Q&A (Fatwa)

#191: Ruling on Applying Dye to the Hair



“As-Salaamu Alaykum. Please what is the Islamic perspective on dying one’s hair?”



The Ulamaa of Islam are at a consensus that the dying of the hair for both men and women is a sunnah of the Rasul – salallaahu alayhi wasallaam – due to the Hadith that was related from Abu Hurayrah – radiyallaahu ‘anhu – and transmitted and recorded by both Imaam Al-Bukhaari and Imaam Muslim in the Sahihayn, in which the Rasul – salallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam – said:

“Indeed the Jews and the Christians do not apply the dye. You should therefore do the opposite. It is also reported that the Rasul – salallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam – himself applied it, likewise his companions and the foremost of them such as Abubakr and Umar – radiyallaahu ‘anhuma.
Except that there are ahaadith that imply the prohibition of applying the black dye It is transmitted by Ahmad, Abu Daawud and An-Nasaa’i from Ibn ‘Abbaas – radiyallaahu ‘anhum – that the Rasul – salallaahu alayhi wasallam – said:

“there will be some people in the end times who will be dying their hairs black like the crowns of doves. They will not perceive the fragrance of Jannah.”

This hadith was declared weak by some of the Muhaddithun and declared Hasan by others.

But it has been authentically reported in Sahih Muslim from Anas bn Maalik – radiyallaahu ‘anhu – that the Rasul – salallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam said :

“Dye this (hair) with something, and avoid the Black (colour).”

For this reason, about using the black dye, the Ulamaa differ on it.

The dominant verdict in the Shafi’i madh’hab is that it is Makruh (disliked) as they considered the first Hadith weak and the second Hadith Mudraj (adjunct with the narrator’s statement). But An-Nawawi – rahimahullaah – one of their greatest Imams consider it Haraam.

The Maalikis, the Hanafis and the Hanbalis in their dominant fatwas consider it Haraam. But among them are those that permit it only for women beautifying for their husbands and for the purpose of ambiguation in Jihaad.

Imaam Al-Mubaarakfuuri – rahimahullaah – said:

“Majority of the Ulamaa incline towards the dislike (Makruh) of dying the hair black while An-Nawawi inclined to the fact that the dislike is that of Haram, and among the Ulamaa are those that grant a dispensation (rukhsa) with regards to it for the purposes of Jihaad and did not condone it in other than Jihaad. And among them are those that differentiate in that regards between men and women, and therefore permit it for her (the woman) and not for men. This is the choice of Al-Halimi”
(Ref: ‘Awnu Al-Ma’bud 11/178)

Imaam Ibn Qudaamah Al-Hanbali – rahimahullaah – said:

“And Is’haaq granted a dispensation (rukhsa) regarding it (i.e. The black dye) for a woman who beautifies herself for her husband.”
(Ref: ‘Al-Mughni’ 1/105)

Imaam Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah – rahimahullaah – said:

Imaam Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya – rahimahullaah – said:

“And others granted a dispensation – on the matter of black dyeing – for a woman who beautifies herself for her husband, such (a dispensation) as was not given to a man. This is the verdict of Is’haaq bn Raahawayh. It is as if he considered the prohibition to concern men only. And it had permitted for women the dyeing of their hands and legs and it wasn’t permitted for men.”

(Ref: ‘Haashiyatu Ibn Al-Qayyim ‘Alaa Tahdhibi Sunan Abi Daawud’ 11/173)

It should be known that this preventation is only referring to a dye that is pure black. And not a dye that is mixed and has a black dye in it.

It is reported by Anas bn Maalik – radiyallaahu ‘anhu -:

“Abubakr dyed (his hair and beard) with hena and al-Katm whereas ‘Umar dyed with only hena”

Al-Katm is a kind of plant that grows in Yemen that yield a between black and red dye.


1. It is permissible and a Sunna to use the dye, especially for people with a mix of grey and black hair. But if the entire hair is grey, it is also a sunnah to leave it.

2. It is wrong to use a black dye, despite the view of some of the Ulamaa to the contrary.

3. But it is permissible to use a black dye if it is mixed with other colours.

Allaahu A’alam!


Islamnode is a platform for the dissemination of sound Knowledge of Islam and an orientation of Muslims of the Sciences of the Din in accordance with the Pristine Knowledge taught by the Rasul – Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam – to the Companions – Ridwanullah ‘Alayhim – and understood by them, their Students and those who followed them of the earliest generations. We follow the Sunnah of the Rasul – Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam – and promote the Works of the Ulama of Sunnah from the first generation to date. Our goal is to propagate the Sciences of Islam, to disseminate the sound understanding of the Salaf and to enable the sound education of Muslims in this era.

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