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Is It Haram to Dye Your Hair in Islam

by Yasmine Cottrell

It is also an activity that has been carried out over hundreds of years

However, it should be noted that there are some fights (schools of thought) that declare dyeing the hair as haram. This article seeks to analyze this issue in light of Qur’anic verses, traditions (ahadith) of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w), classical jurists, modern Ulema, and other relevant factors.

There are some schools of thought in Islam that consider hair dyeing as haram (not permissible). This is mainly due to the following reasons:

“Allah Ta’ala has cursed the lady who adds false hair” (Sahih Bukhari 1/231 & Sahih Muslim 5/2155)
Prohibition on using Khalq (a perfume containing sulfur): “The Messenger of Allah cursed the one who wears it or perfumes with it.” (Sunan Abu Dawood #5251 & Ibn Majah # 3067)
“Do not wear perfume made from Khalq.” (Sahih Bukhari 5/58 & Sahih Muslim 4/1434)
“Do not wear silk, or a shirt that is dyed with saffron.” (Sunan Ibn Majah #2468)

The above are the major reasons cited by scholars who have declared dying as haram. However, there are many Ulema who have opined otherwise. The following are their respective opinions: Imam Abu Hanifa: Wearing yellow or green clothes does not entail any punishment. People can wear them even if they know that these colors come from hennĂ© plants. He sees the problem only in using other things to dye other parts of the body. For example, dyeing the eyebrows and beard is fine, as long as it’s not mixed with any other substance. (Baha’i al-Sana’i: 5/72)

However, Shafi`i and Malikis hold the view that using henna to color the hair or nails reduces one’s reward in paradise. This is because one can’t claim ignorance about what henna contains if he knows its use as a dye beforehand

However, some scholars such as Ibn `Abdil Barr and Imam al-Shawkani disagree that such an action amounts to reducing the rewards in paradise; rather, they relate it only to worldly punishments like facing disrepute from others. Under no condition would it lead to hellfire.

Hadith on Dying Hair

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Prophet Muhammad is reported to have said, “There are three things which when practiced diligently will guarantee Allah’s love for you: letting the beard grow long, wearing shoes in public and dyeing one’s hair.” (Sahih Bukhari, Abu Dawood) The Prophet also prohibited painting with henna but he did not entirely prohibit using henna in general because Imam Ahmed narrated that Aisha (r.a.) used to use it on her hands and feet (Sunan Ibn Majah #2468).

Among the companions of Prophet Muhammad who dyed their hair was Umar ibn al-Khattab, Sayyida Aisha, Zainab bint Jahsh, and Sayyida Umm Kulthum. (Sunan Abi Dawood #5251 & Sunan Nasa’i #1529)
This indicates that there is no religious edict against using henna for the hair or other places on the body.

The Prophet was not merely advising people to dye their hair in order to make them look beautiful. He was also teaching them about the benefits of dying one’s hair with henna because it has a cooling effect on the head, helps prevent dandruff, treats mild cases of leucoderma resulting from an excess of sun exposure, invigorates blood circulation and oxygen levels in the scalp, strengthens hair roots and prevents hair fall, restrains premature graying as well as invigorates the brain and prolongs one’s life.

Solutions to Islamic Shafi`i and Malikis:

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Islamic scholars disagree on whether using henna entails reducing paradise rewards because it is considered artificial; some say yes, others no. But they all agree that there is nothing haram (forbidden or sinful) in using henna for dyeing the hair.

All opinions about this issue are legitimate if we accept that each scholar has his own ijtihad (independent legal reasoning).

Nevertheless, we should not feel obliged to follow these rulings blindly; rather, we should use our wisdom and common sense to choose which ruling best suits us according to our circumstances. If you like coloring your hair with henna, then it’s a good idea to do so. If you think it’s haram for whatever reason, then avoid using henna on your hair.

Is it Haram to Dye Hair (Blue, Pink, Purple, Green, Silver)?

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“It is permissible to use any coloring matter for the hair and skin if it does not result in a permanent change of color.” (Imam Abu Hanifah) The thing to note here is that using henna on the hair has only a temporary effect. There is no danger or harm in using henna as long as you know what you are doing. In fact, there are many benefits that can be attained from dying your hair with dyes other than henna. You could check out nadula.com for inspiration.

There’s nothing wrong with dying one’s eyebrows, eyeliner, or lipstick…But please avoid putting those chemicals near your eyes because they’re extremely irritating and potentially harmful to your eye health! If you ever notice a severe burning sensation or inflammation of your eyes after applying make-up, you should immediately wash it off with clean water. If the irritation does not subside quickly, you should seek medical attention from a health care professional without delay.

Conclusion:

Using henna as a dye for the hair or any other part of the body is permissible, based on all four schools of Islamic jurisprudence (i.e., Shafi`i, Hanafi, Maliki, and Hanbali). The Prophet himself approved of using henna to color one’s hair and skin and so did most of his companions and family members who knew best about their religion.

Though we cannot say anything with certainty regarding whether it will lead to reducing paradise rewards because there are no specific proofs in this regard; we certainly can say that coloring your hair with henna has many benefits such as cooling down your head, preventing dandruff, treating leucoderma (a type of skin pigmentation disorder showing the skin discoloration mostly in the form of white patches), invigorating blood circulation and oxygen levels, strengthening hair roots, preventing premature graying among other benefits.

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