Can a person use black hair dye on his head or beard?
According to the soundest opinion, to use black dye is Haraam (forbidden) except for a Mujahid (the one who participates in Jihad).
Many Ahadith have been narrated regarding the prohibition of using black dye:
1. Imam Ahmad, Imam Muslim and others have narrated from Jābir ibn ‘Abdullāh (رضي الله عنه) reported that Abu Quhaafah’s (رضي الله عنه) – the father of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr al-Siddiq (رضي الله عنه) – head and beard were white. The Messenger of Allāh (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) said: “Change this with something, but avoid black.”
[Sahih Muslim, Kitāb al-Lubs wa al-Zīnah, vol.2, p. 199]
2. Imam Ahmad narrates in his Musnad that Sayyiduna Anas (رضي الله عنه) reported that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) said, “Change the grey hair (al-Shayb) but do not use black.”
[Musnad Imam Ahmad, vol. 3, p. 247]
3. Imam Ahmad also narrates another Hadith that Sayyiduna Ibn ‘Abbas (رضي الله عنه) has reported that the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) has said, “At the end of time there will be people who will dye their hair black like the crops of pigeons (Hawasil al-Hamaam). They will never even smell the fragrance of Paradise.”
[Musnad Imam Ahmad, vol. 1, p. 273]
Imam Ahmad Rida Khan (رحمة الله عليه) writes below this Hadith: The breasts of wild pigeons are usually black, it is for this reason the beloved of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) gave their example to show the similarity.
[Fatawa al-Ridawiyyah, vol. 23, pp. 496-497]
4. Ibn Sa’ad ‘Amir (رضي الله عنه) narrates (Mursal Hadith) that the Prophet of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) said, “Allah will not Glance (in other words to show mercy) upon those who dye their hair black on the day of Judgement.”
[Kanz al-‘Ummal, Hadith #17331, vol. 6, p. 671]
5. Daylami narrates in al-Firdows and Ibn ‘Adi narrates in al-Kamil that Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (رضي الله عنه) reports that the beloved of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) has said, “Indeed Allah detests the old crow (al-Shaykh al-Gharbīb).”
[al-Firdows, Hadith #560, vol. 1, p. 153]
Under this Hadith, ‘Allamah Hafni writes, “Al-Gharbib is the one who blackens the grey hair.”
[Ta’liqat of ‘Allamah Hafni, vol. 1, p. 379]
6. Hakim narrates in al-Mustadrak that Sayyiduna Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) has reported that the Prophet of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) has said, “Yellow is the dye of a Mu’min, red is the dye of a Muslim and black is the dye of a Kafir.”
[Al-Mustadrak, Kitab Ma’rifat al-Sahabah, vol. 3, p. 526]
The great Mujaddid, Imam Ahmad Rida Khan (رحمة الله عليه) has written a whole Fatawa on this subject titled, Hakk al-‘Ayb Fi Hurmat Taswid al-Shayb, in which he mentioned more than sixteen Ahadith on this subject and statements of many great ‘Ulama to illustrate the fact the usage of black dye is Haram (impermissible).
Shaykh Abd al-Haqq Muhaddith writes in Ashi’at al-Lam’at (the commentary of al-Mishkat), “To dye using black colour is Haram. The blessed companions and other scholars used to dye their hair using red colour. Sometimes yellow colour would also be used.”
[Ashi’at al-Lam’at, Kitan al-Libas, Bab al-Rajul, vol. 3, p. 569]
‘Allamah Hamawi, ‘Allamah Sayyid Tahtawi then ‘Allamah Ibn al-‘Abidin al-Shami state, “The prohibition of black dye is for non-Mujahid. As regards to the Mujahid it is not Haram.”
[Radd al-Muhtar, vol. 5, p. 482]
Allah knows best.
Answered by Shaykh Mohamed Husein Qadri