Answered by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari
I have been asked by someone who is considering to convert to Islam whether or not it is permissible for men to to wear earrings according to the classical fiqh? I told him that I was unaware of a complete consensus on this issue, although it was agreed that for men to imitate women and to wear gold was forbidden. (he was wearing wooden cuffs on the ears). I expressed uncertainty on this as I recalled ( I think, long time ago) seeing Arabian and African Muslim tribesmen wearing earrings, although I do not think they were wearing golden ones.
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,
It is impermissible for men to wear earrings or have their ears pierced in order to wear earrings. There are certain reasons for this prohibition:
Firstly, it is agreed upon by the scholars, that it is unlawful for men to adorn themselves with any type of jewellery besides a silver ring. (See: Ibn Qudama, al-Mughni, 2.324 & al-Mawsu’a al-Fiqhiyya).
The great Hanafi Jurist, Imam al-Haskafi (may Allah have mercy on him) states in his famous work, Durr al-Mukhtar:
“It is not permissible for a man to adorn himself with any type of gold and silver whatsoever (mutlaqan) besides a silver ring ” (Radd al-Muhtar ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar, 6/358-359, fasl fi al-libas).
Secondly, earrings are (still) generally considered a type of adornment for women and even in the West they were originally worn by those men who wanted to imitate women. Imitating women intentionally is considered unlawful in Islam.
Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) relates, that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace): “Cursed those men who imitate women and those women who imitate men” (Sahih al-Bukhari, 7/205).
Thirdly, wearing earrings is a custom that developed and is generally prevalent among non-Muslim men, and imitating non-Muslims is also impermissible.
Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, no. 4031 & Musnad Ahmad, 2/50)
Given the above reasons, it would not be permissible for men to wear and adorn themselves with earrings.
And Allah knows best
Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari,
Darul Iftaa, Leicester, UK,