Hijab and Cutting Hair
1. What is the ruling of a female cutting her hair in regard to having it cut short and can a female cut her hair in a style of fashion
2. What would your response be to a female who says that I don’t wear the hijab because I am such a huge sinner and I need to fix myself first before I show that I am holy by wearing the hijab
Answer to question 1: (Hanafi)
Wa alaykum salam.
To answer your first question please read below the fatwa of Mufti Ebrahim Desai;
1. The Fuqahaa (scholars of jurisprudence) have ruled that it is impermissible for women to cut their hair. If a woman cuts her hair she will be sinful and accursed. Consider the following texts:
1.1. Khulasat Al-Fatawaa (546 ah) by Shaykh Taahir Bin Abd Al-Rasheed al-Bukhari:
ولو قطعت شعرها عليها ان يستغفر الله تعالي
“If a woman cuts her hair, then it is incumbent on her to seek forgiveness from Allah Ta’ala” (Kitaab Al-Nikah, vol 2, pg 52, Rasheediyya)
1.2. Al-Multaqat (556 ah) by Nasir Al-Deen Al-Samarqandi:
لا يحل للمراة قطع شعرها
“It is not permissible for a woman to cut her hair” (Kitaab Al-Nikah, pg 102, Ilmiyya)
1.3. Nisaab Al-Ihtisaab (820 ah) by Umar Bin Muhammad Al-Sanaami:
سئل ابو بكر عن امراة قطعت شعرها قال عليها ان تستغفر الله تعالي و تتوب ولا تعود الي مثله
“Abu Bakr (Al-Iskaaf) was asked regarding a woman that cuts her hair. He replied: It is incumbent on her to seek forgiveness from Allah Ta’ala, repent and not return to such doings” (Al-Ihtisaab Ala al-Nisaa, pg 142, Al-Taalib al-Jaami’ee)
1.4. Fatawaa Al-Bazaziyyah (827 ah) by Muhammad Bin Muhammad Al-Bazazi:
قطعت شعرها لزمها الاستغفار وان اذن الزوج لانه لا طاعة لمخلوق في معصية الخالق
“It is incumbent upon a woman that cuts her hair to seek forgiveness although her husband commands her to do so, because there is no obedience to the creation in an act that violates the laws of the creator” (Fatawaa Al-Bazaziyya with Al-Fatawaa al-Hindiyya, pg 379,vol 6, Rasheediyya)
1.5. Al-Ashbah Al-Nazaair (970 ah) by Ibn Al-Nujaim:
لا يجوز للمراة قطع شعرها
“It is not permissible for a woman to cut her hair” (Kitaab Al-Nikah, pg 178, Ilmiyya)
1.6. Al-Durr al-Mukhtaar (1088 ah) by Al-Haskafi:
وفيه: قطعت شعر رأسها أثمت ولعنت زاد في البزازية: وإن بإذن الزوج لا طاعة لمخلوق في معصية الخالق،
“If she (woman) cuts her hair, she has committed a sin and is accursed. Bazaziyya adds: ‘even if her husband consents because there is no obedience to anyone in an act of disobedience to Allah”. (Al-Durr al-Muhtaar with Shaami, Kitabul Hadri wal Ibahah, vol 6, pg 407, HM Sa’eed)
The above ruling of the Fuqahaa are supported by the following Hadith:
عن عبد الله بن عمرو قال: نهى رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم عن الجمة للحرة
“Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) prohibited women from allowing their hair to drop on their shoulders (by cutting it). (Al-Mu’jam al-Sagheer,Baabul Haa, Man Ishuhu Al-Hasan, vol 1, pg 229, Dar Al-Ammar)
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
From the above it is clear that a woman’s hair should be long and must not resemble a man’s (therefore, it should be below the shoulder); it must not imitate the styles and fashions of non-Muslim women.
In general, the books of the Hanafi school are very strict about women not cutting their hair.
The Hanafi scholars of Syria including the respected Sheikh Adib Kallas interpreted the Hanafi texts above with more leniency.
They say that there is no harm in a woman cutting her hair, as long as:
a) it remains feminine (and thus does not resemble men);
b) it is not cut with the express intent of imitating non-Muslim fashions; and
c) it is not cut excessively.
The texts in the Hanafi school indicating the impermissibility of women cutting their hair are to be conditioned by the above considerations according to them.
The Shafi school allows for women to cut their hair short if the husband prefers it that way.
Answer to question 2:
If a woman doesn’t wear the hijab because of her being a sinner and wants to fix herself first by becoming more holy before wearing the hijab my humble advice is “don’t delay today’s task until tomorrow.”
The notion that we must be perfect to start wearing the hijab or to start praying etc is a trick of the shaytan meant to prevent us from doing good deeds. These ideas usually stem from the notion that we must be perfect in our religious practice in order to be worthy enough to perform others. This is far from true, because we are human and it is in our nature to be imperfect.
Even one who prays and wears hijab will remain an imperfect sinner.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
Every son of Adam (human) makes mistakes, and the best of those who make mistakes are those who repent. (At-Tirmidhi)
Delaying the performance of good deeds often leads to that deed not being performed at all.
Modest clothing and religious values is something that must be instilled within women from childhood by her family members. After a woman reaches maturity or even before that in many cases she is too far gone from being able to accept modesty and religiosity as a core of her belief and way of life.
This is specially true in the post-feminist world.
In some cases women don’t want to wear the hijab because they want to look attractive seeking the attention of men.
It should not be that women spend their best and most youthful years of life adorning themselves seeking the attention of other men and as they start losing their attractiveness with age, only then they may consider wearing the hijab.
While Hijab is an obligation clearly ordained in the Quran and Sunnah,
we should encourage them wisely showing patience and kindness, not being harsh in judgment and showing intolerance towards Muslim women who do not wear the hijab as this can lead them to become more alienated from the Muslim community and result in a further loss of whatever Islamic practices they are adhering to.
Allah knows best.