Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 5: What is permitted to a Muhrim

Introduction to Fiqh-us-Sunnah

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Volume 5, Page 43a: Taking a Bath, and Changing Clothes by a Muhrim

Ibrahim An-Nakh'i said: "Whenever our companions approached the well of Maimun, they would take a bath and then put on their best clothes."

It is said that Ibn 'Abbas entered a public bath at Al-Johfah (to take a bath), while he was in the state of ihram. He was asked: "How do you do so while in the state of ihram?" He replied: "Allah does not need any of our dirt and filth!"

Jabir said: "A person in the state of ihram may take a bath and wash his garb." Abdullah ibn Hunain reported: "Ibn 'Abbas and Al-Musawir ibn Makhramah were at Al-Abwa when they disagreed on whether a person in the state of ihram can wash his head. Ibn 'Abbas said: 'A person in the state of ihram is permitted to wash his head.' Al-Musawir differed and said that a muhrim is not allowed to wash his head. At this Ibn 'Abbas sent me to Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari. I found him bathing between the two wooden posts (of the well) and was screened with a sheet of cloth.

"I greeted him and he asked who I was. I replied, 'I am Abdullah ibn Hunain and I have been sent to you by Ibn 'Abbas to ask you how Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) used to bathe while in the state of ihram. At this Abu Ayub Al-Ansari caught hold of the sheet of cloth and lowered it till his head appeared before me, and then told somebody to pour water on his head. He poured water on his head, and he (Abu Ayub Al-Ansari) rubbed his head with his hands by bringing them from back to front and from front to back and said, 'I saw the Prophet (peace be upon him) doing this."' This is reported by the Group except Tirmizhi. Bukhari added: "Then I came back and told them. And Al-Musawir said to Ibn 'Abbas: 'I will never again argue with you."'

Ash-Shawkani said: "This hadith shows that a muhrim is permitted to take a bath while in the state of ihram and may even cover his head with his hand while doing so."

Ibn al-Munzhir said: "There is consensus that a muhrim may take a bath when in a state of janabah (major impurity). There is disagreement, however, concerning bathing in other cases."

Malik reported from Nafi' that Ibn 'Umar did not wash his head while in the state of ihram except when he had a wet dream."' It is reported that Malik disliked that one should immerse one's head in water while in the state of ihram.

Using soap or any other cleaning agent is permissible. Ash-Shafi'i and Hanbali schools hold one may use perfumed soap for bathing, and similarly women are permitted to undo their hair and comb it, because the Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered 'Aishah, saying: "Undo your hair, and comb it." (Muslim)

An-Nawawi said: "It is permitted to undo the hair and comb it while in the state of ihram provided that no hair is pulled out. Combing, however, is disliked unless there is some genuine reason for it. One may also carry one's belongings on one's head."

Volume 5, Page 44: Wearing a Short Underpants (short underwear)

Sa'id ibn Mansur reported from 'Aishah that she held that a muhrim may wear underpants. Al Hafiz remarked: "This is an opinion of 'Aishah, but the majority of scholars hold wearing underpants is forbidden for a muhrim, because it is similar to wearing trousers which are forbidden for a muhrim." (Bukhari)

Volume 5, Page 44a: Covering the Face

Ash-Shafi'i and Sa'id bin Mansur reported from Al-Qasim that he said: "Uthman ibn 'Affan, Zaid ibn Thabit, and Marwan ibn Al-Hakam used to cover their faces while in the state of ihram." Taw'us said: "A person in the state of ihram may cover his face if there is dust or ashes." Mujahid said: "If there was a sandstorm they covered their faces while in the state of ihram."

Volume 5, Page 44b: Women are Allowed to Wear Shoes

Abu Daw'ud and Ash-Shafi'i reported on the authority of 'Aishah that Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) permitted women to wear their shoes while in the state of ihram.

Volume 5, Page 44c: Covering the Head by Mistake

The Shafi'i school holds that there is no harm if a pilgrim forgot and covered his head or wore a shirt in a state of forgetfulness. 'Ata said: "There is no blame on such a person, but he should seek forgiveness of Allah." The Hanafi school says that such a person will have to redeem himself (by offering a sacrifice). There is also disagreement on using perfume by mistake or unknowingly. The Shafi'i school holds: "Ignorance and forgetfulness constitute an excuse enough to remove the need for redemption for doing something forbidden, unless it is something that involves damage such as hunting, shaving, and clipping nails." This is the correct position according to them. We will deal with it at its proper place.

Volume 5, Page 45: Cupping, Opening an Abscess, Pulling a Tooth or Cutting a Vein

It is substantiated that Allah's Messenger cupped himself in the middle of his head while he was in a state of ihram. Malik said: "There is no blame upon a muhrim if in case of need, he opens an abscess, wraps a wound or severs a vein."

Ibn 'Abbas said: "A person in the state of ihram may pull his tooth or open an abscess." An-Nawawi said: "If a muhrim wants cupping without any reason, and it necessitates cutting hair, then it is unlawful to do so. But if it does not necessitate cutting hair, the majority of scholars hold it permissible. Malik, however, hold that it is disliked. Al-Hasan is of the opinion that one must sacrifice an animal if one does so, even if it does not involve cutting any hair. But if it is done because of a need, then it is permissible, but one will have to pay a ransom to redeem oneself. Zahiri school holds that an atonement is required only for cutting hair from the head.

Volume 5, Page 45a: Itching in the Head and Body

'Aishah was asked about a pilgrim who has itching in his or her body. She said: "Yes, he or she may scratch as strongly as he or she likes." This hadith is reported by Bukhari, Muslim and Malik, who added: "If both of my hands were tied, and only my leg was free, I would use it to scratch myself." The same was reported from Ibn 'Abbas, Jabir, Sa'id ibn Jubair, 'Ata and Ibrahim An-Nakh'i.

Volume 5, Page 45b: Looking in the Mirror and Smelling Sweet Basil

Ibn 'Abbas said: "A person in a state of ihram is permitted to smell sweet basil, look in a mirror, and cure himself by eating butter and oils." 'Umar bin Abdul 'Aziz used to look in the mirror and use the tooth stick (siwak) while in a state of ihram.

Ibn Al-Munzhir said: "There is consensus among the scholars that a muhrim may eat oil, fat, and butter, but he is not permitted to use perfume all over his body.

Hanafi and Maliki scholars hold it is disliked for a muhrim to stay at a place which is full of perfume or scent, whether he intended to smell it or not. Hanbali and Shafi'i schools are of the opinion that if such a person does so intentionally it is unlawful for him, otherwise there is no harm. The Shafi'i school holds that sitting at a perfumer in an incensed place is permissible, because its prohibition will make things difficult. Applying perfume is not desirable; one should avoid it unless one is sitting in a place where one cannnot avoid it, for example, if one is sitting in the Sacred Mosque when it is scented. In this there is no harm, nor is it disliked, because sitting at this place is a means of achieving closeness to Allah, and to abandon it for something which is at best only permissible is not desirable. One may carry the perfume in a bottle or wrapped in a cloth and one is not required to make any atonement for doing so.

Volume 5, Page 46: Wearing a Belt Pocket Around the Waist to Keep One's Money and Wearing a Ring

Ibn 'Abbas said: There is no harm if a muhrim wears a ring, or a belt pocket to keep his money.

Volume 5, Page 46a: Wearing Kohl in the Eye

Ibn 'Abbas said: A person in a state of ihram may wear kohl if his or her eyes are sore, provided the kohl is not perfumed. There is consensus among scholars on its permissibility for treatment but not as a means for beautification.

Volume 5, Page 46b: Sitting Under the Shade of an Umbrella, a Tent, a Roof, etc.

Abdullah ibn 'Amer reported: " 'Umar used to throw a piece of leather on a tree and sit under its shade while he was in the state of ihram." This is reported by Ibn Abi Shaiba.

Ummul-Hussain reported: "I performed the Farewell Hajj with the Prophet (peace be upon him). I saw Usamah ibn Zaid and Bilal. One of them was holding the noseband of the Prophet's she-camel, and the other was shading him with a cloth from the sun until he threw the pebbles at 'Aqabah." This is reported by Ahmad and Muslim. 'Ata said: "A muhrim may shade himself from the sun, and take shelter to protect himself from rain and wind." Ibrahim An-Nakh'i reported: "Al-Aswad ibn Yazid threw a cloth over his head for shelter from rain while he was in the state of ihram."

Volume 5, Page 46c: Using Henna

The Hanbali school holds that using henna for dyeing any part of the body, except the head, is not forbidden for a muhrim, male or female. The Shafi'i school holds that a male muhrim may use henna for dying any part of the body, except hands and feet, dying of which without any genuine cause is not permissible in the state of ihram. Also covering one' s head with thick (layers of) henna is not permissible. They also hold that it is not desirable for a woman in the state of ihram to use henna, and that it is unlawful for her to do so if she is in 'iddah after the death of her husband.

The Hanafi and the Maliki schools on the other hand, hold that a muhrim, male or a female, is not permitted to use henna for dyeing any part of the body because it is a perfume, and a muhrim is not allowed to wear perfume during the state of ihram. Khawlah bint Hakim reported from her mother that the Prophet (peace be upon him) told Umm Salamah: "Do not wear perfume while you are in the state of ihram. nor touch henna, because it is a perfume." (Reported by At-Tabarani in Al-Kabir, Al-Baihaqi in his Al-Ma 'rifah, and by Ibn Abdul-Barr in his work At-Tamheed)

Volume 5, Page 46d: Punishing a Servant for Discipline

Asma bint Abi Baker reported: "We went for Hajj with the Prophet (peace be upon him). When we reached a place called 'Arj the Prophet (peace be upon him) stopped, and so did we. 'Aishah sat by the Prophet (peace be upon him), and I sat next to Abu Bakr. Their travel supplies were with a servant of Abu Bakr. He sat down waiting for his servant. When the servant came he was walking on foot, and had no camel with him. Abu Bakr asked him about his camel. The servant replied: 'I lost it yesterday.' At this Abu Bakr got angry and said to him: 'You had only one camel (to look after) and you lost it.' And he beat him. The Prophet (peace be upon him) smiled and said: 'Look at this muhrim--Abu Bakr! What is he doing?' And he kept on smiling and repeating this." (Reported by Ahmad, Abu Daw'ud, and Ibn Majah)

Volume 5, Page 47: Killing Flies, Fleas, and Lice

'Ata was asked by a man about the fleas or ants that vexed him while he was in the state of ihram. He replied: "You may throw away what does not belong to you." Ibn 'Abbas said: "A muhrim may kill lice and ticks."

A muhrim may also remove fleas from his camel. 'Ikrimah reported that Ibn 'Abbas once ordered him to kill the ticks off his camel while they were both in the state of ihram. 'Ikrimah, disliked doing so. Then, Ibn 'Abbas commanded Ikrimah to slaughter a camel, which he willingly did. Thereupon Ibn 'Abbas asked him, "Do you know how many ticks you just killed?"

Volume 5, Page 47a: Killing the Five Vicious Animals and Others that are Harmful

'Aishah reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Five of the animals are vicious and they may be killed in the sacred precincts of Haram: the crow, the kite, the scorpion, the mouse, and the ravenous dog. This is reported by Muslim and Bukhari, who added "(and) the snake."

There is consensus among the scholars that the small crow which eats the seeds, is not included in the category of the above animals. Under the ravenous dog is included one that bites people and frightens them and all other similar vicious animals that attack humans such as the lion, tiger, leopard and wolf. Thus Allah said: "They ask you what is lawful to them (as food). Say: 'Lawful to you, are (all) things good and pure: And what you have taught your trained hunting animals 8 (to catch) in the manner directed to you by Allah"' (Qur'an 5.4). The Hanafi scholars hold, however, that the word "vicious dog" in this case applies only to dogs and wolves.

Ibn Taimiyyah is of the opinion that a muhrim may kill any harmful creature that usually causes harm to humans, such as snake, scorpion, mouse, crow, and a vicious dog. He is also permitted to defend himself against whatever harms him, whether animals or people; if they assault him, he should fight them back. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "He who is killed while defending his wealth is a martyr, and he who is killed while defending his life is a martyr, and he who is killed while defending his religion is a martyr, and similarly he who is killed while defending his honor is also a martyr."

Ibn Taimiyyah further said: "If fleas and lice bite him, a muhrim should cast them out. He may also kill them, and incur no penalty. Casting them out is, however, easier than killing them. Similarly a muhrim is forbidden to kill any animal that he sees, such as a lion, a leopard, etc. But, most of the scholars hold that if he should kill one of these animals, he is not required to make any atonement. Looking for lice without feeling any bite, for comfort and pleasure, however, while one is in the state of ihram, should be avoided. But if someone does it, he is not required to make an atonement.

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