Men Growing Long Hair (FATWA)
What is the ruling of the pure Sharī`ah in the following issue?
Zayd leads prayer and his hair is long; it goes beneath his shoulders and comes close to the chest. `Amr says, “To grow the hair past the shoulders is ḥarām and ṣalāh behind such a person is makrūh taḥrīmī; to repeat it is necessary.” Zayd says, “To keep such long hair, i.e., beneath the shoulders, is permissible and is the way of the mashā’ikh of the Sayyids. Hence, A`lā Ḥaḍrat, Fāḍil Bareilvī, in his pamphlet “Al-Ḥarf al-Ḥasan fī al-Kitābat `alā al-Kafan,” on page 19, line 1, has written regarding Sayyidunā Imām `Alī Riḍā that “two hairs were hanging on the shoulder.”
Thus, the question is: Is the statement of Zayd accurate or `Amr’s?
If the statement of `Amr is correct, should us muqtadīs calculate and repeat all prayers we have performed behind Zayd or not?
The Muslim should be obedient to the Sharī`ah. The command belongs to none but Allāh and the Messenger. According to the Sharī`ah, to keep the hair to the chest is ḥarām for men, imitation of women, and, according to many authentic narrations, is a means of curse, may Allāh forbid.
He G said:
لعن الله المتشبهين من الرجال بالنساء
Allāh cursed those men who imitate women.
The mother of believers, Sayyidatunā `Ā’ishah Ṣiddīqah J, saw a woman wearing a masculine shoe and informed her of the curse. The most noble Messenger G saw a woman with a bow hanging [from her] and said: “The curse of Allāh is upon the women who imitate men and upon those men who imitate women.”
Even though a shoe is not a part of the body and is a part of apparel, and the bow is not even a part of apparel and is an external element, there is curse upon imitation [of the opposite gender] in these cases. So, in the matter of hair, which is a part of the body, what would be the degree of prohibition and how much of a means of curse will imitation in it be?
In “Al-Ḥarf al-Ḥasan” it says: “they (the strands of hair) were hanging on the shoulder” or “they dropped from the shoulder and went towards the chest.”
To keep long hair to the shoulders such that they do not go past at all, is definitely permissible; rather, it is from the sunan zawā’id.
After calculation, the prayers should be repeated, and it is expected from the Imām that he will accept the ruling of Sharī`ah and thus save himself from disaster and save his own prayer and that of the muqtadīs from karāhah.
Allāh E knows best.
Imām Aḥmad Raḍā Khān V