Is the profession as a male barber permissible?

Question:

As for a man who is a barber by profession, you have stated that his earnings are Haram, can you please clarify in light of the Shariah. This will be greatly appreciated.

Answer

بسم الله الرحـمن الرحيم

It is incumbent upon every Muslim to ensure that his earnings are lawful. There is a direct relation between a person’s earnings and the acceptance of his Ibadaah.

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ طَيِّبٌ لاَ يَقْبَلُ إِلاَّ طَيِّبًا وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ أَمَرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ بِمَا أَمَرَ بِهِ الْمُرْسَلِينَ فَقَالَ ‏‏ يَا أَيُّهَا الرُّسُلُ كُلُوا مِنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَاعْمَلُوا صَالِحًا إِنِّي بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ عَلِيمٌ‏‏ وَقَالَ ‏‏ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُلُوا مِنْ طَيِّبَاتِ مَا رَزَقْنَاكُمْ‏  ثُمَّ ذَكَرَ الرَّجُلَ يُطِيلُ السَّفَرَ أَشْعَثَ أَغْبَرَ يَمُدُّ يَدَيْهِ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ يَا رَبِّ يَا رَبِّ وَمَطْعَمُهُ حَرَامٌ وَمَشْرَبُهُ حَرَامٌ وَمَلْبَسُهُ حَرَامٌ وَغُذِيَ بِالْحَرَامِ فَأَنَّى يُسْتَجَابُ لِذَلِكَ

Translation: Abu Huraira (ra) reported Allah’s Messenger as saying: 0 people, Allah is Good and He therefore, accepts only that which is good. And Allah commanded the believers as He commanded the Messengers by saying:” O Messengers, eat of the good things, and do good deeds; verily I am aware of what you do” (23. 51). And He said: ‘ 0 those who believe, eat of the good things that We gave you” (2. 172) He ﷺ then made a mention of a person who was on long journey, his hair disheveled and covered with dust. He lifts his hand towards the sky (and thus makes the supplication):” O Lord,0 Lord,” whereas his food is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, and his clothes are unlawful and his nourishment is unlawful. How can then his supplication be accepted?

It is clear from the above Hadith, that the unlawful earnings of a person affect the acceptance of his Ibaadah (worship).

The Prophet ﷺ also mentions in the following Hadith

لَا يَرْبُو لَحْمٌ نَبَتَ مِنْ سُحْتٍ إِلَّا كَانَتْ النَّارُ أَوْلَى بِهِ رواه الترمذي

Translation: No flesh (of the body) grows (and is nourished) from Haram except that the Fire is more deserving of it.

Regarding the profession of Male Barber, for the majority of the time, his jobs entails doing those actions that violate the laws of Shari’ah. Refer to the following Ahaadith of the Prophet ﷺ

عن ابن عمر  رضي الله عنهما قال نهى رسول الله  صلى الله عليه وسلم  عن القَزَع…  متفق عليه

Translation: ِAbdullah bin Umar (ra) said that the Prophet ﷺ prohibited Qaza’

Nb: Qaza’ is to shave or cut portion of the hair (of the head) and leave the rest (whether it be the side/s, right, left, top, front, back etc.

وعن ابن عمر أن النبي ﷺ رأى صبياً قد حلق بعض رأسه وترك بعضه، فنهاهم عن ذلك وقال احلقوه كله، أو اتركوه كله (أبو داود)

Translation: Abdullah bin Umar (ra) said that the Prophet ﷺ saw a child whom, portion of his head (hair) was shaved/cut and portion was left (unshaved/uncut). He ﷺ then prevented them from such practice. And He ﷺ said; shave/cut it (hair of the head) entirely or leave it (uncut/unshaved) entirely.

It is clear from the above mentioned Ahaadith that cutting or shaving portion of the hair and leaving portion is totally prohibited. Both persons will be equally sinful i.e. the one performing the action (barber) and the one whom it is done upon (client). This prohibition also extents to cases where the client is also non-Muslim. Therefore, due to the fact that the types of the haircuts taken by majority of clients (non-Muslim as well as Muslims) are prohibited, it will not be permissible to venture into such a profession as earning from such a job will be unlawful.

Furthermore, being a barber, one’s job would also entail the shaving of beards which is prohibited by the Shariah or trimming it to a level which is also prohibited.

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قصوا الشوارب واعفوا اللحى خالفوا المشركين متفق عليه

Translation: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: trim the moustache and let the bread grow [Bukhari and Muslim]

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم جُزُّوا الشَّوَارِبَ وَأَرْخُوا اللِّحَى ، خَالِفُوا الْمَجُوسَ رواه مسلم

Translation: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: Trim closely the moustache, and grow beard, and thus act against the fire-worshippers. [Muslim]

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم خَالِفُوا الْمُشْرِكِينَ ، وَفِّرُوا اللِّحَى  وَأَحْفُوا الشَّوَارِبَ رواه البخاري

Translation: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: Act contrary to the Polytheists, lengthen the breads and shorten the moustache [Bukhari]

عن ابْنِ عُمَرَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنَّهُ أَمَرَ بِإِحْفَاءِ الشَّوَارِبِ وَإِعْفَاءِ اللِّحْيَةِ رواه مسلم

Translation: Abdullah bin Umar (ra) narrates that; The Apostle of Allah ﷺ ordered us to trim the moustache closely and spare the beard. [Muslim]

عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ  أَحْفُوا الشَّوَارِبَ وَأَعْفُوا اللِّحَى رواه مسلم

Translation: Abdullah bin Umar (ra) narrates that; The Apostle of Allah ﷺ said; trim the moustache and spare the beard (i.e. leave it to grow) [Muslim]

الموسوعة الفقهية الكويتية

حلق اللحية :ذهب جمهور الفقهاء: الحنفية والمالكية والحنابلة، وهو قول عند الشافعية، إلى أنه يحرم حلق اللحية لأنه مناقض للأمر النبوي

Translation: Regarding shaving the beard, according to the vast majority of Islamic Jurists; (from the four followed Schools of Islamic Law) Hanafi, Maliki, Hambali and Shafi’e (relied view),it is prohibited to shave the beard as it contradicts the prophetic command. [Al Mausuah Al Fiqhiyyah Al Kuwaitiyah –Kuwaiti Encyclopedia of Islamic Jurisprudence] Pg 225 Vol 35

Allah Ta’ala mentions in the Quran [5:2]

وَتَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْبِرِّ وَالتَّقْوَىٰ ۖ وَلَا تَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ

Translation: Assist one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Severe in punishment.

If however, a person (barber) takes it upon himself that he will only provide haircuts and services which are in compliance to the laws of Shariah then it will be permissible and hence his earnings will be lawful. However, by stipulating such conditions, a barber will not have a viable cliental and as such may not practical. Thus, a person should seek a profession/job other than a barber, which is in accordance to the laws of Shariah.

And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Kaleem Muhammad

Darul Iftaa, Jaamia Madinatul Uloom

Marabella Trinidad