Question: It is an accepted fact that Hadhrat Ali karramallahu wajhahu and the other Sahabah (RA) were meticulous in submitting to theSunnah. Hence, the question naturally arises as to why he (Hadhrat Ali RA) was keen on shaving his head when the Sunnah inspires one to keep hair?
Answer: On grounds of penetrating circumspection and precaution in matters of Ghusl, Hadhrat Ali (RA) used to remove his hair completely. He himself narrates that the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam said: “Impurity (Janabat) exists beneath every strand of hair.” (Mishkat, P48) Following this Hadith he states: “The one who overlooks an area equivalent to a single strand of hair whilst performingGhusal-Janabat (bathing after ceremonial impurity) will be dealt like this and like that in hell.” (A reference to austere punitive measures). Upon narrating this, he states: “Owing to the declaration of such ominous phrases, I chose to create enmity with my head i.e. remove all my hair.” Certain Ulema support the view that both halaq (shaving of the head) and tark (allowing hair to grow) are sunnat practices.