Is It Sinful in Islam for a Male to Pluck White Hair from His Hair and Beard?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum,

Is it sinful in Islam for a male to pluck white hair from his hair and beard?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah,

No, it is not necessarily sinful as there is some detail to this ruling. Generally, removing grey or white hairs from your hair or beard would be considered permissible, unless it is done for the sake of beautification, in which case it would be disliked (makruh). This is what is related from Imam Abu Hanifa himself (Allah Most High be well-pleased with him).

Further, and in the case of permission, Tahtawi adds that it would remain disliked to remove what would customarily be considered “many” of such hairs, even if not done out of beautification. In a tradition (hadith) of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) related by Abu Dawud, he said (Allah bless him and give him peace), “Do not remove white hairs, for there is no believer who grows white hairs in Islam except that they shall be a tremendous light for him on the Day of Resurrection.”

What appears to be the case though is that beautification is essentially going, to some degree, beyond what would be considered normal by upright, religious and practising Muslims. Nevertheless, the upshot is that the general sunna was to dye the hair so that such strands or patches seem less apparent. Although there are traditions encouraging and discouraging dyeing, Imam Tahawi concluded that the traditions (hadith) which appear to indicate discouragement were abrogated.

[Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar ‘ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar; Tahtawi, Hashiyat al-Tahtawi ‘ala Maraqi al-Falah; Usmani, Takmilat Fath al-Mulhim bi Sharh Sahih Muslim]

Please also see: http://seekershub.org/ans-blog/2014/08/25/is-it-a-sunna-for-men-to-dye-their-hair-and-beard/

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

Wassalam,

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam was born and raised in Ipswich, England, a quiet town close to the east coast of England. His journey for seeking sacred knowledge began when he privately memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown at the age of 16. He also had his first experience in leading the tarawih (nightly-Ramadan) prayers at his local mosque. Year after year he would continue this unique return to reciting the entire Quran in one blessed month both in his homeland, the UK, and also in the blessed lands of Shaam, where he now lives, studies and teaches.