When people get bored, they have the propensity to do one thing – change their hairstyle.
You can have a new look, be someone new, have a different perspective on life (three for one special) by simply straightening your hair, make it wavier or shave one side and leave the other side as it is (oh no).
Those are just a few examples on how you can achieve this quick yet effective method to trick your mind into thinking that by altering your looks, you can alleviate your outlook on life toward uncharted levels of sophistication.
Some of us are loyal to their hairstyle, will leave it unchanged until they go completely bald.
An aunt of mine is a perfect example of this.
She has been donning the same hairstyle since the 70’s.
The way she maintains the seemingly indestructible curl and bounce in her hair requires a lot of patience and discipline.
It is not for the faint-hearted.
She indulges us with her nightly beauty routine; telling us how she curls them every night and sleeps on her stomach to prevent it from being flattened by the weight of her skull.
Someone, somewhere out there is immortalizing her name on a diamond encrusted gold plate for her tireless commitment to the cause; saving the world, one time-consuming curly perm routine at a time.
Not until recently, I was oblivious to the fact that there are certain hairstyles our religion strictly prohibits.
It was a week ago when I was running late for a meeting.
The cab I had called for was already waiting for me at the parking lot and I can hear the cab driver honking impatiently.
His incessant honking made me panic and caused me to move in double quick time.
Moving in double quick time usually means that I will forget to do certain things that I normally do when I’m not in a rush, like styling my hair, or at least make it appear presentable.
That day, I looked as though I had just rolled out of bed and dressed myself with blindfolds on.
I turned up a couple of minutes before our meeting was scheduled to commence.
My colleague whose name comes from an Arabic word that means Heaven gave me a funny look and shook his head.
It was just another episode of grooming malaise.
After the meeting was over, we visited this new bistro down at Club Street called Pluck for lunch and he told me it was unbecoming for a man to appear in front of the public eye looking so unkempt and jaded.
I recall his quote verbatim: ‘You look like a mini-van just ran over your face.’
I thought he was being polite because when I finally had the chance to look at myself in the bathroom mirror, I didn’t know whether to laugh or feel embarrassed.
I chose the former, naturally, for I always choose to see the light side of a sticky situation.
Plus, taking yourself seriously all the time can be really tiring.
With my hair neatly arranged, I headed back to our table and we began talking about football.
We joked about how boring the final day of The Barclays Premier League was, how we wished our team, Arsenal Football Club, hadn’t qualified for next season’s Uefa Champions League competition before the final match.
That way, it would induce some excitement in the game.
Arsenal went on to win their game against Norwich City by two goals to nil.
‘Arsene Wenger ought to get a new striker next season. Olivier Giroud just isn’t good enough. He disappears during big games,’ I said
‘Totally. Hey do you know his hairstyle is considered haram in Islam?’
‘Is there really such a thing? Hairstyles that are haram?’ I asked with raised eyebrows.
I laughed some more.
‘You don’t know?’
I raised my eyebrows higher.
‘It is forbidden to shave a part of your head and leave the rest unshaved. It is haram for a man to have long hair for a man should not look like a woman. The Mohawk hairstyle or whatever you want to call it is associated with foolish and worthless people. There is a hadith which states that whoever imitates a kafir is one of them’
I was intrigued.
He went on talking about the putridity of western influenced hairstyle and how the majority of Muslim youths are unable to separate the wrong from right.
By the end of lunch, I was completely flushed from the new information received, and I found myself looking at a girl’s head instead of their faces for the rest of the day, wondering if their hairstyles were permissible in Islam.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) warned: “There are two types of the people of Hell whom I have not yet seen: people with whips like the tails of cattle with which they strike the people, and women who are clothed yet naked, astray and leading others astray, with their heads like the humps of camels, leaning to one side. They will not enter Paradise nor even smell its fragrance, although it fragrance may be detected from such and such a distance.”
The next time you want to satiate your hunger for an image makeover, or when boredom gnaws on you and getting a new hairstyle feels like the best solution to eviscerate its dull presence, make sure to find one which is acceptable for Muslims.
A young Singaporean whose life revolves around writing, live music, ice-cream, Arsenal Football Club, and sometimes, drifting in and out of existential crisis. He is currently working on a book of short stories titled, ‘Singaporeans Cried When They Found Out Their Hearts Were Made In China.’