What Can I Do During the Crowded Tawaf?

Question:
What can I do during the crowded tawaf?
Answer:
Dear questioner,
Thank you for your important question.
May Allah, Most High reward you for your desire to increase in knowledge.
Undoubtedly, The Masjid al-Haram in Mecca is quite crowded during the Hajj season. The area around the Ka’ba where the majority of Muslims desire to make tawaf is most crowded.
Our advice is to not focus on the creation during tawaf but rather on our Creator. Tawaf is a time to focus all of one’s mind, heart, and body in the remembrance of Allah, Most High. Invoking, supplicating, and seeking his forgiveness.
It is a time of absolute humility, as the opportunity of Hajj is in fact an invitation from Allah, Most High.
Allah, Most High says: “And We entrusted Abraham and Ishmael to purify My House for those who circle it, who meditate in it, and who bow and prostrate themselves in prayer.” [Qur’an, 2:125]
When making tawaf, we are those very individuals who Allah, Most High commanded his Prophets to prepare the house for!
It is the job of the Masjid al-Haram security to ensure that nothing prohibited takes place during tawaf. If one notices something prohibited going on, they should immediately point it out to the guards.

If one cannot focus and still feels nervous making tawaf near the Ka’ba, they should instead perform tawaf on the upper levels where it is less crowded.

Remember that everyone making tawaf desires the same thing: The Absolute Mercy of Allah, Most High.
And Allah alone knows best,
[Ustadh] Omar Popal
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

When Does Hajj Become Obligatory On a Person?

Question: When does Hajj become obligatory on a person?

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate,

Allah Most High says, “Pilgrimage to this House is an obligation by Allah upon whoever is able among the people…” [Qur’an; 3:97]

Hajj is obligatory on every person that fulfills the following conditions:
(1) Muslim (not non-muslim)
(2) Sane (not insane or mentally challenged)
(3) Mature (not pre-pubescent)
(4) Freedom (not a slave)
(5) Possesses sufficient financial provision to make the journey there and back
(6) Possesses the ability to travel

The above condition that one must possess sufficient financial provision is further conditioned as follows: One’s wealth is only considered if it is surplus to the wealth needed for their expenditure for themselves, their family, any dependants, and any necessities such as their home, food, clothing, etc.
[Tahtawi/Shurunbulali, Hashiyat Maraqi al-Falah]

The obligation of Hajj is not conditioned or related to the ‘Umra.

 

Summary
 
Hajj is not obligatory on your sister in her current circumstances. She is not sufficiently financially stable to afford the Hajj. If, however, your sister’s circumstances change and she does fulfill the above conditions, Hajj is then obligatory on her.

I hope this helps,
Allah knows best.
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of the Qur’an and the Islamic sciences

Is It True That the Black Stone Was Originally an Angel?

Question: Is it true that the black stone was originally an angel?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

No, it doesn’t seem to be the case that the black stone was originally an angel since nothing sound has reached us stating that.

Even if it was originally an angel, or is still an angel for that matter, kissing or touching it would not constitute worshipping gods besides Allah.

The source of the hadith

As far as this imperfect researcher can tell, the only source stating that the black stone was originally an angel is the Shiite hadith collection of hadith, al Kafi by Kulini (d. 329 AH). Now that by no means makes it automatically weak, but at the end of the day, the hadith does not cite the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) or any of the Prophetic Companions as a source (Bihar al Anwar, Majlisi).

Had there been anything even passably authentic, Ibn Hajar would have mentioned it in his commentary on Bukhari on the discussion of why Sayyidna Umar did not want to kiss the black stone (Fath al Bari, Ibn Hajar al Asqalani).

As for whether or not the black stone has or will have a tongue, this is established in Sahih Ibn Khuzayma and other reliable works.

Shiite hadith sources

One of the beautiful things about the Islamic tradition in general, and the Sunni tradition in specific, is that it is very objective and non-partisan.

A hadith is narrated and its narrators are judged based on the likelihood of them lying, and the likelihood of there being errors in their reports. Lying about the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) is quite a big thing in any Muslim’s eyes, for which reason only the worst of certain extreme sects of Islam deemed it permissible to intentionally fabricate hadiths.

Consequently, we frequently find hadiths in reliable Sunni books in whose chains Shiite and Kharijite hadith narrators are found. In contradiction to Shiites, for Sunnis, you don’t have to be in our camp, or of our persuasion, for your hadith to be sound. You just have to be a solid and accurate preserver and narrator of hadiths.

Even when it comes to critiquing hadith, we rely on Shiite scholars like Ibn Khirash (d. 283 AH).

Gray areas of shirk

Shirk is a very clear cut thing: you either worship a god besides Allah, or you don’t. Showing veneration to a created thing, such as a parent, scholar, angel, book (e.g. mushaf), or a building (e.g. Kaaba or a grave) is not shirk in and of itself. Rather, when one believes that such a thing has the power to benefit or harm independent of Allah, this is when it becomes shirk. (Imdad e Fatawa, Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi)

Thus, if it turned out that the black stone was actually a living being, it would not constitute worshipping a god besides Allah.

Conclusion

In all likelihood, the black stone was not originally an angel, and even if we were to say that is was kissing or touching it would not constitute worshipping gods besides Allah.

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language

 

Can I File My Nails During the Ten Days of Dhul Hijjah?

Question: Can I file my nails during the ten days?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

Cutting one’s nails whilst one is in a state of major ritual impurity (janaba), or during a menstrual period or lochia, is improper and sub-optimal. The same ruling would appear to be applicable to filing one’s nails.

The wisdom in avoiding cutting one’s nails at this time is that ritual impurity affects all parts of the body, including the nails themselves. These body parts have a sanctity (hurma) and from upholding this sanctity is to lift the state of ritual impurity from them first before detaching them from the body altogether. However, there is no blame nor sin on the person who removes them before this point, even without excuse, but they would have left that which is superior and more befitting.

The Forty Day Limit in Personal Upkeep

In the case that your nails have grown very long and are becoming unhygienic or unclean, it would be permitted to clip them without dislike during this time, just as you should do so if forty days will pass otherwise. The reason for this is that forty days is legislated as the upper, permissible limit for such growth. Our Master Anas (may Allah be well-pleased with him) said, “It was legislated for us that trimming the mustache, clipping the nails, plucking the underarm hairs, and shaving the pubic hair not be left for more than forty nights” (Muslim).

Moreover, it is generally deemed to be praiseworthy to avoid personal upkeep such as nail and hair clipping (under the armpits and beneath the navel, for example) during the first ten days of the month of Dhu’l Hijja and until one’s animal is sacrificed for the one actually performing a ritual sacrifice (udhiya). This, again, is unless forty days will pass by not clipping or trimming them during this time, in which case, doing so would take precedence over avoidance.

(al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya, quoting al-Ghara’ib; Tahtawi, Hashiyat al-Tahtawi ‘ala Maraqi al-Falah (2.143))

Please also see: Can We Cut Our Nails and Hair in the First 10 Days of Dhu’l Hijja?

and:

Is It Permissible for Women to Grow Their Nails?

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 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 on his family.

Is My Hajj Acceptable if I Borrowed Money from the Bank to Pay Debts?

Question: My wife and I borrowed money from a bank to help her clear debts we are paying together in installments on time. I want to go to hajj will it be acceptable.

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

Yes, it would be permissible for you to go to Hajj at this stage. The money you borrowed from the bank is a separate matter.

If the loan was an interest-bearing loan it would be best to repent for that as soon as possible and to pay it off as soon as you can too. “The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, cursed the one takes interest, the one who gives it, the one who writes [the contract], and those who witnessed it” (Muslim).

Based on this it would be superior to get the loan off your head before thinking of the Hajj as “Preventing harm takes precedence of gaining benefits” (Zarqa; Sharh al Qawa’id al Fiqhiyya).

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Is it Permissible for a Lady to Perform Hajj Alone if She Lives In Saudi Arabia?

Question:

Assalamu Alaykum,

I am currently residing in KSA, working here. My family is in the UK. This year, the Saudi Authorities have only given permission to locals to perform hajj due to the current covid 19 situation. I fit into the category of being a local citizen in KSA. Is it permissible for me to perform hajj with a group of women, providing there is a significantly small amount of hajjis this year? It would be less crowded with social distancing so women will not have the fear of being pushed around.

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well. I do apologize for the delay in this response.

Yes, performing a Hajj by yourself is permissible and valid. The only issue is travel, which requires a mahram.

Conditions of the Obligation of Performing the Hajj

In order for it to be obligatory for a lady to perform the Hajj, after the financial requirements have been met, she needs a mahram to take her to Mecca, if it is beyond the travelling distance. If it is within the traveling distance she can undertake the journey herself provided it is safe.

The Shafi’i school permits a lady to travel to perform the Hajj if she is in a safe group. This position can be followed on this matter (Zayla’i, Tabyin al Haqa’iq, al Mawsu’a al Kuwaitiyya).

May Allah accept all your worship and grant you the best of both worlds.
Abdul-Rahim

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

What Do I Do If My Period Prevented Me From Performing the ‘Umra in Tamattu’?

Question:
Assalamu ‘alaykum
If a woman intended a tamatu’ hajj, and entered Ihram, but before she arrived in Makkah she got her menstruation and therefore is unable to perform the ‘umrah which comes before the Hajj in Hajj Tamatu, what does she do? She performed the rites of Hajj when the Days of Hajj started, having not performed the ‘umrah.

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

The Tamattu’ Hajj

Tamattu’ is an ‘umra and a hajj performed in one journey, each having its own state of ihram. Performing the two with a continuous ihram is called Qiran.

If a lady starts her menstrual cycle after entering into ihram for the ‘umra, she needs to perform one of the violations of the ihram, such as cutting some hair, with the intention of ending the ihram. She also needs to  slaughter a sheep in the Haram to compensate for this and then perform an ‘umra as a qada for what she intended initially (Marghinani, al Hidaya).

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

Abdul-Rahim

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Is It Permissible for a Hanafi to Cut Only 3 Hairs When Performing Umrah?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: As salamu alaykum, Is it permissible for a Hanafi to take the Shafi’i opinion on cutting only 3 hairs when performing umrah? And if it is allowed under certain conditions or a certain situation, could you please tell me what those are.

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

No. In the Hanafi school, the way to exit ihram is to shave the head or to trim the hair. Cutting three hairs is not a valid position in the school. (Izmiri, Kamal al Diraya)

However, if one wanted to follow the Shafi’i school to perform one’s hajj then that is perfectly permissible. However, as Shaykh ‘Abd al Ghani al Nabulsi stated, you would have to learn all the rulings needed to perform it according to the Shafi’i school and ensure that it is valid according to that school. There should be no mixing. (Khulasa al Tahqiq fi Bayan Hukm al Taqlid wa al Talfiq).

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Why Someone Performing the Pilgrimage Has to Perform a Sacrifice?

Answered by Ustadh Farid Dingle

Question: Why is it that someone performing Hajj has to perform a sacrifice? Why does this not apply to the residents of Mecca?

Answer: Performing the sacrifice on Hajj in the Shafi’i school is only when expiating, or if one performs a Tamattu or qiran hajj. Otherwise, it would simply be a recommended [sunna] sacrifice of Eid. (al Muqaddima al Hadramiyya, Ba Fadl)

The idea is that one is still expiating for some form of shortcoming. (Mahasin al-Sharia, al Qaffal al Shashi)

This does not apply to the people of Mecca because they enter pilgrim sanctity [ihram] from Mecca itself. (al Muqaddima al Hadramiyya, Ba Fadl)

Tamattu from Mecca

Allah Most High says, ‘If in peacetime anyone among you combines the Visit with the Pilgrimage, he must offer such gifts as he can afford; but if he lacks the means let him fast three days during the Pilgrimage and seven when he has returned; that is, ten days in all. That is incumbent on him whose family is not present at the Holy Mosque. Have fear of God, and know that God is stern in retribution.’ (Qur’an, 2:196)

This verse tells us that there is an expiation for combining or merging Hajj with Umra [tamattu]. It also tells us that this does not apply to people in Mecca itself. (al Iklil, Suyuti)

Also, the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) appointed Mecca itself the Miqat of the people of Mecca. (Bukhari) In view of this, there is no expiation for someone who merges Hajj and Umra from Mecca. (al Muqaddima al Hadramiyya, Ba Fadl)

The Spirit of Sacrifice

Al Qafal al Shashi (291-365 AH), one of the greatest Shafi’i scholars of Central Asia, explains the spirit of the sacrifice in the following way:

‘When one worships Allah by sacrificing an animal, it may be interpreted as [the slave saying], ‘I have done something wrong, and I feel that the only possible way to amend the wrong is to take my own life. But in the spite of that, You [Allah], in Your infinite mercy have forbidden me to take my own life, so I have slaughtered this animal as You have ordered in lieu of taking my own life.’

‘Now if this sacrifice happens … after leaving pilgrim sanctity by stoning the pillars, then the sacrifice has the sense of gratitude, in the sense that a slave may well revere his master so much that he expresses his gratitude by offering to take his own life as a sacrifice dedicated to him…

‘That said, Allah in His mercy has forbidden people to worship Him in such a way, and has placed animal sacrifices in place of human self-sacrifice …

‘As for the sacrifice offered for having had performed a Tamattu or qiran Hajj, even though it is not done by way of amending a sin, it is more closely related to the idea that the sacrifice is offered out of gratitude, and that the default assumption is that one performs the rites of Hajj and Umra properly, i.e. individually.

‘So when such a person merges the two, and then thereby does not make an independent entrance into pilgrim sanctity [ihram] … this takes the form of a dispensation and ease from Allah, while also being tinged by the hew of a shortcoming in that it constitutes merging two acts of worship [in one].

‘[In this case,] the wisdom in offering a sacrifice should be understood as an expression of gratitude for the dispensation, and as penance for the bad choice of not keeping each act of worship independent … This is because someone who chooses to do the lesser of two good deeds have fallen short, even though he has not sinned.’ (Mahasin al-Sharia, al Qaffal al Shashi)

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies,he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language

Angry During Pilgrimage

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: I got angry with my mother during the Hajj. I don’t know what happened to me, but I was so angry, and I could not control myself. I am crying every night after that. Can you please tell me if there is any way to ask forgiveness to Allah and my mother?

Answer: Assalamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

I pray you are well.

You have no need to worry; there is no sin which Allah Most High is not prepared to forgive. Ask Allah for forgiveness, and speak to your mother, and ask her to pardon you too.

Allah Knows Our Weakness

Having created us, Allah is well aware of our weaknesses and flaws. He told us in a hadith in which the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, quoted him, “My servants! Indeed you keep sinning day and night, yet I [am willing to] forgive all sins! So ask Me for forgiveness: I will forgive you.” (Muslim)

What a beautiful hadith this is! Turn to Allah, and ask. Then carry on with things, confident in the promise of Allah Most High.

Speak to your Mother

It may be a good idea to speak to your mother to explain your side to her. From your question, it seems that you were very concerned about her wellbeing, and performing tawaf in that crowd was, in fact, not the best course of action for her.

Sometimes, in stressful situations, it can easy for people to get upset, or a bit angry. I’m sure if you explain this to her, she will appreciate that it was your love and concern for her that was your motive. And, after all, mothers are very forgiving.

Don’t worry about your Hajj. Allah’s mercy is vast, as is His generosity. Perhaps your Hajj was accepted because of that concern you felt for your mother…

May Allah accept your Hajj and that of everyone else who performed it and grant you all the fullest of rewards for it. Amin.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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 where, for 18 months, he studied with erudite 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 Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, 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, and others. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabir and Shaykh Yahya Qandil. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.