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1,001 Sayings and Deeds of the Prophet

Wigs, Tattoos and Hair Everywhere

What can you say about a religion which forbids a woman from removing facial hair because she is disfiguring God’s creation, but encourages her to shave her pubic hair so as to give her pubes that pre-pubescent look as a way of making herself more attractive to her husband?

Narrated Jabir bin Abdullah:

While we were returning from a Ghazwa (Holy Battle) with the Prophet, I started driving my camel fast, as it was a lazy camel.

A rider came behind me and pricked my camel with a spear he had with him, and then my camel started running as fast as the best camel you may see. Behold! The rider was the Prophet himself.

He said, "What makes you in such a hurry?"

I replied, "I am newly married."

He said, "Did you marry a virgin or a matron?"

I replied, "A matron."

He said, "Why didn't you marry a young girl so that you may play with her and she with you?"

When we were about to enter (Medina), the Prophet said, "Wait so that you may enter (Medina) at night so that the lady of unkempt hair may comb her hair and the one whose husband has been absent may shave her pubic region."

Bukhari 62.16

Narrated Abdullah:

Allah has cursed those women who practice tattooing and those who get themselves tattooed, and those who remove their face hairs, and those who create a space between their teeth artificially to look beautiful, and such women as change the features created by Allah.

Why then should I not curse those whom the Prophet has cursed? And that is in Allah's Book. i.e. His Saying: 'And what the Apostle gives you take it and what he forbids you abstain (from it).' (59:7)

Bukhari 72.815

Until such a time as Allah instructed him otherwise, God's Messenger followed the scriptures of the Jews, although nowhere in the Koran does Allah explicitly (or implicitly to my knowledge) mention the parting of one’s hair.

Narrated Abdullah bin Abbas:

The Prophet used to keep his hair falling loose while the pagans used to part their hair, and the People of the Scriptures used to keep their hair falling loose, and the Prophet liked to follow the People of the Scriptures in matters about which he had not been instructed differently, but later on the Prophet started parting his hair.

Bukhari 58.280

After the falling out with the Jews of Medina, in part because they would not acknowledge that a Prophet of God could emerge from the Arab people, God’s last and greatest messenger looked for ways to differentiate Muslim rituals and practices from those of the Jews. The earliest significant change was Allah ordering Muslims to no longer prostrate themselves in the direction of Jerusalem during the prayers, but Mecca. This innovation was followed by His Messenger deliberately making Friday the Muslim Holy Day, ahead of the holy day of the Jews and Christians as benefited the superior religion.

In things big and small, such as grooming, Allah and His Messenger attempted to differentiate the Muslims from Jews, and on occasion, the pagans.

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, "Jews and Christians do not dye their hair so you should do the opposite of what they do.

Bukhari 72.786

Narrated Nafi:

Ibn Umar said, The Prophet said, "Do the opposite of what the pagans do. Keep the beards (as it is) and cut the moustaches short."

Bukhari 72.780

The Prophet’s newfound disagreement with the Jews may also have been the reason why he banned wigs and hair extensions for women.

Narrated Sa'id bin Al-Musaiyab:

Mu'awiya came to Medina for the last time and delivered a sermon. He took out a tuft of hair and said, "I thought that none used to do this (i.e. use false hair) except Jews. The Prophet labelled such practice, (i.e. the use of false hair), as cheating.”

Bukhari 72.821

The Prophet cursed a woman who would improve her appearance after a sickness caused her hair to fall out.

Narrated Asma (the daughter of Abu Bakr):

A woman came to Allah's Apostle and said, "I married my daughter to someone, but she became sick and all her hair fell out, and (because of that) her husband does not like her. May I let her use false hair?"

On that the Prophet cursed such a lady as artificially lengthening (her or someone else's) hair or got her hair lengthened artificially.

Bukhari 72.818

Allah took it even further, cursing any women who would artificially lengthening whatever curls she had left.

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."

Bukhari 62.133

Not only that, but Allah will curse the one who assists in lengthening someone else's hair. Don’t do it, it’s not worth it!

Narrated Aisha:

An Ansari girl was married and she became sick and all her hair fell out intending to provide her with false hair. They asked the Prophet who said, "Allah has cursed the lady who artificially lengthens (her or someone else's) hair and also the one who gets her hair lengthened."

Bukhari 72.817

The Prophet, on more than one occasion, banned both wigs and tattoos in the same breath, although there is no mention of the Jews decorating their bodies that way.

Narrated Ibn Umar:

Allah's Apostle said, "Allah has cursed such a lady as lengthens (her or someone else's) hair artificially or gets it lengthened, and also a lady who tattoos (herself or someone else) or gets herself tattooed."

Bukhari 72.820

Men, like women, are expected to shave their pubic hair. It’s all part of the five physical manifestation of Fitra i.e. what it is to be a Muslim.

Narrated Abu Huraira:

I heard the Prophet saying. "Five practices are characteristics of the Fitra: circumcision, shaving the pubic hair, cutting the moustaches short, clipping the nails, and depilating the hair of the armpits."

Bukhari 72.779