The Forbidden Acts in Hajj and Umrah


What are the forbidden acts in hajj in shafii? What are the forbidden acts in umrah in islam? What are you not allowed to do in ihram?

There are certain acts which are forbidden to the person who enters the state of ihram for hajj or umrah. The violation of these prohibitions is called “jinayat al-hajj”. One who violates these prohibitions faces certain penalties and redemptions, which vary according to the nature of prohibition that has been violated:

A) Situations Which Invalidate Hajj

  • Not performing one of the essential acts of hajj invalidates hajj.
  • Not performing waqfa in its specified time invalidates hajj.
  • Having sexual relation intentionally after the first tahallul invalidates hajj.

If hajj becomes invalid due to violating the prohibition against having sexual relations, in addition to payment for atonement, the invalidated hajj – even if it was a supererogatory one – must be made up immediately, that is, in the following year. The atonement for this violation is to sacrifice a camel. If the pilgrim is unable to offer such a camel, he must offer a cow, which should be fit for slaughter on the Day of Sacrifice; if he cannot offer a cow that meets these specifications, he must offer seven sheep or goats fit for slaughter on the Day of Sacrifice. If he cannot offer these, either, an appraisal of their value must be done based on the prevailing prices in Mecca and the pilgrim must distribute their value as charity in the form of food (not cash) to three or more poor and needy persons within the Meccan precincts. As for the food distributed, it must consist of the types of food that may be distributed as Fast breaking zakat, which was discussed above in the section on fasting. If the pilgrim is unable to do this, either, he must fast one day for every mudd[1] of food based on the aforementioned appraisal with the intention of making the required expiation. He might say, for example, “I intend to fast tomorrow in expiation for performing sexual intercourse [before being released from a state of ritual consecration).”

The aforementioned rulings apply to a man whose hajj is invalidated by sexual intercourse; as for the woman, she is not required to offer expiation in such a situation, although her hajj is also invalidated and although she incurs guilt if she engaged in sexual relations with the realization of what she was doing, willingly and deliberately, and with the knowledge that it was forbidden. Otherwise, she incurs no guilt, nor is her hajj invalidated.

B) Prohibitions Related o Haram Precinct And Hunting

One of the forbidden actions in Mecca is to cut or pick up grass and plants in the Haram precinct. If a pilgrim cuts a big tree in the Haram area, he needs to slaughter a cow. If he cuts a small tree, he needs to offer a sheep or a goat as a sacrifice. If it is a very small tree, he needs to give charity equal to the value of that tree. One who picks grass in the Haram area and if the grass will not grow again, he has to give charity equal to the value of the grass.

It is not permissible for the pilgrims to hunt before being released from the state of ihram. If they violate this prohibition, they face a penalty. This matter is expressed in the Qur’an as follows: “O you who believe! Kill not game while in the sacred precincts or in pilgrim garb. If any of you do so intentionally, the compensation is an offering, brought to the Ka’ba, of a domestic animal equivalent to the one he killed, as adjudged by two just men among you; or by way of atonement, the feeding of the indigent; or its equivalent in fasts: that he may taste of the penalty of his deed. Allah forgives what is past: for repetition Allah will exact from him the penalty. For Allah is Exalted, and Lord of Retribution.”[2]

If a pilgrim hunts a wild terrestrial animal such as a gazelle, a wild cow, etc. or shows a hunter where to find such an animal, or if he has such an animal under his power and harms it or causes it to become ill, he must offer the compensation explained below. This is based upon the condition that:

  1. The animal concerned has done no harm to the pilgrim’s person or wealth, as might occur with a hyena, for example, and
  2. The animal has caused no harm by contaminating the pilgrim’s belongings with ritual impurity, eating his food, or blocking his path, as could be done by massive numbers of locusts. If someone kills an animal in this situation, he is not required to offer a fidyah or guarantee. [3]

If a jaza’ (compensation) is required and if the game animal has an equivalent among domestic animals, as is the case with doves, pigeons and turtledoves, one must offer a goat or a sheep for each bird; for a male or female ostrich, the jaza’ is a camel; for a wild cow or a wild ass, the jaza’ due is a domestic cow; for a male antelope, the jaza’ required is a goat while for a female antelope, the jaza’ required is a she-goat. For a gazelle, the jaza’ is a young goat; for a rabbit, a young female goat after it has grown stronger but before it has reached a year of age; for a jerboa or a hyrax, a four-month-old she-goat; for a hyena, a ram; and for a fox, a goat or a sheep. In other words, an animal which looks like the hunted animal in form and shape is determined as compensation. The fidyah owed will consist of one of the following three options: (a) slaughtering the game animal’s domestic equivalent and donating it as charity to the poor within the Meccan precincts, (b) purchasing food equal to the animal’s appraised value [the food being of the types which are acceptable as Fast breaking charity]and donating it as charity to the poor within the Meccan precincts, or (c) fasting one day for each mudd [4] of food that would have been donated as charity.

The foregoing applies to situations in which the game animal has a domestic equivalent; in the case of game that has no domestic equivalent, such as locusts and game birds other than doves and the like, the person who harmed or killed it may choose between the following two options:

(a) Donating food equal in value to the game animal to the poor within the Meccan precincts, or

(b) Fasting one day for each mudd of food that would have been donated. No distinction is made in such situations between game animals inside and outside the Meccan precincts so long as the person who harmed or killed them is in a state of ritual consecration; otherwise, these rulings apply only to game which is inside the Meccan precincts.

C) Situations That Reuqire The Offering of a Sheep Or Goat As Sacrifice

  1. Performing hajj al-tamattu. This is because the pilgrim who performs hajj al-tamattu will be exempt from the prohibitions of ihram for a while after performing umrah, therefore he should offer a sacrifice.
  2. Performing hajj al-qiran. This is because one who performs hajj al-qiran will not be performing hajj al-ifrad.
  3. Fawat (missing hajj): If one who enters the state of ihram to perform hajj does not perform waqfa in the Plain of Arafat even for a moment between the Noon Prayer time on the day before the festival until the dawn breaks on the festival day, he will miss the hajj. If a pilgrim misses standing on ‘Arafah, he must be released from his ihram by performing a ‘umrah, i.e., by completing whatever rites of the hajj remains other than the standing in Arafat with the intention of being released from ihram. In one of his sayings related to this issue, Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) said as follows, “One who misses hajj because of not performing waqfa in the Plain of Arafat in time must offer a sacrifice. Let such a person change his hajj into umrah, be released from the state of ihram and make up his hajj in the following year.”

The pilgrim concerned must make it up the following year even if he missed it due to a legitimate excuse, even if the original hajj was voluntary, even if he cannot [presently]afford it, and even if he is 48 miles or more away from Mecca. In addition to making up the hajj which he missed, the pilgrim must offer a blood sacrifice like that required by someone engaging in tamattu’. He must postpone slaughtering it until the time when he makes up the hajj the following year.

  1. Ihsar: means the prevention of someone who has entered the state of ihram from completing the rites of the pilgrimage (be it the ‘umrah or the hajj). Situations like an enemy attack or being imprisoned, which prevents the pilgrim from making the journey, performing tawaf, or waqfa can be the reasons of ihsar.

The person who is prevented from performing waqfa in the Plain of Arafat and tawaf (muhsar) is released from the state of ihram by offering a hady sacrifice. The place where the muhsar will offer blood sacrifice (hady) is to slaughter his hady in the place in which he was detained, although it is considered preferable to send the animal onto the Sacred Mosque.

  1. To commit one of the actions that requires a jaza (compensation) which are as follows:
  • One who throws pebbles which are three or more less than the required number,
  • One who does not spend the nights of tashriq days in Mina without legitimate excuse,
  • One who does not spend the night in Muzdalifa without a legitimate excuse,
  • One who passes the limits of miqat without entering the state of ihram without a legitimate excuse,
  • One who does not perform tawaf al-wada without a legitimate excuse,
  • Those who do not perform waqfa in the Plain of Arafat in its specific time without being mahsur have to offer a blood sacrifice as compensation.

Those who cannot afford to offer a goat or sheep as sacrifice must fast three days in hajj and seven more days after returning home.

D) Situations Which Require Fidya (Redemption)

Fidya or ‘redemption’ can be one of the following: a) the slaughter of a goat or a sheep, which meets the specifications that must be met by animals slaughtered on the Day of Sacrifice, b) feeding six needy persons, or c) fasting three days. One may choose one of these options even if he has the necessary financial means.

A redemption is required for the following actions:

  1. The use of perfume. If someone applies perfume during the hajj, he must slaughter a goat or a sheep whose meat he then distributes as charity. Rubbing one’s head hair, beard, or other facial hair with any sort of fat, be it oil, animal fat, or anything else, and whether it is mixed with a pleasant fragrance or not.
  2. Wearing a tunic, trousers, boots, a turban, or some other item which contains stitching or which wraps all the way around one’s body. As for women, they are not to remove their regular clothing, and the only part of their bodies they are required to reveal is the face. If a woman conceals her face with a covering that touches her face directly, she is required to offer a fidyah.
  3. Shaving off one’s hair or trimming one’s toenails or fingernails. Whoever does any of these things must offer a fidyah. Moreover, there is no difference in connection with hair removal between shaving it off, shortening it with scissors, using a razor blade, plucking it, or burning it off, whether one removes all of it or part of it, provided that what is removed amounts to part or all of three or more hairs.
  1. Actions involved in sexual foreplay, such as kissing and skin-to skin contact with a woman of the sort that invalidates one’s ritual ablutions. Such actions are forbidden to a pilgrim until his final release from the state of ritual consecration, and if he engages in any of them prior to this, he must offer a redemption. As for looking with sensual desire or kissing with a barrier [between the two people], this requires no redemption.

[1] Mudd as a measurement unit: When a normal size person opens both of his hands and takes wheat in his hands, the amount of wheat in his hands is called one mudd.

[2] Al-Maida, 5: 95.


[4] Mudd as a measurement unit: When a normal size person opens both of his hands and takes wheat in his hands, the amount of wheat in his hands is called one mudd.

Source: Fiqh1 (According To The Shafi’i School Of Islamic Law), Erkam Publications

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