Do I Owe a Penalty for Wearing Underwear in Ihram?

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick


Because of an issue involving urine drops and other discharges, I must wrap a tissue around my private area to prevent my underwear from becoming soiled. The only way for this tissue to remain in place is if I wear underwear.

During my Umrah and Hajj pilgrimages, I wore underwear beneath my ihram for this reason. I attempted alternative methods to secure the tissue, but none proved effective, leading me to wear my regular underwear.

Would this be excusable, or am I obligated to offer some form of penance?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate. May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to what pleases Him. Amin.

Your actions were sound, there is no penalty, and we pray that Allah blesses you with a perfect Hajj.

When an individual faces genuine medical or hygiene issues, such as the one you’ve described involving urine drops and other discharges, wearing underwear beneath your ihram is permissible.

Under usual circumstances, a penalty would be owed, but Sacred Law facilitates ease when people face constrained circumstances.

The following things necessitate the expiation, but, when done out of need, are not unlawful:

(1) having to cut one’s hair because of illness, heat, or lice;

(2) having to wear something sewn because of intense heat or cold [or illness];

(3) or having to cover one’s head. [Misri, ‘Umdat al-Salik]

Islam is a practical and compassionate religion, and it acknowledges that individuals may have unique circumstances or health concerns. You are not required to offer any form of penance for this action, as you acted under the principles of Islamic jurisprudence, considering your specific situation and needs.

May Allah accept your Umra and Hajj and grant you ease in your worship.

I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar Shaykh Taha Karaan.

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.