My name is xxx and I'm a new Muslim. I was looking through your web site and found it really impressive. I do have two questions though:
I was wondering how I could get involved with your organization? I would like to be of service.
My next question may sound a bit dumb but please bear with me. As a new Muslimah, I do get harassed by other Muslims about the length of my hair. I wear it short, primarily for convenience. Is it okay for a Muslim woman to wear short hair? I mean it is a ladies hairstyle.
I do hope Insha Allah that I'll hear from you soon. Keep up the great work!
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Thank you for your kind offer and comments about our web site. A useful way for you become involved with our organisation would be to give us ideas and suggestions on how we could improve our website and also for you to inform others about it. We would be very grateful to you for this.
As to your specific question, under the general guidance provided by Dr. Muhammad Hamidullah in his book Introduction to Islam, Dr. Hamidullah says,
"548. Muslim women should wear a dress which covers their body in a proper manner, avoiding high jumpers, décolleté and transparent materials which show parts of their body. They should not try to resemble men in dress and coiffure and avoid all that is characteristic of glamour girls. Further, when they celebrate the service of worship [the Islamic prayer], they should cover their head. The Prophet recommended that women wear pantaloons. Their gowns should never be higher than the middle of the tibia, preferably down to the ankles (as we read in a Hadith reported by Abu Da'wud, Tirmidhi, lbn Hanbal, and many others.)"
Now, depending on what country you live in, the length of one's hair is not an issue, it's the style and fashion and cultural norms in each era that are important. For example, some styles are definitely masculine, whereas other styles are definitely feminine -- and both have less to do with length than with style. The main idea then, is that men should not imitate women so as to appear effeminate in their general appearance, and likewise women should not imitate men. Therefore, so much depends on the local cultural norms of a place one happens to live in. If a woman lives in a Muslim country like Saudi Arabia or Iran, etc. where the headscarf (hijab) is a norm, then her hairstyle would not really matter because, obviously the scarf covers her whole head and hair.
A similar question was answered quite nicely by a Muslim scholar in the USA. (Unfortunately, and I am sorry but I don't recall his name at the moment -- or the URL where he posted this answer.) :
"One of the rules of the Shari'ah [Muslim Law] in the matter of dress and personal appearance is that men and women should not imitate each other. Men should not try to look like women and women should not try to look like men. This is indicated by the Ahadith of the Prophet on this subject quoted in al-Bukhari and other books of Hadith. In one Hadith, it is reported that the Prophet, peace be upon him, cursed men who imitated women and women who imitated men. It seems to me that what is meant here by 'imitation' is fraud, deception and hiding of one’s personality. If there is a dress that conceals a man’s identity as man, and a woman’s identity as woman, then it is haram [forbidden] to wear that type of dress. However, there are many outfits that are common to both men and women. For example in India and Pakistan both men and women wear the ‘shalwar.' Yet there is not much difference between the shalwar of men and the shalwar of women. Likewise, both men and women wear blue jeans, pants or slacks. Actually there are special jeans and pants or slacks for men and women. They cover very well the parts of the body that must be covered. So like wearing the shalwar for men or women, I do not see anything wrong with jeans and pants or slacks. However, Muslim men and women should not wear tight fitting jeans and pants or slacks.
I would also like to remind Muslim youth in America not to wear excessively baggy jeans either, not because there is anything wrong in those baggy jeans, but because they resemble some gangs’ form of dress. Muslims should avoid wearing the special clothes of people who become known in any society as wrong doers or criminals.
As far as hair is concerned, women should not cut their hair too short so as to resemble men. But I am not aware of any general prohibition of trimming or shortening of the hair for the purposes of beautification or for the purposes of healthy growth of a woman’s hair. It is not haram for men to have long hair. The Prophet, peace be upon him, used to have long hair reaching all the way to his shoulders. He used to divide them in two locks (du’abatain). At the time of the conquest of Makkah, when he entered the city, it is reported that he had four locks.
Men should not wear earrings, because that is both an imitation of women and also an imitation of a people with queer characters and an un-Islamic life style. May Allah protect us and our youth from it."