Advice for Women going to Hajj
The misunderstandings regarding the women’s status and rights in Islam can only be dispelled by critical and direct study of the rights granted to her in Islam. Since a mere pronouncement of rights is not enough but the preservation and continuous protection of these rights is necessary for a law to be perfect, the Islamic Law needs to be observed in full light with an open mind removed from pre-conceived prejudice.
The focus of this topic rest upon Muslim Women only because the conditions governing Muslim Women must be observed.
All of the Hajj rituals apply generally to men and women but there are some conditions that must be satisfied for women to accomplish a successful Hajj.
Numbers 1 through 4 below are general conditions that must be met by both male and female but we must remind you that these are very important conditions that must be satisfied:
1. Sincerity towards Allah is a condition of any act of worship, including Hajj, being valid and acceptable. So be sincere towards Allah in your Hajj and beware of showing off, for showing off invalidates good deeds and brings punishment.
2. Following the Sunnah and doing actions in accordance with the teachings of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is the second condition of actions being valid and acceptable, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Whoever does any action that is not in accordance with this matter of ours, will have it rejected.” Narrated by Muslim.
3. This means that you should learn the rulings of Hajj according to the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), with the help of useful books which are based on saheeh evidence from the Qur’aan and Sunnah.
4. Beware of major and minor shirk (association of others with Allah), and of sin in all its forms. Major shirk means that a person goes beyond the pale of Islam, his good deeds are rendered invalid and that he is exposed to punishment. Minor shirk means that a person’s good deeds are rendered invalid and he is exposed to punishment. Sin means that he is exposed to punishment.
5. Muslim women going to Hajj must be accompanied by a Mahram. Otherwise if she has no Mahram, she is not obligated to perform the Hajj. (See Below)
6. If she went about performing her Hajj without a Mahram, her Hajj is valid but she will be committing a sin for travelling without a Mahram. Click her for Hadith on Mahram
7. A woman can wear any color of clothing during the Hajj, it does not have to be white. However, she is prohibited to wear the niqab on her face as well as gloves on her hands in the State of Ihram. If her sleeves are long enough to cover her fingers there is no harm. And if she wants to drop something over her head to cover her face without it touching the face, this is also acceptable.
8. A woman should not apply perfume when assuming Ihram.
9. A woman should say the Talbiyah without raising her voice. It should be sufficient for her to hear herself.
10. A woman should not perform Raml “fast walking” around the Ka’bah, neither should she run between the two green lights during Sa’i.
11. A woman is not required to climb the mountain of Safa or Marwah. It is sufficient for her to reach its beginning.
12. A woman is forbidden from shaving her hair. It is sufficient for her to shorten it about half an inch at the tip of her hair.
13. A Muslim woman should avoid close interaction with men, especially attempting to kiss the Black Stone.
Women need to use common sense durin hajj regarding their actions and stay in areas that are not crowded, it is possibble to avoid close interaction with men with just a little effort. Women also need to join groups of women during Salat, go to the back as much as possible and join womens groups.
14. A woman is excused from performing the farewell Tawaaf (Tawaaf Al-Widaa) during menses.
15. A woman should hasten in performing Tawaaf Al-Ifaadah “Hajj Tawaaf” as soon as possible if she is expecting her menses.
16. If a woman has her menses and she didn’t perform the Tawaaf of Hajj (Tawaaf Al-Ifaadah) and conditions does not permit her to wait until her menses are over, she can make the Tawaaf Al-Ifaadah even if she has her menses.
17. It is permissible for the woman to take some medication to delay her menses, so as not to interrupt her Hajj. Nevertheless it is advisable to avoid the interruption of her menstrual cycle because, medically, it may do more harm than good.
18. It is permissible for a Muslim woman to perform all the rituals of Hajj which include making Sa’i, Standing in Arafah, Sleeping in Muzdalifah, Stoning Jamaraat, etc while she has her menses with the exception of Tawaaf (Circumbulation of the Ka’aba).
THE MAHRAM ISSUE
A Mahram is a man whom a woman is forever forbidden to marry because of blood ties or for a permissible reason. This is also subject to the condition that he be an adult of sound mind. A minor child cannot be a Mahram, and neither can one who is not of sound mind. The reason for a Mahram’s presence being required is so that he can look after her and protect her, so that she will not be bothered by those who do not fear Allaah and do not show mercy to the slaves of Allaah.
Saudi Embassies in the USA issues visas for a woman to travel to the Hajj by herself without a Mahram if she is 45 years and older. She must show a notarized “No-Objection” letter from a Mahram giving her permission to make the Hajj. Any woman below the age of 45 must be accompanied by a Mahram.