Answered by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari
Question: If a wig is made out of synthetic fibers, is it still forbidden? If we were participating in a play or some such activity, where we might want to wear a wig for a very short period of time is it still forbidden? i.e. a young woman playing an old woman in a play. Is there any sort of ruling on those hair extensions that are available in malls?
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,
Wearing the hair of another human, man or a woman, or joining human hair to one's hair has been clearly forbidden by the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), as it involves deception and using a part of the human body, both of which are unlawful.
Sayyiduna Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: Allah has cursed the woman who joins (her or someone else�s) hair (with the hair of another man or a woman) and the woman who asks for her hair to be joined (with the hair of another person) and the one who tattoos (herself or someone else) and the one asks to get tattooed. (Sahih al-Bukhari, no. 5589)
The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) forbade this to such an extent that he did not even permit it for a woman whose natural hair had fallen off.
Sayyida A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) narrates that an Ansari girl was married and became sick hence all her hair fell out. They (her family and friends) intended to join her hair with false hair, so they asked the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) who said: Allah has cursed the woman who joins her or someone else�s hair (with the hair of another man or woman) and the woman who asks for her hair to be joined with the hair of another. (Sahih al-Bukhari, no 5590)
Therefore, using human hair in any shape or form would be unlawful. It is prohibited to join one's hair with the hair of another human or to wear a wig made out of human hair, regardless of whether the hair is completely joined and fitted into the hair or whether it is merely a wig which can be removed and re-worn whenever one desires. The ruling would be same even if one had a valid excuse in that one's hair fell out, as the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) did not permit it even in such situations.
Similarly, it will not be permitted to use the hair of a pig due to it being filthy and impure (najis). The jurists (fuqaha) state that it is unlawful to use any part of a human (Muslim or non-Muslim) due to its sanctity, and a pig because all parts of a pig are considered impure (najis). (See: al-Lubab fi sharh al-Kitab, 1/47)
As far as using a wig, made from animal hair (other than a pig) or synthetic fibres, is concerned, the Fuqaha state that this is permitted, regardless of whether the hair is completely fitted into one's hair or it is a removable wig.
It is stated in al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya:
To join one's hair with the hair of another human is unlawful (haram), whether it is one's own (removed) hair or someone else hair, as mentioned in al-Ikhtiyar sharh al-Mukhtar. However, there is nothing wrong (la ba's) for a woman to put the fur (hair) of a camel or a goat (m: or other animals except a pig) in her hair strands, as mentioned in Qadikhan. (al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya, 5/358)
The permissibility of using synthetic hair is related from Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Abbas, Sayyida Umm Salama, Sayyida A'isha (who narrates the Hadith prohibiting using human hair) and other Companions (Allah be pleased with them all). (See: Ayni, Umdat al-Qari Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari, 22/64)
Some scholars disliked the joining of even synthetic and animal hair if it was completely attached and fitted to one's own hair in a way that it is difficult to differentiate between the two, as it is a form of deception. However, many scholars permit it even if the wig or synthetic hair was completely fitted into one's own hair.
It is also worth noting here that if the wig is fitted to the hair or body in a way that it is not detachable, then it will be permitted to wipe over the wig when performing ablution (wudu), and taking a ritual obligatory bath (ghusl) will be valid with keeping the wig on. However, if it is a removable wig, then one will have to remove it when performing Wudu or Ghusl. (See: Takmila Fath al-Mulhim, 4/191)
And Allah knows best
Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari
Darul Iftaa, Leicester, UK