I have heard before that it is not a permissible act for men to keep their hair longs. It seems it is recommended to have short hair for men.

My question is: What is the ruling of having long hair for men?

Indeed, does Islam agree with men who have long hair?

  • 2
    I believe the prophet saaw had hair that went down between his shoulders according to certain narrations
    – user8805
    Oct 15, 2014 at 4:36
  • 1
    I think there is different between a person that Allah bestow him with long hair rather than a person that does have but want to have because the prophet has
    – Muhammad
    Oct 5, 2020 at 20:57

4 Answers 4


AFAIK, we don't have any hadith that says directly it's wrong to have long hairs, BUT we have hadith that says to men, don't make yourself like woman (don't shave your beard) and also don't make yourself like Kufaars (the reason some Muslim don't grow moustache, because at the time, Persian Empire men used to grow moustache).

If growing long hair is OK somewhere/sometime it's OK to grow long hair, as it was at the time of Prophet Muhammad and before and after that. But nowadays it's not usual for men to grow long hair and it's something that considered womanish.

  • 3
    Please consider backing up your claims.
    – ozbek
    Oct 16, 2014 at 0:31

I have read extensively about hair for men in Islam.

Imam Ahmad may Allah have mercy on him, clearly stated long hair is a sunnah for which you'll be rewarded. He was honest enough not to declare it "just a custom" (as one influential Saudi scholar claimed, without evidence of course). Instead imam ahmad confessed that he finds that sunnah to difficult for himself and he rather practices other sunnahs.

I have never read in any hadith about a limit for the length of hair. The length has rather to do with practical things such as when the length of the hair becomes annoying for a person (depending on the individual) or the hair becomes damaged.

Usually after a long time of growing, the lower part of the hair becomes damaged and it is often necessary to cut of this lower part so that the hair can grow further healthily.

Importantly the descriptions of the hair if the prophet, sallalahu alayhi wasalam, and the sahaba shows that they did not have one 'standard' length. Usually it is described as long (e. g. prophet, salallahu alayhi wasalam;; abu ubaydah among others) or totally shaven (like 'ali, radhiallahu anhu). We also hear that they used to braid their hair, which can only mean that this hair must have been very long, much longer than shoulder length.

I know from experience and other people that it is practically impossible to properly braid shoulderlength hair. It looks ridiculous and feels anoying.

One description of abu ubayda, radiallahu anhu, where his braids are said to be 'flying around' while riding an arabian horse clearly indicates that the hair must have been veeeery long, (people with braids will understand) and abu ubaydah was promised paradise. so it cannot be womanish.

The hair descriptions of the muslims are typically compatible with the statement of the prophet salallahu alayhi wasalam, in a hadith about a boy with partially shaven head:

"Shave all of it or leave all of it [to grow]."

leave it [the hair] means exactly that. dont mess with it by cutting here and there like the non muslims... it will grow by itself. The prophet salallahu alayhi wasalam, did not tell us to keep the hair at a specific length. he was described by other people on some occasions. once he had shoulder length, once to the ears, then braided (indicating very long, significantly longer than shoulder).

that doesnt mean he "kept" it at those length or ordered us to do this, instead it is a physical description of him by other people at a certain point in time. His hair was simply growing and growing, this should be be the reason why he is described with different lengths. It's not like you can decide that your hair grows ten centimeters over night as some naive people indicate.

I have not found any evidence that the muslims kept (mutilated) their hair like the men nowadays do, very short. And this does not surprise me at all because this reprehensible practice was invented by the Western powers around 100 years ago (sometime around WWI). look at very old photos of muslims. You will find many men with long hair, often braided, very long even, like normal people did. Unfortunately very soon after the non muslims made super short hair popular the muslims followed. Have you never wondered why 'muslims' nowadays look exactly like the non muslims? It is basically impossible to tell them apart.

In addition the short hair has led to many styles that are clearly haram.

What to do? Follow the guidance of the prophet, salallahu alayhi wa salam, either shave your head completely or let it grow long, whatever length suites you, also you can braid it. Both shaving or long hair look much better than short hair, people are just not used to it and they rather follow the sunnah of the colonialists.

By the way, the claim that long hair and braids was just a custom that was typical among arabs is wrong. The many ahadith about hair seem to indicate that different social/religious groups among the arabs had their own hairstyle and within a group not everyone had the same. So there was massive variation in styles and length among arabs! And it is interesting to note that muslims are typically described as long haired.

This is what I personally remember from scholars I read about as well as the hadith and I hope what I say is correct, if there are mistake I hope that you can forgive me. May Allah have mercy on us.


In Islam, if something not explicitly prohibited (by Allah and/or His Messenger (saw)) we say it is permissible.

It is prohibited to man imitate woman and vice versa with Sahih hadith like:

It was narrated from Ibn Abbas:

That the Prophet cursed men who imitate women and woman who imitate men.

Grade : Sahih (Darussalam)
Sunan Ibn Majah English reference : Vol. 3, Book 9, Hadith 1904

And we also know Prophet (saw) had long hair, so the question is up to what extend the hair length can go:

Narrated Anas :

The hair of the Prophet (ﷺ) used to hang down up to his shoulders.

Reference : Sahih al-Bukhari 5903
In-book reference : Book 77, Hadith 120

another one:

It was narrated from Anas that:

The hair of the Prophet (SAW) came down to his shoulders.

Grade : Sahih (Darussalam)
Reference : Sunan an-Nasa'i 5235
In-book reference : Book 48, Hadith 196

and anohter Sahih one:

It was narrated that Anas said:

"The hair of the Prophet (SAW) was wavy, neither curly nor straight, and (hung down) between his ears and his shoulders."

Grade : Sahih (Darussalam)
Reference : Sunan an-Nasa'i 5053
In-book reference : Book 48, Hadith 14
English translation : Vol. 6, Book 48, Hadith 5056

So it is safe to say the length shouldn't exceed the shoulders. Otherwise it may became like woman's.

Allah knows best.


arrated from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that he saw ‘Abd-Allah ibn al-Haarith praying, and his hair was braided and tied up at the back. He went and started to undo it. When he finished praying, he turned to Ibn ‘Abbaas and said: What do you have to do with my hair? He said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) say: “The likeness of this one is that of a man who prays with his hands tied.”

Narrated by Muslim, no. 492

Al-Mannaawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

What is meant by “braided and tied up at the back” is that his hair was gathered together. “(The likeness of) one who prays with his hands tied” means: with his hands tied to his shoulders, which is not appropriate (i.e., it is makrooh), because if his hair was not loose it would not fall to the ground (when prostrating), so he would not be prostrating with all parts of his body, like the hands of the one whose hands are tied cannot touch the ground. Abu Shaamah said: This is to be understood as referring to when the hair is gathered to the back of the head after being braided, as women do.

Fayd al-Qadeer, 3/6

It says in al-Mawsoo‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah (26/109-110):

The fuqaha’ are unanimously agreed that it is makrooh to tie the hair when praying. What is meant by tying the hair is to fasten the braid of hair around the head, as women do, or to gather the hair and tie it at the back of the head. This is makrooh (not appropriate), but if a person prays like that, his prayer is still valid.

It doesnt seem to me they are talking about short hair

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