Hajj FAQs


Who is allowed to pray Qasr Namaz in Mina, Arafat and Muzdhalifa?
If any person has the intention of staying in Makkah for 15 days or more excluding his stay in Mina, Arafat and Muzdhalifa then he won’t do Qasr otherwise he has to do Qasr if he is staying in Makkah for less than 15 days.

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Tawaaf Ziyaarah can be done before the 10th zul-Hajj?
Firstly, Tawaf Ziyara cannot be done before the tenth, under any reason or justification. In the event of extreme rush, it can be delayed after the tenth.

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Rules regarding the cutting of hair during Hajj and Umrah?
Firstly, we wish that Allah makes your trip a blessed one and accept your prayers and worship, Ameen.

Men have two options as they perform Hajj or Umrah; either they can shave their head (which is called Halq) or they can trim their hair (which is called Qasr). The Prophet prayed for those who shaved their head and those who trim it, so both are permissible (Sunan Tirmidhi, Book of Hajj, Hadith No. 837).

It is better to perform Qasr each and every time, and then shave it the last time you perform the Umra. Do not symbolically snip a few hairs from each side as Qasr. Instead, perform the Qasr at a barber and ensure he does cut an equal amount all over the head.

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What are the rules regarding Ihram (Ports of Miqaat)?
When a person performs Hajj or Umrah, there are certain ports outside Makkah from where the person must ensure he or she is in a state of Ihram. These ports are called Miqaat, precisely. The following are the names and locations of the Mawaaqits:

  1. Zul-Hulaifah; this is for those coming from the direction of Madinah Sharif.
  2. Yalamlam; this is for those coming from the direction of Yemen, India and Pakistan.
  3. Juhfah; this is for those coming from the direction of Egypt, North Africa and Europe.
  4. Qaran ul-Manazil; this is for those coming from the direction of Najd.
  5. Zaat Irq; this is for those coming from the direction of Iraq.

As you rightly pointed out, the people already in Makka go to the outskirts of Makka to Masjid Aisha where they wear the Ihram.

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What is the minimum age for Hajj?
If the children have definitely reached the age of puberty and they perform the Hajj under the guardianship of their parents, then this will count as the compulsory Hajj. When the children are older, they are encouraged to visit the House of Allah again and again, but they will not be doing so with the intention of fulfilling the obligation of Hajj; that has already been done.

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Is fasting on 13th Zul Hajj valid?
Fasting on the 13th Zul Hajj is not valid because it falls on the days of Tashriq. As for the Qurbani, our religion has prescribed three days for this, the 10th, 11th and 12th.

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Is the person allowed to cut hair/nails before Qurbani (sacrifice)?
When a person is performing the Hajj, then there are certain restrictions placed on what the person in the state of Ihram can and cannot do. During this state, the person cannot cut nails and cannot trim his hair. The Haji is released from the state of Ihram when the Qurbani is done, either by himself or by the appointed representative.

Note - This is particular to those performing Hajj. Such restrictions are not placed on those performing the Qurbani as part of the requirement of Eid al-Adha.


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Can Nafal prayer be performed after tawaaf?
No Salah is permitted after Fajr and before sunrise, regardless of whether it is a Nafl, Sunnah, Witr or Wajib.
The best option thus is to:

(i) perform the Nafl before the two Fards of Fajr
(ii) delay the Nafl until after sunrise, and then proceed to Sa’y
(iii) he can delay the Nafl after the Sa’y if he has a valid reason, but this is not desirable. As much as possible, one should perform Hajj in the same way the Prophet did and he performed the Nafl of Tawaaf after the Tawaaf.

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Hajj only removes minor sins?
This is not true. Minor sins can be removed through lesser acts too (Wudhu, for example) and if Hajj did only remove minor sins, then there would be no reason to highlight its great significance and reward.

Minor sins are removed from the Muslim by many means. Imam Nawawi records a Hadith in Riyadh al-Salihin, that Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘The five daily prayers and Friday prayer to the next Friday prayer and the keeping of fasts from one Ramadhan to the next atone all minor sins during this period so long as major sins are avoided.’ (Sahih Muslim)

In the commentary of the famous Hadith ‘whoever performs Hajj for the sake of Allah…returns home like the day his mother gave birth to him’ Ibn Hajar Asqalani writes in Fath al-Bari, that, ‘In other words, he returns home without any sin. And the apparent meaning of the Hadith is that it includes the minor and major sins.’

So Hajj, when performed properly and sincerely for Allah, removes all sins.

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Praying 2 Raka’ats for Ihram?
The two Raka’ats for the Ihram are Sunna; Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) reports that he saw the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) perform two Raka’ats at Zul-Hulaifa when he wore the Ihram. We are told it is better to recite Surah Kafirun in the first Rak’at and Surah Ikhlas in the second.

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Who can be a Mehram?
It is difficult to answer this question as you have not clarified what type of cousin it is. Hence, I will list the ties which a person cannot marry, as clarified by Imam al-Quduri, the classicial Hanafi scholar;

A Muslim woman cannot marry the following:

  • Son (son’s son, daughter’s son, husband’s son by another woman)
  • Father (Father’s father, mother’s father)
  • Brother real or step (in having same father or mother)
  • Brother’s son
  • Sister’s son
  • Father’s brother
  • Mother’s brother
  • Foster son (through breast-feeding only)
  • Foster brother (through breast-feeding only)
  • Son-in-law
  • Stepfather
  • Husband
  • Father-in-law
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Is it permissible to travel with my adopted sister for Umrah as their Mehram? For men
If the sister in question has been formally adopted, then she is a Mehram, and thus she is suitable as a partner for Umrah. Please note that it will be worthwhile taking official documents to Saudi Arabia to prove she is your adopted sister in case of any problems.

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Is it permissible to take pills to stop period during Hajj/Umrah?
The scholars say this it is permissible when there is no long-term harm to the body in doing so. Otherwise it is forbidden.

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Can a person use a sleeping bag as it will cover the feet?
In the state of Ihram, the man should leave his feet uncovered so that the bones on the upper part of the feet are left exposed. He should not wear sandals that cover the upper part. Using a sleeping bag is merely a means of keeping oneself warm; it is not a part of clothing as such. Therefore he can use it in extreme weather. The head and face of a man should be left exposed at all times during in the state of Ihram.

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Performing Hajj Tamattu:
If performing Hajj Tamatu’, our package is proposing to travel from Madinah to Makkah to do Umrah on the 7th ZH. I will be in ihram for this. They are then taking us by coach to Mina on the same night. If in Ihram for the Umrah, you can do ghusl on arrival in Mina and then change / do Niat for my Hajj Ihram there after midnight. All the books I have read are assuming that the Hajj ihram / niat is done in Makkah before travelling to Mina on the morning of 8th ZH. What are the rules?

When performing Hajj Tamatu’ the Ihram is worn in Makkah, before the departure to Mina. In your situation, you have two choices:

  1. If you want to perform Hajj Tamattu, then after the Umra, trim your hair, have a bath, put on the Ihram and make Niyyah for Hajj. Do not make the intention in Mina but in Makka.
  2. Because you are reaching Makka relatively late, you may want to consult your tour operator and find out if a Hajj Qiran can be done. This is where the Umra and Hajj are performed with one Ihram. This is more rewarding that performing Hajj Tamattu. After performing the Umra you can still have a bath but you will still be considered in a state of Ihram.

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Can a step brother be a Mehram? For women.
Once the parents are married legally, then the step-children will have the same rulings as conventional children. In other words, they will be considered as normal brothers and sisters in Shariah. Therefore, they are classified as Mehrams.

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Drinking Zam Zam water while standing? In a Hadith recorded by Imam Bukhari in his Sahih (Book of Hajj, Chapter, what has been mentioned about Zamzam, Hadith no. 1529), it is mentioned that the Prophet was offered Zam Zam water, and he drank it standing up. In accordance to this practice, we too stand when we drink Zam Zam water.

Ordinary water and drinks should be consumed whilst sitting. Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) forbade from drinking whilst standing (Sahih Muslim, Book of Drinks, Chapter; the disliked nature of drinking whilst standing, Hadith no. 3772).

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Staying in Arafat during Hajj?
In essence, the stay in Arafa constitutes the most important part of the Hajj. If a person misses this pillar, his Hajj is not valid. However, if your brother is mentally ill, then it may mean that Hajj was not obligatory upon him. In Islam, worships are to be performed by those who are categorised as 'Mukallaf', meaning responsible.

Usually, the immature and the mentally ill fall outside this category. I think more detail will be useful about your brother to determine whether he would be deemed as religiously exempt.

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Rules regarding Takbir al-Tashriq from 9th of the month untill the day after eid? The words that we read are called Takbir al-Tashriq and it is as follows:

'Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar, La Ila ha Illallahu wa Allahu Akbar. Allahu Akbar wa Lilahil Hamd'.

This means 'God is great, God is great, there is no God but Allah and God is Great. God is great and for Him is all praise'. To pray this once after a congregational Fard prayer is Wajib (compulsory) (some opinions say to read it three times is Wajib) for the Imam and those who read prayer behind him.

The Takbirs are first read after Fajr prayer on the Day of Arafa and they are read after each prayer until Asr prayer on the last day of tashriq. It is preferable that this Takbir is read immediately after the Salaam of the prayer.

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How do I pray Maghrib and Isha combined when staying at Muzdalifah during the Hajj? To read the combined prayers of Maghrib and Isha in Muzdalifah during the Hajj, you need to offer the prayers in the following order.

Pray 3 Raka’ats Farz of Maghrib salah
Pray 4 Raka’ats Farz of Isha salah (Note this will be 2 Raka’ats Farz for travellers)
Pray 2 Raka’ats Sunnat of Maghrib salah
Pray 2 Raka’ats Sunnat of Isha salah
Pray 3 Raka’ats Witr of Isha salah
Pray any remaining nafils

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What if I am unable to perform stoning during Hajj?
If for some reason, beyond your control, you cannot perform the stoning of the pillars on any day, you must pay Dam.

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Is there any penalty associated with your stone hitting someone and not the target?
The stone that did not hit the target, you will have to repeat that throw again. If the stone hits someone else accidentally, there is no penalty.

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If I am performing Hajj-e-Tamatu’, can I put on Ihram in Makkahh?
If you are doing Hajj-e-Tamatu’, you can put on Ihram in Makkahh. You do not need to go outside Meeqat and then travel back.

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If a husband wants to go for Hajj, should he obtain consent from his wife?
A wife’s consent is not necessary for a husband to perform Hajj, however it his responsibility to organize full maintenance expenses for the wife and children whilst he is away. Failure to do so will not invalidate the Hajj.

But it will be a violation of Shariah laws and a sin.

A married woman going for her Fardh Hajj should essentially be allowed by husband to do so. He has no right to stop her. If a husband does not allow her to go, then she will go without his consent and perform this obligatory Hajj.

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Which should take priority, getting daughter married or performing Hajj?
If a person can afford Hajj and has unmarried mature daughter(s), the priority will be performing the Hajj first, then marriage of his/her daughter(s).

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Hajj: Combining Zuhr and Asr in Arafat?
In Arafat, if you are reading in your own tent, the Zuhr and Asr prayers should be said at their own times and not combined. Also, if you have not stayed in Makkahh for more than fourteen days before leaving for Mina/Arafat, then you will be a traveller (Musafir) and you will be offering Qasr Salah at the time of Zuhr and Asr.

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Hajj: What if your Qurbani does not get done on the first day?
It is Wajib to perform the following three things in sequence:

1 – Stoning of the first pillar on 10th Dhul-Hijj
2 – Qurbani
3 – Cutting the hair
Non-compliance of this sequence will necessitate Dam. However if Qurbani is delayed, stoning of the three pillars on 11th and 12th Dul-Hijj will not be affected. You will remain in Ihram until the Qurbani has been done.

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If a woman’s hair are prone to falling out, will she still have to pay a dam?
The falling out of hair which occurs naturally does not void the state of Ihraam. It is only if hair is pulled out or plucked deliberately, that will void the Ihraam. Only then is the payment of Dam necessary.

If the shedding of hair is excessive, then it is good practice to give some Sadaqah. According to some of the scholars, for every three hairs a Sadaqah equal to the amount of Fitrah is advisable.

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Would an adopted son qualify as a Mehram?
Adopted sons will not be considered as Mehram if he has not been breast-fed by the adopting mother.

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Can a woman go to Hajj with a group of women, without her own Mehram?
Imam Abu Hanifah (RA) has a very strong opinion on the issue of women travelling without Mehram.

Therefore, in Hanafi Mazhab a woman should not travel alone or with a group of women or with a person who is not Mehram.

However, according to Imam Shafeyee, women are allowed to travel in groups for the sake of importance of Hajj. Perhaps many Hajj organizers are following the opinion of Imam Shafeyee nowadays.

This is not a matter of Hajj, but a Shariah ruling on the matter of travel by women. The Hajj of a woman who travels without a Mehram will still be valid if performed correctly. However it is highly preferable, that for the purposes of Hajj, a highly auspicious event and one of the five pillars of Islam, care is taken to follow Shariah rulings in the best possible way.

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Would my brother-in-law count as my Mehram for Hajj or Umrahh if my sister is also going?
A sister’s husband will not be considered as Mehram. It doesn’t matter if the sister is also travelling.

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Hajj - A woman is travelling for Hajj and her menses began whilst she was preparing?
She should wear the Ihram, preferably (Mustahab) after having a bath and she can perform all the rites of Hajj except the Tawaaf of Hajj.

If a woman is in Makkah and she has started her menses, then on the 8th of Dhul-Hijj or in the evening of 7th Dhul-Hijj, she will have a bath, she will do Niyyat, she will recite ‘Labbaik’ and she will enter into Ihraam.

She will not perform Nafl prayer of Ihraam. She will proceed to perform all the rites of Hajj as in number 2. During her menses she can read ‘Labbaik’, she can read other Tasbeeh, Durood etc. She will not be able to read Quran or perform any Salah.

Women who delay Tawaaf of Hajj and perform it after the 12th of Dhul-Hijj, due to their menses, there will be no penalty on them because a penalty is applied where this Tawaaf is delayed without any Shariah endorsed reason.

If a woman due to her menses, cannot perform Tawaaf of Hajj even after the 12th of Dhul - Hijj due to her commitments, or any reason out of her control, and she returns back to her home country without performing this Tawaaf. Then there are no alternatives or penalties available in Shariah law. This Tawaaf will remain Fardh upon her throughout her life and she will have to go back to perform it as soon as possible.

In this situation as described above, a married woman will not be able to resume her matrimonial relationship with her husband without performing this Tawaaf of Hajj.

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Hajj - Rules for women on their Menses?
Women are allowed to take hormone modifying medication in order to delay the menses if these medications are not going to have an adverse effect on health severely and/or permanently

If a woman does not want to take such medication and the menses start during the Hajj days and she is already in Ihraam, then she can continue to observe all the rites of Hajj. i.e. Staying in Mina, going to Arafat, staying in Muzdalifah, offering sacrifice (Qurbani), stoning the pillars of Shaytaan. However she is not allowed to enter into Masjid Al –Haram in order to perform Sayee and Tawaaf of Hajj. She will have to wait to complete these two rites until after her menses have finished and she has performed Ghusul (ritual bath).

If the menses begin after the Tawaaf of Hajj and before the farewell Tawaaf (Twaaf-ul-Wida) and is Wajib for her, and she has to return back to her country before her menses finish, then she can leave Makkahh without performing this Tawaaf. There will be no penalty on her.

(NOTE: Tawaaf-ul-Wida is Wajib for pilgrims from outside Makkahh)

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Is it permissible to send a family member to perform Hajj?
You are correct in that it is permissible for someone to complete the Hajj on behalf of your father-in-law. It is reported that a woman from Khathamiyyaa came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and said, ‘my father is very old; Hajj is incumbent upon him and he cannot travel. Is it permissible that I perform Hajj on his behalf?’ The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) replied, ‘Do you see that if there was a debt on your father, would you paying it not be permissible?’ She replied, ‘of course.’ The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) replied, ‘thus the debt of Allah is more deserved and higher.’

A mature Muslim performs the Hajj on the deceased’s behalf. He must make the intention clear that the Hajj is being performed on behalf of the deceased.

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