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Assalamualaikum SS Dato’ Seri Mufti. What is the ruling of a congregation who ties his hair when he is praying?



Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.

In a hadith from Ibn Abbas R.Anhuma, he said:

أَنَّهُ رَأَى عَبْدَ اللَّهِ بْنَ الْحَارِثِ يُصَلِّي وَرَأْسُهُ مَعْقُوصٌ مِنْ وَرَائِهِ ، فَقَامَ فَجَعَلَ يَحُلُّهُ ، فَلَمَّا انْصَرَفَ أَقْبَلَ إِلَى ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ فَقَالَ: مَا لَكَ وَرَأْسِي ؟ فَقَالَ: إِنِّي سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَقُولُ : إِنَّمَا مَثَلُ هَذَا مَثَلُ الَّذِي يُصَلِّي وَهُوَ مَكْتُوفٌ

Abdullah b. Abbas reported that he saw 'Abdullah b. al-Harith observing the prayer and (his hair) was plaited behind his head. He ('Abdullah b. 'Abbas) stood up and unfolded them. While going back (from the prayer) he met Ibn 'Abbas and said to him: “Why is it that you touched my head?” He (Ibn 'Abbas) replied: “(The man who observes prayer with plaited hair) is like one who prays with his hands tied behind.”

Sahih Muslim (1129)

Ibn al-Athir Rahimahullah said: “The above hadith means that for those who prays with untied hair, then his hair will touch the ground when he performs sujud (prostration), thus, he will be rewarded for his prostration according to his hair that touches the ground. However, if he has his hair tied, then, he will be considered as someone who did not perform the prostration. Which is the same as a person who prays with both hands tied, where his hands could not touch the ground during prostration (the same as the hair that could not touch the ground during prostration).” (See: al-Nihayah fi Gharib al-Hadith, 3/275)

In Nail al-Authar, it is stated: “This prohibition (of tying one’s hair while praying) is specific for men and not for women. The reason is, their hair (women’s) is aurah and it is obligatory to be covered during prayer. If they untie their hair, then it will be hard to be covered and it will invalidate her prayer. Furthermore, it will also be troublesome for women to always untie their hair every time they want to pray.”

“The Prophet PBUH himself gave facilitation for women to not untie their hair for their obligatory bath, even if it is necessary to wash their hair completely for the bath.” (See: Nail al-Authar, 2/440)

Hence, it is permissible for women to tie their hair in a bun. In the issue of a man tying his hair, what should be considered is the length of his hair. Does it reach the degree of resembling (tasyabbuh) a woman, if so, then it should be avoided. The length of his hair must not exceed the limit of what is normal for a man that it resembles a woman.

Their prayer is valid, but it is makruh tanzih for men. May Allah SWT give us understanding in practising His religion. Amin.

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