Many people in my country believe that they must not bathe as long as they are in the state of ihram. This causes them to become extremely dirty during the Hajj, where they sweat and are crushed in with other people. Is this really the case?
It is a mistake for a pilgrim in the state of ihrâm to think he or she has to avoid bathing. There is no evidence to prohibit bathing. There is considerable evidence that the Companions often bathed while they were in the state of ihrâm.
One of the Companions said: “I bathed seven times in one day while I was in the state of ihrâm.”
Yal`â b. Umayyah relates the following that took place during the Hajj in the reign of the Caliph `Umar [al-Muwatta’ (704), Musnad al-Shâfi`î (535), and Sunan al-Bayhaqî (5/63)]:
`Umar b al-Khattâb was bathing near a camel and I was screening him with a cloth. He said: “Ya`lâ, should I pour water over my head?”
I replied: “The Commander of the faithful knows best.”
So `Umar said: “I swear by Allah that water only increases the disheveled state of the hair.” Then he mentioned Allah’s name and poured the water over his head.
When `Umar mentioned that water only increases the disheveled state of the hair, he was emphasizing the idea that washing the hair with water is not the same as applying perfume. It is merely an act of cleanliness.
Ibn `Abbâs said: “I assisted `Umar b. al-Khattâb to bathe by fully submerging himself in water while at Juhfah while we were both in the state of ihrâm.” [al-Muhallâ (7/174)]
We also know that Ibn `Abbâs and Ibn `Umar used to bathe by fully submerging themselves in water when they were in the state of ihrâm. [Sunan al-Bayhaqî (5/62) and al-Muhallâ (7/174)] In fact, they had engaged in a contest as to which of them could hold his breath underwater the longest.
`Abd Allah b. `Umar relates that `Asim b. `Umar and `Abd al-Rahmân b. Zayd went into the sea, dunking each other’s heads under the water with `Umar watching them without making any objection. [Sunan al-Bayhaqî (5/62) and al-Muhallâ (7/74)]
And Allah knows best.
Source: Islam Today
-- Al Arabiya Digital