Question # 240: My wife has alopecia hair that has fallen out since as being a young child. Although she wears hajib she wears wig underneath and in the home. Is this or will this be accountable before Allah?

Bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,

Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).

Dear questioner,

First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.

Shorter Answer: Although the use of human hair is haraam based on authentic sunnah, hair extensions made of non-human or synthetic hair is permissible in the same way that clothing and jewelry are used, provided that it is not being used as a means of deceiving a prospective husband. As for Muslims women suffering from diseases such as Alopecia areata, Shaykh al-‘Uthaymeen believed that it is permissibility to wear a wig in order to cover a defect of baldness or hair loss.  

Long Answer: Briefly, Alopecia areata is a disease that causes hair to fall out in small patches. It develops when the immune system attacks the hair follicles, resulting in hair loss. Sudden hair loss may occur on the scalp and other parts of the body. The condition rarely results in total hair loss, or alopecia universalis, but it can prevent hair from growing back. When hair does grow back, it’s possible for the hair to fall out again. The extent of hair loss and regrowth varies from person-to-person. There’s currently no cure for alopecia areata. However, there are treatments that may help hair grow back more quickly and that can prevent future hair loss. (//www.healthline.com/health/alopecia-areata) 

The following are some of the ahadeeth prohibiting the use of hair extensions (wigs): 

  • Asma’ bint Abi Bakr (رضي الله عنها) said: A woman came to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) and said: “O Messenger of Allah, I have a daughter who is newly married, and she had the measles and her hair fell out. Can I give her hair extensions?” He said: “Allah has cursed the one who fixes hair extensions and the one who has that done.” (Al Bukhari and Muslim)
  • ‘Aa’ishah (رضي الله عنها) said that a girl from among the Ansaar got married and she became sick and her hair fell out. They wanted to give her hair extensions, so they asked the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) about that, and he cursed the one who fixes hair extensions and the one who has that done. (Al Bukhari and Muslim)
  • Humayd ibn ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn ‘Awf reported that he heard Mu’aawiyah ibn Abi Sufyaan at the time of Hajj, standing on the minbar and holding a piece of hair that had been seized by his guards, saying: “Where are your scholars? I heard the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) forbidding this kind of thing and saying that Bani Isra’il were destroyed when their women started to use such things.” (Jami` at-Tirmidhi; Graded: Sahih)
  • Abu Hurayrah (رضي الله عنه) reported that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “Allah has cursed the woman who adds false hair and the woman who has this done, and the woman who tattoos and the women who has this done.” (Reported by al-Bukhari)

All of the above ahadeeth refer to the use of human hair and the scholars agree it haraam, but with respect to extensions made of non-human or synthetic hair, this is a matter of disagreement among scholars. The strongest view is that it is permissible to use such extensions as a means of adornment, in the same way that clothing and jewelry are used, provided that it is obvious that the extensions are for decorative purposes only and are not being used as a means of deceiving a prospective husband. This is because hair extensions of non-human or synthetic origin that do not resemble the woman’s own hair take the same ruling as clothing and jewelry, since they function in the same way.

Shaykh al-‘Uthaymeen believe in the permissibility to wear a wig in order to cover a defect in the case of a woman who is bald or lost hair because of the use of medicine or a disease. (Shaykh Waleed Basyouni, Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America)

Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.

Wassalaam