Fe­male pil­grims need not feel anx­ious

New Straits Times - - News -

PER­FORM­ING the haj can be­come com­pli­cated for fe­male pil­grims dur­ing their menstruation, but this does not have to be the case, said Dr Anisah Abdul Ghani, one of Tabung Haji’s (TH) re­li­gious ex­perts for this year’s haj sea­son.

The for­mer Univer­siti Malaya Fiqh lec­turer said fe­male pil­grims would be­come anx­ious about their menstruation dur­ing haj.

“When men­stru­at­ing, they can­not cir­cum­am­bu­late the Kaaba (tawaf), pray and read the Qu­ran. The rest, to of­fer zikir and make doa in Mina and Arafah, is per­mis­si­ble.”

She said even if fe­male pil­grims were hav­ing their pe­riod, there were ways to com­plete their haj, adding that this was dis­cussed in de­tail in the re­li­gious mod­ules that pil­grims had at­tended be­fore haj.

These may in­volve pay­ing dam (the sac­ri­fic­ing of an an­i­mal), re­turn­ing to do tawaf at a later time or fol­low­ing the prac­tice of other schools of thought (mazhab).

“There are ways to get haj. There is no rea­son to feel anx­ious about their menstruation,” Anisah said. Her ex­per­tise is Is­lamic ju­rispru­dence.

Two other re­li­gious ex­perts are for­mer Ja­batan Ke­ma­juan Is­lam Malaysia di­rec­tor-gen­eral Datuk Wan Mo­hamad Sheikh Abdul Aziz and Ma­jlis Agama Is­lam Jo­hor ad­viser Datuk Noh Gadut.

Anisah said since ob­tain­ing haj was pos­si­ble for fe­male pil­grims de­spite their menstruation, mak­ing the right in­ten­tion (niat) was cru­cial and not to be taken lightly.

For ex­am­ple, there is the nor­mal in­ten­tion, “to per­form haj and be in ihram”, and the con­di­tional in­ten­tion, “to per­form haj and be in ihram, but if I men­stru­ate, I am free from ihram”.

TH dis­cour­ages fe­male pil­grims from declar­ing the con­di­tional niat be­cause if they men­stru­ate on the Day of Arafah (wukuf), they will no longer be in ihram and will not get their haj this year.

Some pil­grims are in­flu­enced by oth­ers and change their niat to the type of haj they wish to per­form from what they orig­i­nally in­tended, which will have con­se­quences.

For ex­am­ple, those who choose haj Ta­mattu’ will per­form the um­rah first and will be free from ihram un­til it is time to head for Arafah, where they will make an­other niat for haj.

For the other types of haj (Ifrad and Qi­ran), the pil­grims are in a longer state of ihram, from first ar­riv­ing here to wukuf. There­fore, it is a greater chal­lenge to avoid the pre­scribed re­stric­tions dur­ing that pe­riod.

“That is why we tell pil­grims to think care­fully about their niat. This is not a small mat­ter,” Anisah said.

When men­stru­at­ing, they can­not cir­cum­am­bu­late the Kaaba, pray and read the Qu­ran. The rest... is per­mis­si­ble. DR ANISAH ABDUL GHANI Tabung Haji re­li­gious ex­pert

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