Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan
Question: Is it permissible to donate my hair for a good cause (make wigs for kids with cancer)?
Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,
I pray this finds you in the best of health and faith.
The Legal Ruling
It is not permitted to donate hair for wigs, even if for good causes.
A general principle in Islamic Law is that it is impermissible to use any part of the human body, due to the honor bestowed upon the Children of Adam (peace and blessings be upon him). [Mawsu’a Fiqhiyya Kuwaitiyya]
Allah Most High states, “And We have certainly honored the Children of Adam” (17:70).
An exception to this principle would be cases of dire necessity (such as organ transplants to save a life, for example).
Specifically with respect to hair, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) forbade that the hair of one person be used by another. [see below]
Finally, it is worth mentioning that wigs made from other than human or pig hair are permissible to wear. [Fatawa Hindiyya; Usmani, Takmila Fath al-Mulhim (4:113)]
Related Chapter from Riyad al-Salihin [tr: Ustadha Ayesha Bewley]
296. Chapter: On forbidding joining on false hair, tattooing, and filing the teeth
Allah Almighty says, “What they call on apart from Him are female idols. What they call on is an arrogant shaytan whom Allah has cursed. He said, ‘I will take a certain fixed proportion of Your slaves. I will lead them astray and fill them with false hopes. I will command them and they will cut off cattle’s ears. I will command them and they will change Allah’s creation.'” (W4:116-118; H4:117-118)
1642. Asma’ reported that a woman asked the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, “O Messenger of Allah, my daughter was afflicted by measles and her hair fell out. I have given her in marriage, can I join on other hair to hers?” He said, “Allah has cursed anyone who joins hair together and the person to whose hair it is joined.” [Agreed upon; f: “Curse” meaning to be distanced from divine mercy]
One variant has, “The woman who joins hair and the woman who asks for it to be done.”
The like of it is related from ‘A’isha. [Agreed upon]
1643. Humayd ibn ‘Abdu’r-Rahman reported that he heard Mu’awiya on the minbar in the year when he made pilgrimage. He took a bunch of hair which was in the hand of a guard and said, “O people of Madina! Where are your men of knowledge? I heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, forbid the like of this and say, ‘The tribe of Israel was destroyed when their women adopted this.'” [Agreed upon]
1644. Ibn ‘Umar reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, cursed anyone who joins hair together and the person asks for it to be joined, and the tattooer and the woman who is tattooed. [Agreed upon]
1645. Ibn Mas’ud said, “Allah curses women who tattoo and are tattooed, women who pluck their eyebrows, and women who file their teeth to make gaps for beauty, altering Allah’s creation!” A woman spoke to him about that and he said, “Why should I not curse those the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, cursed when that is in the Book of Allah? Allah Almighty says, ‘So take what the Messenger assigns to you, and deny yourselves that which he withholds from you.’ (59:7)” [Agreed upon]
And Allah knows best.
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani