Q & A Concerning Hajj Practices

Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani

Q: While doing tawaaf, is it okay to talk with others or behave casually?

A: It is better not to talk, but rather to be busy with du`a and salawaat on the Prophet (s), and praising Allah (swt), or reciting Qur’an if you don’t know du`a. If you don’t know how to recite Qur’an or du`a, you can make du`a in any language, or you can make tasbeeh of “SubhaanAllah, alhamdulillah, laa ilaaha illa-Llah, Allahu Akbar.” It is recommended not to talk unless it is necessity, like if something happens.

Q: What if I lose my wudu during tawaaf?

A: If someone loses their wudu, there are many fatwas stating that because it is so crowded, you continue your tawaaf even if you lost your wudu as it is so dangerous with perhaps a half-million people in that big circle, all pushing, so if so many stop to go make wudu, it is extremely dangerous. So the majority legal consensus is that you should continue your tawaaf until completed.

Q: If I am separated from my husband during tawaaf, what should I do?

A: If a lady loses her husband in the crowd, she can continue by herself. There are many women making tawaaf and you can join them, no problem.

Q: Are we restricted from using skin care or cosmetic products during Hajj?

A: Some people are asking whether they can use vaseline during Hajj (as a moisturizer or sunscreen). It is okay, no problem, as long as it is not perfumed and that you use it out of necessity, not luxury. Those who are very sensitive to the sun can use sunscreen that is non-scented, like vaseline. During Hajj everyone must use unscented soap, like olive oil soap. In Madinah you can find all this before going to Mecca, if you don’t want to carry it from here.

Q: What if I (lady) am making tawaaf and adhaan is called?

A: Everyone is side by side in the tawaaf circle, so of course if that happens, stay where you are and pray later, unless you find an easy way to get to the womens’ section and pray; otherwise just back up and pray. You may also continue your tawaaf as it is considered a prayer, and after you complete the tawaaf you can make the prayer by yourself.

However, sometimes the security will not let you continue tawaaf as the imam and jama`ah are praying, so in that case stop your tawaaf, pray, and continue your tawaaf afterwards. Between the sunnah and fard you can continue doing tawaaf, but at time of fard they may stop everyone from doing tawaaf.

Q: What if I complete the first tawaaf but later get my period; what about the remaining tawaafs?

A: She will wait until she able to do that and if she is unable, as she her period did not end, and because she must travel and cannot remain in Mecca waiting for her period to end, current fatwas state that since that since she must leave, two tawaafs are dropped for her. So she completed Tawaaf al-Qudoom, “the Greeting Tawaaf,” then Tawaaf al-Ifadah and Tawaaf al-Wada`, “Departure Tawaaf” are dropped from her religious duty. If she did Tawaaf al-Qudoom and after Yawm an-Nahr (Day of Slaughter, i.e. Eid) she cannot do the last two, then she should wait until able to do so, but if her group is traveling and she must leave, the fatwa is that it is no problem for her (she gets credit for performing all three tawaafs) as all actions are by intentions and ad-darooraat tubeeh al-mahdhooraat.

Q: Some men like to wear a belt over their ihraam (to secure it). As men are discouraged from wearing stitched clothing during the days of Hajj, can they use a stitched belt if an unstitched belt is not available to them?

A: All belts coming from Saudi Arabia in Halal Co are stitched. Mawlana said buy what they have at Halal Co, and then in Madinah you can buy unstitched belts with buttons; otherwise it’s okay to use the stitched. The button ones are preferable, but recently `ulama gave a fatwa that men can wear a stitched belt as it is outside the ihraam. Also, they can use safety pins or they can tie a rope around their waist; I did that one time. You don’t need to have a belt. Also, you can use any kind of elastic, as long as it is not stitched. A stitched belt may be used for necessity, but not for luxury. You can use a belt to secure your money, car keys, etc., or you can keep those items with your wife, if she is with you. Ladies can put what they like.

Q: So as not to be separated, can women hold the upper part of their husband’s ihraam while doing tawaaf?

A: Yes, that is no problem. It is also permitted to hold hands so as not to be lost, as long as you are not having desires.

Q: At Mina, do women cut their hair from the root or the ends (tips)?

A: Women cut from the tips of their hair, not from the roots. Hair cut is from bottom. I searched in Imam Shafi’i’s madhhab, and he said “from the tips”; if they want to do from roots, that is preferable but they will look ugly!

Q: What does one do when a non-mahram (unrelated man) accidentally touches you or you accidentally touch a man during tawaaf?

A: Just continue, as hundreds of men are pushing women and hundreds of women are pushing men. The tajalli there removes the desires of worldly life and you cannot feel that there, like in the army they put saltpeter in the food (which calms desire). There is a heavenly saltpeter there!

Q: If one breaks wudu during tawaaf and renews it, do they continue the tawaaf where they left it?

A: Continue from where you stopped or continue from which turn you were in. If you were in the middle of the third turn, then continue at the beginning of the third turn and complete the rest. Someone might have a sickness and constantly lose their wudu constantly, and if they had to go make wudu and come back and make tawaaf from the beginning, they will never finish! Now everything is permissible, because of the current situation of millions of hajjis making tawaaf. One mistake, one fall and everyone will fall, and:

لاَ يُكَلِّفُ اللّهُ نَفْسًا إِلاَّ وُسْعَهَا,

laa yukallifullahu nafsan illa wusa`aha,

Allah does not put a burden on anyone more than he can bear. (2:286)

If they can do tawaaf up (on the third floor) that is okay, but the duration is very long; it takes six hours! Sa`ee (between Safa and Marwa) also has a second floor.

Q: Can we do multiple `umrah?

A: If you want that, make your intention before departing from Madinah, “I am doing `umrah tatamata` (not `umrah ma` hajj), then do `umrah, do sa`ee, then wear normal clothes for one day, as you only have one day on seventh; then on the eighth morning put on ihraam because you are in Mecca, you don’t need to go out. Then you say, “Nawaytu al-Hajj,” and go for Hajj; that is by itself. That is what we say, “`umrah wa hajj tamatata`.” That has to be your niyyah from Madinah for `umrah, tawaaf and sa`ee, and as qiran (combined) you say, “Nawaytu al-hajj wa ‘l-`umrata qiraanan (combined Hajj and `umrah). You arrive in Mecca and do tawaaf and sa`ee, and keep ihraam and go to Mina, `Arafat, Muzdalifa, then slaughter a lamb, cut your hair and do Tawaaf al-Ifadah, and you are done. You get the same ajr as `umrah and Hajj.

You can make `umrah after Hajj, on the days of Mina, by going down to Mecca and to Meeqaat and take ihraam at the Masjid of Sayyida `Ayesha (r), which is 60-70 kilometers away. Go there, make your niyyah and come back to Mecca.

Q: Will there be time to visit the Jannat al-Mu`alla, etc.?

A: Yes, if you throw stones at Mina early. It is preferable to throw stones after zawaal, after Zhuhr, but there are too many fatwas that you can throw at any time and then go to Mecca and make ziyaarah of Jannat al-Mu`alla and visit Jabal an-Nur, where wahiyy came.

Do not wear pointed turbans (taj under the turban) and don’t come to speak with me in public; speak with me in the hotel. For turbans, just wrap something green around a (normal) hat. Be normal.

We make intention to make Hajj and `umrah, if nothing prevents us. As the Prophet (s) said, if you are on the road you make niyyah, then you must make Hajj even if something prevented you. But if you add to the niyyah an exception that, “unless I am prevented,” such as lack of money, bad health or family problems, or you can’t get the visa, etc., then you are okay with that niyyah. innamaa al-`amaal bin-niyyat. We are intending Hajj and `umrah and ziyaarah, unless something prevented us and held us back.