HOW TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN SUNNAH AND ARAB CULTURE
By Shaykh Al-Albani
Excerpt on hair:
Opposite to this is a Sunnah that has been establish for the Prophet prayer and peace are upon him, and it is that he used to have long hair. Sometimes his hair would reach his earlobes and if it was longer then it would reach the top of his shoulders. Rather, it has been confirmed that when the Prophet, prayer and peace are upon him, entered Mecca he has his hair in four braids. Therefore is growing the hair long firstly, and then putting it into braids secondly, a Sunnah of worship or a Sunnah of custom? The answer as I see it, there is nothing here that calls to or justifies or can be construed to cause any wavering concerning this Sunnah of custom. Why? Firstly, because the Prophet, prayer and peace are upon him, was not the one who started this Sunnah, rather, this was present before the Messenger was born, not to mention before he became a Prophet, prayer and peace are upon him!!! This was the custom of the Arabs; they used to grow their hair long. And some of the youth to this day, some of the youth in the deserts of Syria that we have witnessed, some of them bunch their hair and put it into braids. So this is a custom that was not started by the Prophet, peace and blessings are upon him, rather he just continued upon the customs of the Arabs, and he let his hair grow and when he entered Mecca he put it into four braids. There is nothing here that would hurt us if we considered this Sunnah a Sunnah of custom, as opposed to a Sunnah of worship.