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What Is the Ruling on Cutting Hair for Umra?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: I am due to go for Umra soon but I am nervous about shaving my head due to aesthetic reasons as I worry that it won’t suit me and will take a while to grow back. Is the ruling that it is compulsory to shave one’s head or does one only need to trim their hair?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

It is necessary (wajib) to shave or trim at least one quarter of the hair on your head after performing the rites of a pilgrimage (hajj/‘umra). The sunna is to shave or trim the entire head, and it is disliked to do less than this.

Generally, it is superior to shave, given that it was emphatically encouraged by the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), but trimming your hair is also acceptable on condition that the hair is shortened by roughly the extent of a finger-joint, namely, two centimetres.

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “‘O Allah, forgive those who shave their heads.’ They said, ‘And those who cut their hair short!’ He said, ‘O Allah, forgive those who shave their heads.’ They said, ‘And those who cut their hair short!’ He said it a third time and said, ‘and those who cut the hair short.” [Bukhari]

[Sindi, Lubab al-Manasik, with Qari’s Gloss (153)]

Please also see:What is the Minimum Amount of Hair that Must Be Cut to Exit the State of Ihram After Hajj or Umrah? and The Minimum Amount of Hair that Must Be Cut to Exit the State of Ihram

And Allah Most High alone knows best.
Wasalaam

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.

The Minimum Amount of Hair that Must Be Cut to Exit the State of Ihram

Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: I have come across differing opinions on the amount of hair that must be cut after Sa’ee in order to lift the state of Ihraam. I am afraid that my family may have not cut the required amount, which means we never properly exited Ihraam.

For men, I have read that they must trim at least one inch from their entire head, or one inch from at least one quarter of their head of hair. For women, I have read they must clip one-inch from all of their hair, one inch from a quarter of their hair, or the amount that can wrap around their finger of one lock of hair.

My father simply snipped some hair from one or two places, whilst my mother and I took a lock and wrapped it around our fingers and snipped, though I was unsure as to how thick the lock must be.

Please tell me the correct Hanafi opinion for men and women, in terms of clipping their hair at the close of Umrah, and what expiation or damm must be given for doing this incorrectly.

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.

The Shafi’i ruling is that cutting three strands of hair is sufficient, at a minimum length of one ‘unmula’ (i.e., from the fingertip to the first joint; about 1.5cm). [Shirbini/Nawawi, Mughni al-Muhtaj ila Ma’rifat Alfaz al-Minhaj]

This answer gives the Hanafi ruling:

What is the Minimum Amount of Hair that Must Be Cut to Exit the State of Ihram After Hajj or Umrah?

I would advise you to take the Shafi’i ruling on this issue, considering it was done in the past and the Hanafi ruling would entail undue hardship for you.

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani mentions,

And Allah knows best.
wassalam
Faraz

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

“I confirm this answer and the mentioned dispensation to be sound to take.” – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

What is the Minimum Amount of Hair that Must Be Cut to Exit the State of Ihram After Hajj or Umrah?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: Will you please explain by Hadith, that if there is minimum & maximum of cutting hair after umrah or haj for ladies. What about a good hair-cut instead of some little part of hair.

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.

According to the Hanafi school, the minimum length of hair that needs to be cut to exit the state of ihram is the length of one-third of the finger (i.e., from the fingertip to the first joint; a little over 1cm or so).

The sunna is to cut this length from all of one’s hair, yet the minimum requirement is that this length of hair be cut from at least one-fourth of the head (yet one should still do a bit more than one-fourth out of precaution). This criteria applies to both men and women. [Ascent to Felicity, p. 157]

According to the Shafi`i school, the minimum amount that must be cut is three strands of hair. [Mawsu`a Kuwaitiyya]

So a “good haircut” should be more than sufficient according to both schools.

Lastly, it is important to keep in mind that “hadith” is not the only source of law in Islam. The jurists (fuqaha’) use many other sources of law when deriving rulings, such as the Qur’an itself, scholarly consensus (ijma`), and legal analogy (qiyas). And certain schools (more than others) also used the understanding and verdicts of Sahaba, the inherited practice of certain communities (such as Medina or Kufa), legal preference (istihsan), and several other sources of law — as delineated in works of legal theory (usul al-fiqh).

So the appropriate way of posing a question such as yours is to ask about the limits of cutting the hair, as per one (or more) of the four schools of law. Each school has its proofs, which are based on hadith as well as other sources of law.

And Allah knows best.
wassalam
Faraz