Join 3,512 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Why would a Muslim man use henna to dye his beard orange?
April 6, 2008 7:22 PM   Subscribe

Why would a Muslim man use henna to dye his beard orange?

I've googled on this a little but the responses are so varied and the sources so specious that I'm hesitant to trust them. Specifically, I met with the head of a local black Muslim Masjid today and his beard was dyed bright orange around the fringe. What is the significance? I wasn't certain if it was a means of setting himself apart from other members in order to display his leadership role or if there was some more spiritual purpose.
posted by The Straightener to Religion & Philosophy (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
He may have recently been on the Hajj.
posted by pullayup at 7:27 PM on April 6, 2008


Muslim men aren't allowed to dye their hair unless they use henna (ie henna is the only thing they can use to dye it).
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 7:28 PM on April 6, 2008


There's a guy that work at the corner newsstand by my work that keeps his beard dyed this way (at least for the last year). I've wondered the same thing.
posted by kimdog at 7:35 PM on April 6, 2008


What pullayup said. It's often used to denote a Hajji (somebody who's been on the mandated pilgrimage to Mecca)
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:44 PM on April 6, 2008


This is also traditional in the kashmir region between India and Pakistan. Did it look like this?
posted by jessamyn at 8:19 PM on April 6, 2008


This page has lots of cites in explanation. The short answer appears to be that Muhammad is supposed to have, and some of his companions did, and there's an older tradition that Abraham did, so it became part of the "Sunnah" that Muslims follow. Another cite (long, scroll down to XXXVI 5513). And more (again, scroll down to 5779...haven't these people heard of search?).

Try adding 'sunnah', 'hadith', or similar terms to your google searches, or names of old scholars like 'Bukhari'.

It's somewhat common to see among older Somali guys in the Twin Cities. It may be more common in some countries/cultures than others.

(Me: not a Muslim, and IANAIL--I Am Not An Islamic Lawyer)
posted by gimonca at 8:22 PM on April 6, 2008


It was the same hue, jessamyn, but wasn't as thorough a dye job. It was maybe the last quarter inch only, sort of like a U-shape of orange framing his face and the rest of his beard.
posted by The Straightener at 8:32 PM on April 6, 2008


If it was only the last quarter inch, it could be that it was at one time all orange, but has grown out.
posted by defreckled at 8:49 PM on April 6, 2008


Yes, it is sunnah, and yes it is forbidden for muslim men to dye their white hair or beard to match their natural hair color. They could technically dye their white hair blue or green, but I don't want to start splitting hairs. Indian muslims do seem to be the most fond of doing this.
posted by BinGregory at 9:51 PM on April 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


defreckled is right: Since it isn't done to conceal the fact that he's grey, a guy won't be compulsive about redying the way a somebody might be with his black hair dye.
posted by BinGregory at 9:59 PM on April 6, 2008


I thought it was sometimes natural in that I once dated a Jewish guy with ink black hair and a luck of the irish red beard.
posted by Phalene at 11:43 PM on April 6, 2008


Muslim men aren't allowed to dye their hair unless they use henna (ie henna is the only thing they can use to dye it).

That's basically it.
posted by hadjiboy at 11:59 PM on April 6, 2008


Yeah, I figured that would have been the end of it. Maybe I should have added IAAM or something.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 7:00 AM on April 7, 2008


fond of doing this: dying with henna, I mean, not splitting hairs. In case that wasn't clear.
posted by BinGregory at 7:58 AM on April 7, 2008


« Older How do Ladies get their hands ...   |  Help me get a massage in Chica... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.