Hajj and women special needs, by Ramatu Muazu 

by admin



Muslim women have a right to an education, to be scholars and in some cases jurists. We have as an eternal role model the Prophet Muhammad’s first, beloved wife, Khadija, a successful trader who popped the question to a man 15 years her junior.


“Treat your women well and be kind to them,” prophet Muhammad (SAW) himself urged in his last sermon, during his final pilgrimage to Mecca. “It is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women, but they also have rights over you.”


Muslim woman need a chance to see Fiqh rulings that are specific to Hajj – since many a time the rulings are lost in the general discussion of how to

perform Hajj by both genders not distinguishing the differences. In the end one should have a general idea of those things that a woman differs in Hajj

from men. They should be able to recognize differences in ritual worship between the women and men.

Women often struggle with this things when seeking to be guided more especially in  Islamic values.


Each day in Mecca provided powerful reminders of a religion that seems to simultaneously embrace women and respect them. but yet there is a phenomenon amongst  women which needed more attention by the managers of Hajj affairs that is educating the female pilgrims in much more convincing and convenient ways.


There are several untreated topics which were left unattended to, salient issues like Ihraam rulings on women for example combing one’s hair during Ihraam, cutting the hair and the ruling on Takabah among numerous things that differ from the way men do their own.


I’ll take time to explain some issues that  are exempted during the normal lectures organised by the state pilgrims welfare board.

Iddah ( Takaba) and Hajj


One issue that draw my attention is that situation often change like for example a woman who travels for Hajj with her husband as her Muharram then suddenly he died,  automatically she enters the state of Iddag (Takabah), what is she supposed to do?


The woman whose husband has died must observe ‘iddah for four months and ten days, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):


“And those of you who die and leave wives behind them, they (the wives) shall wait (as regards their marriage) for four months and ten days”


al-Baqarah 2:234


And Islam have stated the things that the woman whose husband had died must avoid during the ‘iddah period.


These include: going out of the house.


She should not go out during the day except in cases of need, and she should not go out at night except in cases of necessity.


If she went out and her husband died on the road, she should go back if she is still close to home, because she comes under the ruling of one who is not travelling. If she is far from home, she may continue her journey. Maalik said: She should go back so long as she has not entered ihraam.


The fact that she should go back if she is close to home is indicated by the report narrated by Sa’eed ibn Mansoor from Sa’eed ibn al-Musaayib, who said: Some husbands died, whose wives were performing Hajj or ‘Umrah, and ‘Umar sent them back from Dhu’l-Hulayfah so that they could observe ‘iddah in their houses…


If a woman has not yet performed the obligatory Hajj and her husband dies, she is still obliged to observe ‘iddah in her house, even if she misses Hajj, because ‘iddah in the house is a one-off event for which there is no alternative, whereas Hajj may be done another year.

But in this case they are both out and he died, it is advised that she complete her Hajj and then when she return home then she enter the iddah.


We may seek more clarification on this from scholars.


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 transparent 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-Mughni:


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 color (such as white) and can instead wear any colors 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 jewelry while she is in a state of Ihraam. It was narrated in Al-

Bukhaari, that Umm Al-Mu’mineen Aisha – radiyal Allahu ‘anha – used to not consider anything wrong

with a Muhrimah (a woman in a state of Ihram) wearing jewelry.

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 jewelry.


This permissibility of wearing jewelry is also the opinion of the Hanafiyyah and Maalikiyyah. They

quote as their proof – in addition to the above – the fact that wearing jewelry 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 opinion on this issue, based on the clear statement of Rasul Allah – sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, “The Muhrimah (a female in Ihraam) should not cover her face, nor should she wear gloves.


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



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.


The goal of this write up was to distinguish the Fiqh rulings that are specific to women in Hajj. These

were divided and organized into two basic chapters, one dealing with the Ihraam of a woman, the other discussing the ritual differences between men and women.


I will take a break here and will insha Allah continue soon


Your sister in Islam


Ramatu Muazu

Writes from Kano.


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