transmission) with the noble Shaikh Na’eem Ar-Raqsoosi, in Damascus. The noble shaikh has an Isnaad going back to Imam al-Bukhari, through many noble Ulema, including Shah Wali Allah of Delhi. The program concluded about 2 weeks ago.

    The noble Shaikh made every effort to point out variations in wording found in the various manuscripts of Saheeh al-Bukhari and correct some errors (found mostly in the names of transmitters.)

    During the course of the reading, I relied on Darusalaam’s Saheeh al Bukhari, with accompanying translation by Dr. Muhsin Khan.

    As far as the Arabic text is concerned, I found Darussalam’s text to be highly accurate, with most of the errors pointed out by the Shaikh correctly printed.

    As far as the English translation is concerned, I found it to be superb, with even extremely ambiguous terminology accurately translated, no doubt with the help of Fath-al-Bari.

    Parenthetical phrases were rightly placed to clear up ambiguities. Footnotes are rare and when found very helpful, though on occasion redundant. Cross references are also given pointing to relevant ahadith.

    Shaikh al-Bukhari’s famous fiqhi chapter titles are also given accurate rendition into English.

    In summary, I did not find any contradicitions between the Arabic and English, though Dr. Khan occasionally omitted translation of ahadith of an ambiguous geographic nature, such as the locations where the Prophet, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, used to stop to pray near Madina. My knowledge of Arabic is based on 6 years of study, while English is my native tongue.

    Regarding the translation of the Noble Quran, I can only comment briefly on it from my personal experience as a student of knowledge.

    Its translation is very literal, which aided me as a beginning student of Arabic and in memorization. Yusuf Ali, for example, translates the first verse of Surah Baqarah as A.L.M. and calls them mystical letters, while Khan translates it Alif Laam Meem, and says none but Allah knows their true meanings. I also found Dr. Khan’s footnotes and paranthetical references to be accurate as I later went on to learn tafseer from books such as Tafseer Ayat al-Ahkaam.

    Of course, both translations have positives and negatives, Yusuf Ali being in general more readable, while Muhsin Khan being more close to the literal meaning. Indeed, there is no true translation of the Quran.

    The MSA’s used to receive a large number of copies of the Quran with English translation provided for free. But unfortunately, due to some controversy enflamed by the enemies of Islam, this has stopped.

    Whatever our differences are, I wish we could put them aside for the greater good. These translations are put together for the sake of Allah, seeking His Bounty. We should try to have a good opinion of their authors and not think evil of them.

    I pray to Allah that we as Muslims can love each other, and realize that none of us are free of imperfections, and that we can overlook each others’ faults. May Allah bless Imam Suhaib and all the brothers working to propogate the deen. Ameen.

    And Allah knows better.

  10. Hidayah says:

    Assalaamu alaikum,

    If you are looking for an alternate translation of al-Bukhari (and I too have found mistakes in Mohsin Khan’s), then I stumbled across one done Ustadhah Aisha Bewley: http://www.sunnipath.com/Library/Hadith/H0002P0000.aspx. Hope it helps!

    Salaams all.

  11. Qudrat Ali(Troy Michigan) says:

    Can a Man use a synthetic Wig?

  12. Revlon Wigs says:

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  13. luna says:

    can i wear a pink wig not from human hair

  14. mariam says:

    Assalamu alaikum.
    As an african women we are blessed with very short and stubborn hair that is very hard to maintain. My question is can I wear extention (not human hair) because the rumour here is that my ablution will not be valid with the extentions. Jazakallahu khair.

  15. salima says:

    As salaamu alykum and Ramadan kareem,I have a important question it’s nearly fajar in dubai and I really want to perform fajar but I have weave in my hair and I really want to perform salah and fast but would ALLAH except it please don’t think bad of me I really want to turn back to my lord

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