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Shaving the Hair of a Sacrificial Animal

Answered by Shaykh Salman Younas

Question: Assalam aleykum

Is it permissible to trim (shave) the hair of a sheep you intend to prepare for Qurbani at Eid Ul Azha?

In Pakistan the temperatures get too hot during summers, and therefore ticks and insects are a real problem during the rains, and summers, and with dense wool/fur they get a place to hide easily and more time is spent on removing them by hand.

Answer: assalamu alaykum

In the Hanafi school, the general rule is that the sacrificial animal is not benefitted from before it is sacrificed. Therefore, one is not permitted to milk the animal, cut its hair/wool, lease it to another, use it to carry a load, and so forth.

However, if there is a need to cut/shave the hair of the sacrificial animal, it would be permitted to do so. One should give the hair/wool away in charity though and not benefit from it oneself. (Ibn Abidin, Hashiya)

[Shaykh] Salman Younas

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Salman Younas  graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman where he spent five years studying Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir. He is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Oxford and continues his traditional studies with scholars in the United Kingdom.

Can I Work for a Hair Restoration Company?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Assalam aleykum

I’ve recently gotten a job for a Hair Restoration Company as an accountant. This company sells hair products to help with balding and also sells Hair Systems (wigs). I have been reading a lot lately and I am kind of worried that my money earned from working with this company is haram since the majority of there sales are from Hair Systems (Wigs). I have nothing to do with the actual selling, promoting, or producing of the the Hair Systems (wigs) themselves since I am just the accountant for them and do all there book keeping and recording of sales and reconciliations and work in the back office. With all this being said, are my earnings from this company Halal or Haram?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

The permissibility of one’s work rests on two factors:

(i) the actual job being permitted, and
(ii) the course of income for one’s salary being permitted.

Regarding the job of an accountant, the general rule is that it is a permitted line of work.

As for the source of your income, the main problem a Hair Restoration Company potentially poses is the sale of real human hair. Synthetic wigs are permitted to sell, and the the money earned from their sale is also valid. However, the vast majority of scholars do not permit benefitting from real human hair or selling it.

Thus, if the majority of the income generated by this company is through the sale of wigs that are made from real human hair, and there is no other substantial source of permitted wealth it generates to pay its employees, then the income received from such a company would not be valid.

In this context, it is best to find alternative work. However, this does not have to be done immediately. Rather, one can continue working in their current job until they secure another form of employment. You should note though that the situation you are in is not as severe as many others, such as working as an accountant for an insurance company, since there is a minority opinion that deems the sale of real human hair to be valid. According to this opinion, it would seem that there is be no issue with your employment and income even if the majority of the company’s wealth was generated through the sale of human hair. Nonetheless, this is a minority opinion. (al-Ajnas, 2:24)

[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas  graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman where he spent five years studying Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir. He is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Oxford and continues his traditional studies with scholars in the United Kingdom.

Should We Bury Our Hair and Nails After Removal?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Should we bury our hair and nails after removal?

Answer: Allah Most High tells us in the Qur’an, ‘Verily we have honoured the Children of Adam.’ [17.70].

It is because of this honour of the human being that scholars have stated that it is recommended to bury hair and nails when removed, as well as any other body parts separated from a human body.

[Mughni al Muhtaj, Bushra al Karim]

For further details, please also see related:

Disposing of Hair and Nails

Warmest salams,

[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

Should I Have a Beard If I Want to Have Long Hair?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

I have heard many people say that you must have a beard if you want to grow a zulfa (having long hair). Is this a condition of growing a zulfa? What are the conditions of growing a zulfa and how to maintain it?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

It is generally permissible to grow your hair to one of the lengths established from the prophetic practice. I’m unaware of any correlation between the permission of doing this and growing a full beard. Rather, you can grow your hair as you like, including doing so in the sunna manner.

It is soundly reported that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whosoever has hair, let him honour it.” [Abu Dawud, al-Sunan] Similarly, it is also reported that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Honour hair.” [al-Bazzar, al-Musnad]

Hence, whatever you decide to do, you should ensure that you look after your hair in a manner befitting somebody grateful for the blessing. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) would oil and comb his blessed hair often; so anybody wishing to fulfil this particular sunna should strive to do so in a manner which corresponds to his noble practice.

[Kattani, Munyat al-Sa’il (62/64); Munawi, al-Taysir Sharh al-Jami’ al-Saghir]

Please also see: The Braids of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) and: Disposing of Hair and Nails and: Are Women Allowed to Cut Their Hair? and: The Fiqh of Hair Dyes

And Allah Most High knows best.

wassalam,

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.

Does One Have to Shave or Cut Their Hair Short During the Pilgrimage? (Shafi’i)

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

I’ve been growing my hair long and I’m going to Umra soon and I don’t want to shave my head all off. What can I do?

Answer: Assalam ‘alaykum. I pray you’re well insha’Allah.

Trimming just a small length from the hair suffices for the act of the pilgrimage, though one should be aware that the reward is commensurate to the amount of hair cut.

Shaving the Hair during the Pilgrimage

For men, the optimal and sunnah is to shave the entire head with a razor. The minimal sunnah of shaving is to shave three strands of hairs.

One could even pluck or burn all the three hairs to fulfil the basic sunnah, as the word used in the ruling is simply to ‘remove’ the hair, though shaving is preferable.

Trimming the Hair during the Pilgrimage

If one does not shave the head then it is permissible to trim the hair, ideally over the entire head evenly. However, the reward is greater in shaving than trimming.

When trimming, the minimum obligatory amount of hair to be trimmed, for both men and women, is also three hairs.

In the Shafi’i school, the absolute minimum length to trim can be just a tiny amount of the hair and from any part of the head, while it is preferred to trim the length of a fingertip (anmula), which is a little less than 2cm (these rulings apply to trimming the whole hair or just three hairs). In the Hanafi school, the minimum amount that needs to be trimmed is the extent of a fingertip from a quarter of the whole head hair. (Refer to this answer for more details on the Hanafi position).

As a side note, women do not shave their hair. The optimal for a woman is to evenly trim the ends of the whole head of hair the length of a fingertip.

These rulings apply to Hajj and Umrah.

[Tuhfa al Muhtaj, Mughni al Muhtaj]

In conclusion, you may keep your hair long by performing the absolute minimum of shaving/plucking or trimming a very small amount from 3 hairs, in order to exit from the state of ihram, however, the reward will also be the minimum. If trimming, it would be religiously more precautionary, if possible, to trim a fingertip length from a quarter of the head hair, in order for it to be valid in both the Shafi’i and Hanafi schools. And Allah knows best.

I hope this clarifies the matter for you. Please keep us in your duas during your pilgrimage, and if visiting the blessed Prophet ﷺ in Medina. May Allah accept it from you insha’Allah.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

Should I Abstain From Cutting My Hair and Nails Before Performing the Ritual Slaughter?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

Is it recommended for the person performing the ritual slaughter (udhiya/qurbani) to abstain from cutting their hair and nails? I have seen hadiths going against it.

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

It is recommended for the person performing the ritual slaughter (udhiya/qurbani) to abstain from cutting their hair, nails and the like until after the sacrifice has taken place. However, doing otherwise is not disliked (makruh).

There are clear traditions (hadith) in which the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) instructed avoiding such personal upkeep before the sacrifice, but given that we have Prophetic precedence in not doing so, the command is considered to be for recommendation.

‘A’isha (may Allah be well pleased with her) said, “I used to plait the garlands of the sacrificial camels of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace). He would send his camels to the Ka‘ba, but nothing was unlawful to him which is lawful for a man to do with his wife until the people returned.” [Bukhari]

[Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar ‘ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar (1.565); Qari, Mirqat al-Mafatih Sharh Mishkat al-Masabih]

Please also see: Should I Abstain From Cutting My Hair And My Nails If I Intend to Sacrifice? and: Cutting Hair and Nails Before Slaughtering on Eid

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,
[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.

My Husband Wants Marital Relations Every Day, and Washing My Hair So Often Makes It Fall Out. What Do I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam alaykum,

I used to pray before I got married, and even performed tahajjud daily. However, my husband wants to make love daily, and I am unable to wash my hair every day because my hair falls out. I cannot say no to him, but I want to pray. He is a loving husband, but doesn’t pray at all. Do I have to wash my hair for ghusl?

Answer: Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.

Prayer

Dear sister, I pray that Allah grants you the strength and courage to return to your obligatory prayers, and to tahajjud. Establishing your prayer is the most important thing you can do in your life.

Please make your repentance, and strive to do everything your power to return to your prayer. You will need to pay back all the prayers you have missed. Please make a timetable and commit to it.

Ghusl

It is obligatory for you to wash your hair when you make ghusl. I encourage you to think of creative solutions. Is it possible for you to cut your hair?

Please see your doctor and a nutritionist. Perhaps you are lacking in certain vitamins and minerals, especially if you are breastfeeding. Please find out what supplements you should be taking.

Marriage

“And know that your properties and your children are but a trial and that Allah has with Him a great reward.” [Qur’an, 8:28]

When registration reopens, please enrol in and complete this course: Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriages.

I pray that this course will help you gain a better understanding about the foundation of a successful Islamic marriage – sincere concern. This concern does not stop at the dunya, but it extends all the way to the akhirah.

Because of this, please make dua for Allah to guide your husband. Establishing his prayer is extremely important. Please be a good example for him. Be a woman of tahajjud again, and be that example for your child. Ramadan is coming soon, so prepare for that by establishing your prayers.

Connection

How can you nourish your connection to Allah? Could you give in regular charity? Listen to and read more Qur’an? I encourage you to listen to podcasts such as Content of Character and The Rawha.

I pray that Allah grants you the courage and wisdom to return to prayer.

Please see:

Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered
A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)

Wassalam,
[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.

Should I Clear All My Doubts Before Converting to Islam? Should I Change My Name and Cut My Hair?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: I am considering converting to Islam and have several questions.

Should I change my name due to it having un-Islamic meanings? It means ‘Christ-bearer’.

My hair is long, it is past my shoulders but is neat and kept clean. Am I commanded to cut it if I convert?

I still am researching and trying to clear doubts, should I take my Shahadah now or wait and clear my doubts first and say it with a clear mind?

Answer:  In the Name of Allah, the Merciful and Compassionate

Assalamu alaikum,

I hope you’re doing well, insha’Allah.

You appear to already be a Muslim, as a Muslim is anyone who believes in God, and accepts the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) as being a true Prophet of God. The outward act of converting—through uttering the testification of faith—is simply in order for others to know you to be Muslim.

The questions you ask are details of religious practice, and are not matters that should hold you back from embracing the faith.

Moreso, they are straightforward matters:

One. You don’t need to change your name. When people entered Islam—Arab or non-Arab—the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) did not order them to change their names, unless their names had clearly negative meanings.

Neither your first name nor last name has a negative meaning. As Muslims, we love and believe in Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) as a great Prophet of God.

Two. There is nothing wrong with long hair: The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) himself often wore his hair to his shoulder blades, or even slightly beyond. [Tirmidhi, Shama’il]

[Shaykh] Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani is a scholar and researcher of Islamic law and Executive Director of SeekersHub Global After ten years overseas, Shaykh Faraz returned to Canada in the Summer of 2007. In May 2008 he founded SeekersHub Global to deal with the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge—both online and on the ground—in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He has been repeatedly listed as one of the world’s 500 most influential Muslims (The Muslim500).

Can a Man Shave His Armpits? What About Other Areas of His Body?

Answered by SeekersHub Answers Service

Question: Assalam alaikum,

Can a man shave his armpits? What about other areas of his body?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

1. Removing the hair from one’s chest or back is against proper manners for men. [ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar; al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya]

2. The scholars note that removing the pubic hair is a sign of the Muslims. [al-Kasani, Bada’I al-Sanai’] The mother of believers Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) related that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said that removing the pubic hair is from one’s natural disposition. [Muslim]

The area that is intended is what is above the male or female front private part (and what surrounds it) up to the navel. [ibn Nujaym, al-Bahr al-Raiq; Tahtawi, Hashiyyat al-Tahtawi]

Any means used to remove the hair is permissible, such as shaving, waxing, or plucking, on the condition that it achieves the overall purpose of cleanliness. [Tahtawi, Hashiyyat al-Tahtawi; ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

The ruling for how often one should remove the hair is as follows:

a. recommended: every week, preferably on Fridays

b. permissible: every 15 days

c. prohibitively disliked (sinful): to leave beyond 40 days

[al-Nahlawi, al-Hadhr wa al-Ibaha]

The hair within the pubic area and armpits should be removed. It is disliked to leave this till the hair becomes long.

It is recommended that this be done weekly, ideally on Friday (before the Friday prayer). It is not disliked if this done at least once every 15 days. It is blameworthy if not done within 15 days, and sinful beyond 40 days.
[Tahtawi, Hashiyat al-Tahtawi `ala al-Maraqi al-Falah]

The wisdom behind this law of the Shari`a is apparently cleanliness. However as with all other laws of the Shari`a this is merely according to our understanding. There may be many other wisdoms that we are unaware of. The law has to be carried out – even if the wisdom is not understood.

Please see: Removing Chest & Pubic Hair

And Allah alone gives success.

wassalam,

SeekersHub Answers Service

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Can I Dye My Hair in Black?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum,

Can I dye my hair in black?

Answer: Assalam alaykum wa rahmatullah,

If pure black dye is used for mere adornment, many scholars deem it disliked (makruh). However, there is some difference of opinion within the school about the matter as some scholars held its permissibility based on what they understood from Qadi Abu Yusuf.

Those that permit it interpret the traditions (hadith) which seem to interdict its usage as specifically referring to the deceptive usage of such black dye, making oneself look younger to a prospective spouse, for instance. According to the other position, the basis is that using black dye is disliked due to the clear command to abstain.

Note that this refers to pure black dyes, yet not those that are simply very dark browns or tending toward black and the like. Such alternatives would generally be superior and more praiseworthy to use in order to avoid committing what some deemed an enormity (kabira).

[Ibn Mazah, al-Muhit al-Burhani; Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar ‘ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar (5.271); Usmani, Takmilat Fath al-Mulhim bi Sharh Sahih Muslim]

Please also see: The Fiqh of Hair Dyes and: Is it a Sunna for Men to Dye their Hair and Beard?
And Allah Most High alone knows best.

Wassalam,

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam was born and raised in Ipswich, England, a quiet town close to the east coast of England. His journey for seeking sacred knowledge began when he privately memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown at the age of 16. He also had his first experience in leading the tarawih (nightly-Ramadan) prayers at his local mosque. Year after year he would continue this unique return to reciting the entire Quran in one blessed month both in his homeland, the UK, and also in the blessed lands of Shaam, where he now lives, studies and teaches.