Fatwas for Women during Hajj
Being a woman calls for several issues to be taken care of that are not permissible during the pilgrimage. Recapitulated below are marked dos and don’ts for women who plan the consecrated journey of Hajj:
- Securing the companionship of a mahram member is to be identified as the prerequisite for travel; a mahram can preferably be your father, brother, son or husband. Considering the fact that it is not possible for every woman to travel with a mahram, therefore having passed a certain age it is allowed for a women to travel with her elders and trustworthy fellows or relatives. Abu Sa`id reported that the Prophet (PBUH) said:
“A woman is not to travel a distance of two days without her husband or mahram with her.”
The thoughtful rationale behind is to ensure the safety and security of women.
- Most women have the misconception that they cannot uncover their head at all once they have entered the state of ihram. This is completely wrong. A woman can surely take off her head-covering in front of her mahrams and can also change the clothes for cleaning purpose as often as she likes because entering the state of ihram not only means putting on the clothes, rather it is a complete state of purity.
“It is permissible for the pilgrim in ihram for Hajj or Umrah to change his ihram clothes and put on another set of ihram clothes, and that does not affect his ihram for Hajj or Umrah.” (Standing Committee for Academic Research and Issuing Fatwas, Fataawa al-Lajnah, 11/185)
- It is not allowed for a woman to cover her face with a veil or wear any kind of gloves during Tawaaf and Sa’ay. However women must take care that they are not uncovered during any ritual of the Hajj especially when staying in Muzdalifah which is an open ground having no covered place for the purpose of Wudu. Women at such times need to ensure that they are not seen by the eyes of non-mahram men.
- Any clothes are permissible for a woman to wear as her Ihram given that they don’t resemble the clothing of non-Muslims and not be vibrant or attractive enough to draw attention of non-mahram men.
- Another question that bears commonly in mind concerns the monthly period. If the women have her monthly cycle after having acquired the sacred state of ihram, she should remain in the state of ihram for the purpose of Umrah. If she becomes pure before the 9th of Dhul Hijjah, she is free to perform Umrah. However if she does not become pure, then she should combine her Hajj with Umrah. She is allowed to perform all the rituals of Hajj except for Tawaaf. She can neither touch the words of Holy Quran nor can offer her prayers in an impure state.
- Proclaiming the words of Talbiyah, a woman’s voice should be low compared to that of men.
- Women must not crowd themselves with men in attempt of kissing the Black Stone. Waving a hand to would be acceptable.
- During Tawaaf , for the sake of protection of women, it is desirable that they circumambulate around Ka’aba in the circles farther from the center that is more packed with men. Additionally, nighttime is more preferred for a woman to do her Tawaaf even if she reaches Makkah in the morning.
It is worth noting that during the general argument of the rituals of Hajj, the specified rulings for women are often overlooked and to clear the conceptions of women-specific Hajj questions, they must do an in depth study and meet the religious scholars to avoid falling into any error. May we be guided aright by Allah Almighty!