Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, “The Jews and Christians do not dye, so differ from them.” (Related by “the group.”) Abu Zharr reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “The best thing that one can use to change the colour of grey hairs is henna and katm (a reddish dye).” (Related by “the five.”)
There are some narrations that state that dying is disliked, but it is obvious that these narrations conflict with the sunnah and custom. It is related from some of the companions that it is better not to dye, while others say it is better to do it. Some used a yellow dye, while others used henna or katm. Others used saffron, and a group of them used a black dye. Ibn Hajr mentioned in Fath al-Bari that az-Zuhri said, “We used black dye if our face was youthful, but if wrinkles were present and the teeth were gone we would not use it.” Said Jabir, “Abu Quhafah (Abu Bakr’s father) was brought to the Prophet during the conquest of Makkah while his head was “white.” The Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, “Take him to one of his wives and let her change the colour of hisÂ hair with something, but she should avoid (making his hair) black.” (Related by “the group,” except for al-Bukhari and at-Tirmizhi). This dealt with a certain incident, and cannot be generalized. Furthermore, black would not be proper for someone as old as Abu Quhafah.