Women Clipping Hair


Respected mufti sahib what is the limit of cutting women hair on head. How much have to be kept and where it can be cut from. Jazakumullah

Answer: حامدا ومصليا ومسلما

In normal circumstances, it is sinful and impermissible for women to cut their hair to any extent from any side, even if it is to please their husbands.[1] If one cuts it to resemble the fussāq, kuffār[2] or men[3] then the sin would be graver.[4]

However, if one is compelled to cut it due to a valid sharʿī reason then there will be some leeway in cutting to the extent needed.

Some valid reasons mentioned by our ʿulamā are:

  1. Due to a sickness that necessitates cutting her hair.
  2. A wound which necessitates cutting her hair.
  3. To treat or operate on her head.[5]
    1. Even if a woman has one of these valid excuses and needs to cut her hair, she should not misuse the opportunity by cutting her hair shorter than necessary, nor should she style it in the manner of the kuffār and fussāq.
  4. To cut the hair below the buttocks, if it grows longer than one’s buttocks and it looks unpleasant or hampers routine hygiene.[6]
  5. To slightly trim off (a fingertip in length as is done in ajj/ʿUmrah) split ends with the intention that the hair grows longer.[7]
  6. To slightly trim off (a fingertip in length as is done in ajj/ʿUmrah) the ends of long hair to somewhat level it out.[8] We said ‘somewhat’ because it is not possible to level out each and every strand of hair.[9] So, this leeway should not be misused.
    1. There is no allowance in Sharīʿah for the woman to cut more than a finger-tip off the edge of her hair in these two cases.[10]
    1. Some ʿulamā do not give leeway for these last two reasons.[11]
    1. In all the cases, once the need no longer exists, the permission to cut also ends.[12]

This ruling is for girls who are bālighah or close to bulūgh (maturity).[13] As for younger girls below the age of seven,[14] then some ʿulamā state that there is no problem in cutting their hair even shorter (than the length of the buttocks) for the purpose of tidiness, unless one cuts it to imitate the kuffār and fussāq, which would then be impermissible.[15] Others restrict its trimming to the aforementioned mentioned rules.[16]

And Allāh knows best

Muhammad ibn Suleman

Dārul Iftā wal Irshād,

Sirājul ʿUlūm Institute

26th Dhul Ḥijjah, 1441 – 8/17/2020

Reviewed and concurred by:

Mufti Muhammad Mahdi

Mufti Mujahid Dan Lubrin

Mufti Reza Deonarine

Guiding Stars Academy

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[1] Durr Mukhtār (maʿ Shāmī) Vol.9 Pg.583

[2] Abū Dāwūd #4031

[3] Bukhārī #5885 and ʿUmdatul Qārī Vol.22 Pg.63

[4] Fatāwā Raḥīmīyah Vol.10 Pg.120, Fatāwā Dārul ʿUlūm Zakarīyah Vol.7 Pg.362

[5] See: Fatāwā Baiyyināt Vol.4 Pg.405

[6] Fatāwā Raḥīmīyah Vol.10 Pg.120, Fatāwā barā-e Khawātīn Vol.2 Pg.532, Kitābun Nawāzil Vol.15 Pg.524

[7] Kitābun Nawāzil Vol.15 Pg.521-522

[8] Kitābun Nawāzil Vol.15 Pg.522-3

[9] See: Fatāwā Raḥīmīyah Vol.10 Pg.119

[10] Kitābun Nawāzil Vol.15 Pg.522. For the istidlāl on Ḥajj/ʿUmrah, see “The Issue of Women Cutting Their Hair” by Mufti Reza Deonarine, an English summary of an Arabic paper by Mufti Muhammad Ishaq Bhana on the topic. This article should also be consulted for an evidence-based discussion on this issue.

[11] See: Fatāwā Raḥīmīyah Vol.10 Pg.119, Aāp Ke Masāil Aur Unkā Ḥall Vol.8 Pg.326

[12] Fatāwā Baiyyināt Vol.4 Pg.405, Fatāwā Raḥīmīyah Vol.10 Pg.122

[13] ‘Close to bulūgh’, meaning a murāhiqah. Murāhaqah is defined as that stage where a child is close to bulugh but has not yet become bāligh. The fuqahā mentions that if such a child claims being a bāligh their claim is accepted. The fuqahā also state that the youngest a boy can become bāligh at is 12 years of age and the youngest a girl can become bāligh at is 9 years of age. Therefore, a murāhiq boy is one between 12 and 15 years of age who did not become bāligh as yet while a murāhiqah girl is between 9 and 15 years of age who did not become bālighah as yet. The fuqahā also state that a murāhiq boy or girl is like a bāligh in many laws. [See: Takmilah Fatḥil Qadīr Vol.7 Pg.323, Al-Madkhal Fiqhī ʿĀm by Mustafa Zarqaa Pg.816-817 and Qāmūsul Fiqh by Khalid Saifullah Vol.5 Pg.74-75]

[14] “Command your children to pray when they reach the age of seven.” [Sunan Abū Dāwūd #495. Also see: Al-Madkhal Fiqhī ʿĀm by Mustafa Zarqa Pg.801-804] Therefore, from the age of seven, one should start to instill within the girl those habits which would be incumbent on her when she becomes bālighah, which can occur as early as nine years of age.

[15] Fatāwā Baiyyināt Vol.4 Pg.406, Kitābun Nawāzil Vol.15 Pg.528

[16] Aāp Ke Masāil Aur Unkā Ḥall Vol.8 Pg.327, Fatāwā Qāsmīyah Vol.23 Pg.585

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