Dyeing one's hair

Q: What is the ruling on dyeing the beard black, is it a sin? What is the difference between shaving the beard and dyeing it black?


A: All praise be to Allah Alone, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger, and his family and Companions. Changing the color of the hair on the head or beard from gray using henna (a plant that produces a reddish-orange dye), Katam (a plant from Yemen that produces a reddish-black dye), or anything similar, is permissible, in fact it is Mustahab (desirable). However, changing grey hair to black is not permitted. This ruling is substantiated by many Hadith Sahih (a Hadith that has been transmitted by people known for their uprightness and exactitude; free from eccentricity and blemish) reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him). It is narrated on the authority of Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with them) that he said, Abu Quhafah was brought to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) on the day of the peaceful victory of Makkah and his (Abu Quhafah’s) head was as white as Thaghamah (a plant whose leaves and flowers are intensely white). The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Take him to one of his wives to change it (the white hair) with something, but avoid black.” (Related by Ahmad, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Al-Nasa'y, and Ibn Majah). According to another narration related by Imam Ahmad, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “If only you settled the Shaykh in his home, we would have come to him ourselves as a token of honor to Abu Bakr.” When this man embraced Islam, his beard and hair were looking as white as Thaghamah. So, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Change these (the white hair and beard), but avoid black.” He (peace be upon him) also said, “The best things you can change this gray hair with are henna and Katam.” (Related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Al-Nasa'y, Al-Tirmidhy, and Ibn Majah. Al-Tirmidhy classed it as Sahih [authentic]). The difference between shaving the beard and dyeing it black is that both of them are forbidden, but shaving it is more emphatically prohibited than dyeing it black. (Part No. 5; Page No. 166) May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

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