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Rulings of Shaving and Trimming During ʿUmrah and Ḥajj

Answered by Shaykh Yūsuf Badāt


What is the ruling of shaving and trimming during ʿUmrah and Ḥajj? Is there a minimum requirement to be trimmed?


In the Name of Allāh, Most Kind, Most Merciful

Thank you/ Jazāk Allāh Khayr for your question.

Trimming or shaving the hair of the head in ʿUmrah and or Ḥajj is a wājib (necessary) act to get out of the ritual state of iḥrām. In ʿUmrah the timing [to shave or trim] is after completing all the required actions. During Ḥajj the specific timing is on the 10th of Dhū Al-Ḥijjah anywhere in the ḥaram (sacred boundary) around the vicinity of Makkah.

“With your heads shaved and [hair] shortened.” (Qurʿān 48:27)

For men, shaving the entire head is superior, more rewarding and also encouraged. However, trimming is allowed.  If one chooses to trim, at least one inch of the hair must be cut from the entire head. The minimum amount to fulfill the obligation is from at least one fourth of the head.

There is an opinion in the Shāfʿīe school that the minimum to be cut is 3 hairs. (See: Al-Majmūʾ)

“May Allāh bless those [men] who shaved [their heads during Ḥajj].” The Companions (may Allāh be pleased with them) asked, “O Messenger of Allāh, what about those who trimmed?” Thereupon the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) said, “May Allāh bless those who shaved.” They repeated their question the third time, and again the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) said, “May Allāh bless those who shaved.” When they asked him for the fourth time, “O Messenger of Allāh, what about those who clip their hair short?” He said, “And [may Allāh bless] those who clip their hair short [as well].” (Bukhārī)

“The Messenger of Allāh (peace and blessings upon him) shaved his hair in the Farewell Ḥajj (pilgrimage). Some of his companions shaved while others trimmed.” (Bukhārī, Muslim)

“Maʾmar bin ʿAbd Allāh bin Nadhlah bin ʿAwf (may Allāh be pleased with him) shaved the hair of the Prophet [in pilgrimage].” (Bukhārī)

“Muʿāwiyah (may Allāh be pleased with him) says, “I trimmed the Prophet’s hair with scissors at the completion of his ʿUmrah on Mount Marwa.” (Nasaī)

Ibn ʿOmar (may Allāh be pleased with him) reports from the Messenger (peace and blessings upon him) “The pilgrim should trim [at least] the quantity of a fingertip (an inch).” (Hadiyat Al-Sālik)

Women cannot shave. Shaving the head hair for women is islamicaly considered a type of muthlah (mutilation).  Women are only required to trim. Women should trim all hair from the bottom edge in the quantity of at least one inch. If one inch of at least one fourth of their head hair is trimmed, this will suffice for the obligation. (Al-Muḥīṭ Al-Burhānī)

“For women there is no shaving. They will only trim [in pilgrimage].” (Abū Dāwūd)

In the case where one has no hair what so ever, naturally or due to a previous haircut, the predominate view of Islamic jurists is that such a pilgrim will simply pass the hair-cutting machine or tool over majority of the head. This is wājib [necessary] according to the Ḥanafī school, and mustaḥab [recommended] according to the Shāfī’e, Mālikī and Ḥanbalī schools. (See: Mawsū’ah al-Fiqhiyyah and Kitāb Al-Aṣl Li Muḥammad ibn Ḥasan)

“The Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) instructed Companions who performed ʿUmrah after Ḥajj to pass razors across their heads.” (Dār Quṭnī and Ḥākim)

It must be noted, that if one has a few patches of hair on the head, then one must trim or shave that hair to fulfill the obligation.

If someone has a medical condition due to which hair cannot be cut, one must then, in compensation give charity and or have an animal sacrificed and distributed to the poor. (See: Qurʿān 2:196)

And Allāh Knows Best

This answer was collected from Mathabah.org. It’s an Islamic educational institute based in Canada. The questions are generally answered by Sheikh Yusuf Badat and Sheikh Omar Subedar.

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