Hajj & Umrah: 1. Violations of The Ihraam For Both Men & Women

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The violations of Ihraam are those matters that have been prohibited for the Muhrim (the one in Ihraam) who is about to perform Hajj or `Umrah. These are of three categories:

1: Those things forbidden for the male and female.

2: That which is forbidden for the male only.

3: That which is forbidden for the female only.

In this article I will discuss the first category, inshaa’Allaah.

1: That which is forbidden for the male and female.

i) Removal of the hair upon the head whether it be shaved or shortened. Allaah stated:

وَلَا تَحْلِقُوا رُءُوسَكُمْ حَتَّىٰ يَبْلُغَ الْهَدْيُ مَحِلَّهُ

“And do not shave your heads until the sacrificial animal has reached its place of slaughter.” [2:196]

The majority of the scholars (rahimahumallaah) count the rest of bodily hair to be included in this prohibition. So no hair from any of the body is to be removed or shortened.

And there is a penalty for the one who shaves the head:

فَمَن كَانَ مِنكُم مَّرِيضًا أَوْ بِهِ أَذًى مِّن رَّأْسِهِ فَفِدْيَةٌ مِّن صِيَامٍ أَوْ صَدَقَةٍ أَوْ نُسُكٍ

“And whoever among you is ill or has an ailment of the head [making shaving necessary must offer] a ransom of fasting [three days] or charity or sacrifice.” [2:196]

The Prophet (salallaahu alaihi wassallam) made clear that the fasting is for three days; and the charity is three Saaʿ  which is: three times four cupped handfuls of food to be given to six poor people. So that would equate to twelve full cupped handfuls in total, as below:

For each poor person half a Saaʿ (which is two cupped handfuls each).

The sacrifice is a sheep, and the intent is a sheep that is old enough to be offered as for sacrifice (hadiyy). One that is free from physical defects that prevents it from being offered.

The scholars refer to this fidyah (penalty) as the fidyatul-‘adhaa i.e. “the penalty of harm or ailment.” This is taken from the verse quoted above.

ii) Trimming the nails or pulling them off. This is forbidden based upon the analogy (qiyaas) with shaving the hair or shortening it, as is well known amongst the Scholars.

There is no difference between the nails of one’s hands or feet. Removing either is forbidden. However if the nail breaks without one intended that, and this causes discomfort or harm to the person, then there is no harm in him removing that to the extent of the discomfort or harm being removed, and there is no fidyah (i.e. penalty) to pay.

iii) Using perfume or fragrance upon one’s garments or body or other than that if its effects reaches a person.

Ibn Umar said that the Prophet (salallaahualaihi wassallam) said regarding the Muhrim:

“Let him not wear a garment scented with saffron nor the scent of wars.”

And he commanded that the Companion who fell off his riding beast whilst in Ihraam at `Arafah, and died, not be perfumed during his washing and shrouding. Both of these narrations are in Bukhaaree and Muslim.

And of course, this means that the Muhrim must not use perfumed soaps, shampoos, creams, gels, deodorants, etc.

As for the fragrances used by a man prior to entering into Ihraam upon his skin, or hair or beard, then that is fine, even if the fragrance lingers upon him after he enters into Ihraam. But he should not apply fragrance to his garments of Ihraam due to the hadeeth quoted above.

The women of course are prohibited just as the men. Rather women are further prohibited from using perfume at any time except within their homes and in the company of their mahrams (i.e. husband and male relatives that are permanently forbidden to marry).

iv) It is prohibited to marry in a state of Ihraam due to the saying of the Prophet (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam): 

“A Muhrim cannot marry, nor marry someone off, nor propose.” [Muslim]

This means he cannot marry a woman, nor perform a marriage for her by acting as a guardian or a representative of the guardian. And one cannot propose to a woman until he is out of Ihraam. And a woman likewise cannot marry whilst she is in Ihraam. The marriage or Nikaah contract is invalidated and not correct whilst one is in Ihraam, due to the saying of the Prophet (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam):

“Whoever does a deed which is not from this affair of our (Islaam) will be rejected.”

v) Touching with desire or kissing and caressing one’s spouse with desire is prohibited, due to the saying of Allaah:

فَمَن فَرَضَ فِيهِنَّ الْحَجَّ فَلَا رَفَثَ وَلَا فُسُوقَ وَلَا جِدَالَ فِي الْحَجِّ

“..so whoever has made Hajj obligatory upon himself therein [by entering the state of ihram], there is [to be for him] no sexual relations and no disobedience and no disputing during Hajj.” [2:197]

So caressing, kissing and so on are from the initial stages of sexual relations, so both the man and woman are prohibited from engaging in such activity. And each should resist the advances of the other.

One must also desist from looking at the opposite sex who is unrelated with desire, because that is from disobedience.

vi) Full sexual intercourse due to the same verse quoted above:

“..so whoever has made Hajj obligatory upon himself therein [by entering the state of ihram], there is [to be for him] no sexual relations and no disobedience and no disputing during Hajj.” [2:197]

Rafath in this verse refers to sexual intercourse and foreplay which leads up to it. And sexual intercourse is the severest of the Ihraam violations and it has an effect upon the Hajj. This takes place in one of two situations:

  1. The sex takes place before the “first exiting” of Ihraam (at-Tahallul al-Awwal). Upon this are built two matters:
  1. A penalty (fidyah) must be paid in the form of a camel or cow, by sacrificing it and distributing all its meat to the needy without the one who fell into the violation eating any.
  2. The Hajj is nullified in which sexual relations took place. The following year, that Hajj must be made up without delay.

The rest of the Ihraam violations do not nullify one’s Hajj.

  1. The sex that takes place after the “first exiting” from Ihraam, i.e. after the stoning of the Jamratul-`Aqabah and the shaving of the head (or cutting the hair), and before the Tawaaful-Ifaadah. In this case the Hajj is sound and not invalidated. However, two affairs are necessitated that are well-known in the Madh-hab of Imaam Ahmad:
  1. Penalty of slaughtering a sheep and distributing all its meat to the needy without him eating of it himself.
  2. That he must exit the haram precincts or its borders and enter into Ihraam once more. He must put on his Izaar and Ridaa (Ihraam garments) for the purpose of performing the Tawaaf al-Ifaadah in a state of Ihraam.

vii) Killing of wild game animals such as rabbits, antelope and pigeons. Allaah stated:

“O you who believe do not kill wild game whilst you are in Ihraam.”

Also one cannot lay traps for them, or hunt them directly and kill them, or be a cause of that, or aid another in that, or by directing someone else, or by showing someone else, or by carrying the weapon of the one doing so, etc.

As for eating wild game in Ihraam, then that is of three categories:

  1. That which the Muhrim killed or participated in its killing. Then to eat that is haraam upon a Muhrim and upon other than a Muhrim.
  2. That which was caught by an non-Muhrim with the aid of a Muhrim such as him showing him where to go, or carrying the hunting tools. Then that is haraam for the Muhrim to eat but not upon the non-Muhrim.
  3. That which was caught by the non-Muhrim for the Muhrim. That is halaal for the non-Muhrim to eat but haraam for the Muhrim, due to the saying of the Prophet (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam): “The wild game of the land is halaal for you so long as you did not hunt it nor was it hunted for you.” [Ahmad 387, Abu Dawood 1851, at-Tirmidhee 5/187, Ibn Khuzaimah 2641]

Bukhaaree and Muslim report that Abu Qataadah hunted down a wild donkey, and he was not a Muhrim but his companions were in Ihraam. So they ate from it. Then they doubted regarding what they had eaten, so they asked the Prophet (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam). He asked: “Did anyone point it out to him or command him with anything?” They said: “No.” So he said: “Then eat from it.”

So if a Muhrim kills wild game deliberately, then he pays a penalty.

If he killed a pigeon, then he slaughters a sheep and distributes it amongst the needy around the kabah precincts. Or its equivalent in food distributed to the poor, giving each needy person a Saa. Or he fasts a day for each person he would have fed. Allaah, the Most High, said:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَقْتُلُوا الصَّيْدَ وَأَنتُمْ حُرُمٌ ۚ وَمَن قَتَلَهُ مِنكُم مُّتَعَمِّدًا فَجَزَاءٌ مِّثْلُ مَا قَتَلَ مِنَ النَّعَمِ يَحْكُمُ بِهِ ذَوَا عَدْلٍ مِّنكُمْ هَدْيًا بَالِغَ الْكَعْبَةِ أَوْ كَفَّارَةٌ طَعَامُ مَسَاكِينَ أَوْ عَدْلُ ذَٰلِكَ صِيَامًا لِّيَذُوقَ وَبَالَ أَمْرِهِ

“O you who have believed, do not kill game while you are in the state of ihram. And whoever of you kills it intentionally – the penalty is an equivalent from sacrificial animals to what he killed, as judged by two just men among you as an offering [to Allah] delivered to the Ka’bah [for the poor people to eat], or an expiation: the feeding of needy people or the equivalent of that in fasting, that he may taste the consequence of his deed.” [5:95]

vii) Cutting Trees?

Cutting trees is not haraam for the Muhrim due to him being in Ihraam, because the issue of Ihraam has no effect here. Rather it is forbidden upon everyone who is within the limits of the Haram whether he is a Muhrim or not a Muhrim. So based upon this it is permitted for the Muhrim or non-Muhrim to cut trees in Arafah. And it is haraam to do so in Muzdalifah and Minaa. That is because Arafat is outside of the Haram boundary whilst Minaa and Muzdalifah are within it.

So these are the seven violations that both males and females must avoid.


1: That which is forbidden for the male only.

2: That which is forbidden for the female only.


Manaasik al-Hajj wal-Umrah wal-Mashroo Fiz-Ziyaarah of Shaikh Muhammad Ibn Saalih al-`Uthaimeen.

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