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Menstruating Just Before Ihram: What to Do?

Question and answer details
Masuma Begum
2012/09/13
As-salamu `alaykum. I have a question; I am, insha’ Allah, going to Hajj. My concern is that I think I will have my period the day before travelling. So, when I pass the Miqat, should I enter into Ihram for `Umrah or Hajj? If I am done with my period on 1st day off Hajj when will I perform my `Umrah? Will I do Hajj without `Umrah? Please, let me know. Thank you.
Ahmad Kutty
Answer

Wa `alaykum as-salamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

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Dear sister, thank you very much for your question that shows your eagerness to be perform hajj and `umrah correctly.

First of all, we congratulate you on this blessing of performing Hajj and call on Allah Almighty to accept your and all Muslims’ Hajj and `umrah.

As for your question, you are to assume Ihram for Hajj, like everyone else, but do not perform Tawaf until your menses expires and you have performed Ghusl (bathing).

Namely, you can stay in Ihram until you complete the Tawaf of Ifadah, one of the major pillars of Hajj.

In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states,

You should assume Ihram for Hajj-like everyone else, even if you are menstruating, with the only exception you will not be performing Tawaf until your menses expires and you have performed Ghusl (bathing). In other words, you are to stay in Ihram until you complete the Tawaf of Ifadah, one of the major pillars of Hajj.

In the scenario mentioned above, you only got Hajj. As for `Umrah, you may do it after you have completed the rituals of Hajj, once your menses expires and you have performed Ghusl.

We read in the traditions this was what had happened to `A’ishah, the beloved wife of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him); she was menstruating when she arrived in Makkah. So the Prophet advised her to perform all rituals of Hajj except Tawaf. When finally she came out of the menses and performed Ghusl, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) sent her to Tan`eem (presently known also as Masjid `A’ishah) to assume Ihram for `Umrah. Hence, in this way, she got both Hajj and `Umrah.

As for the women who are menstruating and have no choice of leaving Makkah because of travel arrangements that compel them to return with the group, they can perform Tawaf while still menstruating. If they did that, their Hajj will be complete.

This is the ruling of Ibn Taymiyyah, which has been endorsed by many other scholars as well - because of unavoidable necessity.

Allah Almighty knows best.


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