Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Assalam alaykum,
Is it permissible for males and females in a state of pilgrim sanctity to wipe the head and face with a towel after wudu or taking a bath?
Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,
Drying your limbs with a towel is not problematic whilst in a state of pilgrim sanctity (ihram). This is because the interdiction relates to the normal wearing of clothing, namely, that which is made for the limb, and remains on it without something external keeping it in place. Drying yourself with a towel meets neither of these conditions.
This is why the jurists (fuqaha) mention wrapping a shirt around yourself, for instance, as a wearing which is deemed invalid, and doing so, thus, does not necessitate a penalty (jaza’). “Wearing” a shirt in such a manner covers part of the body, yet it is not considered normal wearing; but it would obviously still be improper to do this as it is contrary to the sunna.
[Qari, al-Maslak al-Mutaqassit fi al-Mansak al-Mutawassit (201); Maydani, al-Lubab fi Sharh al-Kitab (201)]
And Allah Most High alone knows best.
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani