A Guidebook for Women on Rites of Hajj
Philosophy behind Circumambulation of Nisa
The importance that Islam places on blissful married life and its effect on the family institution can be seen in its making circumambulation of nisa an obligatory act of Pilgrimage.
Allah (swt) has made the husband promise to treat his wife well in Chapter 'Woman' of Holy Qur'an:
[Shakir 4:19] “Treat them (wives) kindly”.
As soon as the ihram for Pilgrimage is donned the husband and wife become prohibited for each other. A nikah bounds a man and a woman into a married couple, in the same way circumambulation of nisa and its prayer again reinstate the relationship of the couple. As if the marriage took place only that day. Allah (SWT) allows them to haven fresh start. Where ever they erred in their duties to each other in the past all that has been pardoned and they have been given a chance to start a new relationship. While kissing and touching the Black Stone they promise Allah (SWT) that from now on they will be very careful in performing all their duties in their married life and their family unit will run on the constitution given by Allah (swt).
Circumambulation of Nisa (Woman)
Tawaf-un-Nisa is obligatory on both males and females. If a man fails to perform it, his wife becomes unlawful for him. If a woman fails to perform it, her man becomes unlawful for her. An agent performing Tawaf-un-Nisa will do so on behalf of the principal and not himself.
Though this is an obligatory rite but is not among the basic elements (arkan) of Pilgrimage. That is, failure to perform it, even deliberately, does not invalidate the Hajj.
If a lady's menstruations start and her companions could not wait for her becoming clean, it is permissible for her to abandon Tawaf-un-Nisa and leave with them. In such a case, she should, as a matter of precaution, hire an agent to perform circumambulation and say its prayer on her behalf.
If, however, the menstruation commences after she had performed the fourth round, it is permissible for her to abandon the remaining rounds of circumambulation and depart with her companions. She should, as a matter of precaution, hire an agent to perform the remaining rounds and say the prayer on her behalf.
Questions and Answers
Ql. If the wife is Ithna Asheri Shia (Believer in twelve Imams) and the husband belongs to another sect, therefore does not perform circumambulation of nisa, should she not let him approach her till he has performed it?
Ans: It is not obligatory for her.
Q2. A pilgrim after return from Makkah gets married and bears a child, suddenly he/she remembers that circumambulation of nisa was not performed, what is the position of the marriage and the child?
Ans: The marriage contract is valid because after cutting of hair the only prohibited act left is having sexual pleasure but nikah is permitted, there child is also legal.
Q3. If someone enjoys marital bliss with his wife before circumambulation of Nisa, what should he do to compensate this act?
Ans: If there is a discharge then he has to give a camel as a fine, and if he cannot afford that then he should give a sheep. But if there is no discharge then be should just ask for pardon from Allah (swt).
Q4. If a lady perform circumambulation of Pilgrimage and its prayers before proceeding for stays in Arafat and Mash'ar, and then her menstruations start, can she appoint an agent for performing; circumambulation of nisa and its prayers?
Ans: No she cannot do this. She has to perform this rite on Eid day after taking a purifying bath and performing the supplications of that day. But in her companions cannot wait for her then she should leave with them and as a precaution appoint an agent to perform circumambulation of nisa and its prayers.
Conditions for Spending Nights in Mina
The twelfth obligation in Pilgrimage is to spend the nights of the eleventh and twelfth of Zil Hijjah in Mina. It is necessary to form the intention of closeness to Allah (swt).
If, on the Eid day the pilgrim leave for Makkah to perform tawaf and sa'ee, it is obligatory on her to return to Mina to spend the night there. The one, who has not refrained from hunting, while in a state of Ihram, must also spend the night of the thirteenth in Mina. As a matter of precaution, so must one who has not abstained from sex while in a state of ihram. Apart from these two categories, the remaining pilgrims can leave Mina after Dhuhr (afternoon prayers) of the twelfth; if, however, they delay their departure till night falls, they must spend the eve of the thirteenth in Mina till dawn.
Rami (stoning) of Jamarat (symbols of satan)
The thirteenth obligation in Pilgrimage is rami of the three jamarat, the First (Oola), Middle (Wusta) and Last (Aqabah), on the eleventh and twelfth of Zil Hijjah.
The nights on which it is obligatory to stay in Mina, during their day time rami is performed.
It must be done in person; hiring an agent is not permitted, except for a good reason. It is obligatory to start rami of the First Jamrah, then the Middle and finally the Last. All conditions are same as has already been mentioned in the stoning of Jamrah al-Aqabah.