Assalaam alaykum. Should the person who converts to Islam shave his head? Is it mandatory?
All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and messenger.
It is not incumbent on someone who converts to Islam to shave his head. However, many scholars deemed it recommended based on the following report: Ibn Jurayj reported that ‘Uthaym (ibn Katheer) ibn Kulayb reported from his father on the authority of his grandfather that he came to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and said, “I have embraced Islam. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said to him: “Remove from yourself the hair that grew during the time of your disbelief,” saying “shave it”. He (Ibn Jurayj) further said that another person (other than the grandfather of ‘Uthaym) related to him that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said to another person who accompanied him: “Remove from yourself the hair that grew during the period of disbelief and get yourself circumcised.” [Abu Daawood] The Hadeeth has been classified as weak by Ibn Al-Qattaan and Ibn Hajar while Al-Albaani classified it as Hasan.
Al-Mawsoo‘ah Al-Fiqhiyyah (Fiqh Encyclopedia) reads, “The majority of Muslim jurists held that it is recommended for a new convert to shave his head (upon his conversion). The Maaliki scholars confined that to the case when the new convert is wearing 'un-Islamic' haircuts such as Al-Qaza’ (i.e. shaving some part of the head and leaving other parts unshaved) or the like. Imaam Maalik however, maintained that it is recommended for a new convert to shave his head in all cases. The Hanbali scholars held that this ruling is specific to men apart from women.” [Adapted]
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