Question to Shaikh Rabee (may Allaah preserve him):
Our Shaikh-may Allaah preserve you. (Regarding) the statement of the Prophet (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam): ‘’Their sign (i.e. the khawaarij) will be the habit of shaving.’’ [Saheeh Al-Bukhaari, Hadeeth Number 562, Vol 9] So is the one who shaves a lot in this era similar to them because some of the scholars say that it (i.e. shaving) is not a sign of theirs at present?
The Shaikh (may Allaah preserve him) responded:
Answer: The who does not intend to imitate them, rather he (only) wants to shave his head, this is permissible. (That is) because the initial (ruling regarding this affair) is Al-Jawaaz (permissibility) and he (i.e. the person) does not desire to imitate them. Therefore, this person is not from them, for they (i.e. khawaarij) used to adopt shaving as a sign for themselves in order to distinguish them from the Muslims. They adopted shaving as a distinguishing sign just as the shee’ah adopt black clothing. This is a general distinguishing sign of black (clothing) and what is similar to it, just as the soofiyyah (i.e. the soofees) adopt patched garments and some (other types of) clothing to distinguish them from the people. So these distinguishing signs which some people wish to be distinguished by way of religious practice and from the Muslims, then these (people) are people of misguidance who are similar to the khawaarij in their (act of) shaving. As for the one who shaves because it is permissible, he is not included in this In-Shaa-Allaah, except if he adopts it as a distinguishing sign. [الذريعة إلى بيان مقاصد كتاب الشريعة – Vol 2, page 266 ]
Abu Mu’aawiyah (Abdullah Al-Gambi)