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Preface

Henna usage for Malaysians is a norm especially for women. There are multiple products that is offered in the market to colour the nails and hair. This makes the women eager to give it a try. The question here is although some brands have the halal logo, is it really halal to be used for ablution(wuduk) and impurity bath(hadas besar) that needs the water to reach to all parts of the nails and hair.

If we look at the elements used and its original function is to colour the nails and hair thus it definitely will have waterproof attributes but the water will not seep into the skin of the head as how henna permeates to the fingers and nails and does not prevent water from reaching parts that must(wajib) be washed although it is halal and clean. This is something that worries the Muslims that uses this product during their ibadat. Their ibadat will become invalid(tidak sah) because they are not thoroughly cleanse. As a result, Islam has set a guideline for Muslims in the usage of henna and hair dyeing.

Definition Of Henna
Henna or its scientific name Lawsonia Inermis originates from Arab that means medicine. [1]Henna is a type of plant(leaves from shrubs that is used as colour for nails and fingers).[2] In Fiqh its mentioned :

الأَصْلُ فِي الأًشيَاءِ الإبَاحَةُ حَتى يَدُل الدَلِيل عَلَى التَّحْرِيم

Meaning: "Knowing the origin of something is harus as long there is no evidence that it is haram." Thus the usage of henna is harus. But the design of henna on the hands is often debated on whether it is harus or haram according to Islam. Below are guidelines on using elements for make up including usage of henna design on the hands.

Guide to hair dyeing and the usage of henna for men and women:

Hair Dyeing
Dyeing hair using henna is not wrong and allowed in Islam as mentioned by Dr Yusuf al-Qardawi in his fatwa : “ part of the problem of beautification is dyeing hair or beard that has turned grey.” It is said that the Jews and Christians refused to dye their hair and changed it, assuming that beautifying oneself will make you less of a worshipper in religion. As what was practised by monk and ascetic who overdid it. But Rasulullah forbade us to follow what’s being practised by a certain group of people, so that personalities of Muslims is different physically and spiritually. In a hadis fortold by Abu Hurairah r.a., Rasulullah SAW said :

قَالَ إِنَّ الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَى لَا يَصْبُغُونَ فَخَالِفُوهُمْ
Meaning: Indeed, the Jews did not want dyeing hair (gray hair), therefore, show a difference with them. (HR Bukhari dan Muslim)
The command contained in the above hadith means of circumcision, as is normally done by his companions. For example, Abu Bakr and Umar, while others did not.[5]

Hair Dyeing That Is Allowed For Older People
Rasulullah SAW said to Abu Quhafah who has grey hair :

قال رسول الله اذهَبُوا بِهِ إلى بَعْضِ نِسَائِهِ فَلْتَغَيِّرُه بشيء وَجَنِّبُوهُ السَّوادَ
Meaning: “ Change it to something but avoid using black.” (HR Muslim, Nas’ie and Abu Daud).
The above Hadith clearly showed that dyeing the hair black is haram except during jihad. The haram status of it is linked to Hadith foretold by Jabir r.a. above. According to Shafie, the haram status is the same for both men and women. For Ishak Bin Rahawaih, he allowed flexibility in women dyeing black their grey hair, if it is to please the husband. Prophet Muhammad SAW said:

أُتِيَ بأبي قُحافةَ ، أَوْ جَاءَ ، عامَ الفتحِ أو يومَ الفتحِ ، ورأسُه ولِحيتُه مثلُ الثَّغَامِ أو الثَّغَامةِ . فَأَمَرَ،
أَوْ فَأُمِرَ بِهِ ( إِلَى نِسَائِهِ) ، قال ( غيِّروا هذَا بِشَيءٍ)
Meaning:“ From Jabir, he said : Abu Quhafah came on their victorious year or day. His hair and beard is like tsagham (a plant that its fruits and flowers is white in colour). So Rasulullah SAW told his wife: “ Change it (the hair and beard) to something else."

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