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:
There are many things that a muhrim (person in the state of ihram) cannot do such as shaving, wearing perfume and intimate relation.
Responding to your question, Sheikh M. S. Al-Munajjid, a prominent Saudi Muslim lecturer and author states:
The muhrim is forbidden from certain things because of having entered the state of Ihram. They are:
1- Shaving the hair of the head, because Allah says, “And do not shave your heads until the hadi [sacrificial animal] reaches the place of sacrifice.” (Al-Baqarah 2:196)
The scholars have added to the prohibition of shaving the head, the shaving of any hair on the body, as well as trimming or cutting one’s nails.
2- Using perfume after entering ihram, whether on one’s clothing or body, or in one’s food or when washing the deceased or in any way whatsoever.
The evidence for this being forbidden in ihram is the hadith of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), who said concerning a man whose camel trampled him to death, “Wash him with water and lotus leaves and shroud him in his two garments, but do not cover his head or perfume him with hanut.”(Hanut is a mixture of perfumes that is usually applied to the deceased.)
3- Sexual intercourse, because Allah says, “So whosoever intends to perform Hajj therein (by assuming Ihram), then he should not have sexual relations (with his wife), nor commit sin, nor dispute unjustly during the Hajj.” (Al-Baqarah 2:197)
4- Touching one’s wife with desire, because this comes under the general meaning of the phrase, “…he should not have sexual relations (with his wife),” and because it is not permissible for the muhrim to get married or to propose marriage – so it is more likely that it is also not permissible for him to touch his wife with desire.
5- Killing game (hunting), because Allah says, “O you who believe! Kill not game while you are in a state of Ihram [for Hajj or `Umrah (pilgrimage)].” (Al-Ma’idah 5:95)
Cutting down trees is not haram for the muhrim, except for those trees within the amyal, i.e., the boundaries of the sanctuary. Cutting these trees is forbidden whether one is in ihram or not. Hence, it is permissible to cut down trees in `Arafah even if one is in a state of ihram, because the prohibition on cutting down trees is connected to the Haram (sanctuary), not ihram.
6- A prohibition which applies exclusively to men is wearing shirts, hooded robes, trousers, turbans and leather slippers, because the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was asked about what the muhrim should wear. He answered, “He should not wear a shirt, hooded robe (burnoose), trousers, a turban or leather slippers.”
But he (peace and blessings be upon him) made an exception for one who cannot find an izar (lower garment or waist wrapper). Such a person may wear trousers, and one who cannot find sandals may wear leather slippers.
Scholars describe these five things as wearing sewn garments, so the common folk imagine that wearing sewn garments means wearing clothes that have stitching in them, but that is not the case.
What the scholars meant by that is wearing clothes that are tailored to fit the body or part of it, such as shirts and trousers. Hence, if a person wears a rida’ (upper garment) or izar (lower garment) with patches on it, that is permissible, but if he wears a woven shirt with no stitching, that is haram.
7- One of the prohibitions of ihram that applies only to women is niqab, which refers to a veil that covers the face and leaves the eyes uncovered, because the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) forbade that. A similar prohibition applies to the burqa. When a woman enters ihram, she should not wear a niqab or burqa.
With regard to the one who does any of these forbidden things out of forgetfulness or ignorance or because he is forced to do so, he does not have to offer any expiation, because Allah says, “And there is no sin on you concerning that in which you made a mistake except in regard to what your hearts deliberately intend.” (Al-Ahzab 33:5)
Concerning killing game or hunting, Allah says, “O you who believe! Kill not game while you are in a state of Ihram [for Hajj or `Umrah (pilgrimage)], and whosoever of you kills it intentionally, the penalty is an offering, brought to the Ka`bah, of an eatable animal (i.e. sheep, goat, cow) equivalent to the one he killed.” (Al-Ma’idah 5:95)
These texts indicate that if one does any of the prohibited actions out of forgetfulness or ignorance he does not have to offer any expiation.
The same applies if he is forced to do it, because Allah says, “Whoever disbelieved in Allah after his belief, except him who is forced thereto and whose heart is at rest with Faith; but such as open their breasts to disbelief, on them is wrath from Allah, and theirs will be a great torment.” (An-Nahl 16:106)
Since this is what is said about being forced into disbelief, it is even more likely that no expiation would be required concerning less serious matters.
However, if the person who forgot remembers afterwards, he has to stop doing the forbidden thing. If one who was ignorant of it comes to know, he has to stop doing the forbidden thing. If the pressure is lifted from the one who is being forced, he has to stop doing the forbidden thing.
For example, if a muhrim covers his head because he forgot, then he remembers, then he has to remove the cover. If he washes his hand with perfume then he remembers, he has to wash it off, and so on.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.
Source: Excerpted with modifications from: www.islamqa.info