A Woman's Guide to Hajj Part II

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 husband 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 compulsory 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 accompaniment 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 obligatory 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 to travel alone if she shall be safe and she fears nothing on the road. This is how they understand the Ahaadeeth which forbid a women from traveling alone.

However, if she has already performed her first obligatory Hajj and this is a voluntary performance, then she is not permitted to travel alone - she must be accompanied by a husband or a Mahram. In this case, traveling with a group of trusted women is not permitted; this is the more correct position in the Madhhab.

The opinion of the Maalikiyyah is similar to that of the Shaafi'iyyah in that they allow a woman who does not find a Mahram or husband to travel with a secure group. They add that this secure group may be a group of men, a group of women, or a group made up of men and women.

In the Madhhab of Imam Ahmad, Hajj is not obligatory upon a women who does not find a mahram or husband to travel with her. In fact, Imam Ahmad specifically commented on this issue, as Abu Dawood states: I said to Ahmad, "A wealthy woman who does not find a mahram to travel with her to perform Hajj, is Hajj Waajib upon her?" He said, "No."

They cited as proof for what the opinion that they took a selection of Ahaadeeth which we shall mention shortly.

The Hanafiyyah held an opinion similar to that of the Hanaabilah. They said that Hajj is not compulsory upon a woman who does not find a mahram or husband to travel with. In addition to the following ahaadeeth, they said that for her to perform Hajj without male assistance would expose her to situations that may very well harm her.

A Discussion of the Daleel

[The woman should not travel except accompanied by a mahram]

Hadeeth Adee in which the Prophet - sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam - said to him "if your life is prolonged, you shall live to see Adh-Dha'eenah (a woman) traveling from Al-Heerah (in Iraq) all the way until she performs Tawaf of the Ka'bah, fearing no one except Allah."

They also cite Qiyaas. They compare a woman traveling alone to that of a woman who converts to Islam in the land of the Kuffaar. Or a Muslim woman who may have escaped from the clutches of the disbelievers - in both cases there is unanimous agreement that she is permitted to travel alone. So should the case be in her traveling alone to perform Hajj.

The Hanafiyyah and the Hanaabilah reject these proofs with the authentic ahadeeth that forbade a woman from traveling alone. It is true, they say, that the hadeeth of Adee is authentic, but it was a statement of the Prophet - sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam - that did not amount to him sanctioning the act. Rather, it was an account to Adee of what would happen in the future.

As Imam Ash-Showkaani said, it is more befitting to take the hadeeth to mean that such a thing would happen - not that it is permissible. This is so there would be no contradiction between it and the Ahaadeeth that forbid women from traveling alone.

Should a woman raise her voice when saying the Talbiyah?

The talbiyah is a chant that someone performing Hajj recites throughout his or her Hajj rites. It includes the words: [I am here, O Allah, I am here. I am here, there is no god but you, I am here. Verily, all praise and all blessings and all sovereignty belong to you. There is no god but you.]

It is a Sunnah to not only say this, but to chant it loudly.

As for women, they should not raise their voice above what is needed for them to hear themselves.
Ibn Al-Mundhir - rahimahullaah - said, "There is a consensus amongst scholars that the Sunnah regarding women is that they do not have to raise their voice when chanting the Talbiyah. All she is required to do is to raise her voice enough so that she can hear herself. This is the opinion of Ataa', Malik, Al-Awzaa'ee, Ash-Shaafi'ee, and it is also the opinion of the Hannabilah and the Hanafees. They feared that with her raising her voice, a fitnah make occur. For the same reason, it is not Sunnah for her to give the Adhaan for Salaah, nor the Iqaamah."

Shaykh Al-Albaanee - in his book Manaasik Al-Hajj wal Umrah - said:
In regards to the talbiyyah the ruling for the women is that of the men - as the two preceding hadith are general. They too should raise their voices as long, however, as there is no fear of fitnah.
A'isha used to raise her voice until the men could hear her. Abu Atiyyah said: "I heard A'isha saying, `Verily I know how was the talbiyyah of Rasul Allah.' I heard her after that saying: Labbaikallaahumma labbaika..."

And Qaasim ibn Muhammad said: Mu'aawiyyah went out at night and heard the voice of someone making talbiyyah, so he said: `Who is that?" It was said: "`A'isha, Mother of the Believers, making `Umrah from at-Tan'eem." So that was mentioned to A'isha so she said: "If he had asked me I would have told him."

What both men and woman perform equally in Tawaf

Firstly, the desirability of making dua'a, remembering Allaah, or reciting Qur'aan.

Secondly, the desirability of touching the black stone or kissing it if its possible, on condition that a woman does not crowd the men in doing so. The same ruling applies to the Yemeni corner.

Thirdly, the permissibility of speaking if its necessary or with befitting speech.

Fourthly, the undesirability of eating or holding the urge to urinate, or pass wind, or having a strong desire for food and other things of this nature.

The Difference in Tawaf between men and women

In general, the method of performing Tawaf is the same for men and women. The agreed upon rule is that what is mentioned concerning the men applies to the women so long as there is no specific proof which shows that her ruling is different.

To review the aspects of Tawaf that apply to both men and women, one may refer to the many Fiqh books on this subject. Our concern here is to illustrate the differences which are as follows:

Women should not jog in Tawaf

At the beginning of Tawaf, it is sunnah for the men to jog, known in Arabic as Raml, the first three circumbulations around the Ka'bah. The woman is not required to do this.

Ibn Al-Mundhir said, "There is consensus amongst the scholars that the woman should not jog in Tawaf. Instead, she should do the Tawaf walking."

Al-Idtibaa' - uncovering the right shoulder

It is logically clear that a woman should not uncover her right shoulder when performing Tawaf. Imam An-Nawawee said, "Uncovering the right shoulder is Sunnah for the men and not permissible for the women. There is no difference of opinion on this matter."

Nearing the Ka'bah

It is recommended that the women should not crowd themselves near the wall of the Ka'bah, crushing themselves in to the men. Instead, she should perform her Tawaf on the outer circles of the Tawaf, away from the crowd.

This is recommended as a protection for her. However, if she is performing Tawaf at a time when the crowd is light, she may draw as near as she can to the Ka'bah.

This ruling is based on an incident that happened in which Umm Salamah - the wife of Allah's Messenger, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam - complained of a sickness. He instructed her to perform the Tawaf riding on a camel, behind the people.

Ibn Hajar, explaining this Hadith, said, "He instructed her such because the Sunnah for the women is that they should distance themselves from the men in Tawaf."

Performing Tawaf at Night

The scholars mentioned that it is desirable for a woman to delay her Tawaf until night if she arrives in Makkah during the day. The reason, they say, is that this would be more protective for her and others since the crowd would be lighter at that time.

This ruling is illustrated by that which Imam al-Bukhaaree narrated from `Ataa' who said; Aisha -radiyAllaahu anha- use to perform tawaf away from the men, not crowding them. A woman said to her, "Let us go, O Umm Al-Mumineen, to touch the black stone." Aisha declined until night came and then they went for tawaf. Whenever they wished to perform tawaf they stood there until the crowd of men would be on their way out.
However, if she feels that she may be nearing her monthly cycle, it is better that she performs the Tawaf as soon as she can so that she does not miss it.