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Fatwas Regarding Women

In the Name of Allâh, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

Questions Regarding Hajj and Umrah

Menses Came Before She Made the Umrah

Question: [This question is] about a woman who was going to perform the Hajj and Umrah as Tamattu and she entered the state of ihram1. However, before she reached the Inviolable House, her menses came. What should she do? Should she perform the Hajj before she makes the Umrah?

Response: She should remain in her state of ihram for her Umrah. If she becomes pure before the ninth [of Dhul-Hijjah] and she has the ability to complete the Umrah, she should do so. Then she enters the inviolable state for the Hajj and goes to Arafah to finish the rest of the rites of Hajj. If she does not become pure before the Day of Arafah (the Ninth), she then combines the Hajj with the Umrah, by saying, "O Allah, I have entered the inviolable state for Hajj with my Umrah." She then is performing it as Qiraan. She stays with the people and completes all of the acts. Her entering the inviolable state and her circumambulation on the Day of Eid or afterwards suffices for her visiting circumambulation and the running between the two hills for both the Hajj and Umrah. She must also offer the sacrifice of Qiraan, as also the one who does Tamattu must do.

Shaikh ibn Jibreen


1. The "state of ihram" is the inviolable state of Hajj or Umrah in which one must be dressed in a-certain fashion and one is no longer allowed to do certain acts until he or she finishes the rites of the Hajj or Umrah.-JZ

The One Who Does not Have a "Male Relative" is Not Obliged to Perform Hajj

Question: A woman well-known for her piety, in her middle ages or close to being elderly, wants to make the Hajj of Islam. However, she does not have a mahram1. From the same country there is a man who is well-known for his piety who wants to make Hajj and he is traveling with women whom he is related to. Is it proper for that woman to make Hajj with this man and the women he is traveling with, being among the women with the man watching over them? Does she have to perform the Hajj or is this requirement dropped from her since she does not have a mahram, even though she is financially capable? Give us a response, may Allah reward you.

Response: The woman who does not have a mahram is not obligated to perform the Hajj. This is because a mahram, with respect to her, is part of the necessary aspects of having the means to perform the Hajj. Having the means is one of the conditions for the obligatory nature of Hajj. Allah Says:

"And Hajj to the House is a duty that mankind owes to Allah, those who can afford the expenses." (al-Imran 97)

It is not allowed for her to travel for Hajj or otherwise without her husband or a mahram. This is based on what al-Bukhari recorded that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

"It is not allowed for a woman to travel a day and night's distance except with a mahram."

Al-Bukhari and Muslim also recorded from ibn Abbas that he heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) say,

"A man cannot be alone with a woman unless in the presence of a mahram of hers. And a woman does not travel except along with a mahram." A man said, "O Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) my wife has left to make the Hajj and I have enlisted for such and such expedition." He said, "Go and make Hajj with your wife."

This is the opinion of al-Hasan, al-Nakhai, Ahmad, Ishaq, ibn al-Mundhir and the scholars of juristic reasoning (ashab al-ra'i). It is the correct opinion because it is in agreement with the generality of the Hadith of the Prophet that prohibits women from travelling without a husband or mahram. Malik, al-Shafi'i and al-Auza'i have a differing opinion. They all state conditions for which they have no evidence. Ibn al-Mundhir stated, "They all abandon the clear, obvious meaning of the Hadith and lay down conditions for which they have no evidence."

The Standing Committee


1. Mahram refers to the husband or a male relative whose relationship to the woman, due to blood, breast feeding or marriage relations, is such that they are never allowed to be married.--JZ

Women Enter the Ihram in any Clothing They Wish

Question: Is it allowed for a woman to enter the state of ihram in any clothing she wishes?

Response: Yes, she may enter the ihram in whatever clothing she wishes. She does not have any specific type of clothing that she must wear for ihram as many of the general public think. But it is best for her to enter the ihram in clothing which is not beautiful and will not attract the one who sees it. This is because she is going to be mixing with men, so her clothing must not be such that it tempts the looker. It should not be beautiful but should be customary and not a temptation.

Shaikh ibn Baz

Ruling Concerning Changing the Clothing of Ihram

Question: Can a person change the clothing of ihram in order to wash them?

Response: There is no harm in washing the clothes during the ihram. There is no harm in exchanging them for others and putting on new or washed clothing.

Shaikh ibn Baz

Ruling Concerning the Hajj of a Menstruating Woman

Question: What is the ruling concerning a woman who had her menses during the days of her Hajj? Is the Hajj she performed valid?

Response: If a woman gets her menses during the days of Hajj, she performs all of the deeds of the Hajj except for the circumambulation of the Kaaba and the going between the hills of Safa and Marwa. She does not do those acts until she becomes pure. When she becomes pure, she makes ghusl, and performs the circumambulation and the circuits. If the menses come and the only rite she has not performed is the farewell circumambulation, then she goes home without performing it as it is no longer required of her [due to her state] and her Hajj is correct. The basis for this is what is recorded by al-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud from Abdullah ibn Abbas that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,

"The woman with post-partum bleeding and the menstruating women, when they come to the miqat [the place to enter the state of ihram] are to make ghusl, enter the state of ihram and perform all of the rites of the Hajj save for the circumambulation of the House [Kaaba]."1

In the Sahih, it is recorded from Aisha that she had her menses before completing the rites of the Umrah and the Prophet (peace be upon him) told her to enter the state of ihram for Hajj and to not circumambulate the House [Kaaba] until she was pure. He told her to do all of the rites of the Hajj and to combine it with the Umrah.

Al-Bukhari recorded from Aisha that Safiya, the wife of the Prophet (peace be upon him), received her menses and mentioned that to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). He said, "Is she going to hold us up?" They said, "She has already made the Ifadh2 circumambulation." He said, "In that case, she is not [going to hold us up]." In another narration, Aisha said, "Safiya had the menses after she finished the Ifadha circumambulation. I mentioned her menses to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and he said, 'Is she going to hold us up?' I said, 'O Messenger of Allah, she has already performed the Ifadha circumambulation of the mosque.' So the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, 'Then let us go.'" And peace and blessings of Allah be upon the Prophet Muhammad and his family and Companions.

The Standing Committee


1. According to al-Albani, this hadith is sahih. Al-Albani, Sahih ul-Jami, vol. 1, p. 605.--JZ

2. This is the circumambulation of the Kaaba which is performed on the Tenth of Dhul-Hijjah. It is one of the pillars of essential acts of the Hajj.

Ruling Concerning One Who Entered the Ihram While She Was Menstruating

Question: A woman asks: She was excused, that is menstruating, and her family wanted to go to make Umrah and if she lagged behind, there would be no one to stay with her Therefore, she went with them to the Umrah and performed all of the rites of the Umrah, including the circumambulation and the circuits, as if she was not menstruating. She did this out of ignorance and out of shyness, not wanting to tell her guardian. You should know that she is illiterate and does not know how to read or write. What must she do?

Response: If she made the ihram for Umrah, then she must repeat the circumambulation after making ghusl and repeat the act of cutting some of the hair. As for her making the rounds between Safa and Marwa, they are proper according to the strongest opinion among the scholars. If she repeats them after the circumambulation, that would be better and safer. She must repent to Allah for her circumambulation and prayer of two rakats while she was menstruating.

If she is married, her husband cannot have sexual intercourse with her until she completes her Umrah. If he has already had sexual intercourse with her, then her Umrah has been nullified and she must sacrifice a year old woolen sheep or a two year old goat in Makkah to be distributed to the poor. She must also complete her umrah as was mentioned previously. She must perform a new umrah from the same miqaat1 that she entered the ihram from previously, in replacement of her spoiled umrah.

But if she simply performed the Umrah with them out of courtesy and bashfulness and she did not [actually and intentionally] enter the state of ihram from the miqaat, then the only thing upon her is to repent to Allah. This is because Hajj and umrah are not valid without entering the state of ihram. And the ihram is the intention for Hajj or Umrah or both.

We ask Allah for guidance and safety for all of us from the whisperings of Satan.

Shaikh ibn Baz


1. This is the place where the pilgrim enters the inviolable state of Hajj.

Waiting Until She Becomes Pure

Question: There is no doubt that the circumambulation known as Ifadha is one of the pillars and essential acts of the Hajj. If the menstruating women did not perform it due to lack of time and the time was not such that she could wait for her menses to end, what is the ruling concerning that?

Response: It is obligatory upon her and her guardian to wait until she becomes pure and then to perform the Ifadha1 circumambulation. This is based on the Prophet's (peace be upon him) statement when he was told that Safiyah had received her menses, "Is she going to hold us up?" When he was told that she had performed the Ifadha circumambulation, he said, "Then let's go."2

If she is not able to wait but she has the ability to return to Makkah to perform the circumambulation, then she may travel and return after she becomes pure to perform the circumambulation. If she does not have the ability to return or she fears that she would not be able to return, like those who live in far away places from Makkah, like the people of the West, Indonesia and so forth, then, according to the correct opinion, she may protect [her blood from dripping on to the floor] and perform the circumambulation with the intention of Hajj. This is considered permissible by a number of scholars, including Shaikh al-Islam ibn Taimiya and his student ibn al-Qayyim as well as other scholars.

Shaikh ibn Baz


1. This is the circumambulation of the Kaaba which is performed on the Tenth of Dhul-Hijjah. It is one of the pillars of essential acts of the Hajj.

2. This was recorded by al-Bukhari.-JZ

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