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    What is the ruling of getting a fade haircut?

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    بسم الله الرحمٰن الرحيم

    Answer: Haircuts involving shaving a part of the head or those resembling non-pious role models are impermissible. Simple gradual fades are permissible although the example of the Prophet ﷺ and the pious is preferable and rewarding.

    Explanation:

    Sayyidunā `Abdullah ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) narrated the Prophet ﷺ saw a boy, part of his head was shaved and the other part left unshaven. He forbade it saying, “Shave all of it or leave all of it.” In other narrations, Ibn `Umar explicitly said the Prophet ﷺ forbade al-qaz`a (القزع). His student Nāfi` explained it as the practice of shaving part of the head and leaving other parts. Other narrators of the hadith further characterized it as “leaving patches in the head.”[i] Imam al-Nawawī in Sharḥ al-Muslim prefers al-qaz`a as more general in meaning referring to shaving any part of the head. This applies equally to children and adults of both genders.[ii] For example, in our times, we find haircuts in which parts of the head are shaven while the top is kept long. These styles would fall specifically in the purview of the impermissibility mentioned in the hadith.

    Additionally, haircut styles come in and out of fashion often. These styles are usually characterized by impious people who are cultural icons. Such haircuts should also be avoided particularly when they are non-Muslim as the Prophet ﷺ specifically advised against this by saying, “Whoever imitates a people, he is from them.” and “Differ from the polytheists.”[iii] The wisdom behind this advice is self-evident.

    In prior times, fades were not seen among Muslims. It was a style particular to non-Muslims. Scholars of that time rightfully declared it as impermissible. Today, simple gradual fades have become common among Western Muslims so as not to be a defining characteristic of other people. Hence, it is permissible, although adopting the example of the Prophet ﷺ and the pious is preferable and rewarding with the correct intention. The Prophet ﷺ usually kept his hair even and long – at times to his ears, at times below his earlobes, and at times to his shoulders. During `umrah or hajj, he would shave his entire head. Sayyidunā `Ali (Allah be pleased with him) would shave his head repeatedly. Shaving has also been mentioned in Ḥāshiyah al-Ṭaḥṭāwiyy, Fatāwa al-Hindiyyah, and elsewhere in the books of Fiqh.[iv]

    والله أعلم بالصواب

    And Allah knows best,

    Mufti Sulaiman Yusufi

    Shaykh Mateen Khan

     

    [i]  فقد روى البخاري (5921) ومسلم (2120) عَنْ ابْنِ عُمَرَ رضي الله عنهما أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : ( نَهَى عَنْ الْقَزَعِ ) ، قال نافع – أحد رواة الحديث – في تفسير القزع : يُحْلَقُ بَعْضُ رَأْسِ الصَّبِيِّ وَيُتْرَكُ بَعْضٌ .

    وروى النسائي (5048) وأبو داود (4195) عَنْ ابْنِ عُمَرَ رضي الله عنهما أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ رَأَى صَبِيًّا حَلَقَ بَعْضَ رَأْسِهِ وَتَرَكَ بَعْضًا فَنَهَى عَنْ ذَلِكَ ، وَقَالَ : ( احْلِقُوهُ كُلَّهُ أَوْ اتْرُكُوهُ كُلَّهُ )

    حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ بِشْرٍ، عَنْ عُبَيْدِ اللهِ، عَنْ عُمَرَ بْنِ نَافِعٍ، عَنْ نَافِعٍ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللهِ بْنِ عُمَرَ قَالَ: ” نَهَى رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ عَنِ الْقَزَعِ ” قَالَ: عُبَيْدُ اللهِ: ” وَالْقَزَعُ التَّرْقِيعُ فِي الرَّأْسِ ” مسند احمد 4973

    عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ قَالَ: ” نَهَى رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ عَنِ الْقَزَعِ ” قَالَ عَبْدُ الصَّمَدِ: ” وَهُوَ الرُّقْعَةُ (1) فِي الرَّأْسِ ” مسند احمد 5548

    [ii]  تكملة فتح الملهم 10:161

    [iii] عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏مَنْ تَشَبَّهَ بِقَوْمٍ فَهُوَ مِنْهُمْ” سنن ابي داوود 4031

    عن عبد الله بن عمر: خالِفُوا المُشْرِكِينَ صحيح البخاري ٥٨٩٢ واللفظ له، ومسلم (٢٥٩)

    [iv] Fatāwa Dārul `Ulūm Zakariyyah 7:377