The late Sheikh Ibn `Uthaymeen, a prominent Muslim scholar, (may Allah shower mercy on his soul) has stated that: “It is haram (forbidden) for the pilgrim who is in ihram for Hajj or `Umrah to shave the hair, cut the nails, cover the head with something that is attached to the head, to wear stitched clothes (these last two are for men only), to wear the face veil and gloves (for women), to wear perfume on the body or clothes, to hunt game, to enter into a marriage contract, and to have intercourse or engage in foreplay.

If the pilgrim in ihram does any of these forbidden things, then one of the following scenarios must apply:

1. He/She did it because he/she forgot, was unaware of the ruling, was forced to do it, or was asleep—in which case he/she does not have to do anything, i.e., does not have to offer any fidyah (expiation).

2. He/She did it deliberately, but with an excuse that made it permissible to do something that is ordinarily forbidden, in which case there is no sin but he/she has to offer the fidyah for doing that. We will explain this in more detail below.

3. He/She did it deliberately with no excuse, in which case he/she has sinned and must offer a fidyah, of which there are three types:

(a) That for which there is no fidyah, which is entering into a marriage contract.

(b) That for which the fidyah is to sacrifice a camel, which is having intercourse before the first stage of exiting ihram.

(c) That for which the fidyah is to fast for three days, which may be done consecutively or separately, as he/she chooses; or to sacrifice a sheep of a type that is acceptable for sacrifice, or one-seventh of a camel or cow instead, and to distribute its meat among the poor and not eat any of it him-/herself; or to feed six poor persons, giving each one half a saa` of staple food. The pilgrim is given the choice between these three options if he/she removes any hair or nails, puts on perfume, touches the opposite sex with desire (but without having intercourse), if a woman puts on gloves or a face-veil, or if a male puts on stitched clothes or covers his head.

4. That for which the fidyah is to offer something equivalent, namely hunting game. If the game hunted has an equivalent, then he/she is given the choice of three options:

(a) Slaughtering the equivalent and distributing its meat to the poor

(b) Finding out its value and giving food of an equal value to be given to six poor people, giving each poor person half a saa`

(c) Fasting instead, one day for each poor person.

If there is nothing equivalent to the game that was hunted, then he/she is given the choice between two things:

(a) Finding out the value of the game that was killed and giving the equivalent in food to six poor people, giving each poor person half a saa`

(b) Fasting instead, one day for each poor person.”