Fiqh of Hajj for Women
FIQH OF HAJJ FOR WOMEN
Chapter One: Ihraam
Should a woman shower upon entering the Meeqaat? It is equally part of the Sunnah for a woman to shower before Ihraam just as it is for a man. In fact, in the case of women who at the time may be experiencing Hayd or Nifaas, there is specific proof that she should take this shower.
Imam Muslim relates in his Saheeh that from Aishathat she said,
“Asmaa’ bint ‘Umays had nifaas after giving birth to Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr. This happened at Ash Shajarah (a place near the Meeqat outside of Madinah). So Allah’s Messenger (the directed that she should bathe and begin the tahleel.”
In this regard of showering before Ihraam, the menstruating woman is in thc same ruling as one who finds herself in Nifaas. Rasul Allah () said,
“If the Menstruating woman and the one in Nifaas en ter the time they should bathe and enter into Ihraam and complete all the rituals (like others) except Tawaf of the (Ka’bah).”
Showering: Abu Dawood and others narrated that Ibn Abbas (arte- asked Abu Ayyoob Al-Ansaari,
“While he was in a state of Ihraam, how did Rasul Al lah () wash his head?” Abu Ayyoob (who was bath ing at the time) replied by asking someone to pour wa ter on his head. He then rubbed his head with his
hand, going back and forth. He then said, “In such a way I saw the Prophet ( wash.”
This narration is used by the scholars as proof that it is permissi ble for a male or female in Ihraam to take a bath and pour water over their head and to pass their hand through their hair.
If the bath is needed because of sexual impurity (Janaabah), then the scholars agree that it is permissible.
Even if the bath is desired to just cool off or for other non-essential reasons, the majority of scholars say that it is permissible without any reservations.
Imam Ash-Shaafi’ee said – after narrating this incident about Abu Ayyoob Al- Ansaari,
“This is the opinion that we hold. A Muhrim may take a bath whether it is due to sexual impurity or for other rea sons. One may wash their head and soak their body with
However, some scholars have recommended that a woman should not shower unless it is necessary.
This is because she is in Ihraam and busy with the actions of Hajj. In fact, to bathe during Ihraam is simply an issue of permissibility, but there is no one that says that it is recommended (Mustahab). To some scholars, it is more recommended to remain dusty and disheveled.
Imam An-Nawawee said,
“It is more desirable that the pilgrim remain dusty and di sheveled. The proof of this is the statement of Allah (,
“Then let them end their untidiness…” [Surah al-Hajj (22):29]
and the statement of Rasul Allah on the
‘Verily Allah boasts the people of Arafah to the inhabi tants of the heavens, saying, ‘Look at my slaves – they have come to me disheveled and dusty.’.”
Combing one’s hair during Ihraam: It is Makrooh for a woman (or man) in Ihraam to aggressively comb their hair – causing excessive amounts of hair to fall out – or to brush un-necessarily.
This is because doing so may lead to hair being cut – which is one of the forbidden acts when someone is in Ihraam.
As for brushing lightly or scratching one’s head, this is permissi ble. There is a famous saying in the books of Fiqh where they suggest that someone should scratch with the insides of their hands – i.e. softly. Imam An-Nawawee said,
“As for a Muhrim (someone in the state of Ihraam), I do not know of any opinion that says he is not permitted to scratch his head. Rather, it is something permissible.”
There is a phenomenon amongst some women which works as such: They tie up their head very tightly and do not un-tie it until their Hajj is over. When they are in need of making Wudu, in stead of wiping their hair they do wipe over their hijaab instead.
Shaykh Salah As-Saawee, one of the directors at the American Open University, commented that doing this is an example of someone placing a hardship upon themselves, a hardship that the Shari’ah does not require.
He said that when a person combs their hair lightly or scratches, the person is not held responsible for the dead hairs that naturally come out.
The color of clothes a woman in Ihraam may wear:
It is permissible for the woman to wear any women’s clothes she pleases which are not attractive or resemble the clothes of men, or are tight-fitting showing the dimensions of her limbs, or trans parent – not concealing what is underneath, or too short – not covering her legs or hands, but instead should be abundant, thick and wide.
Ibn al-Mundhir said, as quoted in al-Mughini:
“There is consensus among the scholars that the woman in Ihraam can wear shirts, vests, baggy trousers, khimaars, and leather socks.
She does not have to wear a particular colour (such as green) and can instead wear any colour she desires from among those specific to women (such as dark red, green or black). It is also permissible for her to change these colors if she wishes.”
Wearing Jewelry in Ihraam: It is permissible for women to wear jewellery while she is in a state of Ihraam.
It was narrated in Al-Bukhaari, that Umm Al Mu’mineen Aisha (*) used to not consider anything wrong with a Muhrimah wearing jewellery. In Al-Mughni by Ibn Qudaamah, he says, “I heard from Ahmad, who heard from Naafi’ that the women (from the household) of Ibn Umar used to wear jewelry while they were in a state of Ihraam.
Ibn Umar (seeing this) would not forbid them.” Thus, it is apparent from the Madhhab of Imam Ahmad that it is permissible for a woman in Ihraam to wear jewellery.
This permissibility of wearing jewellery is also the opinion of the Hanafiyyah and Maalikiyyah. They quote as their proof – in addition to the above – the fact that wearing jewellery is an act of adornment and a woman in Hajj is not forbidden from adorning herself.
Covering the face: A woman in Hajj should not cover her face or wear gloves, just as a male should not cover his head.
There is no difference of opin ion on this issue, based on the clear statement of Rasul Allah (),
“The Muhrimah (a female in Ihraam) should not cover her face, nor should she wear gloves.” Having said that, it is permissible for her to cover her face if she fears the gaze of non-Mahram men upon her. It was narrated that Umm Al-Mu’mineen (retning said,
“The riders would pass by us while we were with Rasul Allah (ten) in a state of Ihraam. When one of them would ride next to us, we would take our Jilbaab and cover (coming down with the cloth from our heads) our face.
When the rider would pass, we would un cover once again.” Scholars have used this hadeeth to show that if a woman is in need of covering her face then it is permissible for her to do so.
However, the Shaafi’iyyah set a condition to this covering saying that the Niqaab should not touch the women’s face. This was also the opinion of Al-Qaadee from the Hanaabilah. In actuality, this condition does not have overall agreement from the scholars. Ibn Qudaamah said in regards to this condition,
“I have not found this condition to be from (Imam) Ahmad, nor is it from the Hadith. In fact, reality contra dicts this condition. For verily, the cloth that covers over a women’s face, rarely does it remain un-touching to her skin.
Had this been a condition (that it should not touch her face) the Prophet () would have explained it.” Refuting the claims of those who claimed that the condition of the women’s Niqaab in Hajj is that it not touch her face, Imam Ash-Showkaani used similar arguments as that of Imam Ibn Qu daamah. And Allah knows best.
Touching one’s spouse intimately or non-intimately: If a male in Ihraam touches his wife with desire, or kisses her, then he would be obliged to pay the Fidyah (penalty) – and the same would go for women. This is the opinion of the Hanaabilah.
More so, the male is between two situations after touching his wife: either he releases some fluid or not.
If he does not release anything, then the penalty for him is that he must slaughter a sheep. If he does release something, then he must slaughter a camel.
As for the women in this situation, then perhaps her situation is that of the males. Ibn Qudaamah said,
“The women is just like the male in this respect.”
The Hanafiyyah and Shaafi’iyyah said: It is Wajib for someone who kisses or touches his or her spouse with desire that they pay the fidyah – which is the slaughtering of a sheep. If they cannot find or afford the sheep, then they should alternatively either feed the poor or fast.
From what the Hanafiyyah and Shaafi’iyyah are saying, it seems that the same applies to women if they kiss or touch their hus band with desire.
Chapter Two: Male/Female differences in Ritual Worship
What is the ruling of women performing Hajj without a Mahram?
There are five general conditions before Hajj becomes compul sory upon someone.
They are that the person is Muslim, has reached the age of discernment, is of full mental capacity and is not a slave. Additionally, they must be capable of completing the journey to Hajj, both physically and financially.
Both males and females share these conditions. However, the Muslim woman has an extra condition before she can be held accountable for not performing Hajj and that is the accompani ment of a Mahram.
The statements of the scholars regarding this matter: The Shaafi’iyyah state that Hajj is not obligatory upon a woman until she finds a male Mahram relative or a husband or a group of trusted women.
If she finds any of the previous three, it is obliga tory upon her to perform Hajj. If she cannot find one of the three, she is not obliged to perform the Hajj.
The condition that the Shaafi’iyyah hold for a woman to perform Hajj is that she must be able to perform the journey securely.
This security can be found when a husband or a Mahram or a group of trusted women accompanies her.
In the popular opinion of the Madhhab, it is permissible for a woman to perform Hajj if she finds only one trusted women to take the journey with. More so, they say it is permissible for her