QUESTION: Dear scholars, as-Salamu `alaykum. If I am in a state of impurity and need to make ghusl (ritual bathing), is it necessary to wash my hair every time? I have long hair and it takes some time to dry. If I have sexual intercourse with my husband every night, is it compulsory to wash my hair? Jazakum Allah khayran.
ANSWER: Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
Dear sister, we would like to thank you for the great confidence you place in us, and we implore Allah Almighty to help us serve His cause and render our work for His Sake.
There is a unanimous agreement among Muslim scholars that washing the hair is obligatory for both men and women when performing ghusl. However, the woman who has braids is not obliged to unbraid them when performing ghuslafter intercourse. Rather, she can pour water over them till water reaches the roots of the hair and the scalp.
In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:
“You need to wash your hair with water but you need not undo the plaited hair; it is sufficient for you to pour water over your head.
It is common knowledge that following sexual intercourse, both men and women are obligated to perform a complete ghusl (ritual bath) in order to be eligible to worship.
A complete ghusl involves washing the entire body including one’s hair; if however, due to medical or health reasons, one is advised by a physician not to wash the hair, then one should not wash the same. In such cases it is enough to wash the rest of the body and do tayammum (dry ablution) in lieu of the parts one has not washed.”
Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.muslims.ca