Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 5: What is permitted to a Muhrim
Ibrahim An-Nakh'i said: "Whenever our companions approached the well ofMaimun, 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 abath), while he was in the state of ihram. He was asked: "How do you do sowhile in the state of ihram?" He replied: "Allah does not need any ofour dirt and filth!"
Jabir said: "A person in the state of ihram may take a bath and washhis garb." Abdullah ibn Hunain reported: "Ibn 'Abbas and Al-Musawiribn Makhramah were at Al-Abwa when they disagreed on whether a person in thestate of ihram can wash his head. Ibn 'Abbas said: 'A person in the state ofihram is permitted to wash his head.' Al-Musawir differed and said that amuhrim is not allowed to wash his head. At this Ibn 'Abbas sent me to Abu AyyubAl-Ansari. I found him bathing between the two wooden posts (of the well) andwas screened with a sheet of cloth.
"I greeted him and he asked who I was. I replied, 'I am Abdullah ibnHunain and I have been sent to you by Ibn 'Abbas to ask you how Allah'sMessenger (peace be upon him) used to bathe while in the state of ihram. Atthis Abu Ayub Al-Ansari caught hold of the sheet of cloth and lowered it till hishead appeared before me, and then told somebody to pour water on his head. Hepoured water on his head, and he (Abu Ayub Al-Ansari) rubbed his head with hishands by bringing them from back to front and from front to back and said, 'Isaw the Prophet (peace be upon him) doing this."' This is reported by theGroup except Tirmizhi. Bukhari added: "Then I came back and told them. AndAl-Musawir said to Ibn 'Abbas: 'I will never again argue with you."'
Ash-Shawkani said: "This hadith shows that a muhrim is permitted totake a bath while in the state of ihram and may even cover his head with hishand while doing so."
Ibn al-Munzhir said: "There is consensus that a muhrim may take a bathwhen 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 thestate of ihram except when he had a wet dream."' It is reported that Malikdisliked that one should immerse one's head in water while in the state ofihram.
Using soap or any other cleaning agent is permissible. Ash-Shafi'i andHanbali schools hold one may use perfumed soap for bathing, and similarly womenare permitted to undo their hair and comb it, because the Prophet (peace beupon 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 inthe state of ihram provided that no hair is pulled out. Combing, however, isdisliked unless there is some genuine reason for it. One may also carry one'sbelongings on one's head."
Sa'id ibn Mansur reported from 'Aishah that she held that a muhrim may wearunderpants. Al Hafiz remarked: "This is an opinion of 'Aishah, but themajority of scholars hold wearing underpants is forbidden for a muhrim, becauseit is similar to wearing trousers which are forbidden for a muhrim."(Bukhari)
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 covertheir faces while in the state of ihram." Taw'us said: "A person inthe state of ihram may cover his face if there is dust or ashes." Mujahidsaid: "If there was a sandstorm they covered their faces while in thestate of ihram."
Abu Daw'ud and Ash-Shafi'i reported on the authority of 'Aishah that Allah'sMessenger (peace be upon him) permitted women to wear their shoes while in thestate of ihram.
The Shafi'i school holds that there is no harm if a pilgrim forgot andcovered 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 ofAllah." The Hanafi school says that such a person will have to redeemhimself (by offering a sacrifice). There is also disagreement on using perfumeby mistake or unknowingly. The Shafi'i school holds: "Ignorance andforgetfulness constitute an excuse enough to remove the need for redemption fordoing something forbidden, unless it is something that involves damage such ashunting, shaving, and clipping nails." This is the correct position accordingto them. We will deal with it at its proper place.
It is substantiated that Allah's Messenger cupped himself in the middle ofhis head while he was in a state of ihram. Malik said: "There is no blameupon a muhrim if in case of need, he opens an abscess, wraps a wound or seversa vein."
Ibn 'Abbas said: "A person in the state of ihram may pull his tooth oropen an abscess." An-Nawawi said: "If a muhrim wants cupping withoutany reason, and it necessitates cutting hair, then it is unlawful to do so. Butif it does not necessitate cutting hair, the majority of scholars hold itpermissible. Malik, however, hold that it is disliked. Al-Hasan is of theopinion that one must sacrifice an animal if one does so, even if it does notinvolve cutting any hair. But if it is done because of a need, then it ispermissible, but one will have to pay a ransom to redeem oneself. Zahiri schoolholds that an atonement is required only for cutting hair from the head.
'Aishah was asked about a pilgrim who has itching in his or her body. Shesaid: "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 bothof my hands were tied, and only my leg was free, I would use it to scratchmyself." The same was reported from Ibn 'Abbas, Jabir, Sa'id ibn Jubair,'Ata and Ibrahim An-Nakh'i.
Ibn 'Abbas said: "A person in a state of ihram is permitted to smellsweet basil, look in a mirror, and cure himself by eating butter andoils." 'Umar bin Abdul 'Aziz used to look in the mirror and use the toothstick (siwak) while in a state of ihram.
Ibn Al-Munzhir said: "There is consensus among the scholars that amuhrim may eat oil, fat, and butter, but he is not permitted to use perfume allover his body.
Hanafi and Maliki scholars hold it is disliked for a muhrim to stay at aplace which is full of perfume or scent, whether he intended to smell it ornot. Hanbali and Shafi'i schools are of the opinion that if such a person doesso intentionally it is unlawful for him, otherwise there is no harm. TheShafi'i school holds that sitting at a perfumer in an incensed place ispermissible, because its prohibition will make things difficult. Applyingperfume is not desirable; one should avoid it unless one is sitting in a placewhere one cannnot avoid it, for example, if one is sitting in the Sacred Mosquewhen it is scented. In this there is no harm, nor is it disliked, becausesitting at this place is a means of achieving closeness to Allah, and toabandon 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 notrequired to make any atonement for doing so.
Ibn 'Abbas said: There is no harm if a muhrim wears a ring, or a belt pocketto keep his money.
Ibn 'Abbas said: A person in a state of ihram may wear kohl if his or hereyes are sore, provided the kohl is not perfumed. There is consensus amongscholars on its permissibility for treatment but not as a means forbeautification.
Abdullah ibn 'Amer reported: " 'Umar used to throw a piece of leatheron 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 holdingthe noseband of the Prophet's she-camel, and the other was shading him with acloth from the sun until he threw the pebbles at 'Aqabah." This isreported by Ahmad and Muslim. 'Ata said: "A muhrim may shade himself fromthe sun, and take shelter to protect himself from rain and wind." IbrahimAn-Nakh'i reported: "Al-Aswad ibn Yazid threw a cloth over his head forshelter from rain while he was in the state of ihram."
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'ischool 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 notpermissible in the state of ihram. Also covering one' s head with thick (layersof) henna is not permissible. They also hold that it is not desirable for awoman in the state of ihram to use henna, and that it is unlawful for her to doso 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 bodybecause it is a perfume, and a muhrim is not allowed to wear perfume during thestate 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 arein 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 byIbn Abdul-Barr in his work At-Tamheed)
Asma bint Abi Baker reported: "We went for Hajj with the Prophet (peacebe upon him). When we reached a place called 'Arj the Prophet (peace be uponhim) stopped, and so did we. 'Aishah sat by the Prophet (peace be upon him), andI 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 onfoot, and had no camel with him. Abu Bakr asked him about his camel. Theservant replied: 'I lost it yesterday.' At this Abu Bakr got angry and said tohim: '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--AbuBakr! What is he doing?' And he kept on smiling and repeating this."(Reported by Ahmad, Abu Daw'ud, and Ibn Majah)
'Ata was asked by a man about the fleas or ants that vexed him while he wasin the state of ihram. He replied: "You may throw away what does notbelong to you." Ibn 'Abbas said: "A muhrim may kill lice andticks."
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 inthe state of ihram. 'Ikrimah, disliked doing so. Then, Ibn 'Abbas commandedIkrimah to slaughter a camel, which he willingly did. Thereupon Ibn 'Abbasasked him, "Do you know how many ticks you just killed?"
'Aishah reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Five ofthe animals are vicious and they may be killed in the sacred precincts ofHaram: the crow, the kite, the scorpion, the mouse, and the ravenous dog. Thisis reported by Muslim and Bukhari, who added "(and) the snake."
There is consensus among the scholars that the small crow which eats theseeds, is not included in the category of the above animals. Under the ravenousdog is included one that bites people and frightens them and all other similarvicious 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 yourtrained hunting animals 8 (to catch) in the manner directed to you byAllah"' (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 creaturethat usually causes harm to humans, such as snake, scorpion, mouse, crow, and avicious 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. TheProphet (peace be upon him) said: "He who is killed while defending hiswealth 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 hewho is killed while defending his honor is also a martyr."
Ibn Taimiyyah further said: "If fleas and lice bite him, a muhrimshould cast them out. He may also kill them, and incur no penalty. Casting themout is, however, easier than killing them. Similarly a muhrim is forbidden tokill any animal that he sees, such as a lion, a leopard, etc. But, most of thescholars hold that if he should kill one of these animals, he is not requiredto make any atonement. Looking for lice without feeling any bite, for comfortand 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.