Praise be to Allaah.
The way in which a woman – and a man whose hair is long –
should wipe the head when doing wudoo’ is what is narrated in the hadeeth of
al-Rubayyi’ bint Mu’awwidh (may Allaah be pleased with her). Ahmad (26484)
and Abu Dawood (128) narrated from her that the Messenger of Allaah
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did wudoo’ in her house, and he
wiped his entire head from the crown of the head, all the way to the back of
the head, and he did not disturb or ruffle the hair. Classed as hasan by
al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
What is meant by the “crown of the head” is the top of the
head, i.e., start wiping from top to bottom.
Al-‘Iraaqi said: What is meant is that he would start wiping
from the top of the head to the bottom, and he did that on each side. End
quote from ‘Awn al-Ma’bood.
Another well known way of wiping has also been narrated,
which is to wipe the hair with both hands from front to back, then to bring
the hands back to the place where one started.
But this method leads to ruffling the hair, and the preferred
method for women is to wipe the head in the first manner, or to wipe from
the front to the back of the head and not to bring the hands back again.
This is another interpretation of the hadeeth of al-Rubayyi’. See the answer
to question no. 45867.
Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in
al-Mughni (1/87): If the one who has hair fears that it may be ruffled
if he brings his hands back over his head, then he may not do that. This was
stated by Ahmad. It was said to him: How should the one who has hair down to
his shoulders wipe (his head) during wudoo’? He wiped his head once and
said: Like this, so as to avoid ruffling his hair, i.e., he should pass his
hands to the back of his head and not bring them forward again.
If he wishes he may wipe his head, as it was narrated from
al-Rubayyi’ that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah
be upon him) did wudoo’ in her house, and he wiped his entire head from the
parting on each side to the back, and he did not disturb or ruffle the hair.
Narrated by Abu Dawood. Ahmad was asked: How should a woman wipe her hair?
He said: Like this; and he put his hand in the middle of his head, then drew
it forwards, then he lifted it and put it where he had started, then he drew
it backwards. Whatever he wipes it after wiping what is obligatory is good
enough. End quote.
And Allaah knows best.