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Menstruating Women and Umrah

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by CouncilofUlama.co.za

Q: I have read on the following link https://nawadir.org/2016/03/30/travelling-for-umrah-whilst-menstruating/ that a menstruating woman should enter into Iḥrām at Mīqāt and proceed to Makkah and perform her ‘Umrah after her menstruation finishes. However, I have a specific scenario which is quite common. If a woman plans to stay in Makkah for five days but her period will start two days before she arrives and her normal cycle is 10 days, what should she do? Should she take the pill bearing in mind that the bleeding may not stop fully? What if she has no choice but to return from Makkah before her menstruation finishes?

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A: (1) The woman should try to extend her stay in Makkah or change her visit dates or visit Madīnah first if that resolves the issue. ‘Umrah visits should be planned to avoid such difficulties. Taking the pill is permissible but not recommended not least because the outcome is not guaranteed. A doctor should be consulted before the pill is taken.

Passing Mīqāt Without Iḥrām

(2) If changing the visit dates is not possible and there is no other option, the woman should cross Mīqāt without entering into Iḥrām. Instead, she should make her primary intention to visit Jeddah or another location within Ḥill (the area between Mīqāt and Ḥaram) and not make intention for ‘Umrah or to visit Makkah. She should remain in this location and return home when she needs to do so without entering Ḥaram. Whilst staying in Ḥill, if she needs to travel to Ḥaram, she can do so without making an intention for ‘Umrah. In this scenario, there will be no penalty. If her menstruation finishes before her departure date, it is preferable to proceed to the closest Mīqāt with her guardian and enter into Iḥrām and perform her ‘Umrah. It is also permissible to enter into Iḥrām from anywhere in Ḥill such as Tan’īm.

Passing Mīqāt With Iḥrām

(3) If the woman enters into Iḥrām at Mīqāt, whilst she is in the state of menstruation or her menstruation begins before she is able to perform ‘Umrah, it is necessary for her to wait for her menstruation to finish and perform ‘Umrah thereafter. She may take the pill as mentioned above. It is not permissible to perform ‘Umrah in the state of menstruation. It is also not possible for her to exit the state of Iḥrām and compensate via a penalty and Qaḍā in the future. She will have no choice but to wait and perform her ‘Umrah after her menstruation finishes. If she decides to return home, she will remain in the state of Iḥrām until she performs ‘Umrah. Thus, she will continue to be liable for any actions that are contrary to the state of Iḥrām.

The prohibition of performing ‘Umrah in the state of menstruation is based on the principle that it is not permissible to perform Ṭawāf in the state of menstruation according to all four schools of thought. The Prophet ﷺ said, “The women in post-natal bleeding and menses should perform a bath, enter Iḥrām and perform all the rituals except for Ṭawāf around the House, until they become clean” (Sunan al-Tirmidhī, 945). If, however, a woman performs the Ṭawāf of ‘Umrah in the state of menstruation and exits her Iḥrām thereafter, she will be sinful. According to the Ḥanafī school of thought, her obligation will be fulfilled and she will be liable to compensate via a Dam (sacrifice of a goat or equivalent animal). It is important to emphasise that the action is prohibited and it is therefore necessary to wait for the menstruation to finish.

Allah knows best

Yusuf Shabbir, Blackburn, UK
27 Rajab 1437 H. – 4 May 2016
Approved by: Mufti Shabbir Ahmad Sahib and Mufti Tahir Wadi Sahib.

This answer was collected from CouncilofUlama.co.za, which is operated under the supervision of Council of Ulama Eastern Cape, South Africa.

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