Hajj and Ihram: What Is the Significance of Cutting Hair?

03 August, 2019
Q As-Salamu alaykum. What is the significance of cutting hair after performing Hajj?

Answer

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu waRahmatullahi 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:

Shedding the hair in Hajj is the sure way of coming out of ihram in a manner that does not bespeak irreverence. If one were left to follow his or her way in doing so, each person would have followed his way. Furthermore, it suggests a perfect manner of ending the state of being disheveled; therefore it is akin to uttering salam on both sides at the conclusion of Prayer


In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a Senior Lecturer and an Islamic Scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

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Hajj and its rituals, as well as other important acts of worship, are instituted by Allah for purposes; some of them are plainly clear to us, while others are not so clear. Allah is Wise and All-Knowing, and all of His laws have tangible benefits.

Hajj is a once in a lifetime journey whose primary purpose is to help Muslims witness the great signs of God and to remind them of their final journey to Allah.

A pilgrim enters ihram while freeing himself from all of the worldly entanglements and evidence of status or wealth demonstrating his poverty and dependence on Allah. He is dusty and disheveled; and hence, once he completes the rituals he sheds the hair as a symbolic demonstration of coming out of the state of consecration.

Imam Shah Waliyullah explains the wisdom of shedding the hair in Hajj as follows:

“It is the sure way of coming out of ihram in a manner that does not bespeak irreverence. If one were left to follow his or her way in doing so, each person would have followed his way. Furthermore, it suggests a perfect manner of ending the state of being disheveled; therefore it is akin to uttering salam on both sides at the conclusion of Prayer.”

Allah Almighty knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.