Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
Answering your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic Scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:
If you have to wear braces on your leg, you may do so without any inhibition. However, you should offer fidyah (expiation) as it involves a violation of the rules of ihram for men. Men are to wear unsewn clothes.
The above ruling is based on evidence from the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him):
“And complete the Hajj and `Umrah for Allah. But if you are prevented, then [offer] what can be obtained with ease of sacrificial animals. And do not shave your heads until the sacrificial animal has reached its place of slaughter. 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. And when you are secure, then whoever performs `Umrah [during the Hajj months] followed by Hajj [offers] what can be obtained with ease of sacrificial animals. And whoever cannot find [or afford such an animal] – then a fast of three days during Hajj and of seven when you have returned [home]. Those are ten complete [days]. This is for those whose family is not in the area of al-Masjid al-Haram. And fear Allah and know that Allah is severe in penalty.” (Al-Qur’an 2:196)
The Prophet (peace be upon him) told Ka`b ibn Ujrah who was suffering from lice on his head, “You may shave your head and expiate (for violation) by fasting three days, feeding six poor persons, or offering a sacrifice.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Based on the above evidence, scholars have agreed that if anyone commits a breach of any of the taboos of ihram, he should expiate for them: And, as for the expiation, he is free to choose to fast three days, feed six poor persons or offer a sacrifice.
In conclusion, you are allowed to wear braces on your leg; if you do so, you should offer expiation as mentioned above.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.