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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

Can a Woman Go Perform a Umra Alone? [Shafi’i]

Answered by Shaykh Farid Dingle

Question: Assalamu alaykum

I am a woman. Can I go on umra without a mahram?

Answer: Assalamu alaykum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh,

In the Shafi’i madhhab, it is permissible for a woman to perform a personally obligatory hajj or umrah without a mahram. [Bushra al-Karim] If however one has already fulfilled the obligation of umra, then it would only be permissible to go with a mahram.

Please also see this answer

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Farid Dingle

Shaykh Farid Dingle grew up in a convert family in Herefordshire, UK. In 2007, he moved to Jordan to pursue traditional studies. Shaykh Farid continues to live in Amman, Jordan with his wife and kids. In addition to continuing his studies he teaches Arabic and several of the Islamic sciences.

Shaykh Farid began his journey in sacred knowledge with intensives in the UK and Jordan (2004) in Shafi’i fiqh and Arabic. After years of studying Arabic grammar, Shafi’i fiqh, hadith, legal methodology (usul al-fiqh) and tafsir, Sh. Farid began specializing in Arabic language and literature. Sh. Farid studied Pre-Islamic poetry, Umayyad, Abbasid, Fatimid, and Andalusian literature. He holds a BA in Arabic Language and Literature and continues exploring the language of the Islamic tradition.

In addition to his interest in the Arabic language Shaykh Farid actively researches matters related to jurisprudence (fiqh) which he studied with Shaykh Hamza Karamali, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, and continues with Shaykh Amjad Rasheed.

Does One Have to Shave or Cut Their Hair Short During the Pilgrimage? (Shafi’i)

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

I’ve been growing my hair long and I’m going to Umra soon and I don’t want to shave my head all off. What can I do?

Answer: Assalam ‘alaykum. I pray you’re well insha’Allah.

Trimming just a small length from the hair suffices for the act of the pilgrimage, though one should be aware that the reward is commensurate to the amount of hair cut.

Shaving the Hair during the Pilgrimage

For men, the optimal and sunnah is to shave the entire head with a razor. The minimal sunnah of shaving is to shave three strands of hairs.

One could even pluck or burn all the three hairs to fulfil the basic sunnah, as the word used in the ruling is simply to ‘remove’ the hair, though shaving is preferable.

Trimming the Hair during the Pilgrimage

If one does not shave the head then it is permissible to trim the hair, ideally over the entire head evenly. However, the reward is greater in shaving than trimming.

When trimming, the minimum obligatory amount of hair to be trimmed, for both men and women, is also three hairs.

In the Shafi’i school, the absolute minimum length to trim can be just a tiny amount of the hair and from any part of the head, while it is preferred to trim the length of a fingertip (anmula), which is a little less than 2cm (these rulings apply to trimming the whole hair or just three hairs). In the Hanafi school, the minimum amount that needs to be trimmed is the extent of a fingertip from a quarter of the whole head hair. (Refer to this answer for more details on the Hanafi position).

As a side note, women do not shave their hair. The optimal for a woman is to evenly trim the ends of the whole head of hair the length of a fingertip.

These rulings apply to Hajj and Umrah.

[Tuhfa al Muhtaj, Mughni al Muhtaj]

In conclusion, you may keep your hair long by performing the absolute minimum of shaving/plucking or trimming a very small amount from 3 hairs, in order to exit from the state of ihram, however, the reward will also be the minimum. If trimming, it would be religiously more precautionary, if possible, to trim a fingertip length from a quarter of the head hair, in order for it to be valid in both the Shafi’i and Hanafi schools. And Allah knows best.

I hope this clarifies the matter for you. Please keep us in your duas during your pilgrimage, and if visiting the blessed Prophet ﷺ in Medina. May Allah accept it from you insha’Allah.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

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.

When Should I Shorten My Prayers?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Assalamu alaykum

If I go to umrah for fifteen days and stay five days in Makkah then six days in Madinah and then four days in Makkah will I have to shorten my prayers?

Answer:  Walaikum assalam,

I hope you’re doing well, insha’Allah.

In such a case, your would be a traveller (musafir) throughout—and would prayer accordingly. A traveller must shorten (qasr) their prayers when leading or praying alone, while praying in full if the imam prays in full. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

One becomes a resident either in one’s hometown, or when staying somewhere 15 or more days without initiating a full journey (safar). [ibid.]

Please find related answers in the SeekersHub Answers).

And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.

[Shaykh] Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani is a scholar and researcher of Islamic law and Executive Director of SeekersHub Global After ten years overseas, Shaykh Faraz returned to Canada in the Summer of 2007. In May 2008 he founded SeekersHub Global to deal with the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge—both online and on the ground—in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He has been repeatedly listed as one of the world’s 500 most influential Muslims (The Muslim500).

My Wudu Broke During the Circumambulation. Is My Umra Valid?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

I was performing umrah. During tawaf I had to pass gas. I was controlling it and I thought I was fine. But after removing Ihram I think I soiled the cloth. Is my umra valid?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

The basis is that ritual purity is necessary (wajib) for the circumambulation (tawaf). As such, doing otherwise would necessitate slaughtering an animal (dam).

Misgivings, however, are of no legal consequence. If you aren’t sure whether or not something exited, assume soundness and validity. But if obviously otherwise, you need to perform the slaughter [which must occur within the sacred precinct.]

Note that it is also generally disliked to perform the circumambulation whilst needing to relieve yourself because it distracts your attention away from the worship you are engaged in.

[Sindi, Lubab al-Manasik (103/112)]

Please also see: Wudu, Waswasa, and Maintaining Purity During Tawaf and: A Reader on Waswasa (Baseless Misgivings)

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.

Is It Permissible to Travel and Perform Umra for a Deceased Relative Without Performing Umra for One’s Self on the Same Journey?

Answered by Shaykh Salim Ahmad Mauladdawila

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Is it permissible to travel and perform Umra for a deceased relative without performing Umra for one’s self on the same journey?

Answer: Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim

It is permissible to travel and perform Umra for a deceased relative without performing Umra for one’s self on the same journey; however it is recommended that one perform multiple Umras during their time in Makkah to make the most of the Holy Mosque and the sacred precinct.

Imam al-Nawawi says in al-Iydhah fi Manasik al-Hajj that one should make the most of their time staying in Makkah and perform Umra in plenty, and in Ihya Ulum al-Deen Imam al-Ghazali says, “The one staying in Makkah should perform Umra and Tawaf abundantly”.

It should be noted that if a person staying in Makkah has completed Umra and wishes to perform another, they should first travel to outside of the sacred precinct to enter Ihram before performing their next Umra. One should travel to, in order of preference, either al-Ji’ranah, al-Tan’im, or al-Hudaibiya. Al-Tan’im is the closest of the three to the Holy Mosque in Makkah, and Masjid Aisha there is well known and clearly indicated. It was the place where Sayyida Aisha entered into Ihram as she was instructed to do so by the Prophet (Peace be upon him).

[Shaykh] Salim Ahmad Mauladdawila

I Am Afraid That I Am Losing My Faith Because I Am Not Establishing My Prayer. What Do I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: I have been spending hours watching TV and ignoring my prayers. I made the Umra for the first time recently. But even after coming back missing my prayers seems not to bother me at all.

I am really afraid that I have lost my faith. I love Islam. I don’t want to lose it at any cost. What can I do to turn to Allah?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.

Ramadan

Alhamdulilah, the fact that you have written in to ask about your state is a sign that Allah wants good for you.

It’s extremely important that you renew your intention to commit to Allah, and to establishing prayer the minute you read this. Following the guidelines of the Shari’ah is your path to attaining Allah’s Mercy. Turn to Allah in sincere repentance, and ask Him to keep you guided.

Alhamdulilah, the blessed month of Ramadan is right around the corner. I urge you to make the most of the winds of mercy throughout Ramadan. Ensure that you revise the fiqh of fasting (Shafi’i school of thought or Hanafi school of thought) and set the intention to draw closer to Allah through obligatory acts of worship, especially prayer and fasting.

Please bear in mind that it is obligatory for you to pay back your missed obligatory prayers, instead of praying tarawih. I repeat – do not pray tarawih until you have paid back your missed obligatory prayers. It would be sinful for you to pray tarawih instead of paying back your missed obligatory prayers.

Prayer

Is better to uphold the prayer even if your heart is not in it, compared to leaving it completely. None of us will ever truly worship Allah in the way He deserves. All we can do is spend our lives trying our best, and picking ourselves up when we fall. Don’t fall for the trap of trying to be the ‘perfect’ Muslim, and then abandon prayer when it doesn’t feel good enough for Allah. Do your part, and leave the rest to Allah.

Dua

Please recite this beautiful dua every day, after every prayer, with the intention of strengthening your faith.

Shahr ibn Hawshab (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “I said to Umm Salama, ‘O Mother of the believers! What was the most frequent supplication of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) when he was with you?’ She said, “His most frequent supplication was, ‘O Turner of the hearts, make my heart firm in Your deen!’” [Tirmidhi]

‏يا مقلب القلوب ثبت قلبي على دينك‏
Ya muqallibal-qulubi, thabbit qalbi ‘ala deenika

Reflection

“Who have believed and whose hearts have rest in the remembrance of Allah. Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest!” [Qur’an, 13:38]

Is there something in your life you are trying to avoid? Is there something causing you pain or discomfort? I encourage you to sit out in nature and reflect on what could be causing your state of heedlessness. Look carefully at the source of your income, the food you are eating, and the company you keep.

Please see:
How Do I Raise My Resolve to do Good & Overcome Hardness of the Heart?
How Do I Strengthen My Faith and Truly Repent?

Wassalam,
Raidah

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Wudu, Waswasa, and Maintaining Purity During Tawaf

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Although, I am not chronically excused, my regular problem of passing very tiny amounts of gas makes me anxious during prayer times. I am particularly nervous about performing umrah – I am so fearful that I will loose my wudu before completing the tawaf…it is almost paralyzing.

When I leave my hotel room for performing tawaaf, instead of focusing on the spiritual aspect of the ibadah, I am filled with anxiety, about having to leave the Haram – mid-tawaf, make wudu again, and rejoin the tawaf.

 

During our past visits to Makkah/Madina, I have frequently come back to the hotel to re-do my wudu and prayers after having prayed in the Haram. I end up praying on the sidewalk, since I cannot secure a spot in the Masjid.

I am literally afraid of being outside of my house during a prayer period, because it is so difficult to re-do my wudu. Please advise me regarding whether I can do anything to make my life easier when I’m outside.

 

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

I hope that you are doing well, insha’Allah.

A golden rule to remember is the legal maxim: Certainty is not lifted by doubt. You should ignore any feelings and sensations that you have. Such suppositions are of no legal consequence. Unless you have strong reason to believe that something has exited, there is no need to renew your ablution (wudu).

Certainty is the basis. Nothing came out until clearly proven otherwise. If you hear or smell something, you can be sure something came out. Feelings do not count.

The mind, with the assistance of the devil, often plays tricks on people and they begin thinking excessively about such purificatory matters assuming, ‘something may have exited’, ‘I think something came out’, ‘I’m fairly sure’, ‘it looks like it’, and so on.

Listening and acting on such misgivings is contrary to the sunna. It is not piety. Anything short of absolute certainty is not certainty and thus not acted upon.

Getting lost in a sea of misgivings (waswasa) will only make life more and more difficult. Learn the sunna. Seek Allah. Ask Him for assistance, and to give you the sweetness of faith. Express your gratitude and neediness toward Him, and doors will open.

Please also see: Key Principles Relating to Certainty, Doubt, and Baseless Misgivings

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani