Removing Hair and Wearing Scents: Expiations for Accidental Violations of Ihram during Hajj

Answered by Sidi Faraz A. Khan

Question: Asalamu Alaikum,

I recently came back from Hajj, Alhumdulilah, and had a few questions on Ihram violations. In each of the three scenarios mentioned, do I owe a dam or charity? Also, when and where do I owe them. JazakAllah khair for your help!

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this reaches you in the best of health and faith.

1) My wife had to scratch her head knowing that her hair might come off while she was doing so, but because the itch was bothering her, she scratched her head and a hair was removed. Does she owe a Dam? Also, should this Dam have been given during the Hajj time or can I have someone in Mecca that we know pay for a Dam to be sacrificed in the Haram?

With respect to prohibitions, accidental violations are not sinful but still require expiation. Yet a sacrifice of a sheep [dam] is due only for removing a fourth or more of one’s hair. Hence she only owes donation, namely, about 2.2 kg of wheat or its equivalent monetary value to a poor person. This donation is not specific to any place, as opposed to the sacrifice [dam] which if necessary, must be performed within the Sacred Precinct [haram]. If a sacrifice were necessary yet one had already returned home, one could have someone else over there do it on his/her behalf, even after the time of hajj.

But again, the answer to your question is that a donation is due, not a sacrifice.

2) I had a money pouch around me during Ihram. Before I put my Ihram on, that pouch had a bottle of perfume in it. While I was in Ihram, I put my hand in the pouch and touched the perfume and realized it was there. I picked it up and threw it out, but in the process of doing so, my fingers got the perfume scent on them. Also, scent was coming from the perfume bottle that was located in my pouch probably for about 3 or 4 hours while I was in Ihram before I discovered it.

It is unlikely that your entire hand got scent on it, so because it was less then an entire limb, only a donation is due [as detailed above], not a sacrifice. The perfume in the bottle/pouch is of no consequence.

3) I accidentally used liquid soap in a public restroom on my hand but quickly washed it off as soon as I put it on when I realized I wasn’t supposed to.

If it were scented and was applied on your whole hand [i.e., one entire limb] or more, then one sacrifice [dam] would be due. As outlined above, this is not time specific but is place specific. So if you know anyone in the Sacred Precinct, or the next time you know someone going for hajj or umra, just ask that person to do a sacrifice of a sheep on your behalf.

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi l-Sa`adat, “Ascent to Felicity” with footnotes]

And Allah knows best.


Faraz A. Khan

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani