COMPLETING HAJ DURING MENSTRUATION
Female pilgrims need not feel anxious
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