Tahallul: The end of the Ihram ban

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Image: https://www.nbcnews.com/slideshow/news/pilgrimage-to-mecca-40187590

After finishing the sa’i we were back to the hotel via Marwah Gate. Reyhan whined because his stomach ached but every time he was invited to the toilet; the small hero just insistent to return to the hotel quickly. “I prefer to do it in the room.”

“And where you going to? ” Asked Mr. Nugroho.

“I want to go to the barbershop. Want to come along?”

“I would like to, but…” doubt looks on his face, let alone the whining of Reyhan became more and more.

“Well it’s ok.  If you want to go to barbershop, just follow that way.” I pointed a derivative to the shopping center under the Zamzam tower. “In sha ‘Allah they open 24 hours.”

After hearing the word ‘open 24 hours’ the tension in Mr. Nugroho’s face disappeared.

As I approached the descendants, a score of Pakistani zai greeted me; some of them wearing robe and some others in a conventional shirt. They all offer the same service that is, “looking for barbershop, sir?”

These Zais mostly work as construction workers in the morning and in the evening they become haircut brokers. Each person represents a shaving kiosk that only God knows the number. “Come on sir? Come on sir? Shaving or bald? “They promote in Indonesian. I thought for a moment, which zai to choose?

Somehow, Allah made me to choose a small and long-haired zai. “Zai,” I shouted while pointing my finger to him. He ran with a smile like a Moto GP rider standing on the podium. Instead, his colleagues looked with a disappointed face and then returned to find another customers. The zai approached me and asked in fluent Indonesian, both wording and intonation, “Where are you come from sir? Indonesia? Malaysia?”

I often meet zai who can speak Indonesian but never fluent like him. My Feeling said he had been to one of two countries, “Zai, you have a good Melayu (Language officialy spoken in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Southern The Phillipines, and Southern Thailand) is fluent.”

He blushed but his eyes revealed pride, “I am two years working in Malaysia, sir.” Again with a very similar intonation of Indonesians.

“Really? What job? ”

“Construction work, sir ” He was so cheerful and confident every time he answered my question.

Now we are in the Zamzam Tower shopping area which is dominated by two types of merchants; barber and food handler. But they all have the same physical traits, if you asked where they come from obviously the answer is one ofPakistan, India or Bangladesh.

When a broker comes with a customer, other barbers that leaning on the kiosk’s door immediately glance wildly; as if to say “which kiosk got customer?” I do not know which kiosk but it is clearly belong to zai’s companion.

“Please sir,” said the zai while acting like a fancy restaurant waiter. As the trimmer draped yellow plastic sheet onto my chest, the zai whispered, “Sir, please give ten real for the for shaving and five real for me, hihi.” Suddenly he run out from the kiosk to look for new customers. I intend to give some real to him after shaving but not managed to meet the guy.

Once I was about to enter the Zamzam Tower, Pak Oni appeared. “Well Mr. Ryan has shaving. I also want it.” He seemed so amazed. Indeed from the beginning the guy said that he wanted to shave his hair in order to get three graces from God. I immediately pointed the way to the barber, “If there are brokers offer services, make sure that the price is ten real.”

“Understood.” He walked enthusiasticly. That is the last time I saw the gray hair of him.

Many people mistakenly interpret the word tahallul as a haircut. Though this word has the meaning of justifying the return of ihram restrictions. By performing this last umrah rukn (something must be done), the prohibitions imposed during the ihram fall apart. The way to do tahallul for men is by shortening hair or bald out. Both are equally legitimate but shaved bald is best as stated in the hadith narrated by Imam Bukhari and Muslim, The Prophet said:

اَلَّهُمَّ ارْحَمِ الْمُحَّلِقِين. قَالُوا وَالْمُقَصِّرِين يَا رَسُوْلَ اَللهِ. قَالَ:اَلَّهُمَّ ارْحَمِ الْمُحَّلِقِين. قَالُواوَالْمُقَصِّرين يَا رَسُوْلَ اَللهِ. قَا لَ وَالْمُقَصِّرِين

“O Allah, bless those who bald their hair!” They (the Companions) say ‘And those who shorten their hair O Messenger of Allah?’ The Prophet prayed again, ‘O Allah, bless those who bald their hair!’ The companion said for second time: ‘And those who shorten their hair o Messenger of Allah?’ So the Prophet replied, ‘And those who shorten his hair.’[1]

[1] Narrated from Al-Bukhari (no. 1727) and Muslim (no. 1301)

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