As Salaamu Alaikum,
My wife and I will be doing Umrah soon Inshallah. If my wife crosses meeqaat and enters Ihram and then her period begins, and this period does not stop before we have to leave (only staying 5 days) so she is unable to make the Umrah and we cannot extend the stay. How can she exit Ihraam?
Wa Alaikum AS Salaam,
This situation becomes a difficult one for your wife, and by extension yourself, since one is not permitted to do the Tawaf in the state of menses.
Generally, the law regarding this situation (where a woman, while in the state of purity, entered into Ihram and crossed the Miqaat for Umrah and then got her menses), is that she must wait in Makkah until her menses are completed, and will then perform her Umrah in the state of purity. Once she has entered Ihram, it is required for her to perform her Umrah (Tawaf and Sa’ee), and then exit her Ihram. However, seeing that she is in the state of impurity, she will have to wait until she is out of her menses and then perform her Umrah. If she waits until her last day in Makkah and did not come out of her menses and then travelled to her home, then she will remain in Ihram and will be required to return to Makkah and complete her Umrah in the state of purity, and then exit her Ihram. Remaining in the state of Ihram means that she will need to fulfill all the requirements of being in Ihram and will not be allowed to do any action which is prohibited while she is in this state. This is the general law given to a woman who is in the above mentioned situation.
However, due to the helpless state of a woman, where she has a limited amount of days in Makkah, and is unable to extend her time to do the Tawaf (Umrah) because of her travel arrangements back to her country, some scholars have advised that she can go ahead and do her Tawaf in the state of menses and then do her Sa’ee between Safa and Marwa. She will then have her hair clipped and come out of Ihram. After this, she must sacrifice a goat/sheep in the Haram (as a dam), for having done the Tawaf in the state of menses. (Ila’us Sunnan vol. 10 pg. 240 Idara Al Quran Wal Uloom Al Islamiya Karachi).
The Jurists have stated that although this act itself is sinful (i.e making Tawaf in menses), the Umrah (including the Tawaf) will be valid and sound (Radd Al Muhtaar vol. 2 pg. 519 H.M Saeed Karachi).
This allowance has been given by some scholars in order to save a woman from difficulties due to her situation.
The same situation also arises in the Tawaf Ziyarah for Hajj, and the scholars have advised that the woman (when she has no other choice except to leave Makkah to return to her home, based on her travel arrangements with the group etc, and she is still in her menses), perform Tawaf in the state of menses and do a sacrifice to make amends for her action. In the case of Tawaf Ziyarah, the sacrifice will be a camel.
While giving the fatwa on this issue, the great scholar, Allamah Khalid Saifullah Rahmani (D.B) writes, ‘Due to the helpless state of the woman, she can do the Tawaf in the state of impurity (menses), since it is difficult for her to leave her country and return to do the Tawaf, and as long she does not do the Tawaf, it will be haram (unlawful) for her to have relations with her husband. According to the scholars of the Madhhab of Imam Abu Hanifa, the Tawaf done in the state of impurity will be sound and valid. However, in this case (of Tawaf Ziyarah), the sacrifice of a camel is essential (wajib), which must be done in the Haram. Besides the Hanafi Scholars, there is also an opinion of Imam Ahmad which agrees with this opinion, and the jurists of the Shafi’ee Madhhab have allowed woman who follow the Shafi’ee Madhhab to practice on this allowance which is given in the Hanafi Madhhab, when they are confronted with this helpless situation’. (Jadeed Fiqhi Masaa’il Vol. 2 pg. 203 Kutub Khana Na’eemiya Saharanpur U.P India 1999).
Mufti Muhammad Irshad Al Qasmi (D.B) has also given a similar ruling regarding this issue. In his renowned book, ‘Rasullullah Ka Tareeqa’e Hajj’ , he writes, ‘In our present times, sometimes a woman, on account of being in the state of menses, cannot perform Tawaf Ziyarah. Her time of departure comes and she has to leave because her plane ticket and seat is booked and confirmed. In this situation, if a woman leaves without performing Tawaf Ziyarah, her Hajj remains incomplete, and she is not allowed to have relations with her husband. Returning to Makkah to perform the Tawaf Ziyarah and spending a lot of money to undertake another hajj trip is extremely difficult and sometimes, impossible for her.
In such a situation, a way of ease and relief (for her), is that she dresses herself properly (to avoid the spilling of blood) and go to perform the Tawaf in the state of her menses, while making Istighfar and Tawbah to Allah for this sin. After this, she becomes halal from her Ihram, but she must do the sacrifice of a camel as a penalty for her action. In this way, the Fardh of the Tawaf Ziyarah will be fulfilled and she will be halaal (allowed) for her husband, (that is, it will be permissible for her to have relations with her husband). (Rasulullah (S.A.S) Ka Tareeqa’e Hajj – Mufti Muhammad Irshad Qasmi pg. 668 Zam Zam Publishers 2009).
The above allowance which these scholars have given for a woman, also extends to the situation you have mentioned in your question, and so, the same allowance will be given.
It must however be noted, that one should try one’s best to avoid such situations as mentioned above. This can be done by planning one’s Umrah trip with one’s wife at a time when she will be in the state of purity, or if one cannot help the situation, one’s wife can use medication to stop her menses at that time, so that she will be in a state of purity to perform her Umrah.
It must also be understood that the above allowance which has been given by the jurists, is not a general one. Only in extreme difficult situations, the allowance has been given. This means that once a woman can remain in Makkah until she achieves purity, then she must do so, in order to perform her Tawaf (whether in Umrah or Tawaf Ziyarah) in the state of purity.
And Allah Knows best
Mufti Waseem Khan