The spiritual journey of Hajj is always very strenuous and full of exertion as it involves a lot of walking and physical endurance. In such extreme situations, it is much likely in women that the onset of periods takes place either early or late. There are certain religious Rites of Hajj that are mandatory and require to be performed in the state of purity and Wudhu. Therefore, a woman needs to be free of menstrual bleeding to perform these duties. While one could be flexible on dates while booking Umrah packages since Umrah can be performed at any time all around the year. However, the Five Days of Hajj are constant and pilgrims are required to assemble in Mecca on the set Hajj days and it creates a lot of stress for women if it clashes with their menstrual cycle.
Women are allowed to go on Hajj and Umrah during their menstrual cycle. It is permitted to enter Ihram in the state of menstruation. Women during their periods are not permitted to perform Tawaf but can perform all the other procedures of Hajj. There are two Tawafs in Hajj that are obligatory: Tawaf uz Ziyarah and Tawaf ul Wida. Tawaf ul Wida is not obligatory for menstruating women but Tawaf ul Ziyarah is, which may be performed once her periods are over.
[Read Also: Advice for Women on Periods during Hajj]
According to a hadith narrated by Ayesha (RA) who said,
‘We went out with the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) with the intention of Hajj. When he was in Sarif I began menstruating. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) entered in my tent and found me weeping. He said: ‘What is the matter with you? Has your menstruation begun?’ I said: ‘Yes.’ He said: ‘This is something that Allah has decreed for the daughters of Adam. Do what the pilgrims do but do not perform Tawaf around the House of Allah until you are clean.’
(Bukhari & Muslim)
If a woman is menstruating while leaving for Hajj, she should assume Ihram after taking a bath (ghusl) or make Wudhu. However, she should not pray the two raka’t nafl prayer but form intention of Hajj and recite Talbiyah. Menstruating women cannot enter Masjid-e-Haram, so she should remain in her accommodation in Makkah and wait for it to stop. She can enter Masjid-e-Haram after taking the bath of purification. If the menstruation continues until the 8th Dhul Hijjah (the first day of Hajj), the woman should proceed to Mina and complete all the other rituals of Hajj without performing Tawaf. She should not perform Salah in Mina, Muzdalifah, Arafat or anywhere but continue to recite Tasbih, Talbiyah etc. She should perform Tawaf only after getting clean.
If a woman intended for Hajj-e-Tamattu or Hajj-e-Qiran but could not perform Umrah due to menstruation, in such a case, the woman should continue to Mina to perform the other Hajj rituals and her Hajj will be valid. However, she would have to make up for the Umrah by performing Qadha Umrah and also offer a sacrifice, although, it can be offered anytime in her life.
If a woman starts menstruating while performing Tawaf, she should immediately stop doing Tawaf and go out of the Masjid Al Haram. As Sa’ey is performed after Tawaf, she cannot perform Sa’ey as well. She should perform Tawaf and Sa’ey only after taking the bath of purification. If menses begin just after completing Tawaf, a woman should move on to perform Sa’ey which is permitted in this condition.
[Read Also: Menstrual Issues During Umrah]
Hajj is an inevitable ardent desire of every Muslim regardless of being a male or a female. In case such concerns like menstrual issues arise with female pilgrims, there are only two alternatives left. One is to delay the ongoing trip but it is rarely possible as the itineraries of Hujjaj, planned by Hajj Umrah travel agents, are very tight which often include return tickets right after the completion of Hajj as planned at the beginning of the trip. The other way out for this situation with females is hormonal medication. Hormonal medicines are taken to suppress the periods during the Hajj time. Such medicines delay the onset of periods to facilitate the performance of Hajj rituals including circumambulation (Tawaf) of the holy Kabaah.
[Read Also: Useful Umrah Tips For Women]
Here are the three most commonly used options to stop menstruation:
Option 1: Once a day contraceptive Pill
It involves taking one tablet daily for 21 days followed by a seven-day break during which menstrual bleeding may occur. To prevent menstruation, you have to take this tablet without any break. Take special care to ensure that you take the pill at the same time each day. Set an alarm to ensure regularity.
Option 2: Progestogen – Only Pill
Often referred to as mini-pill, this medication can be used by the women over the age of 35 and those who are obese or have a history of blood clots. These tablets are also effective but carry a high failure rate. About 40% of mini-pill users will have no bleeding, another 40% will have something like a monthly cycle and roughly 20% will have menstrual bleeding to an extent. Therefore, it is undesirable for Hajj days.
Option 3: Progesterone only Tablet
It is somewhat similar to option 2 but it is not a contraceptive. The medication should be taken three times a day with a time difference of 8 hours. For the best chances of success, it should be taken a few days before the period date and should be continued until the need to be free from menstruation is no longer necessary. The bleeding will occur soon after a woman stops taking the pill.
The medications are advised to be taken under the supervision of a doctor. You should know that there is still a chance of failure in the above-mentioned methods. In such a case, medical help should be sought.
So, if you are planning for Hajj or Umrah travel and about to book Hajj/Umrah packages, such health issues should be kept in mind and your trip should be planned accordingly. In the above article, we have discussed how this gynaecological issue with females could be avoided to undertake a befitting and spiritual Hajj / Umrah experience.
Note: It is recommended to consult and seek an opinion from scholars on doubtful Islamic matters.