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Shaving the head and cutting the hair on completing Hajj


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Zeynab
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« on: February 27, 2008, 03:02:08 am »

 BismEm

While only Allah knows best the interpretation of every verse of the Glorious Quraan, I am trying to study a particular aspect of Verse 48:27. It's the issue of shaving the head as is practiced by all men at the completion of Hajj.

Below are the English translations of Verse 48:27 by four authors. With the exception of Pickthall, all of them have put the word "heads" or "head" pertaining to shaving the head, outside of bracket.


Allah hath fulfilled the vision for His messenger in very truth. Ye shall indeed enter the Inviolable Place of Worship, if Allah will, secure, (having your hair) shaven and cut, not fearing. But He knoweth that which ye know not, and hath given you a near victory beforehand. 48:27 Translation Pickthall

Truly did Allah fulfil the vision for His Messenger. ye shall enter the Sacred Mosque, if Allah wills, with minds secure, heads shaved, hair cut short, and without fear. For He knew what ye knew not, and He granted, besides this, a speedy victory. 48:27 Translation Yusuf Ali

Indeed Allah shall fulfil the true vision which He showed to His Messenger (SAW) (i.e. the Prophet SAW saw a dream that he has entered Makkah along with his companions, having their (head) hair shaved and cut short) in very truth. Certainly, you shall enter AlMasjidalHaram; if Allah wills, secure, (some) having your heads shaved, and (some) having your head hair cut short, having no fear. He knew what you knew not, and He granted besides that a near victory. 48:27 Translation Mohsen Khan

Certainly Allah had shown to His Messenger the vision with truth: you shall most certainly enter the Sacred Mosque, if Allah pleases, in security, (some) having their heads shaved and (others) having their hair cut, you shall not fear, but He knows what you do not know, so He brought about a near victory before that. 48:27 Translation Shakir


It seems very likely to me that Pickthall has put the words "having your hair" within brackets to avoid controversy by traditionalists so that his translation of this Verse does not appear conspicuous compared to those of others. But looking at Pickthall's translation, apparently this would mean that the original Arabic does not contain the mention of words 'hair' nor 'head,' but only "shaven and cut." So, isn't it possible that this could mean shaving the beard and cutting the hair? Because hair cannot be shaven and then cut. If you notice the translations of other authors, they've all mentioned "heads shaved, hair cut short" or " hair shaved and cut short" or "having their heads shaved .. having their hair cut." Like I said, shaving the head and then cutting the hair doesn't really add up.

The reason why all translators are mentioning 'shaving of head' is apparently to defend the culture of the so-called Sunnah beard as introduced by Hadith. Thus, the practice has evolved for men to shave their head and women to cut an inch or two of their hair.

According to my perception and understanding, when I read Pickthall's translation ignoring those three words within brackets, this Verse clearly signifies shaving the beard and cutting the hair for men. "Shaven and cut" is an expression that's also used commonly in English, meaning shaving the face and cutting the hair on the head. And this expression "shaven and cut" in Verse 48:27 is obviously the translation of the original, in which case, shaving the face and cutting the hair would be much more likely than 'shaving the head and cutting the hair.'

Of course, it's not just the men but even women must make sure they keep themselves tidy particularly at the completion of Hajj. This is further clarified in a more general verse of Surah Al-Hajj that states, "Then let them make an end of their unkemptness and pay their vows and go around the ancient House." (22:29) The dictionary meaning of the word "umkemptness" is messy, untidy or poorly groomed. In order to tidy up, a man would need to shave an umkempt beard (and the Hadith beard is very umkempt), cut short their hair and wear clean clothes. Women are simply required to wear clean clothes .. their hair and entire body remain neatly covered throughout the period of Hajj.

Any feedback would be highly appreciated.

Salaams and peace
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Heba E. Husseyn
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« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2008, 04:27:17 am »

Very very interesting point indeed.  It requires knowledge of Arabic plus rationality together.  Unfortunately, not being well versed in Arabic, I can make a study of this thru my rationality and also arrive at some conclusions by perceiving the psychology of traditionalists. 

After reading all of those translations and comparing them with the rational perspective of neatness, it also crosses my mind that the translations are trying to convey a different meaning than what is meant in the original.  However, I too have found Pickthall to be least manipulative.  Probably for this reason some words of his old translations which might have been more accurate have now been changed after his death.  The example you quoted dated Feb.11, 2008 for verse 17:60 is one of those in Isra and Mairaj post. Sorry for not yet responding to it, but I do see your point which is very valid.   Words in brackets in all Quran translations are the clarifications of the author, not the orignal Quranic words.  Therefor, in Pickthall's work, all one needs to do to clarify the meaning of verse 48:27 is to read this verse by ignoring the bracket. That does very much tally with the explanation you've analysed. 

The sequence in which the Quran mentions these two terms "shaven and cut" appears self-explanatory. I quite agree that hair can't be cut after it's shaven.   In any case, men have made it an obligatory practice to shave their heads, not just cut it.  I also sense that verse 48:27 does not include women.  I really don't know how that practice came about for women to cut a small strand of their hair at the end of Pilgrimage.  Cutting only a lock of one's hair doesn't help to make anyone look tidy or untidy.  You could be right.  This might be to explain these translations -  shaving of head being interpreted for men and cutting of hair  directed toward women.  However, the Quran doesn't seem to convey this message in verse 48:27 at all. 

 Somehow, I had never thought over this verse earlier.  It sure is informative, something to ponder upon.  After careful concentration on its meaning and logic, it looks very likely that the Noble Quran supports the idea of a clean shaven face, in that, a shaven face is better connected with a neat and tidy appearance from the Quranic view.  I realise, such an interpretation would make the traditionalists furious.  But that only shows yet again how much we Muslims as a comminity have deviated because of the ideas of the clerics.  It also shows how much the translators try to manipulate their works, not realising the huge violation of their conduct.  In other words, most translators seem to take advantage of the peoples' lack of knowledge in Arabic and their blind trust on traditional interpretations. 
You're right on about sunnah or hadith beard being "umkempt."  According to the verse from Surah Al-Hajj, it seems pretty obvious that a long and untrimmed beard is one of the characteristics of umkemptness a man needs to clean up.  It gives a very untidy look and also causes sweat and perspiration to get trapped on the face in hot and clammy weather.   

Besides, this sort of long uncut beard has always been a hallmark of people following non-Divine faiths e.g. Sikhs in general and Hindu fundamentalists grow this kinda unkempt beard.  The pagans in pre-Islamic Arabia (in the Days of Jahilya) also had untrimmed straggly beards and long hair. The Christian priests, other clerics and Jewish rabbis also associate beard with piety because that's what they've written in the altered old and new testaments.  They too have borrowed this idea from pre-Christian traditions.  Hadith has introduced beard and will go to any limits to support it because the hadith writers have since the beginning been very eager to integrate with pagan and altered Christian values by calling it 'Sunnah.'

Your perception is very logical.  I'll also be on the lookout to discuss this with those having knowledge of Arabic and who aren't partial about their opinion.  Thanks so much for this sister.  Assalaam Alaykum to you Smiley
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Zeynab
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« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2008, 05:02:41 am »

Thanks sister. You've expressed some excellent points too.

I'll also try to seek help for this verse from someone who knows Arabic.

Wa'salaam and peace


P.S.
On reflecting further on the translated terms "shaven and cut" it can even be interpreted it as shaving the head and cutting the beard.  And this too would mean that the Quraan supports the idea of cutting the beard. 

Therefore, whether we explain this portion of Verse 48:27 that states "shaven and cut" as ..

1) shaving the face and cutting the hair, or

2) shaving the head and cutting the beard

In both the above cases, the concept of that uncut and untidy beard upheld by the imams is clearly ruled out by the Quraan. 
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« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2008, 03:06:52 pm »

Salaamun alaikum,

To me, the ayah of 48/27 is about the messenger entering masjidil haraam in a state of mental liberation (which is what I understand by 'muhalliqeena ruusaakum') where 'muhalliqeen' means 'those who expel or emit' and state of self-control (which is what i understand by 'muqassireen' where 'qasr' is to restrict). It explains how the Prophet's vision of entering masjidil haraam was characterised by a safe state (amineen) , with mental liberation yet with restriction.

please comment and criticise.
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« Reply #4 on: February 29, 2008, 02:10:04 am »

Salaamun alaikum,

To me, the ayah of 48/27 is about the messenger entering masjidil haraam in a state of mental liberation (which is what I understand by 'muhalliqeena ruusaakum') where 'muhalliqeen' means 'those who expel or emit' and state of self-control (which is what i understand by 'muqassireen' where 'qasr' is to restrict). It explains how the Prophet's vision of entering masjidil haraam was characterised by a safe state (amineen) , with mental liberation yet with restriction.

please comment and criticise.

Might be correct and I suppose if you compare it with the translation of Pickthall, the aspect of 'state of mental liberation' would match up with the term 'secure.'  However, I think this comprises of the first half of the verse.   I am keen to know about the other half of it.  While you read this verse, are you able to discern the original Arabic words that have been translated into English as "shaven and cut?"  If so, I would like to have your comments on its accuracy.

Salaams and thanks for your time.
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« Reply #5 on: February 29, 2008, 08:27:35 am »

Hummm - yes this could be correct and I suppose if you compare it with the translation of Pickthall, the aspect of 'state of mental liberation' would match up with the term 'secure.' However, I think this comprises of the first half of the verse. I am keen to know about the other half of it. While you read this verse, are you able to discern the original Arabic words that have been translated into English as "shaven and cut?" If so, I would like to have your comments on its accuracy.

Salaams and thanks for your time, Farouk Smiley


Indeed sister Z, the word 'amineen' there is a good indicator of how we should interpret the proceeding words. Amineen is a state of safety, opposite of khauf or fear. Therefore, it lends credence towards interpreting 'muhalliqeen ruusakum' (usually translated as shaven heads) and 'muqassireen' (usually translated as cut) metaphorically.

Yes, I am able to discern which words have been translated as 'shaven and cut' as I've pointed out above but given the 'flow' of the verse, I'm very sceptical about those translations. I think a metaphorical translation fits the situation much better.

I thank you very much for this discussion, always good to discussion al-quraan as much as we can. 
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« Reply #6 on: February 29, 2008, 03:48:21 pm »


Amineen is a state of safety, opposite of khauf or fear. Therefore, it lends credence towards interpreting 'muhalliqeen ruusakum' (usually translated as shaven heads) and 'muqassireen' (usually translated as cut) metaphorically.
,,,, I'm very sceptical about those translations. I think a metaphorical translation fits the situation much better.

but isn't is true that all metaphorical words that correspond to practical suggestions or orders go about with a certain connection.  For example, the moon has often been referred to as a lamp in the Quran.  The link that builds up the meaning of this metaphor is the source of light from both.  The moon and lamp both give off a soft light.  Similarly, if verse 48/27 actually carries a commandment to shave heads, then I suppose there would be a connection between the metaphorical reference and the practical commandment.  With that in mind, I still don't follow the metaphorical link between 'safety' (muhalliqeen ruusakum) and 'shaven heads.'  I completely follow the concept of the 'state of safety' but what has that to do with shaving heads which makes every translator pick this interpretation?

hope i've made myself understood.  If sister zeynab has understood the metaphor, i'd appreciate the feedback. 
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« Reply #7 on: February 29, 2008, 05:54:42 pm »

My apologies for not being clear there, but I do not accept the translation 'shavers of your heads' to be acceptable at all. To me, it doesnt fit the context. I take muhalliqeena ruusakum to be 'emitters of your heads' which I then take metaphorically.
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« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2008, 01:46:17 am »

My apologies for not being clear there, but I do not accept the translation 'shavers of your heads' to be acceptable at all. To me, it doesnt fit the context. I take muhalliqeena ruusakum to be 'emitters of your heads' which I then take metaphorically.

Okay, fine.

The dictionary meaning of 'emitter' is usually expressed as

- to give
- send out
- to voice
- to issue with authority

So, as per your perception, v. 48:27 could be explained as Allah's words to the Prophet that the Prophet will visit the Kaaba safe and fearless, and in a position of authority.  This sounds ok.

However, there is reference to tidy up one's appearance in addition to your above explanation.  This sense becomes quite clear when v. 48:27 is supported with v. 22:29 that says "Then let them make an end of their unkemptness and pay their vows and go around the ancient House." V.22:29 seems to be quite simple and literal, not metaphorical.  I think this should be taken as making oneself generally neat without too many specifics.

After all the Quran is a Book of spiritual and practical guidance and metaphors cover a small portion of the Quran.  You cannot possibly generalize every Quranic expression as "metaphorical."  That goes without saying.

Thank you.  Salaam & peace
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« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2008, 04:16:16 pm »

 salamem everyone!

This is a very interesting topic, and the issue is debatable depending on your personal translation and understanding on the Quraan. The only other verse in the Quraan that mentions cutting the hair as one of the rites of Hajj is in 2:196, which says:

"You shall observe the complete rites of Hajj and`Umrah for Allah. If you are prevented, you shall send an offering, and do not resume cutting your hair until your offering has reached its destination. If you are ill, or suffering a head injury, you shall expiate by fasting, or giving to charity, or some other form of worship. During the normal Hajj, if you break the state of Ihraam between `Umrah and Hajj, you shall expiate by offering an animal sacrifice. If you cannot afford it, you shall fast three days during Hajj and seven when you return home - this completes ten - provided you do not live at the Sacred Masjid. You shall observe Allah, and know that Allah is strict in enforcing retribution." (Al Quraan 2:196)

Alhamdulillaah, because of the way God worded this verse, it's evident that the only obligatory cutting that was to be done was the cutting of the hair on the HEAD, since it mentions recompassing for it if you have a head injury. Since the statement in 48:27 simply says to cut (or shorten) the hair, not "shave", it gives the impression of cutting the hair on the HEAD, not the beard. The only verse that specifically mentions anything about having a beard is in 20:94:

"He said, "O son of my mother; do not pull me by my beard and my head. I was afraid that you might say, 'You have divided the Children of Israel, and disobeyed my orders.'"" (Al Quraan 20:94)

This is speaking about Moses and Aaron, who were also Muslims (submitters to God's will), and they had beards. This doesn't make it obligatory for all Muslim men to have beards, though, especially a so-called "Sunni beard" (or a "lihiya"). From my interpretation, it sounds like having a beard is a matter of personal choice, and the OBLIGATORY practice of it was invented by students of the sunna and ahadiyth. It's definately not against Quraanic principles to have a beard, though... I'd think the verse at 7:31 is speaking INDIRECTLY about the beard, since it mentions matters of cleanliness, neatness, and dressing nicely, especially when entering the masjid. This would include the beard - if a Muslim man keeps a beard, he would be required to keep it neat and trimmed to present a good and acceptable appearance, which is similar to the message of neatness emphasized in 22:29. This is completely contrary to the ahadiyth, which says that men are FORBIDDEN from shaving or even trimming their beards since, according to them, it alters the creation of God (even though they're instructed to trim their mustaches  crazyones). Outside of the hadiyth and sunna accounts, there is nowhere in the infallible Quraan of Allah, which is PERFECT and FULLY DETAILED, that says that Muslim men are REQUIRED to have beards, but it also doesn't say that they CAN'T have beards either, as long as they keep them neatly trimmed and groomed... I hope this helps...
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« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2008, 10:38:52 pm »

Ahmed Bilal, Walaikum As-Salaam.  Your well perceived response is appreciated. 

Yes, this is a debatable issue - nonetheless, I would maintain the logical analysis in exactly the same lines as you've elucidated.

Thanks for quoting Verse 2:196.  Somehow I overlooked it.  This verse also mentions of cutting the hair, not a complete shave.  It's the expression of "shaven and cut" in verse 48:27 that makes me think of the possibility of its reference to cutting of the hair and probably shaving of the beard, not for reasons directly associated with piety, but an added gesture of respect at the completion of Hajj by physically cleaning up oneself.  As we know, the Noble Quraan puts emphasis on the aspect of personal hygiene as it's symbolic of a more civilized existence.   But even if verse 48:27 is taken as shaving the head by the innovator traditionalists, surely there's absolutely no mention (not even a hint) on continuing to keep a long untidy beard while cleaing up in every other way.  Though I leave the final verdict to Allah of course, I'm eager to know if verse 48:27 is only about the hair (as Hadithers claim) or does it include both hair and beard, which to me seems a lot more likely.  Any reference to beard in verse 48:27 would categorically dismiss the concept of untrimmed "sunnah" beard. 

Regarding Verse 20:94, I did remember this verse.  From it, we learn that the brother of Moses, Aaron (peace on them both) had a beard.  The reason I didn't quote this verse was for the same reason as you've already stated.  This verse simply refers to the fact that Aaron had a beard.  It doesn't give us any causes to assume that Aaron or Moses grew a beard on grounds of piety or any spiritual reasons.  Allah does not at all say that He commanded Moses and Aaron to grow a beard.  I totally agree with you that Allah has neither forbidden nor commanded men to keep a beard.  Like you mentioned, it's either personal choice or simply a matter of convenience.  Verse 20:94 refers to the incident of the Exodus which was a difficult and exhausting long journey for Moses, his brother and the Children of Israel who left Egypt.  At such times it hard for people to keep themselves immaculately groomed.  However, in better times, the same people would be free to wear their beards (or perhaps shave it altogether) as desired by them or as they find convenient. 

The important issue is - the Quraan does not connect facial hair with pious intentions nor does something as superficial as a beard has anything to do with one's faith in Allah.  That goes without saying.  So, the idea of Hadith that people without beards (or even trimmed beards) will not enter Paradise is only a display of disgusting arrogance and a product of their own scheming imagination in an effort to override the ideology of religion as put down and perfected by Allah (The Highest). 

Thank you for sharing your analysis. 
Salaams and peace.
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« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2008, 09:51:39 pm »

Interesting.  The issue on beard is much the same as the hijab.  Both these outward aspects have become symbolic of high ideals by ignoring the vital factors of intent (niyyah) and subsequently the human conduct.  A man may carry out all kinds of violations, but if he wears a long uncut beard, this is considered to be a 'neutralizer' for his sins.  Similarly, all hijab observing women aren't exactly what they appear to be.  There are several amongst them who drink, flirt and more ...., but since they appear "pious" in public, it's enough to give them a plus over those who might not wear a hijab but have never indulged in similar excesses. 

This increasingly shallow approach of the Muslim society is indeed disturbing and definitely it's responsible for many misinterpretations of the Quran through incorrect tafsirs by scholars and so-called aalims.  Their standard opinion that defines piety is judged from observing how much hair a man can show on his face and how much of it a woman can hide on her head. 

Assalam Alaykum.  Peace to all.
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« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2008, 08:30:14 pm »


This increasingly shallow approach of the Muslim society is indeed disturbing and definitely it's responsible for many misinterpretations of the Quran through incorrect tafsirs by scholars and so-called aalims.  Their standard opinion that defines piety is judged from observing how much hair a man can show on his face and how much of it a woman can hide on her head. 

Assalam Alaykum.  Peace to all.


Well said sis Heba.  Indeed this is a disturbing approach much on the rise.  Unfortunately, many other items have been added like miswak instead of toothbrush, cotton instead of silk, steel instead of gold, sweaty odor instead of perfume etc. 

Btw, this is a very engaging topic.  May Allah increase our knowledge of the Noble Quran.
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« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2008, 07:50:29 pm »

Dear sister Zeynab and everyone else,
 
I have tried to look at Verse to see what I can find. Some observations I made are as follows. Here is Pickthall's translation:

"Allah hath fulfilled the vision for His messenger in very truth. Ye shall indeed enter the Inviolable Place of Worship, if Allah will, secure, (having your hair) shaven and cut, not fearing. But He knoweth that which ye know not, and hath given you a near victory beforehand. (Qur'an 48:27)

For some reason, Pickthall has put the word "hair" in bracket. The Arabic reads as follows:



I have underlined "Muhalliqeena ru uusakum", this is the first bit. This bit contains two words, first one is Muhalliqeena. The Arabic Lexicon gives the meanings of the root Ha La Qa, used to make the word, as follows:

Quote
become short, have little or no power, become niggardly, fall short, i.e. not to reach something, left/relinquish/abstain/desist/cease, took from its length, clip/shove, restricted/confined/limited, kept within certain bounds or limits, restrain/withheld, hinder/prevent, contract or draw oneself together, obedient, last part of day. qasr (pl. qusur) - ample and spacious house, castle, palace.

The next words ru-uusakum means "your heads", according to another Arabic Dictionary Im looking at, Ru-uus is the arabic for 'head' (the kum bit means your, ie. your heads)

Putting the two together, Muhalliqeena Ru-uusakum reads something like "shaving your heads"

The above bit corresponds to Pickthall's translation of the bit indicated below:

"Allah hath fulfilled the vision for His messenger in very truth. Ye shall indeed enter the Inviolable Place of Worship, if Allah will, secure, (having your hair) shaven (Muhalliqeena Ru-uusakum) and cut, not fearing. But He knoweth that which ye know not, and hath given you a near victory beforehand."

But ofcourse, as we have seen, the bracket should not be there, as the word 'head' is in the Arabic (not 'hair' but 'head' rather). I dont know why he did this, but this would be another reason why should not rely on any single translation.

The next bit of the Verse I have underlined below:



This reads "wa muqassireena". the "wa" means the word "and" generally. Muqassireena contains the root Qa Sa Ra and from the Arabic Lexicon, it has the following meanings;

Quote
= Qaf-Sad-Ra = become short, have little or no power, become niggardly, fall short, i.e. not to reach something, left/relinquish/abstain/desist/cease, took from its length, clip/shove, restricted/confined/limited, kept within certain bounds or limits, restrain/withheld, hinder/prevent, contract or draw oneself together,


"Wa Muqasireena" (and shorten/cut) corresponds to Pickthall's translation of the bit indicated below:

"Allah hath fulfilled the vision for His messenger in very truth. Ye shall indeed enter the Inviolable Place of Worship, if Allah will, secure, (having your hair) shaven and cut (Wa Muqasireena), not fearing. But He knoweth that which ye know not, and hath given you a near victory beforehand."

Overall, the arabic reads something like this in the literal sense "heads shaven and shortened".

Modifying the Pickthall's translation my self to make it accurate with the arabic:

Allah hath fulfilled the vision for His messenger in very truth. Ye shall indeed enter the Inviolable Place of Worship, if Allah will, secure, heads shaven and shortened, not fearing. But He knoweth that which ye know not, and hath given you a near victory beforehand. 48:27

The second term does not seem to refer to what part of the body explicitly - the 'shorterned' bit. But could it be implying the head too? I think so. Could it be that both are allowed depending on preference ie. shaving the head hair or trimming the head hair.

Many of the rights of Hajj are simply passed down from generations. Hajj was practiced before the time of the Prophet, the Qur'an came and abolished the idolatry involved in Hajj at the time but retained the general practices. Thus the Qur'an's intention is not to give detailed description of Hajj, it seems to be thus mentioning that right in passing, as is the case with Salah.

Verse 2:196 again uses the root "Ha La Qa" to say shorten the (hair on) the head (not the beard)..."wala tahliqoo ruoosakum hatta"..."do not shorten (the hair) on your head untill...".

Verse 20:94 uses the word for "beard". The arabic for "beard" is "Lihyah" is used as follows

"He said: O son of my mother! Clutch not my beard ("Lihyathee", "my beard") nor my head" (Qur'an 20:94)

Ofcourse, this word for 'beard' has not been used in 48:27, and I at this time do not see any derived interpretation for 48:27 to refer to beard in any way. If for example it did, then the only way one may try to suggest something is through the second part of "heads shaven and shortened" (since the first part muhalliqeena ru uusakum mentions what part is shaven ie. the head), where one claims that "shorten" (the second bit) means to shorten your beard. But I do not go along with this as the most obvious and rational interpretation is that the second bit 'shortened' is refering to the head too, its just not repeating the subject again ("head shaven and shortened"). From knowledge of other parts of the Qur'an, I know the Qur'an uses this technique for example, "the believing men who guard their private parts and the believing women" (without repeating the reference again). This is in 33:35. Having said that, is there still room for a loose interpretion to shorten/trim what is 'unkempt'?

I have just tried to give some idea of the Verse as it is in the literal arabic. I too am in the process of researching and learning many Verses which I still do not fully understand includng this one. I hope this has helped a bit.

Women are simply required to wear clean clothes .. their hair and entire body remain neatly covered throughout the period of Hajj..[/

Sister Zeynab, just waned to say, I personally avoid saying something must be done that is not stated in the Qur'an ie. covering hair.

I hope I have helped a bit here. And I pray Allah helps us understand these Verses and many other Verses of the Noble Qur'an better.

Peace.



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« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2008, 04:39:30 pm »


Qaf-Sad-Ra = become short, have little or no power, become niggardly, fall short, i.e. not to reach something, left/relinquish/abstain/desist/cease, took from its length, clip/shove, restricted/confined/limited, kept within certain bounds or limits, restrain/withheld, hinder/prevent, contract or draw oneself together,

"Wa Muqasireena" (and shorten/cut) corresponds to Pickthall's translation of the bit indicated below:

"Allah hath fulfilled the vision for His messenger in very truth. Ye shall indeed enter the Inviolable Place of Worship, if Allah will, secure, (having your hair) shaven and cut (Wa Muqasireena), not fearing. But He knoweth that which ye know not, and hath given you a near victory beforehand."

Overall, the arabic reads something like this in the literal sense "heads shaven and shortened".

Modifying the Pickthall's translation my self to make it accurate with the arabic:

Allah hath fulfilled the vision for His messenger in very truth. Ye shall indeed enter the Inviolable Place of Worship, if Allah will, secure, heads shaven and shortened, not fearing. But He knoweth that which ye know not, and hath given you a near victory beforehand. 48:27

This bit is not confusing.  Obviously there's a link between 'hair' and 'head.'  Whichever term one uses, it signifies the same thing i.e. hair on the head.  The only difference between your translation and that of Pickthall is, you've mentioned "heads shaven" while he has put "hair shaven," and the word "hair" in bracket.



The second term does not seem to refer to what part of the body explicitly - the 'shorterned' bit. But could it be implying the head too? I think so. Could it be that both are allowed depending on preference ie. shaving the head hair or trimming the head hair.

This was the main point I was confused about and seem you aren't too sure either though you analysed it as best as you could.  Which part of the body is the term "shortened" or "shave and cut" referring to.  You've stated, it probably is implying to the head.  Then, I may have found my answer.  The reason I desired to analyse this issue was not because of any confusion from the Quraan, but from the so-called Sunnah traditions that arose much later.  The Quraan does not associate beard with piety in any way at all.  Thus, the so-called Sunnah rules confuse me as to how unkemptness can only end by shortening or shaving the hair on the head and allowing the unkemptness to remain on the face.  But in that case, there are so many Hadith laws masqueraded as "Sunnah" that are illogical and do not conform with the Quraan.  Therefore I'll leave it here.    


Many of the rights of Hajj are simply passed down from generations. Hajj was practiced before the time of the Prophet, the Qur'an came and abolished the idolatry involved in Hajj at the time but retained the general practices. Thus the Qur'an's intention is not to give detailed description of Hajj, it seems to be thus mentioning that right in passing, as is the case with Salah.

Yes, this is very correct. 

Verse 2:196 again uses the root "Ha La Qa" to say shorten the (hair on) the head (not the beard)..."wala tahliqoo ruoosakum hatta"..."do not shorten (the hair) on your head untill...".

Verse 20:94 uses the word for "beard". The arabic for "beard" is "Lihyah" is used as follows

"He said: O son of my mother! Clutch not my beard ("Lihyathee", "my beard") nor my head" (Qur'an 20:94)

Ofcourse, this word for 'beard' has not been used in 48:27, and I at this time do not see any derived interpretation for 48:27 to refer to beard in any way. If for example it did, then the only way one may try to suggest something is through the second part of "heads shaven and shortened" (since the first part muhalliqeena ru uusakum mentions what part is shaven ie. the head), where one claims that "shorten" (the second bit) means to shorten your beard. But I do not go along with this as the most obvious and rational interpretation is that the second bit 'shortened' is refering to the head too, its just not repeating the subject again ("head shaven and shortened"). From knowledge of other parts of the Qur'an, I know the Qur'an uses this technique for example, "the believing men who guard their private parts and the believing women" (without repeating the reference again). This is in 33:35. Having said that, is there still room for a loose interpretion to shorten/trim what is 'unkempt'?

Hmmm .. this makes the matter much clearer.  I think you are right.  The Verse I initially quoted in the original post on this thread does refer to hair on the head.


Sister Zeynab, just waned to say, I personally avoid saying something must be done that is not stated in the Qur'an ie. covering hair.

I appreciate that.  Actually what I wrote wasn't an interpretation of the Quraan.  It was my own presumption of looking "modest."  That presumption can differ from person to person.  We know that the Quraan does not directly describe any dress codes for men or women.  However, I do understand by reading the Quraan that we are required to be dressed modestly.  That goes for both men and women.  While being modest does not necessarily require a head cover, during the occasion of Hajj, some (or several) may feel more comfortable with it.  In that case, there is nothing wrong in having it either. 

As we know, head cover for women is a law of the Saudi govt without which she cannot step out.  Similarly for Hajj it's mandatory.  This is a different issue.  But let's suppose that it wasn't all that mandatory.  Even then, during Hajj, it's likely many would opt for it.  I'll put it this way.  I personally would like to wear a head cover if I went for Hajj at any time in future, Allah Willing.  The headcover could give better protection from the scorching heat in summer months.  For that matter, even during winter the mid-day and afternoon sun in that part of the world is very hot.  Every pilgrim is constantly exposed to it for 2 or 3 consecutive weeks.  Carrying umbrellas is a difficult job in that crowd.  A few sisters among my family friends went for Umrah last year in summer had to wear sun hats over the hijabs, yet they felt their heads reeling because of the heat.  Men wearing Ihram with much of the upper portions of their bodies exposed, have often gotten very sunburnt.  I don't know how they manage without a sun hat or some kind of head cover.  This could be one of the reasons why sun strokes are more common during Hajj season than at other times.  In practical matters like these, one just needs to be rational instead of blindly adhering to man-made laws or being overwhelmed with breaking them.  That's my humble opinion.



I hope I have helped a bit here. And I pray Allah helps us understand these Verses and many other Verses of the Noble Qur'an better.

Peace.


Thanks dear brother.  May Allah Almighty grant you a great reward for this hard work. 
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