shaving cutting hair

Shaving/Cutting Hair – A Hajj Ritual

Shaving or cutting hair, known as “Halq” or “Taqsir,” is an essential ritual during Hajj that symbolizes purification, renewal, and the completion of major rites. This act is performed after other significant rituals, marking the end of the state of Ihram and signifying a pilgrim’s readiness to return to normal life while maintaining the spiritual purity gained during Hajj.

Shaving or cutting hair during Hajj is a deeply symbolic act that marks the transition from the state of consecration (Ihram) to a purified and renewed state. This ritual is a physical manifestation of spiritual cleansing and a significant milestone in the Hajj pilgrimage. It represents a pilgrim’s commitment to leaving behind past sins and embracing a new beginning, both spiritually and physically.

Purpose of Shaving/Cutting Hair

The primary purpose of shaving or cutting hair is to symbolize purification and renewal. This act represents a pilgrim’s commitment to shedding past sins and impurities, embracing a new beginning in spiritual and physical terms. It also signifies the end of the state of Ihram, a sacred state in which certain physical and spiritual disciplines are observed.

Symbolism of Purification and Renewal

In Islam, the removal of hair is considered a form of physical cleansing that mirrors the inner spiritual purification achieved through the rites of Hajj. By performing this act, pilgrims demonstrate their submission to Allah and readiness to return to their everyday lives with a renewed sense of purpose and spirituality.

When to Perform the Ritual

Shaving or cutting hair is performed after completing other major rites of Hajj, such as:

Ramy al-Jamarat

The ritual stoning of the devil symbolizes the rejection of evil and temptation. Pilgrims throw pebbles at three pillars representing Satan’s attempts to lead Prophet Ibrahim astray. This act is a demonstration of defiance against evil and reaffirmation of faith.

Animal Sacrifice (Qurbani)

Commemorating Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son in obedience to Allah. This rite highlights the importance of obedience and submission to divine will. The meat from the sacrifice is distributed among the poor, family, and friends, embodying the principles of charity and community.

Procedure for Men

Men have two options for this ritual:

Shaving the Head Completely (Halq)

This involves removing all hair from the head using a razor or clipper. It is considered more virtuous and symbolizes total renewal and humility. Shaving the head is seen as an act of complete submission to Allah and a willingness to start anew.

Cutting Hair Short (Taqsir)

An alternative for those who prefer not to shave completely. This involves trimming the hair to a short length. Though less drastic than shaving, it still symbolizes purification and renewal.

Steps Involved


Ensure the use of clean, sanitized tools to prevent infection.

Intention (Niyyah)

Perform the act with the intention of fulfilling the Hajj obligation.

Shaving or Cutting

Proceed with either shaving or cutting the hair while maintaining the sanctity of the ritual.


Complete Renewal and Humility

Shaving the head signifies total humility and submission to Allah. It is a powerful symbol of starting anew and shedding past sins and impurities.

Procedure for Women

For women, the ritual is more modest:

Cutting a Small Portion of Hair

Women cut about an inch from their hair ends. This act, though less drastic than shaving, is equally significant in symbolizing modesty and purification.


Represents modesty, cleanliness, and adherence to Islamic teachings during the pilgrimage. Cutting a small portion of hair is a sign of humility and a commitment to spiritual purity.

Spiritual Significance

The act of shaving or cutting hair holds profound spiritual meaning:

Leaving Behind Past Sins

It symbolizes a pilgrim’s intention to shed past sins and impurities, starting anew with a purified soul. The physical act of removing hair is a metaphor for spiritual cleansing and renewal.

Emphasis on Humility and Submission to Allah

Demonstrates a pilgrim’s humility and complete submission to Allah’s will, shedding worldly vanity. By removing hair, pilgrims show their readiness to embrace simplicity and humility, aligning their outer appearance with their inner spiritual state.

Post-Ritual Actions

After the ritual:

Changing Out of Ihram

Pilgrims change from their Ihram garments into regular clothes, indicating the end of Ihram restrictions. This change marks a transition back to normal life while retaining the spiritual gains achieved. The act of changing clothes symbolizes the completion of the Hajj rites and the pilgrim’s return to everyday life with a renewed sense of spirituality.

Continuing with Remaining Hajj Rituals

Pilgrims proceed with other rituals, such as:

Tawaf al-Ifadah

Circumambulating the Kaaba as part of the final rites of Hajj. This ritual signifies a deeper level of purification and devotion after completing several key rites.

Farewell Tawaf (Tawaf al-Wada)

The final circumambulation before leaving Mecca. It signifies the completion of Hajj and serves as a farewell to the sacred city, leaving pilgrims with a sense of spiritual fulfillment and connection to Allah.

Read – How to Perform Hajj Step by Step: A Comprehensive Guide


Shaving or cutting hair during Hajj is a crucial ritual that signifies the completion of major rites, symbolizing spiritual and physical renewal, humility, and the shedding of past sins. This act marks a pilgrim’s readiness to return to everyday life while upholding the spiritual benefits gained during Hajj.

By performing this ritual, pilgrims demonstrate their commitment to maintaining the purity and humility gained during Hajj. The act of removing hair serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of spiritual renewal and the ongoing journey of faith and devotion to Allah. The completion of this ritual, along with the other rites of Hajj, leaves pilgrims with a profound sense of spiritual fulfillment and a renewed dedication to living a life of righteousness and obedience to Allah.

Contact Shepherds – Hajj and Umrah Travel Agency.

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Tareq Hussain
Tareq Hussain