The wisdom is that by shaving off one’s hair, one demonstrates one’s sincerity and humility to Almighty Allah without caring for one’s physical appearance.

This practice of shaving or clipping the hair is affirmed by the Qur’an, the Sunnah of the Prophet, and the consensus of the Muslim scholars.

Almighty Allah says: “Indeed Allah shall fulfill the true vision which He showed to His Messenger (peace be upon him) [ i.e. the Prophet saw a dream that he has entered Makkah along with his Companions, having their (head) hair shaved and cut short] in very truth…” (48:27)

Both Al-Bukhari and Muslim quote the Prophet (peace be upon him) as saying, “May Allah bless those who shaved (their head during Haj).” The Companions asked, “O Messenger of Allah, what about those who cut their hair short?” Thereupon the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “May Allah bless those who shaved.” They repeated their question the third time, and again the Prophet said, “May Allah bless those who shaved.” When they asked him for the fourth time, “O Messenger of Allah, what about those who clip their hair short?” He said, “And (may Allah bless) those who clip their hair short.”

Shaving here means removing hair of the head with a razor, etc., or plucking them out. It suffices, however, to remove only as many as three hair. And cutting the hair short means cutting the length of one fingertip of the head’s hair.

However, the issue of which one is obligatory, between shaving or cutting hair short, is controversial among jurists. Most scholars hold that shaving or cutting the hair short is obligatory, and one failing to do so is to slaughter an animal in order to atone for this omission.

According to the Shafi’i school, it is an integral part of Haj.