It says in Sharh al-Iqnaa’: Qaza’ includes shaving some places on the sides of the head, or shaving the middle and leaving the sides, as most of the Christians do, or shaving the sides and leaving the middle, as many of the foolish do, or shaving the front and leaving the back.
Imam Ahmad (rh) was asked about shaving the back of the head and he said: This is the action of the Magians, and whoever imitates a people is one of them. Thus, it is known that it is not permissible to leave some parts of the hair longer than others.
‘Abd-Allaah ibn Ghadyaan, ‘Abd al-Razzaaq ‘Afeefi, Ibraaheem ibn Muhammad Aal al-Shaykh. End quote.
This is a general answer and there is a lot of detail.
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
With regard to shaving part of the head and leaving part, this is of varying degrees.
- The worst is shaving the middle of the head and leaving the sides, as the Christian monks do.
- After that comes shaving the sides and leaving the middle, as many of the foolish and worthless people do.
- After that comes shaving the front of the head and leaving the back.
These three types all come under the heading of qaza’ which was forbidden by the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), but some of them are worse than others.
These seem to refer to shaving parts of the head totally.
A person should be, generally, avoiding these things especially if he wants to be a role model to others. Meaning, to gain higher ranks and call others to good one must be impeccable and avoid even that which is makrooh.
From an academic point of view, classical scholars seem to classify it as makrooh rather than haraam unless they were imitating others in which case it’s extremely dangerous.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
Qaza’ is makrooh, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saw a boy, part of whose hair had been shaved and part had been left. He told them not to do that and said: “Shave it all or leave it all.” But if it is done in imitation of the kuffaar it is haraam, because imitating the kuffaar is haraam. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” end quote.
Al-Sharh al-Mumti’ (1/167).
Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Majmoo’ (1/347):
Qaza’, which means shaving part of the head, is makrooh because of the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar in al-Saheehayn, which says that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade qaza’. End quote.