With regards to the tail of the turban and where it should be left to hang, many styles have been reported from the messenger of Allah peace be upon him and his companions, may Allah be pleased with them.
1. Between the shoulder blades.
The most common and authentic style is to let the loose end or tail of the turban hang from the back between the shoulder blades.
Amr ibn Hurayth narrates that he saw the messenger of Allah peace be upon him standing on the pulpit wearing a black turban, both the loose ends of the turban were hanging between his shoulder blades.1
In a lengthy narration mentioned in the previous article, Abdur rahman ibn Auf mentions that the messenger of Allah peace be upon him tied for him a turban and let approximately four fingers length hang loose from behind.
Ibn Umar may Allah be pleased with them both mentions that when the messenger of Allah peace be upon him would tie a turban, he would let the loose end of it hang between his shoulder blades.3
Nafi, the student of Ibn Umar may Allah be pleased with him narrates that Ibn Umar used to tie a turban and would allow it to hang between his shoulder blades. One of the narrators Ubaydullah commented, ”Our teachers have informed us that they would see the companions donning the turban, allowing it to hang between their shoulder blades.”4
Muhammed ibn Zayd narrates, ”I saw Ibn Zubayr tie a black turban, and he let the loose end hang approximately one arms length from the back.”5
2. From the front and back
Muhammad ibn Qays narrates, ”I saw Ibn Umar wearing a turban. He had let its loose end hang from in front of him and from behind, I could not tell which one was longer.”6
Abdur rahman ibn Awf narrates, ”The messenger of Allah tied for me a turban, he allowed the loose end to hang in front of me and behind me.”7
Thawban may Allah be pleased with him narrates that when the messenger of Allah peace be upon him would tie a turban, he would allow the loose end to hang from in front and behind.8
3. On both the shoulders
Abu Ishaq Al-ajrab narrates that he saw Abu darda, may Allah be pleased with him, who was from amongst the companions of the messenger of Allah peace be upon him. He had deep blue eyes, his nose was crooked and he would dye his hair yellow. I saw him wearing a small double layered hat (a hat/Topi with two layers sewn together with cotton or something of the sort stuffed in between) along with a turban the loose ends of which hung on both his shoulders.9
4. On the right hand side
Abu Umamah may Allah be pleased with him narrates that whenever the messenger of Allah peace be upon him would appoint a governor, he would on him tie a turban and would let the tail hang to the right hand side towards the ear.10
However it must be noted that this narration is very weak.
5. On the left hand side
Abdullah ibn Busr narrates that the messenger of Allah peace be upon him sent Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, to Khaybar and tied for him a black turban and let the loose end hang behind him or on his left hand side shoulder. One of the narrators is unsure as to what his teacher told him.11
6. From the front
Hisham narrates, ”I saw Ibn Zubayr wearing a turban, both ends of it were hanging in front of him”.12
7. With no tail
The famous Imam Awzai narrates that he saw Makhool, a renowned early scholar of Hadith wearing a turban without allowing its loose end to hang.13
Imam An-nawawi states that it is permissible to wear a turban with or without the tail hanging and neither fashion is disliked. There are no reliable narrations preventing one from wearing a turban without a tail.14
There are many narrations with regards to the loose end of the turban. Some describe how the messenger of Allah himself peace be upon him wore it, some others how his companions would wear it and others mention how he had ordered his companions to wear it. Some narrations are authentic while some are not as authentic but none the less reliable. Although the Sunnah will be fulfilled by practicing upon any of the styles, the best and most authentic style is to allow the loose end to hang from the back between the shoulder blades.15
(صحيح مسلم، باب جَوَازِ دُخُولِ مَكَّةَ بِغَيْرِ إِحْرَامٍ، ح/٣٣٧٨).1 2
(جامع الترمذي، باب في سدل العمامة بين الكتفين، ح/١٧٣٦).3
(مصنف ابن أبي شيبة، باب في إرخاء العمامة بين الكتفين، ح/٢٥٤٧٧).4
(مصنف ابن أبي شيبة، باب في العمائم السود، ح/٢٥٤٥٦).5
(مصنف ابن أبي شيبة، باب في إرخاء العمامة بين الكتفين، ح/٢٥٤٨٢).6
(أبو داود، باب في العمائم، ح/٤٠٨١) و في إسناده شيخ مجهول..7
(الطبراني في الأوسط، ح/٣٤٢) و فيه الحجاج بن رشدين بن سعد و هو ضعيف.(تحفة).8
(المستدرك، ذكر مناقب أبي الدرداء عويمر بن زيد الأنصاري رضي الله عنه، ح/٥٤٥٠).9
.10(الطبراني في الكبير،ح/٧٥٢٥) و فيه جميع بن ثوب و هو متروك.(تحفة)
.11(الأحاديث المختارة للضياء المقدسي، ح/٩٧)
.12(مصنف ابن أبي شيبة، باب في إرخاء العمامة بين الكتفين، ح/٢٤٤٧٨)
.13(مصنف ابن أبي شيبة، باب في إرخاء العمامة بين الكتفين، ح/٢٥٤٨٣)
.14(شرح المهذب، باب ما يكره لبسه و ما لا يكره)
.15(حاشية المناوي على جمع الوسائل في شرح الشمائل، ص/١٦٧)