Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: I am due to go for Umra soon but I am nervous about shaving my head due to aesthetic reasons as I worry that it won’t suit me and will take a while to grow back. Is the ruling that it is compulsory to shave one’s head or does one only need to trim their hair?
Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,
It is necessary (wajib) to shave or trim at least one quarter of the hair on your head after performing the rites of a pilgrimage (hajj/‘umra). The sunna is to shave or trim the entire head, and it is disliked to do less than this.
Generally, it is superior to shave, given that it was emphatically encouraged by the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), but trimming your hair is also acceptable on condition that the hair is shortened by roughly the extent of a finger-joint, namely, two centimetres.
The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “‘O Allah, forgive those who shave their heads.’ They said, ‘And those who cut their hair short!’ He said, ‘O Allah, forgive those who shave their heads.’ They said, ‘And those who cut their hair short!’ He said it a third time and said, ‘and those who cut the hair short.” [Bukhari]
[Sindi, Lubab al-Manasik, with Qari’s Gloss (153)]
[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.