[The Root 10/17/2017] Reported:
“An Army directive, issued in February, adjusted its grooming policies related to allow dreadlocks—which had been banned since 2005….The policy that banned all natural hairstyles, called AR 670-1, first leaked online in 2014. It outlawed twists, braids, cornrows and Afros—styles commonly associated with black women. …after our story sparked months of outrage—including an open letter from the Congressional Black Caucus and a review ordered by the Pentagon—the Army reversed course.”
This is just another example of us fighting to be who God created us to be – Black people. It seems everything so-called African-American accomplishes; we have to fight for it. We have to scratch and claw our way for justice. Scratch and claw to matter, scratch and claw to exist. And wearing natural hairstyles is just another issue we have to fight for. The Qur’an speaks of Fitrah (Arabic: فطرة;), which is our natural state of being. Allah says in suratal Rum (The Romans) 30:30 :
“So set thou thy face steadily and truly to the (natural) way of life: (by) the fitrah of Allah upon which He has created [all] people. No change should there be in the creation of Allah. That is the correct way of life, but most of the people do not know.”
So going natural is the Fitrah of Allah outwardly, our natural state. And Taweed (belief in the oneness of God) and Taqwa (reverence and respect for the creator) is the inner fitrah. So people shouldn’t be so alarmed when Black people be Black – No perms, skin bleaches, etc… Just let us be.
Even the prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) use to braid his hair (al-Bukhaari, 5570; Muslim, 1184 ). So what’s wrong with our hair being braided or allowed to grow naturally into locks? The only prohibition to locks would be if you didn’t wash and keep them clean. And according to Dr. Yusuf Ziya Kavakci, Sunni Islamic lawyer- Turkiye, Libya and Saudi Arabia, he states:
“In a situation of Wudu (partial ablution) there is no need to unlock the dreads and blocks of hair. All that is required is that you wipe over the hairs of the dread locks. But in the case of Ghusul (process of purifying the entire body via a bath) from Janabah and Menses, the hairs need to be done and washed so that all of the hairs are completely wet and the water reached your skull. The same goes for Ghusl of Janaza (funeral). If these conditions can be met, then having dreadlocks is not Haram (a sin)”
However, in this society, the legal courts in America have ruled against Black women in hair discrimination cases, given the overwhelming whiteness of the federal judiciary system. White America, by and large, has never bothered to understand Black hair, but rather has expected that we conform our hair to their Eurocentric beauty standards—long, straight locks.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC), the agency responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal for employers to discriminate on the basis of race, have fought in the courts for our natural hair acceptance. They have filed several lawsuits, but most have failed. Because the Supreme Court hasn’t yet agreed with them, thus leaving lower courts to muddle through without guidance from the high court. Which usually results in cases about our natural hair being defeated or thrown out.
Until things change, legally at least, we have to start to look towards entrepreneurship and more self-determination. We cannot always expect that people will understand our style, our culture, our swagger, our hair. Keep fighting the fight to be you. But when you have your own, the fight is less strenuous. As-salaamu alaikum.