Is My Umra Valid?

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat is asked about the validity of Umra if a sister has doubts about purity.

I went on Umra during my period. My periods stop on the sixth day, but this time it didn’t stop until the thirteenth day. On the twelfth day I went and did Umra, thinking I am now in istihada [period of abnormal bleeding], and did tawaf and sa’i [moving back and forth between Safa and Marwa] after entering tuhr [a state of purity] and making wudu.

Yet I am still doubtful whether I was right or wrong. Please help me and answer my question. And if I was wrong please tell me what to do.

I pray you are well.

Your Umra was valid – provided you were able to remain in a state of wudu during your tawaf. If not, you need to sacrifice a sheep in Mecca.

Continuation Of Blood

If bleeding persists after the number of days you usually see it – 7, for example – you should not pray your prayers as there is a chance that the number of days you menstrual cycle lasts may change. If it stops before ten full days then this is your new cycle – 9, for example.

If, however, it continues past ten days then you assume that your menstrual cycle lasted the original number of days (7) and everything else was istihada. This means you all have to repeat the missed prayers from the day of the cycle ending until the point you realized the bleeding was istihada.

(Birgivi, Dhukhr al-Mutaʾahhilin; Kasani, Badaʾiʿ al-Sanaʾiʿ).

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

Abdul-Rahim

Pooling Funds for Hajj

Ustadh Tabraze Azam is asked about the legality of polling funds for Hajj.

In our culture, we have a system of informal savings whereby people come together in groups and decide on an amount of money to deposit in a savings (locally, a wooden–metal box that is entrusted to a group member). They also decide on the frequency of tallying and awarding the bulk money to a group member that has been chosen out of a “hat.”

For example, if you have 5 people who have decided to contribute $200 per month and every 5 months, they give the total ($1, 000) to a person chosen at random. That means it will take 25 months for all the group members to benefit from the $1, 000. Currently, this method solves materia needs within communities. Now a group of UN colleagues want to use this same concept to purchase a ticket for Hajj.

Essentially, a group of 10 colleagues want to contribute $200 every month starting this January with the aim of awarding $6,000 per person every Hajj season until they all go for Hajj. So if they start in January, Hajj is in June, in sha Allah, then they would be able to pay for 2 people; then next Hajj season, 4 people, and so on, finishing in 2.5 years.

What makes this different from taking a loan is this: these people work for the UN, which means that they contribute a mandatory 7% of their salary towards a pension scheme every month, and at the time of death, the UN will pay out this, including their own contribution of 15% –  if you have more than 5 years of service to the employee’s designated beneficiary.

Hence every month on their pay slip, everyone can tell how much they have contributed towards their pension thus far. Obviously, everyone has different salaries and different years of service, but at the end of 2.5 years each one would have given $6,000 to the group. So, if one of them dies, the intention is to have a written document signed by each member of the group stating that $6,000 (minus whatever they have already paid to the group before their death) should be taken from their pension money and given to the group by their beneficiary.

The question is: is this method of going for Hajj acceptable in Shari‘a? Are there any conditions that need to be followed if yes? If possible, please provide the Hanifi as well as Maliki opinion, if they are different.

Jazakum Allah khayr for this opportunity to ask a question and have it responded to by competent scholars.

The manner of pooling funds together in order to facilitate the hajj pilgrimage for those otherwise financially unable is acceptable. But it isn’t necessary to do this because the hajj is only obligatory once its strict conditions have been met. 

As for deducting a certain sum from the estate after death, the specific scenario is unclear in your question. If the deceased person leaves a bequest (wasiyya) to contribute a certain amount to the fund, then this would be permissible as long as the guidelines of fulfilling such bequests are followed.

Please also see A Hajj Reader.

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

What Are the Rulings of Ihram?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Asslamu Alaykum

I want to know about the rulings of ihram according to the Sunnah, for example, what can you wear under it? Can you please cover them?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

Thank you for your question.

A State of Sanctity

Strictly speaking, the Ihram is a state one enters into to demonstrate one’s veneration for the Sacred Precinct (Ḥaram) around Mecca. One may not pass the boundary delineated by by the Landmarks (Miqāt, pl. Mawāqīt) except in a state of Ihram if one is intending to enter Mecca. If one intends to go to a place within this boundary, he may pass without an ihram, and then later enter Mecca without an ihram.

Conditions for the validity of an Ihram

1. That one be a Muslim.

2. Intention: one must intend either a Hajj, ʿUmra or a combination of the two when passing the Miqāt.

3. Recitation of the talbiya (Labbayk Allahumma labbayk…) or any other form of remembrance that venerates Allah. The intention combined with the talbiya puts one in a state of ihram.

4. One must refrain from sexual intercourse and all forms of foreplay before standing at ʿArafa during Hajj, and before the first circling of the Kaʿba (tawaf) during an ʿumra, otherwise, its validity will be vitiated.

The Sunnas of Ihram

1. One should have a bath, or perform wudu if a bath is not possible, because the Messenger of Allah bathed before entering ihram (Tirmidhi) and told others to do so to (Muslim).

2. Wearing a wraparound (Izār / lungi) and and cloak (ridāʾ). Sewn garments should be avoided unless they are worn in an unconventional manner.

3. Performing two units of prayer.

4. Reciting the talbiya out loud thrice and then frequently on one’s journey when going over a hill, descending a valley, after prayers, and in any possible situation.

Some Recommended Actions

1. Removing unwanted bodily hair, clipping one’s nails, combing one’s hair and applying perfume. It is superior to apply it only to one’s clothes to avoid a difference of opinion (Radd al-Muhtar).

2. Wearing two new or washed white cloths.

3. Wearing sandals which do not cover the front of the foot where shoelaces are usually tied.

4. Making a verbal intention.

5. Making one’s intention immediately after the prayer.
(Abul-Hajj, Ṣalaḥ, al-Jamiʿ fi ahkam al-siyam, wa al-iʿtikaf wa al-hajj wa al-umra).

It’s advisable to study the rulings of Hajj and Umra well before setting off in order to ensure their validity. Some people neglect this and end up confused, or making costly mistakes.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 to study and sit at the feet of some of the most erudite scholars of our time.

Over the following eighteen months he studied a traditional curriculum, studying with scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish.

In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years, in Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, Theology, Hadith Methodology and Commentary, Shama’il, and Logic with teachers such as Dr Ashraf Muneeb, Dr Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr Mansur Abu Zina amongst others. He was also given two licences of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabr and Shaykh Yahya Qandil.

His true passion, however, arose in the presence of Shaykh Ali Hani, considered by many to be one of the foremost tafsir scholars of our time who provided him with the keys to the vast knowledge of the Quran. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic Sciences, Tafsir, Arabic Grammar, and Rhetoric.

When he finally left Jordan for the UK in 2014, Shaykh Ali gave him his distinct blessing and still recommends students in the UK to seek out Shaykh Abdul-Rahim for Quranic studies. Since his return he has trained as a therapist and has helped a number of people overcome emotional and psychosomatic issues. He is a keen promoter of emotional and mental health.

Is It Permitted to Wear a Protective Amulet Whilst in a State of Pilgrim Sanctity?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

Is it permitted to wear a protective amulet whilst in a state of pilgrim sanctity?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

Yes, it is permitted to wear a protective amulet (ta‘widh/ruqya) whilst in a state of pilgrim sanctity (ihram).

Stitches and stitching aren’t inherently impermissible, but rather, the interdiction relates to wearing clothing in a normal manner. Accordingly, watches, [eye] glasses, belts and the like are excusable as they are not considered to be clothing.

Tabarani and Daraqutni both relate from Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be well-pleased with him) that he permitted the wearing of a ring and the like in a state of pilgrim sanctity. Similar reports can be found from ‘A’isha (may Allah be well-pleased with her).

[Birgivi, al-Tariqa al-Muhammadiyya; ‘Ayni, Minhat al-Suluk fi Sharh Tuhfat al-Muluk (299); Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah, with Tahtawi’s Gloss (2.414)]

Please also see: Is Using a Ta’wiz (Amulet) Permissible? and: Can I Wear Stitched Footgear, Belts, or a Backpack While in Ihram? and: Can Women Wear Ornaments While Performing Umrah? and: A Hajj Reader

And Allah Most High knows best.

wassalam,

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.

Can I Perform Multiple Umrahs?

Answered by Shaykh Umer Mian

Question: Assalamu alaykum

I intend on performing my umrah soon. Can I perform multiple umrahs there?

How should I do this?

Answer: Wa alaikum as-salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu

Short answer:

Yes, you can perform as many umrahs as you wish. While in Makkah, perform additional umrahs by first going to Masjid Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) and entering the state of ihram from there. Then, complete the umrah as normal (tawaf, sa’ee between Safa and Marwa, and shaving/shortening hair).

Detailed answer:

Yes, you can perform umrah as many times as you’d like. This means you can travel to Makkah and perform a first umrah, and then perform additional umrahs during your stay in Makkah. For the initial umrah, you are traveling to Makkah coming from outside the legal boundary marked by the Sacred Law (miqat). In this case, you must enter the state of ihram before passing this legal boundary (miqat). Keep in mind that the city of Jeddah is within the miqat. Hence, those who will be landing at Jeddah airport with the intention of Hajj or Umrah must enter ihram either a) before boarding the plane, or b) inside the plane before the plane flies over the miqat (often times the pilot will announce this point).

After coming to Makkah and performing the initial umrah, you will now be considered like the people of Makkah (for the purposes of ihram ruling). That means if you wish to perform another umrah during your stay, you need to go outside the haram of Makkah and enter the state of ihram from there. Be aware that the haram of Makkah (الحَرَم المكّي) is not the same as the al-Masjid al-Haram. The haram of Makkah refers to the area around Makkah that is deemed sacred land in Islam. It extends for several miles in all directions around Makkah, and its limits are marked by signs placed on major roads. Masjid A’isha (may Allah be pleased with her), which is also known as Masjid Tan’eem or Masjid Umrah, is one location outside the haram of Makkah from which it is permissible to enter ihram for your additional umrahs. Although Masjid A’isha is preferred, going to any location outside the haram of Makkah would suffice.

(الدر المختار) الْمِيقَاتُ ( لِمَنْ بِمَكَّةَ ) يَعْنِي مَنْ بِدَاخِلِ الْحَرَمِ ( لِلْحَجِّ الْحَرَمُ وَلِلْعُمْرَةِ الْحِلُّ ) لِيَتَحَقَّقَ نَوْعُ سَفَرٍ وَالتَّنْعِيمُ أَفْضَلُ

It is stated in al-Durr al-Mukhtar, an authoritative reference of Sacred Law according to the Hanafi school:
“For anyone inside the haram of Makkah, the miqat (legal boundary for ihram of Hajj or Umrah) is to go outside the haram of Makkah (what’s referred to as ‘Al-Hill’). By doing so, one achieves some form for travel (fulfilling the travel requirement of Hajj/Umrah). The best place to do this is al-Tan’eem (now known as Masjid A’isha).”

Regarding the umrah of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), it is reported in a hadith narrated by Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) made umrah a total of four times (see Kitab al-Hajj from Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim), each one in a different year. However, this in no way prohibits one from performance of multiple umrahs on one trip, as it falls under the general permissibility indicated by the following textual evidences:

إِنَّ الصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَةَ مِنْ شَعَائِرِ اللَّهِ فَمَنْ حَجَّ الْبَيْتَ أَوِ اعْتَمَرَ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِ أَنْ يَطَّوَّفَ بِهِمَا وَمَنْ تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ شَاكِرٌ عَلِيمٌ (البقرة 158)

Behold! Safa and Marwa are among the Symbols of Allah. So if those who visit the House in the Season or at other times, should compass them round, it is no sin in them. And if any one obeyeth his own impulse to good,- be sure that Allah is He Who recogniseth and knoweth (Qur’an 2:158).

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ – رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ – قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ – صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : العمرة إلى العمرة كفارة لما بينهما (متّفق عليه)

Narrated by Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him): the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “(The performance of) Umrah is an expiation for the sins committed between it and the previous Umrah.” (Agreed upon by Bukhari and Muslim).

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ – رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ – قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ – صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ -: مَا يَزَالُ عَبْدِي يَتَقَرَّبُ إِلَيَّ بِالنَّوَافِلِ حَتَّى أُحِبَّهُ (رَوَاهُ الْبُخَارِيُّ)

Narrated by Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him): the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “(Allah says:) My servant continues to draw near to me with supererogatory acts of worship until I love him.” (Bukhari).

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Umer Mian

Is It Allowed to Delay the Intention for Hajj?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Assalam aleykum

I am asking this question on behalf of my aunt. Unfortunately, she has her period and may not be able to make the intention for Hajj before leaving. Is it ok if she arrives in Saudi Arabia and makes the intention?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

Being in a state of menstruation does not prevent one from intending the Hajj and entering into a state of ihram. As such, your aunt may either enter ihram from India before she departs or she may enter it when reaching the designated miqat areas in Saudi Arabia.

This is clearly affirmed in the hadith, “When a menstruating women and those experiencing post-natal bleeding come to the miqat, they should perform a ritual-bath (ghusl), enter into ihram, and perform all the rituals of Hajj except circumambulating (tawaf) the Ka`aba.” [Abu Dawud]

[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas  graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman where he spent five years studying Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir. He is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Oxford and continues his traditional studies with scholars in the United Kingdom.

Can I Perform Hajj or Umra on Behalf of Someone Else?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

Can I perform Hajj or Umra on behalf of someone who is old enough but is not able to afford it financially?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

It is valid to perform the Hajj on behalf of somebody who is physically unable to go themselves. The person upon whom the Hajj is due should appoint a person for this.

However, if they cannot afford to go themselves, it would not be obligatory upon them to send somebody on their behalf. The exception would be in the case that they were fully able at some point in their life, yet they didn’t go.

The lesser pilgrimage (‘umra) is an emphasised sunna, and not obligatory. Hence, it is not a requirement nor expectation to send somebody to perform it on your behalf.

But this doesn’t negate the permissibility of performing it yourself, and subsequently, donating the reward to a family member. And they wouldn’t need to be informed of this beforehand.

[Mawsili, al-Ikhtiyar li Ta‘lil al-Mukhtar]

Please also see: Can One Perform Hajj on Behalf of Others? and: Appointing Someone to Perform Hajj on Someone’s Behalf and: Donating Reward to the Dead: A Detailed Answer

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.

How Can I Clean My Hands to Feed My Baby While Performing Umra?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

How can I clean my hands to feed my baby during my Umra if I can’t find unscented soap?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah,

Whilst in a state of pilgrim sanctity (ihram), you can clean your hands with that which is unscented and fulfils the purpose, such as hand wipes.

The basis is that perfumes and scents are to be avoided during the state of pilgrim sanctity, and until you complete the rites.

This reason for this is that the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said that the person in a state of pilgrim sanctity is “dishevelled,” and perfuming oneself negates this meaning.

[Kasani, Bada‘i al-Sanaæ‘i]

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.

How Can I Complete My Hajj During My Menstruation?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Assalam aleykum

If a woman is on her menses during the time the obligatory Tawaf or the Farewell Tawaf is to be completed, and she will be still on her menses when she departs from Makkah, how is she to complete her Hajj?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

The Farewell Tawaf

In the Hanafi school, the farewell tawaf (al-sadr/al-wida) is considered necessary (wajib) on those who are not resident of Mecca.

However, for a female experiencing menstruation, this tawaf is not necessary based on a dispensation stipulated by the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace). Ibn `Abbas said that, “People were commanded to make their final act the farewell tawaf before leaving Mecca, except menstruating women who were excused.”

Lastly, no expiation needs to be given in return for leaving the farewell tawaf for the reason mentioned above. [Kasani, Bada`i al-Sana`i; Sarakhsi, Mabsut]

The Obligatory Tawaf of Hajj

As for the obligatory tawaf of hajj, often called tawaf al-ziyara or tawaf al-rukn, one must delay it until they enter into a state of purity after the menstrual cycle has ended.

If one delays it beyond the necessary (wajib) dates that it needs to be performed in, namely between the 10th and 12th of Dhi’l Hijja, due to a valid excuse such as menstruation, no expiation is due and nor is it considered sinful. [Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

Planning Ahead

When planning for Hajj, one should make travel arrangements in a manner that gives them sufficient time to perform this obligatory tawaf if they believe they may menstruate during the days it is normally performed.

Further, one can take medical means to delay the period in order to fulfill this obligation. This is permitted.

[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir.

Can My Brother-In-Law Be My “Mahram” for a Trip?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

I am a 22 year old woman and this year I have applied for Hajj and I have planned to go with my mother-in-law and my brother-in-law.

Can they be my mahram? Can I get a visa?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

No, your brother-in-law is not from your unmarriageable kin (mahram). This is because a mahram is somebody whom it is impermissible for you to ever marry, and this does not apply to your brother-in-law.

Godfearing scholars have stated that women may travel as long it is safe and dignified for them to do so. It is, however, often recommended to perform the pilgrimages with a mahram as fulfilling the rites can get difficult.

As for the specific visa process, you’ll need to consult with your local travel agents to see what the current process is.

[Nahlawi, al-Durar al-Mubaha fi al-Hazr wa al-Ibaha (56-57)]

Please see: Who is Mahram

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,
[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.