Man Braiding His Hair and Piercing His Ear
Fatwa No: 445501

Question

Can a man braid his hair and also pierce his ears?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

With regard to a man braiding his hair, there is evidence in the Sunnah that it is permissible; Mujaahid narrated on the authority of Umm Hani, who said: “The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) entered Makkah while he had four braids.” [Ahmad, Abu Daawood and At-Tirmithi]

There a difference of opinion on the authenticity of the chain of transmission of this Hadeeth, as some scholars judged that it is Dha’eef [weak] because it is not known that Mujahid heard from Umm Hani. However, some other scholars judged that it is Saheeh (authentic).

If the chain of transmission of this Hadeeth is Saheeh, then it would be evidence that making hair braids is permissible in principle. However, the scholars stated that the custom among the people should be taken in this regard, so if it is customary that man make hair braids, then there is nothing wrong with it, but if it is customary that it is only the non-Muslims, or the foolish people or the dissolute ones who do that, then this would not be considered permissible, because the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) forbade imitating them.

Imam Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr said in at-Tamheed:

The people of our time do not keep long hair except the soldiers, as they let their hair grow long, but the righteous people, the ones who seek modesty, and the knowledgeable ones do not do so, to the extent that this became one of their signs (characteristics); however, in our present time, keeping long hair is almost a sign of the foolish people, and it was narrated from the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) that he said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them – or he will be resurrected with them.” [End of quote.]

As for an adult man to pierce his ear, then we have already mentioned in previous Fataawa that it is not permissible for him to pierce his ear because doing so is imitating women and the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) cursed the men who imitate women as in the Hadeeth reported by Al-Bukhari, Muslim, and others. If he puts an earing of gold or otherwise, he is sinful in many respects; the first of which is imitating women, the second of which is imitating the non-Muslims and imitating the dissolute Muslims who imitate them, and the third of which is wearing gold [which is forbidden for men] if the earing is made of gold.

Rather, the majority of scholars are of the view that it is dislikeable to pierce the ear of a small boy, and some of them are of the view that it is forbidden to do so because there is no need for it.

Ibn Hajar al-Haythami  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him from the Shaafi’i School of jurisprudence, said in at-Tuhfah:

To conclude, what is in conformity with the Islamic rules is that piercing the ear of a boy is absolutely forbidden, because there is no need for it and it is causing pain for no reason. There is no consideration at all for what is thought to be an adornment for him as long as he is young.” [End of quote.]

For more benefit on an adult male piercing his ear, please refer to Fatwa 289147.

Allah knows best.

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