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Hajj The Islamic Pilgrimage

Hajj The Islamic Pilgrimage

by : Muhammad Jawad Mughniyyah

At the beginning, in order to make it easier for the reader to follow the opinions of the five schools of fiqh about various aspects of Hajj, we shall briefly outline their sequence as ordained by the Shari'ah.

The Hajj pilgrim coming from a place distant from Mecca assumes ihram 1 from the miqat 2 on his way, or from a point parallel to the closest miqat, and starts reciting the talbiyah. 3 In this there is no difference between one performing Umrah mufradahor any of the three types of Hajj (i.e. tamattu, ifrad, qiran). However, those who live within the haram 4 of Mecca assume ihramfrom their houses.' 5

On sighting the Holy Ka'bah, he recites takbir (i.e. God is the greatest') and tahlil (i.e. There is no god except Allah') which is mustahabb 6 (desirable, though not obligatory). On entering Mecca, he takes a bath, which is again mustahabb. After entering al-Masjid al-Haram, first he greets the Black Stone (al-Hajar al-'Aswad) - if possible kisses it, otherwise makes a gesture with his hand - then makes the tawaf(sevenfold circumambulation of the Ka'bah) of the first entry, which is mustahabbfor one performing Hajj al-'ifrador Hajj al-qiran. Then he offers the two raka'at of the tawaf, again greets the Black Stone if he can, and leaves al-Masjid al-Haram. After this, he remains in the state of ihramin Mecca. On the day of tarwiyah, i.e. the eighth day of the month of Dhu al-Hijjah, or if he wants a day earlier, he goes forth towards Arafat.

If the pilgrim has come for Umrah mufradahor Hajj al-tamattu; he performs the tawafof the entry, which is obligatory (wajib)for him, and prays the two raka'at of the tawaf. Then he performs the sa'y between Safa and Marwah, and, following it, the halq(complete head shave) or taqsir 7 (partial shortening of the hair of the head). Then he is relieved of the state of ihramand its related restrictions, and things prohibited in ihrambecome permissible for him, including sexual intercourse. 8 Then he proceeds from Mecca after assuming ihramfor a second time, early enough to be present at the wuquf (halt) at Arafat (referred to as mawqif, ; i.e. the place of halting) at noontime on the ninth of Dhu al-Hijjah. Assumption of ihramon the day of tarwiyah, i.e. eighth Dhu al-Hijjah, is preferable.

The Hajj pilgrim, irrespective of the type of Hajj he intends to perform, turns towards Arafat, passing through Mina. The period of the wufuq at Arafat is, for the Hanafi, Shafii, and Maliki schools, from the noon of the ninth until the day break of the tenth; for the Hanbali school, from the daybreak of the ninth until the daybreak of the tenth; and for the Imamiyyah, from non until sunset on the ninth, and in exigency until the daybreak of the tenth. 9 The pilgrim offers invocations (dua')at Arafat, preferably (istihbaban)in an imploring manner.

Then he turns towards Muzdalifah (also called al-Mash'ar al-Haram), where he offers the maghrib and Isha' prayers on the night of the Id (i.e. the tenth of Dhu al-Hijjah). Offering the two prayers immediately after one another is considered mustahabbby all the five schools. According to the Hanafi, Shafi'i, and Hanbali schools, it is obligatory to spend this night (i.e. the night of the Id) at Muzdalifah; for the Imamiyyah, it is not obligatory but preferable. After the daybreak, he makes the wuquf at al-Mash'ar al-Haram, which is wajibfor the Imamiyyah and mustahabb for other schools. And at Muzdalifah, preferably, he picks up seven pebbles to be thrown at Mina.

After this, he turns towards Mina before sunrise on the day of Id. There he performs the ritual throwing of stones, called ramy, at Jamarat al-Aqabah, no matter which of the three kinds of Hajj he is performing. The ramy isperformed between sunrise and sunset, preferably (istihbaban)accompanied by takbir and tasbih (i.e. proclaiming God's glory by saying How far God is from every imperfection!'). Then if a non-Meccan on Hajj al-tamattu; he should slaughter the sacrificial animal (a camel, cow or a sheep), by agreement of all the five schools. However, it is not obligatory for one on Hajj al-'ifrad; again by consensus of all the five schools. For one on Hajj al-qiran, the sacrifice isobligatory from the viewpoint o the four Sunni schools, and for the Imamiyyah it is not obligatory except when the pilgrim brings the sacrificial animal (al-hady) along with him at the time of assuming ihram.

For a Meccan performing Hajj al-tamattu; the sacrifice is obligatory from the viewpoint of the Imamiyyah school, but not according to the four Sunni schools.

After this, he performs the halqortaqsir, irrespective of the kind of Hajj he is performing. After halqortaqsir, everything except sexual intercourse becomes permissible for him according to the Hanbali, Shafi'i and Hanafi schools, and according to the Maliki and Imamiyyah schools, everything except intercourse and perfume.

Then he returns to Mecca on the same day, i.e. the day of the Id, performs the tawaf al-ziyarayh, prays its related two raka'at, regardless of which kind of Hajj he is performing. After this, according to the four Sunni schools, he is free from all restrictions including that of sexual intercourse. Then he performs the sa'y between Safa and Marwah if on Hajj al-tamattu; by agreement of all the five schools. For the Imamiyyah school, the sa'y after tawaf al-ziyarah is also obligatory for one performing Hajj al-qiranandHajj al-'ifrad. But for other schools, it is not obligatory if the pilgrim had performed the sa'y after the tawaf of first entry, otherwise it is.

For the Imamiyyah, it is obligatory for all the types of Hajj to perform another tawaf after this sa'y. Without this tawaf, called tawaf al-nisa; one is not relieved of the interdiction of abstinence from intercourse.

Then the pilgrim returns to Mina on the same day, i.e. the tenth, where he sleeps on the night of the eleventh, performs the threefold throwing of stones (ramy al jamarat) during the interval from the noon until the sunset of the eleventh--by consensus of all the five schools. For the Imamiyyah, the ramy is permissible after sunrise and before noon. After this, on the day of the twelfth, he does what he had done the day before. All the legal schools agree that he may now depart from Mina before sunset. And if he stays there until sunset, he is obliged to spend the night of the thirteenth there and to perform the threefold ramy on the day of thirteenth.

After the ramy, he returns to Mecca, before or after noon. On entefing Mecca, he performs another tawaf, tawaf al-wada (the tawaf of farewell), which is mustahabb for the Imamiyyah and Maliki schools and obligatory for the non-Meccans from the viewpoint of the remaining three. Here the acts of the Hajj come to conclusion.
1. Ihram' is the state of pilgrim sanctity, which a pilgrim of Hajj or Umrah assumes on reaching miqat (see note No. 2). A pilgrim in the state of ihram is called muhrim. (Tr.)

2. Miqat (pl. mawaqit) refers to a number of stations outside Mecca from where the pilgrims intending Hajj or Umrah assume ihram. They are: (1) Dhu al-Hulayfah (specifically, Masjid al-Shajarah); (2) Yalamlam; (3) Qarn al-Manazil; (4) al-Juhfah; (5) three points situated in the valley of al-Aqiq: al-Maslakh, al-Ghamrah, and Dhat al-Irq. Those pilgrims whose houses are nearer to Mecca than to any of the above mawaqit, assume ihram from their houses. (Tr.)

3. The talbiyah is wajib according to the Imamiyyah, Hanafi, and Maliki schools, and mustahabb according to the Hanbalis. Its time is the moment of beginning of ihram.

4. The area roughly within a radius of six miles, with the Holy Ka'bah at the centre, is called haram', the sacred and inviolable territory of the sanctuary of the Holy Ka'bah. See the brief discussion under the subheading; "The Limits of the Harams of Mecca and al-Madinah" in the present article. (Tr.)

5 According to the Imamiyyah school, Hajj al-tamattu is obligatory for non-Meccans, and Meccans may choose between Hajj al-qiran and Hajj al-'ifrad. According to the four Sunni schools, there is no difference between a Meccan and a non-Meccan with regard to choice of any particular kind of Hajj, except that according to the Hanafi school Hajj al-tamattu and Hajj al-qiran are makruh for the Meccan.

6. The tawaf of the first entry or the arrival (called tawaf al-qudum) is mustahabb from the viewpoint of all except the Maliki school, which regards it as obligatory.

7. According to the Imamiyyah school, one is free to choose between halq and taqsir if on Umrah mufradah. But a pilgrim on Hajj al-tamattu is required to perform taqsir. Also according to the Imamiyyah, it is obligatory for one on Umrah mufradah to perform, after the halq or taqsir, a second tawaf, the tawaf al-nisa', before which sexual intimacy is not permissible to the pilgrim. According to the four Sunni schools, one is free to choose between halq and taqsir in both. They do not require the pilgrim of Hajj or Umrah to perform tawaf al-nisa; and according to the Maliki school halq or taqsir is not obligatory on one performing Umrah mufradah.

8. According to the Imamiyyah school, the mutamatti (pilgrim on Hajj al-tamattu' and its conjugate Umrah) acquires tahlil (i.e. relief from ihram) after taqsir, even when he brings along with him the sacrificial animal (hady). But according to the other schools, the mutamatti who assumes ihram for Umrah from the miqat obtains tahlil on halq or taqsir when not accompanied by hady, but if he has brought along with him the hady, he remains in the state of ihram. However, according to them, the pilgrim of Umrah mufradah obtains tahlil regardless of whether the hady accompanies him or not. The author of al-Mughni, after making the above statement, says, "I have not come across a contrary opinion on this matter."

9. According to the Imamiyyah school, the halt in Arafat is obligatory for the entire period of time. But according to the other schools, a moment of halt is sufficient. All the legal schools are in agreement that offering the zuhr (noon) and asr (afternoon) prayers immediately after one another is mustahabb, because the Prophet (s) had done so.

The conditions (shurut) which make the Hajj obligatory (wajib)for a Muslim are: maturity (bulugh), sanity (aql), and capability' (istita'ah).

The Proviso of Bulugh

The Hajj is not obligatory for children, regardless of whether a child is of the age of discretion (mumayyiz) or not (ghayr mumayyiz). For a mumayyiz child, the Hajj is voluntary and valid. However, it does not relieve him/her of the obligation to perform the obligatory Hajj (called hijjat al-'Islam)later as an adult possessing istita'ah; this, in case he/she does not attain adulthood before the wuquf. On this all the five schools of fiqh are in agreement.

It is permissible for the guardian (wali) of a ghayr mumayyiz child to take him along on the Hajj pilgrimage. In that case, he puts on the child the dress of ihram; instructs him to say the talbiyah, if the child can say it well, or otherwise says it himself on the child's behalf; and is cautious lest the child commits some act unlawful (haram) for the pilgrims (hujjaj). The accompanying guardian also tells him to perform every act that the child can perform himself, and what he cannot, the guardian performs it on the child's behalf.

The schools of fiqh differ on two questions relating to the Hajj of a mumayyiz child: firstly, whether his Hajj is valid, irrespective of the permission of the guardian; secondly, whether he is relieved of the obligation of Hajj if he attains adulthood before mawqif.According to the Imamiyyah, Hanbali, and Shafi'i schools, the guardian's permission is a provision for the ihramto be valid. According to Abu Hanifah, the idea of validity is inapplicable to the child's Hajj, even if mumayyiz, and regardless of whether he obtains the permission of the guardian or not; because, according to him, there is nothing to a child's Hajj except its significance as an exercise (Fath al-Bari, al-Mughni, al-Tadhkirah). According to the Imamiyyah, Hanbali and Shafii schools, if the child attains adulthood before mawqif, his obligatory duty of Hajj (hijjat al-'Islam)is thereby fulfilled. And according to Imamiyyah and Maliki schools, the duty is fulfilled if he renews ihram(as an adult), otherwise not; which means that he should start the Hajj all over again from the beginning. (al-Tadhkirah)


Basically the condition of insanity relieves a person of all duties. Even if he were to perform the Hajj, and presumably in the way expected of a sane person, it would not fulfil his obligatory duty were he to return to sanity. If his insanity is periodic, when regained for a sufficiently long interval it iswajib for him to perform the Hajj with all its conditions and in all its details. However, if the interval of sanity is not sufficient to perform all the acts of the Hajj, he is quit of the obligation.


All the five schools of fiqh agree that istitaah is a requirement for the Hajj duty to become obligatory as mentioned by the Qu'ranic verse: (" if he is able to make his way there"). 10

However, there is disagreement about the meaning of istitaah. In hadith it has been defined as consisting of "al-zad wa al-rahilah". Al-rahilah' implies the expenses of to and fro journey to Mecca, and al-zad' stands for the expenses required for transport, food, lodging, passport fees, and the like. Moreover, the funds needed to meet such expenses must come out of the surplus after paying one's debts, after arranging for one's family's livelihood, meeting the requirements of one's source of income (such as land for a farmer, tools for a craftsman, capital for a tradesman, and so on), and without compromising the security of his life, property and honour. All schools agree about it except the Malikis, who say that the duty of Hajj is obligatory for anyone who can walk. The Malikis also do not consider the necessity of providing for the living expenses of the family. Rather, they consider it compulsory for one to sell off his essential means of life, such as land, livestock, tools, and even books and unessential clothes. (al-Fiqh ala al-madhahib al-'arbaah).

If a person upon whom the Hajj duty is not obligatory due to absence of istita'ah, takes upon himself the burden and performs the Hajj, in case he attains istita'ah afterwards, is his first Hajj sufficient or should he perform the Hajj once again? According to the Maliki and Hanafi schools, yes, repetition is not compulsory. According to the Hanbali school, yes, but a duty left unattended, such as an unpaid debt, must be discharged.

According to the Imamiyyah school, it does not suffice the obligation of Hajj if he attains istita'ah afterwards, because the provisional is inseparable from the provision both in its presence and its absence. The Hajj performed before the attainment of istita'ah isconsidered supererogatory (nafl). Later, with its realization, repetition of the Hajj becomes obligatory.

Immediacy (al-Fawr)

The Imamiyyah, the Maliki, and the Hanbali schools consider the obligation (wujub) of the Hajj duty to be immediately applicable (fawri); i.e. it is not permissible to delay it from the moment of its possibility. It is sinful to delay, though the Hajj performed with delay is correct and fulfils the obligation. The author of al-Jawahir says:

Theimmediacy of theobligation of Hajjmeansthatit is necessarytotakeinitiativetoperformtheHajjinthefirstyear of attainingistita'ah, and failing that at one's next earliest opportunity....Thereafter, there is nodoubtaboutthesinfulness of thedelayifoneweretoforgothefirstopportunityinthecase of absence of another.

According to the Shafii school, the obligation of Hajj is not immediate (upon attainment of istita'ah); rather one may delay it and perform it when he wishes. 11 According to Abu Yusuf, the Hajj is an immediate obligation. Muhammad ibn al-Hasan considers delay (tarakhi)permissible. Abu Hanifah has no explicit text on the matter, though some of his contemporaries state that he implicitly believes in the immediacy of the obligation.
10. The Qur'an, 3:97.

11. Although the times have tended to support this opinion, and even though the traditions in favour of immediacy (al-fawr) of the duty of Hajj are open to criticism and controversy, but it leads towards negligence, and gradually towards abandonment of this sacred rite. Accordingly, the stress on immediacy is preferable, being more conducive from the viewpoint of the necessity to preserve the vitality of the Islamic faith.

Women and the Hajj

Are there any additional conditions for women with regard to performance of the Hajj? All the five schools agree that it is not required that a woman should obtain the husband's permission for the obligatory Hajj duty, nor may he prevent her from undertaking it. However, there is a difference of opinion about whether the Hajj is obligatory upon her or not if she does not find a husband or a mahram 12 to accompany her on the journey. According to the Imamiyyah, Maliki and Shafii schools, the mahram's company or that of the husband is not at all a condition, regardless of whether she is young or old, married or unmarried; since the mahram's company is a means of her safety, not an end in itself. Accordingly, we have two cases: either she feels confident of her security on the journey, or she doesn't. In the first case, the Hajj is obligatory upon her and the mahram's company is irrelevant. In the second case, she lacks the requirement of istita'ah, in spite of the mahram's company.

Accordingly, there is no essential difference between a man and a woman in this respect.

According to the Hanbali and Hanafi schools, the company of the husband or mahram isa provision for the woman's Hajj, even if she were old. It is not permissible for her to perform the Hajj without his company. The Hanafi school further stipulates the condition that her location should be at a distance of three days' journey from Mecca.

Bequest (al-Badhl)

Al-Mughni, a text of Hanbali fiqh, states: ."If a person bequeaths money to another, it is not binding upon him to accept it, and it does not make the recipient mustati (possessing istita'ah), irrespective of whether the bequeather is a relative or a stranger, regardless of whether the bequest suffices for the expenses of the journey and food. According to al-Shafii, if the bequest is made by one's son, enough to enable him to undertake the Hajj journey, the Hajj becomes obligatory. This, because it enables him to perform the Hajj without having to bear a stranger's favour or without any accompanying encumbrance or harm.

According to the Imamiyyah school, if the bequest is an unconditional gift made without the provision of performing the Hajj by the recipient, the Hajj is not binding, irrespective of who makes the bequest. But if the bequest is made with the condition that one perform the Hajj, the acceptance of the bequest is binding and may not be rejected, even if the bequest is made by a stranger; since it makes him mustati to undertake the pilgrimage.


What if one has only enough money either to get married or to perform the Hajj? Which of them is prior? The Hanafi text Fath al-qadir (vol. II, "Bab al-Hajj")mentions this question being put to Abu Hanifah, who, in his reply, considered that priority lies with the Hajj. The generality (itlaq)of this answer in which he gives priority to the Hajj, taking into consideration that marriage is obligatory under certain conditions, allows us to conclude that for Abu Hanifah delay in Hajj is not permissible.

According to the Shafi'i, Hanbali and Imamiyyah scholars, marriage has priority if there is likelihood of distress (haraj)or difficulty (mashaqqah)in refraining from marriage. In that case priority does not lie with the Hajj. (Kifayat al-'akhbar, al-Mughni, al-Urwat al-wuthqa)

Khums and Zakat

Payment of the khums and zakat has priority over the Hajj. The condition of istita'ah is not realized until both are paid off, like other kinds of debts.

Istita'ah by Chance

If someone travels to a place in the vicinity of the holy city of Mecca, on business or for some other purpose, and his stay continues until the Hajj season, and if it is possible for him to reach the Holy Ka'bah, he thereby becomes mustati. And if he were to return home without performing the Hajj, by consensus of all the schools, he is not relieved of the obligation.
12. Mahram is a male relation with whom marriage is not permissible; viz; father, grandfathers, sons, grandsons, brothers, sons and grandsons of one's sister or brother, etc.

The Islamic duties (ibadat)are divisible into three categories, depending on a duty's nature whether it mainly involves bodily acts or financial expenditure.

1. The purely bodily ibadat are those which, like fasting (sawm)and prayer (salat), do not involve any financial aspect. According to the four Sunni schools, such duties cannot in any circumstance be delegated to a proxy (na'ib), either on behalf of a living or a dead person. But according to the Imamiyyah school, taking a na'ibispermissible on behalf of a dead person, though not for a living person, to perform sawm and salat for him, and under all circumstances.

2. The purely financial ibadat are those which do not involve bodily acts, such as khums and zakat. In such ibadat, all legal schools agree, it is permissible to take a na'ib. It is permissible for one to depute another to take out zakat and pay other kind of alms (sadaqat)from his assets.

3. The duties which involve both bodily and financial aspects, such as the Hajj, which requires such bodily acts as tawaf (circumambulation of the Ka'bah), say (to and fro movement between Marwah and Safa), ramy (the symbolic throwing of stones), and financial expenditures such as for the journey and its accompanying requirements. All the five legal schools agree that one who is capable of undertaking the Hajj in person and fulfils all the conditions thereof, should do so himself in person. It is not permissible for him to depute another to undertake it, and if he does so it would not relieve him of his obligation to perform it himself. If he does not do it in his life, according to the Shafi'i, Hanbali and Imamiyyah schools, he is not relieved of the duty because of the preponderance of the financial aspect, and it is obligatory to hire someone to perform the Hajj with a similar expenditure. In case he does not make a will for the Hajj, the amount should be taken out from his undivided heritage. 13

According to the Hanafi and Maliki schools, he is relieved of the obligation due to the bodily aspect; but if he mentions it in his will, the expense is taken out from the one third of his inheritance--like all other bequests--and if he doesn't, istinabah isnot obligatory.

The Physically Incapable (al-Qadir al-Ajiz)

One who meets all the financial conditions for the Hajj pilgrimage but is incapable of undertaking it personally due to old age or some incurable disease, all the legal schools agree, is relieved of the obligation of performing the Hajj in person, for God says: (... and He has laid no impediment in your religion ....). 14 However, it is obligatory upon him to hire someone to perform the Hajj for him. But if he doesn't, is it a negligence of a duty whose fulfilment continues to remain upon him? All the legal schools, with the exception of the Maliki, agree that it is obligatory upon him to hire someone to perform the Hajj for him. The Maliki says that the Hajj is not obligatory upon one who is incapable of undertaking it in person. (al-Mughni, al-Tadhkirah)

Furthermore, if a sick person recovers after deputing someone to perform his Hajj, is it obligatory upon him on recovery to perform the Hajj in person? According to the Hanbali school, another Hajj is not obligatory. But according to the Imamiyyah, Shafi'i and Hanafi schools it is obligatory, because what was fulfilled was the financial obligation, and the bodily obligation has remained unfulfilled.

Istinabah in al-Hajj al-Mustahabb

According to the Imamiyyah and Hanafi legal schools; one who has performed the Hijjat al-'Islam, if he wants to depute another for a voluntary, mustahabbHajj, may do so, even if he is capable of undertaking it in person. But according to the Shafii school, it is not permissible. There are two narrations from Ahmad ibn Hanbal, one indicating prohibition and the other permission. According to the Maliki school, it is permissible for an incurable sick person and for one who has performed the obligatory Hajj to hire another for the Hajj. The Hajj so performed is valid, though makruh (reprehensible). It is not considered as the Hajj of the hirer (mustajir)and is counted as the mustahabbHajj of the hired (ajir). The hirer gets the reward for providing assistance in the performance of the Hajj and shares the blessings of the prayers offered. When the Hajj is performed for the benefit of a dead person, irrespective of whether he has asked for it in his will or not, it is counted neither as fulfilment of the duty (fard) nor as a supererogatory (nafl)act, nor does it relieve him of the duty of the obligatory Hajj. (al-Fiqh ala al-madhahib al-'arbaah).

The Conditions for the Na'ib

The na'ib should fulfil the conditions of: bulugh (adulthood), aql (sanity), belief in Islam, exemption from the duty of obligatory Hajj, and ability to perform the Hajj properly. A man may represent a woman and a-woman may represent a man, even if both the na'ib and the one whom he represents have not performed the Hajj before. 15

Should the na'ib commence the journey from his own place or that of the deceased whom he represents, or from one of the mawaqit?According to the Hanafi and Maliki schools, the na'ib should commence the pilgrimage journey from the place of the deceased, if he has not specified the starting point; otherwise according to his wish. According to the Shafii school, the pilgrimage commences from one of the mawaqit; if the deceased person has specified one, then the na'ib must act accordingly, otherwise he is free to choose one of the mawaqit. According to the Hanbali school, the na'ib must start from the place that the deceased was obliged to begin from if he had performed the Hajj himself, and not from the place of his death. If the deceased person had attained istita'ah at a place to which he had migrated, later returning to his own place, the na'ib should start from the place of migration, not from the deceased person's home, except when the distance (between his home-town and the place of migration) is less than what is required for qasr in prayers performed by a traveller. 16

According to the Imamiyyah school, the Hajj is classified into miqati (i.e. one which starts from one of the mawaqit)and baladi (i.e. one which starts from the town of the deceased). If the deceased has specified one of these two kinds, then the one specified. If he has not specified, any one of the two may be performed. Otherwise the Hajj is miqati and, if possible, starts from the miqat nearest to Mecca, or else the miqat nearest to the town of the deceased. The cost of al-Hijjat al-miqatiyyah istaken out from the undivided legacy in the case of obligatory Hajj, and the expense exceeding the cost of al-Hijjat al-miqatiyyah istaken from the one third. (al-Jawahir)

Delay by the Na'ib

Once the na'ib is hired, it is obligatory for him to act with immediacy. He may not postpone the Hajj beyond the first year. Also, it is not permissible for him to depute another, since the duty is his own. If we do not know that he actually went on the pilgrimage and performed all its essential acts, or if we doubt whether he performed them correctly and properly or not, or whether he failed to fulfil any of its obligatory essentials, then we assume that he acted correctly and properly, unless there is proof to the contrary.

Change of Purpose by the Na'ib (al-Udal)

According to the Hanafi and Imamiyyah schools, if one species to the na'ib a particular kind of Hajj; such as Jajj al-'ifrad, or Hajj al-qiran; then it is not permissible for him to make any change. However, if a particular town was specified as the starting point and the na'ib starts from another town, the purpose of the one who hires him is considered as fulfilled if the said specification was not really intended by the hirer; i.e. if by mentioning the route he meant the Hajj itself, and not the route specifically. (al-Tadhkirah, al-Fiqh ala al-madhahib al-'arbaah).
13. The Imamiyyah, Shafi'i, and Maliki schools permit hiring another person to perform the Hajj for a fee. The Hanafi and Hanbali schools do not consider it permissible. Nothing more than the expenses of journey, food and lodging may be given to the hired, they say.

14. The Qur'an, 22:78.

15. One who has not performed the Hajj before is called sarurah. According to the Shafi'i and Hanbali schools, if one who has not performed the Hajj before, undertakes it on behalf of another, the Hajj performed is considered his own. But according to the Maliki, Hanafi, and Imamiyyah schools, the Hajj performed depends on his intention (niyyah).

16. The minimum distance required for qasr in zuhr, 'asr and 'isha' prayers is 8 parasangs (approximately 44 kms. or 27.5 miles). (Tr.)

The Meaning of Umrah

The word umrah in common speech "visit", but in the Shariah it means paying a visit to the Bayt Allah al-Haram (the Sacred House of God, i.e. the Holy Ka'bah) in a specific form.

The Kinds of Umrah

The Umrah is of two kinds: the first which is performed independently of the Hajj (called al-Umrat al-mufradah al-mustaqillah an al-Hajj), and the second kind which is performed in conjunction with the Hajj (al-Umrat al-mundammah ila al-Hajj). The al-Umrat al-mufradah, the independent Umrah, all the five legal schools agree, can be performed at all times of the year, though it is meritorious to perform it during the month of Rajab according to the Imamiyyah, and in Ramadan according to the four Sunni schools. The time of the conjugate Umrah, which is performed before the Hajj and in the course of the same journey by the Hujjaj coming to the Holy Makkah from distant countries, by consensus of all five schools, extends from Shawwal to Dhul Hijjah. However, there is disagreement among legists about the month of Dhul Hijjah, whether the entire month or only the first ten days belong to the Hajj season. Anyone who performs the conjugate Umrah is considered relieved of the obligation to perform the al-Umrat al-mufradah by those who believe in its being obligatory.

Difference Between the Two Kinds of Umrah

The Imamiyyah scholars make a distinction between al-Umrat al-mufradah and Umrat al-tamattu, citing the following reasons:

1. The Tawaf al-nisa' (to be explained later) is obligatory in al-Umrat al-mufradah, not in the Umrat al-tamattu; and according to some jurists is forbidden.

2. The time of Umrat al-tamattu extends from the first of the month of Shawwal to the ninth of Dhu al-Hijjah, whereas al-Umrat al-mufradah can be performed at all times of the year.

3. The pilgrim (mu'tamir)performing the Umrat al-tamattu isrequired to shorten his hair (al-taqsir), whereas the mutamir of al-Umrat al-mufradah can choose between shortening his hair or completely shaving his head (al-halq), as shall be explained later.

4. The Umrat al-tamattu and the Hajj occur in the same year, which is not the case with al-Umrat al-mufradah.

Karrarah, in his book al-Din wa al-Hajj ala al-madhahib al-'arba'ah, says that, according to the Maliki and Shafii schools, for the mu'tamir of al-Umrat al-mufradah all things are permissible, even sexual intercourse, after the shortening of hair (al-taqsir)or the head shave (al-halq), irrespective of whether he brings along with him the sacrificial offering (al-hady)or not. But according to the Hanbali and Hanafi schools, the mu'tamir gets away with al-taqsir or al-halq, if he does not bring the sacrificial offering; otherwise he remains in the state ofihram until he gets through the Hajj and the Umrah on the day ofsacrifice (yawm al-nahr).

The Conditions of the Umrah

The conditions for the Umrah are essentially the same as mentioned in the case of the Hajj.

The Status of Umrah

According to the Hanafi and Maliki schools, the Umrah is not obligatory but a highly recommended sunnah (sunnah mu'akkadah). But according to the Shafii and Hanbali schools and the majority of Imamiyyah legists, it is obligatory (wajib)for one who is mustati, and desirable (mustahabb)for one who is not mustati: In support, they cite the Qur'anic verse: (Perform the Hajj and the Umrah for Allah.) 17 (Fiqh al-Sunnah, vol. V; al-Fiqh ala al-madhahib al-'arbaah; al-Jawahir; al-Mughni) 18

The Acts of the Umrah

According to al-Fiqh ala al-madhahib al-'arbaah, whatever is wajibor sunnah for the Hajj is also wajiband sunnah for the Umrah. But the Umrah does differ from the Hajj in certain respects: there is no specific time for performing the Umrah; it does not involve the halt (wuquf)in the plain of Arafat; neither the departure thenceforth to al-Muzdalifah; nor the ramy al-jamarat. 19 The Imamiyyah book al-Jawahir mentions that: "The obligatory acts (af'al or a'mal)ofthe Hajj are twelve: ihram; the wuquf at Arafat; the wuquf at al-Mash'ar al-Haram; the entry into Mina; the ramy; the dhibh (sacrifice); its related taqsir or halq; the tawaf (the sevenfold circumambulation of the Ka'bah), and its related raka'at (units of the length of prayers); the sa'y; the tawaf al-nisa', and its related raka'at. The obligatory acts of al-Umrat al-mufradah are eight: niyyah (intention); ihram 20; tawaf its related raka'at; the sa'y; the taqsi; the tawaf al-nisa'; and its related raka'at."

This indicates that all the legal schools agree that the acts of the Hajj exceed those of the Umrah by the acts associated with the wuquf. Moreover, the Imamiyyah school considers it obligatory for the performer of the al-Umrat al-mufradah to perform a second tawaf, the tawaf al-nisa'. Similarly the Maliki school differs from others in considering halqor taqsir as non-obligatory for al-Umrat al-mufradah.

Two Subsidiary Issues

1. The obligation (wujub)of al-Umrat al-mufradah isnot connected with the istitaah for the Hajj. If, supposedly, it is possible for a person to go to Mecca at a time other than that of the Hajj and not possible at the time of the Hajj, then the Umrah instead of the Hajj becomes obligatory for him. If he dies without performing it, its expense is taken out from his heritage." 21

Similarly, if one has istita'ah for Hajj al-'ifrad instead of the Umrah, it becomes obligatory upon him; because each of them is independent of the other. This applies to al-Umrat al-mufradah. As to Umrat al-tamattu, which shall be explained later, its wujub depends upon that of the Hajj, since it is a part of it.

2. According to the Imamiyyah, it is not permissible for one intending to enter the Holy Mecca to cross the miqat or enter its haram (sacred precincts) without getting into the state of ihram, even if he has performed the Hajj and the Umrah many times before. Only when the exit and entry recur several times during month, or when after entering the city as a muhrim he goes out any re-enters for a second time in less than thirty days, it is no obligatory. Therefore, ihram with respect to entry into Mecca is comparable to the wudu' before touching the Holy Qur'an. This clearly demonstrates the baselessness of the lie that the Shiah do not consider al-Bayt al-Haram as sacred, and that they pretend to perform the Hajj for the sake of polluting the holy sanctuaries. (!)

According to Abu Hanifah, it is not permissible to go beyond the miqat and enter the haram without ihram, but entry into the remaining area is permissible without ihram. Malik does not agree with this, and two opinions are ascribed to al-Shafi'i on the matter.

This much of discussion about the Umrah is sufficient for throwing light upon it, so that the reader may grasp its difference with the Hajj, though only in some aspects. What we shall say later will offer further clarification.
17. The Qur'an, 2:196.

18. According to al-Mughni, Ahmad ibn Hanbal did not consider the Umrah as being obligatory for Meccans, for the reason that the most important act of the Umrah is tawaf(circumambulation of the Ka'bah) which they do and it suffices them.

19. In the book al-Fiqh 'ala al-madhahib al-'arba'ah, it is the author's wont to give the text followed by a commentary and notes. In the text, he states the points of consensus of all the four Sunni schools, the different position of each is given in the commentary. What we have quoted here is taken from the text, not from the commentary.

20. According to al-Din wa al-Hajj 'ala al-madhahib al-'arba'ah, by Karrarah, one of the things which distinguishes the Umrah from the Hajj is that its ihramis not assumed from any of the mawaqitspecified for the Hajj. From the Imamiyyah viewpoint, there is no difference between the miqat for one performing Umrah and the miqat for one on Hajj with regard to ihram.

21. The Imamiyyah author of al-Madarik says: "The better known and sounder of opinions is that the obligation of Umrah is independent of the obligation of Hajj." The author of al-Jawahir states, "The statements of fuqaha' are not free of confusion... the one which appears sounder is that those who live far away from Mecca are relieved of the obligation of Umrah mufradah, and that which is obligatory upon them is 'Umrat al-tamattu; whose wujub is related to that of Hajj.

All the five legal schools agree that there are three kinds of Hajj: tamattu, qiran, and ifrad. They also agree that by Hajj al-tamattu is meant performance of the acts of the Umrah during the months of the Hajj. The acts of the Hajj itself are performed after getting through the Umrah. They also agree that by Hajj al-'ifrad is meant performing the Hajj first and then, after getting through the acts of the Hajj, getting into the state of ihram for performing the Umrah and its related acts. The four Sunni legal schools agree that the meaning of the Hajj al-qiranisto get into ihram for the Hajj and the Umrah together. Then the talbiyyah uttered by the pilgrim is.

According to the Imamiyyah school, the Hajj al-qiranand Hajj al-ifrad are one and the same. There is no difference between them except when the pilgrim performing the Hajj al-qiran brings the hady at the time of assuming the ihram. Then it is obligatory upon him to offer what he has brought. But one who performs the Hajj al-ifrad has essentially no obligation to offer the hady. In brief, the Imamiyyah do not consider it permissible to interchange two different ihram's, 22 or to perform the Hajj and the Umrah with a single niyyah (intention) under any condition; but the other legal schools permit it in Hajj al-qiran. They say that it has been named al-qiran' because it involves union between the Hajj and the Umrah. But the Imamiyyah say that it is because of the additional feature of the hady accompanying the pilgrim at the time of ihram. 23

According to the four Sunni legal schools, it is permissible for the pilgrim, Meccan or non-Meccan, to choose from any of the three forms of the Hajj: al-tamattu; al-qiran,or al-'ifrad, without involving any karahah (reprehensibility). Only Abu Hanifah considers Hajj al-tamattu and Hajj al-qiran as makruh for the Meccan. The four Sunni legal schools also differ as to which of the three kinds of Hajj is superior to the others. The best according to the Shafii school is al-ifrad, and al-tamattu is superior to al-qiran. Accordingto the Hanafi school, al-qiran has greater merit than the other two. The best according to the Maliki school is al-ifrad,andaccording to the Hanbali and Imamiyyah schools is al-tamattu.

According to the Imamiyyah school, Hajj al-tamattu is obligatory upon one living at a distance of over forty-eight miles from Mecca, and he may not choose any other kind except in emergency. The Hajj al-qiranandHajj al-ifrad are performable by the people of Mecca and those living around it within a distance of forty-eight miles, and it is not permissible for them to perform except one of these two kinds. The Imamiyyah base their argument on this verse of the Qur'an:

Moreover, according to the Imamiyyah school, it is not permissible for one obliged to perform the Hajj al-tamattu to change over to something else, except for the problem of shortage of time available, or, in the case of women, due to impending menses. In those cases it is permissible to change either to al-qiran or al-ifrad on condition that the Umrah is performed after the Hajj. The limit of the shortage of time is failure to be present at the wuquf in Arafat until noon.

For one whose duty is al-qiran or al-ifrad, such as the natives of Mecca or those from its surrounding region, it is not permissible to change to al-tamattu, except in exigency (such as the fear of impending menses). After explaining this position of the Imamiyyah school, the author of al-Jawahir says, "I have not come across any different opinion on this matter."

And all the five legal schools agree that the hadyis not compulsory for one performing Hajj al-'ifrad, though better if performed voluntarily.
22. According to al-Jawahir, al-Madarik, al-Hada'iq and other Imamiyyah works on fiqh, it is not permissible for one already in the state of ihramto assume ihramfor another purpose, until he completes all the acts of the rite (Hajj or Umrah) for which he had assumed ihram.

23. Ibn 'Aqil is alone among Imamiyyah legists in agreeing with the Sunni legists in that the acts of both the Hajj and the Umrah may be performed with a single ihramin Hajj al-qiran.

Mawaqit al-'Ihram

The ihramis compulsory for all the various kinds of Hajj as well as' Umrah, andis regarded as their basic element (rukn)by the Imamiyyah, and as obligatory by other schools. All the five schools agree that the miqat of the people of al-Madinah from where they assume ihramis Masjid al-Shajarah, also known as Dhu al-Hulayfah; 1 for the pilgrims of al-Sham (which includes the Syrians, the Lebanese, the Palestinians and the Jordanians, noting further that the routes have changed from what they used to be in the past), Morocco and Egypt the miqatisal-Juhfah; 2 for the pilgrims of Iraq, it is al-Aqiq; 3 for those from Yemen and others who take the same route, it is Yalamlam. 4

According to the Imamiyyah, Qarn al-Manazil 5 isthe miqatfor the people of al-Ta'if and those who take their route towards Makkah. But according to the four Sunni schools, it is the miqat of the people of Najd. The miqatfor those from Najd and Iraq according to the Imamiyyah is al-Aqiq. All the legal schools agree that these mawaqitalso apply to those who in their journey take similar routes, even though they may not be natives of those regions For instance, if a Syrian starts on Hajj from al-Madinah, it is permissible for him to assume ihramfrom Dhu al-Hulayfah; if he starts on Hajj from Yemen, his miqat is Yalamlam; if from Iraq, then al-Aqiq, and so on. If one does not pass the mentioned mawaqiton his route, the miqat for him is the place parallel to any one of them.

If someone lives at a place nearer to Makkah than any of the prescribed mawaqit, then he assumes ihramfrom the place of his residence. For, someone who resides in Makkah itself, his miqatis Makkah. For one performing the al-Umrat al-mufradah, the mawaqit, according to the Imamiyyah, are the same as for the Hajj.

Ihram Before Miqat

The four Sunni legal schools agree on the permissibility of assuming ihrambefore the point of miqat, but disagree as to which has greater merit. According to Malik and Ibn Hanbal, ihrambefore miqat ismore meritorious (afdal). According to Abu Hanifah, the merit lies in assuming ihramwhile starting the Hajj journey from one's town: Two opinions are ascribed to al-Shafi'i in this regard.

However, according to the Imamiyyah school, ihrambefore miqatisnot permissible except for one who intends to perform the Umrah in the month of Rajab and is afraid of missing it if ihramisdelayed until miqat isreached, and for one who makes a vow (nadhr)to assume ihrambefore the miqat. (al-Tadhkirah, Fiqh al-Sunnah)

Ihram after Miqat

There is consensus among all the legal schools that it is not permissible to cross the miqat without ihram, and one who does so must return to the miqatfor assuming ihram. If he does not return, according to the four Sunni schools, his Hajj is correct though he should offer a hady in atonement. But if there be any impediment, such as fear of insecurity on the way or shortage of time, there is no sin. This, regardless of whether there are other mawaqitbefore him on his path or not.

According to the Imamiyyah, if he has deliberately neglected to assume ihramat the miqat while intending to perform the Hajj or the Umrah, if he does not turn back to the miqat, there being no other miqatbefore him from which he can assume ihram, his ihramand Hajj are invalid, whether he had a valid pretext for not returning or not. But if his failure to assume ihramat miqat was on account of forgetfulness or ignorance, if it is possible to return, he must do so; but if it is not possible, then from the next miqat before him. Otherwise he ought to assume ihramas far as possible outside the haramof Makkah, or within it; though the former is preferable. (al-Tadhkirah, al-Fiqh ala al-madhahib al-'arbaah)

Ihram before the Hajj Months

According to the Imamiyyah and Shafi'i schools, the ihrambefore the months of the Hajj is invalid if assumed with the purpose of Hajj, though it is valid when assumed for the purpose of the Umrah. They cite in this regard the Qur'anic verse (2:197): But according to the Hanafi, Maliki and Hanbali schools, it is permissible with karahah. (al-Tadhkirah, Fiqh al-Sunnah)

Ihram, Its Wajibat and Mustahabbat

The Mustahabbat ofIhram

There is no disagreement among the legal schools with respect to the ihrambeing an essential rukn of the Umrah and all the three forms of the Hajj, namely, tamattu; qiran and ifrad. Also, there is no difference of opinion that ihramisthe first act of the pilgrim, irrespective of whether his purpose is Umrah mufradah, or any of the three forms of Hajj. There are certain wajibat and mustahabbat related to the ihram.

The legal schools agree that it is mustahabbfor anyone intending ihramto cleanse his body, clip his fingernails, shorten his moustaches, and to take a bath (even for women undergoing hayd or nifas, for the aim is cleanliness). It is also mustahabbfor one intending Hajj to abstain from cutting the hair of his head from the beginning of the month of Dhu al-Qi'dah, to remove the hair from his body and armpits, and to enter ihramafter the zuhr (noon) or any other obligatory prayers. It is also mustahabbto pray six, four or at least two rakaat. However, freedom from the state of ritual impurity (hadath)isnot a condition for the ihramto be valid.

According to the Hanafi and Maliki schools, if water is not available, one is relieved of the duty to take the bath (ghusl), and tayammum as an alternative is not permissible. According to the Hanbali and Shafi'i schools, tayammum substitutes ghusl. The Imamiyyah jurists differ on this matter, some consider it permissible, others not.

According to the Imamiyyah school, it is mustahabbto leave the hair of the head uncut, but according to the Shafi'i, Hanafi and Hanbali schools, it is mustahabbto shave the head. (al-Fiqh ala al-madhahib al-'arbaah)

According to the Hanafi school, it is sunnah for one who wants to assume ihramto scent his body and clothes with a perfume whose trace does not remain after ihramexcept the smell. According to the Shafi'i school, it is sunnah, except when one is fasting, to apply perfume to the body after the bath. Also, perfuming the clothes does not matter. According to the Hanbali school, one may perfume the body; and the clothes with karahah. (al-Fiqh ala al-madhahib al-'arba ah)

According to the Hanafi, Maliki and Shafi'i schools, it is mustahabbfor the muhrimto pray two raka'at before assuming ihramafter the noon prayer or any other obligatory prayer. If he has no obligatory prayer to make at the time of ihram, he should offer six, or four or at least two rakaat for the ihram. (al-Jawahir)

Al- 'Ishtirat

Al-Muhaqqiq al-Hilli, the Imamiyyah scholar, in his work Tadhkirat al-fuqaha', says that for one intending ihramit is mustahabbto make a condition with God at the time of assuming ihram, by saying:

O God, indeed I wish to fulfil Thy command, but if any impediment keeps me from completing it or a barrier obstructs me from it, exonerate me.

Abu Hanifah, al-Shafi'i, and Ahmad ibn Hanbal also consider it mustahabb. However, this ishtirat does not help in relieving one of the obligation of the Hajj if he were to encounter an impediment which keeps him from getting through it.

The Wajibat of Ihram

The wajibat of ihram, with some difference between the legal schools on some points, are three: niyyah (intention); talbiyah; and putting on of the clothes of ihram.


Obviously niyyah or intention is essential to every voluntary act; for every such act is motivated by conscious intent. Therefore, some scholars have pointed out that had we been assigned a duty to be performed without intention it would have been impossible to be carried out. However, when the question of intention is raised in relation to the pilgrim (of the Hajj or the Umrah), what is meant is whether he becomes muhrimsolely on account of the niyyah or if something else is required in addition, acknowledging that ihramisvoid if assumed frivolously or absent-mindedly.

According to the Hanafi school, ihramisnot considered to commence solely with intention unless it is accompanied by the utterance of the talbiyah(Fath al-qadir). According to the Shafi'i, Imamiyyah and Hanbali schools, the ihramisassumed merely by niyyah (al-Jawahir, Fiqh al-Sunnah). The Imamiyyah add that it is obligatory for the niyyah to coincide with the commencement of ihram, and it is not sufficient for the act of niyyah to occur in the course of assuming ihram. Also while making the niyyah it is essential to specify the purpose of ihram, whether it is Hajj or Umrah, whether it is Hajj al-tamattu; Hajj al-qiran or Hajj al-'ifrad, whether he is performing the Hajj for himself or as a na'ib of someone else, whether for the obligatory Hajj (Hijjat al-'Islam) or for something else. If one assumes ihram without specifying these particulars, postponing their determination to future, the ihram is invalid. (al-Urwat al-wuthqa).

According to the Hanafi text al-Mughni,"It is mustahabb to specify the purpose of ihram. Malik is of the same opinion. Two opinions are ascribed to al-Shafi'i. According to one of them, it is adequate if one assumes ihram with a general, non-specific purpose of pilgrimage... without determining the exact purpose, whether Hajj or Umrah. The ihram thus assumed is valid and makes one a muhrim .... Afterwards, he may select any of the kinds of pilgrimage." All the five schools agree that if one assumes ihram with the intention to follow another person's intention, his ihram is valid if the other person's purpose is specific. (al-Jawahir; al-Mughni)

The Talbiyah

That the talbiyah is legitimate in ihram is acknowledged by all the five schools, but they disagree as to its being wajib or mustahabb, and also about its timing. According to the Shafii and Hanbali schools, it is sunnah, preferably performed concurrently with ihram. However, if the intention to assume ihram is not accompanied by talbiyah, the ihram is correct.

According to the Imamiyyah, Hanafi, 6 and Maliki schools, the talbiyah is obligatory, though they differ about its details. According to the Hanafi school, pronouncement of talbiyah or its substitute--such as tasbih, or bringing along of the sacrificial animal (al-hady)--is a provision for ihram to be valid. According to the Maliki school, the ihram neither becomes invalid if talbiyah is recited after a long gap of time, nor if it is not pronounced altogether. However, one who fails to pronounce it must offer a blood sacrifice.

According to the Imamiyyah, neither the ihram for Hajj al-tamattu; nor Hajj al-'ifrad, nor their conjugate umrahs, nor for al-Umrat al-mufradah, is valid without talbiyah. However, one who intends to perform Hajj al-qiran may choose between. talbiyah, ish'ar 7 or taqlid; ish'ar for this school being exclusively restricted to a camel, though taqlid may apply to a camel or the other forms of hady.

The Formula of Talbiyah

The formula of talbiyah is:

All the legal schools agree that taharah is not a proviso for pronouncing talbiyah. (al-Tadhkirah).

As to its occasion, the muhrim starts reciting it from the moment of ihram, being mustahabb for him to continue it--all the five schools agree--until the ramy of Jamarat al-aqabah. To utter it loudly is mustahabb for men (not for women), except in mosques where prayers are offered in congregation, particularly in the Mosque of Arafat. According to the Imamiyyah school, it is mustahabb to discontinue reciting the talbiyah on sighting the houses of Makkah. A woman may recite the talbiyah just aloud enough to be heard by herself or someone near her. It is also mustahabb to proclaim blessings on the Prophet and his Family (s). (al-Tadhkirah; Fiqh al-Sunnah).

The Muhrim's Dress

All the five schools agree that it is not permissible for a muhrim man to wear stitched clothing, shirts or trousers, nor may he cover his face. Also, it is not permissible for him to wear shoes (khuffan) except when he cannot find a pair of sandals (nalan), 8 and that after removing the covering on the back of the heels from the base. A woman, however, should cover her head, keep her face exposed, except when she fears that men may ogle at her.

It is not permissible for her to wear gloves, but she may put on silk and wear shoes (khuffan). According to Abu Hanifah, it is permissible for a woman to wear gloves. (al-Tadhkirah; Ibn Rushd's al-Bidayah wa al-nihayah).

The book al-Fiqh ala al-madhahib al-'arbaah, under the heading That which is required of one intending ihrambefore he starts to assume it', states. "According to the Hanafi school,... among other things he wears izar (loin-cloth) and rida' (cloak). The izar covers the lower part of the body from the navel to the knees. The rida' covers the back, the chest and the shoulders, and its wearing is mustahabb.

According to the Maliki school, it is mustahabbto wear izar, rida and nalan; but there is no restriction on wearing something else that is not stitched and does not encircle any of the parts of the body.

According to the Hanbali school, it is sunnah to put on a new, white and clean rida' and izar together with a pair of nalan before assuming ihram. According to the Shafii school, the rida' and izar should be white, new or washed ones.

According to the Imamiyyah school, the rida' and the izar are obligatory, preferably (istihbaban)of white cotton. The muhrimmay put on more than these two pieces of clothing on condition that they are not stitched. Also it is permissible to change the clothes in which one commenced ihram, though it is better to perform the tawaf in the same rida' and izar as worn at the beginning. All the requirements of the dress for salat apply to the dress of ihram, such as taharah, its being non-silken for men, not made of the skin of an animal eating whose flesh is not permissible. According to some Imamiyyah legists, clothing made of skin is not permissible (in salat and ihram).

In any case, the disagreement between the legal schools about the muhrim's dress is very limited. This is well indicated by the fact that whatever is regarded as permissible by the Imamiyyah is also considered permissible by the remaining schools.

Restrictions of Ihram

There are certain restrictions for the muhrim, most of which are discussed below.


According to the Imamiyyah, Shafi'i, Maliki and Hanbali schools, it is not permissible for the muhrimto contract marriage for himself or on behalf of another. Also he may not act as another's agent for concluding a marriage contract, and if he does, the contract is invalid.

Furthermore, according to the Imamiyyah school, he may not act as a witness to such a contract.

According to Abu Hanifah, marriage contract is permissible and the contract concluded is valid.

According to the Hanafi, Maliki, Shafii and Imamiyyah schools, it is permissible for the muhrimto revoke divorce of his former wife during the period of her iddah. According to the Hanbali school, it is not permissible. From the viewpoint of the Imamiyyah, if one enters a marriage contract with the knowledge of its prohibition, the woman becomes haramfor him for life merely by the act of concluding the contract, even if the marriage is not consummated. But if done in ignorance of the interdiction, she is not prohibited to him, even if consummation has been affected. (al-Jawahir Fiqh al-Sunnah; al-Fiqh ala al-madhahib al-'arbaah ).


All the five legal schools agree that it is not permissible for the muhrimto have sexual intercourse with his wife, or to derive any kind of sexual pleasure from her. If he performs intercourse before tahlil 9 (i.e. relief from the state of ihram)his Hajj becomes void, although he must perform all its acts to the conclusion. Thereafter, he must repeat the Hajj the next year, performing it separately' from his spouse. 10 The seclusion is obligatory according to the Imamiyyah, Maliki and Hanbali schools, and voluntary from the viewpoint of the Shafi'i and Hanafi schools. (al-Hada'iq; Fiqh al-Sunnah).

Moreover, according to the Imamiyyah, Shafi'i, and Maliki schools, besides the fact that his Hajj becomes invalid, he must sacrifice a camel in atonement, and according to the Hanafi school, a sheep.

All the five legal schools agree that if he commits intercourse after the first tahlil (i.e. after the halq or taqsir in Mina, after which everything except intercourse--and also perfume according to the Imamiyyah school--become permissible for the pilgrim), his Hajj is not void, nor is he called upon to repeat it. Nevertheless, he must offer a camel, according to the Imamiyyah and Hanafi schools and according to one of the two opinions ascribed to al-Shafi'i. But according to the Maliki school, he is obliged to offer a sheep only. (al-Hada'iq; Fiqh al-Sunnah).

If the wife yields willingly to intercourse, her Hajj is also void, and she must sacrifice a camel in expiation and repeat the Hajj the year after. But if she was forced, then nothing is required of her, but the husband is obliged to offer two camels: one on his own behalf, and the second on hers. If the wife was not in the state of ihram, but the husband was, nothing is required of her, nor is she obliged to offer anything in atonement, nor is anything required of the husband on her account. (al-Tadhkirah).

If the husband kisses his wife, his Hajj is not void if it does not result in ejaculation. On this all schools are in agreement. But according to the four Sunni schools, he is obliged to make a sacrificial offering in atonement even if it be a sheep. The Imamiyyah author of al-Tadhkirah says, the sacrifice of a camel is obligatory only if the kiss is taken with sexual desire, otherwise he should sacrifice only a sheep. If he ejaculates, the Hajj is void according to the Maliki school, but remains valid according to the other schools, although he should make an offering in atonement, which is a camel according to the Hanbali school and a group of Imamiyyah legists, and a sheep according to the Shafi'i' and Hanafi schools. (al-Hada'iq; al-Mughni).

Use of Perfume

All the legal schools agree that the muhrim, man or woman, may not make use of any perfume, either for smelling, or for applying on himself, or for scenting edibles. Indeed it is not permissible to wash the dead body of a muhrim, nor to perform hunut upon it by applying camphor or any other kind of perfumery. If the muhrimuses perfume forgetfully or on account of ignorance, he needs not make any offering in atonement according to the Imamiyyah and Shafi'i schools. But according to the Hanafi and Maliki schools, he must make a sacrificial offering (fidyah). In this relation two different opinions are ascribed to Ahmad ibn Hanbal.

However, when one is forced to use perfume on account of disease, it is permissible and no fidyahisrequired. According to the Imamiyyah school, if one uses perfume intentionally, he must offer a sheep, irrespective of the use, whether applied to the body or eaten. However, there is nothing wrong in the Khaluq of Ka'bah even if it contains saffron, and the same applies to fruits and aromatic plants. (al-Jawahir).

Use of Kohl

Al-Tadhkirah states: "There is consensus among the Imamiyyah legists on the point that darkening the eyelids with kohl or applying a kohl containing perfume is not permissible for the muhrim, man or woman. Apart from that (i.e. ihram)it is permissible." According to the author of al-Mughni, "Kohl containing antimony is makruh, and does not require any fidyah. I haven't come across any different opinion on this topic. However, there is no karahah in use of kohl without antimony, as long as it does not contain any perfume."

Shortening of Nails and Hair; Cutting of Trees

All the five legal schools agree about impermissibility of shortening the nails and shaving or shortening of the hair of the head or the body in the state of ihram, fidyah being required of the offender. 11 As to cutting of trees and plants within the haram, all the legal schools agree that it is impermissible to cut or uproot anything grown naturally without human mediation. Al-Shafi'i' states that there is no difference between the two with regard to the prohibition, and fidyah isrequired for both: cutting of a big tree requires fidyah of a cow, and of other plants of a sheep. According to Malik, cutting of a tree is a sin, though nothing is required of the offender, regardless of whether it has grown with or without human mediation.

According to the Imamiyyah, Hanafi, and Hanbali schools, cutting of something planted by human hands is permissible and does not require a fidyah; but anything grown by nature requires fidyah, which is a cow according to the Imamiyyah for cutting a big tree and a sheep for cutting smaller plants. According to the Hanafi school, the owner of the tree is entitled to a payment equivalent to the cost of the hady. (Fiqh al-Sunnah, al-Lumah)

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