Tuesday, December 1, 2009

to weave, or not to weave, that is the question

"To weave, or not to weave...that is the question. Whether tis noblier to be natural and proud, or proud to be unbeweaveable? Anyway, this topic might not be relevant to all hair types but increasingly outside the Afro-community women of all varieties are choosing to enhance their look artificially with weaves, tracks, sewing in hair, gluing, braiding, and just plain ol' wigs. However you want to look at it, its a form of visual deception. Why do women do it? Im sure there are varying reasons, but it all boils down to "looking good" or trying to. Vanity. So, this topic came up amongst friends, both of whom are Muslim. One wears false hair, the other is considering. Both claim to be proud African American women-excuse me, Proud Strong African American women, so as my friends Im going to say they need to also be proud of their natural hair. As for the halal and haram aspect I am not 100% on any rulings but I did manage to find some info from people that seem to know what they are talking about.

On the haram side:

It is considered deception, or falsifying the truth which as muslims we are not to do. Im always asking why so here is Sheikh Suhaib Webb's point:


The reason for this prohibition is that wearing false hair involves trickery and deception; something which the Muslim is ordered to stay away from. For that reason, in another narration where the Prophet[sa] forbade this he [sa] referred to extensions as “falsehood.”

Also, according to an Authentic (sahih) hadith of Abu Bakr " Narrated ‘Aisha: An Ansari woman gave her daughter in marriage and the hair of the latter started falling out. The Ansari women came to the Prophet and mentioned that to him and said, “Her (my daughter’s) husband suggested that I should let her wear false hair.” The Prophet said, “No, (don’t do that) for Allah sends His curses upon such ladies who lengthen their hair artificially.” Related by al-Bukhari

On the conditional side:
It says that there are many varying hadith in refernece to the one stated above, but that most lean towards haram, the others list a criteria for those that may use false hair such as those that have lost their hair through illness etc. And as in any case, if something is doubtful as to whether it is permissible or not, we as muslims must err on the side of caution and it is better to stay away from it. However, this is the other argument...

Conditions and Differences:

1. The scholars agree that if [for those that meet certain conditions] the extensions or wig is made from human hair then they are not permissible to wear.

2. If the hair comes from non-human sources [ pure animal] then the scholars differed over the permissibility of wearing such things :

  • The Hanafi’s considered it permissible as related on behalf of Abu Yusuf
  • The Maliki’s considered it forbidden
  • The Shafi’s allowed it but only for a woman’s husband
  • The Hanabalis took the same opinion as the Malikis except there is another statement, attributed to them, that considers it disliked

3. If the source of the hair is impure then the scholars agreed that it is forbidden

4. If the hair is synthetic then the scholars considered it permissible, and if a woman is married, it should be done after seeking her husband’s council as long as the goal is beautification, ease of lifestyle; not trickery or false identification. This is because the reason behind this prohibition is forgery and trickery. [Ahkam al-Sh'ar fil al-Islam Taha Muhammad Faris pg(s) 180-181. al-Fiqh al-Islami wa al-Dilatuhu, Dr. Wahba Zuhali vol. 4 pg. 2681. Contemporary Religious Rulings, Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi vol. 3. 427]

So what are the conditions for someone who wants to wear fake hair?

Some Examples of When One Could Wear Such Things:

  1. One born with a defect which causes his/her hair to be absent or abnormal
  2. One who suffers from a disease which cause his/her hair to fall out [chemotherapy is an excellent example]
  3. One who has been in some sort of accident [burning]
  4. Women forced to wear wigs out of desperation for an education: such as Tunisia where wearing the Hijab is forbidden, Turkey, until recently, and France.
So, its seems, none of my friends fit the bill, so why not continue to rock your natural hair, be proud. In the end, its up to you whether you want to do something or not. No one has to answer to Allah for it but you. From my readings, I'm also sceptical about the issue since there is no precedent sent in the Quran on this matter that anyone has quoted. Other "scholars" related the "altering of what Allah has created" on how permanent it is. None of this, including eyebrow-plucking, make-up is permanent. Even tattoos are no longer permanent as they can be surgically removed. As Muslim women, we wear hijab when we go out, so just think about who we are trying to please when we get all gussied up. On the one hand, it says that we may incur Allah's curses, and the other says you can if you have legitimate reasons. No one should seek out Allah's punishment because that is not the attitude of a true believer. Play it safe.



  1. Uh, it looks a little creepy like a little jean bennet in the making...

  2. Shukran for posting this! I cannot wear my hijab to work (boooooo!) but I have naturally curly hair that is only chin length. I had been wearing a synthetic ponytail because it would take me an hour to get my curls looking somewhat decent. When I read what the Prophet (pbuh) said about fake hair, I threw it out. My husband liked the ponytail because it made me look more put together instead of rocking the curly fro, but understood that I wanted to please Allah. As salaam alaikum!

  3. sister that cannot wear hijab to work..
    why not? boss say that? may be illegal

  4. jazakAllahu khayran for posting this!

  5. Masha'Allah! Beautiful post!
    Shukran for this! I love it when we sisters research our deen and find the info that empowers us to be stronger more confident muslimahs! Allahu-akbar!
    If u want longer braids locks or twist ur hair to help it grow! I've been natural n braid free for 7yr's n I love my hijabs (colors/patterns/textures for all seasons)
    assalam my strong sistaz of Islam!