Hajj Ritual

Shaving the Head and Cutting the Hair

The sixth obligation:

Shaving or cutting the hair of the head:

This is the sixth obligation of the obligatory pilgrimage and it is must be performed with the intention of attaining closeness to Allah. This duty may not be carried out prior to the day of the festival and not in the night before the festival except for those for whom the exceptional rules apply. It is ahwaṯ-ul-awlā to cut the hair during the day that follows the stone throwing and the slaughtering. If it is done before that or prior to one of these acts due to an oversight or to ignorance of the rule, it is valid and there is no need to repeat it.

#403: Women are not permitted to shave their head. Their obligation is to cut their hair.

#404: Men have the option of either shaving their head or cutting their hair, but shaving the head is preferable. However, if someone has applied glue, honey or the like to their hair in order to remove lice or if their hair is braided or if it is their first pilgrimage, they have to shave their hair as a precaution.

#405: If the pilgrim wants to shave their hair but they fear the blade might injure their head, they are not permitted to do it. They should have their hair cut short with clippers or they may first trim their hair and then shave their head if they so choose (if they have the choice between shaving and cutting). If they shave their head in spite of their fears, it is valid but they are committing a sin.

#406: If it is doubtful whether a person is male or female or hermaphrodite, they have to cut their hair except if they had used glue or honey on it or if they had it braided or if it is their first pilgrimage. In these cases, they have to first cut their hair and then – as a precaution – have their head shaved.

#407: After the shaving or cutting of the hair, everything that had been prohibited during state of consecration is permitted again except for sexual intimacies with one's marital partner, using perfume and – as a precaution – hunting. It is clear that "sexual intimacies" refers not only to sexual intercourse but also to all pleasures that are forbidden during the ihrām. However, getting married or witnessing a marriage is permitted.

#408: Cutting or shaving the hair has to be done in Mina. If this is not observed, wittingly or unwittingly or due to forgetfulness, and the pilgrim leaves Mina, they have to return in order to perform it there. If returning to Mina is difficult for the pilgrim, they should cut or shave their hair wherever they currently are and then send the hair to Mina if possible. If someone deliberately cuts or shaves their hair outside Mina, the act is valid but they have to send their hair to Mina if they are able to do so.

#409: If a pilgrim has forgotten to cut or shave their hair or omitted it due to ignorance of the rule and then remembers it or learns about the rule after completing all the ceremonies of Hajj and then does so, they are not required to repeat the ṯawāf and the sa´ī. As a precaution, the pilgrim should repeat the ṯawāf and the sa´ī while they are still in Mecca.