Can a single woman do hajj? What do women do in hajj?
The differences between men and women in hajj and umrah rituals are as follows and in other matters there is no difference between them.
- They can wear their daily clothes, scarf, socks, closed shoes, boots, etc. when they are in the state of ihram with the exception that they cannot cover their hands and their face.
- They do not raise their voice much when chanting takbirs, talbiyas, and invoking.
- They do not perform idtiba’ and ramal during tawaf, and harwala in sa’y.
- They do not shave their head to be released from the state of ihram, but only cut a little from the tips of their hair.
- So as not to be pushed among the men, they greet (istilam) the Black Stone from a distance.
- If they start menstruating or experiencing postpartum bleeding after tawaf al-ifada, and if they have to leave Mecca, they do not have to perform tawaf al-wada.
- Women can perform all rites of hajj when are menstruating or experiencing postpartum bleeding except tawaf and sa’y. They do not face penalty if they perform tawaf al-ifada, which is one of the essential parts of hajj after the first three days (ayyam al-nahr) of festival, and they do not face penalty if they have to leave Mecca without performing tawaf al-wada.
If a woman who is menstruating or experiencing postpartum bleeding has to go to the Plain of Arafat and perform waqfa before performing tawaf al-qudum or tawaf al-umrah;
a) If she is performing hajj al-ifrad and has entered the state of ihram just for hajj, she needs to perform tawaf al-ifada and tawaf al-wada after her menses or postpartum bleeding ends. There is no penalty upon her for abandoning tawaf al-qudum, which is a Sunnah. Her hajj becomes valid.
b) If she is performing hajj al-tamattu and has entered the state of ihram just for umrah, her state of ihram for umrah will not be invalidated if she changes her intention to hajj and chants talbiya for hajj. In such a case, her hajj will be transformed into hajj al-qiran because of combining the ihram for umrah with the ihram for hajj. She will need to sacrifice a qurban for performing hajj al-qiran. However, she is not required to perform tawaf and sa’y after hajj to make up the tawaf and sa’y for umrah that she could not perform. The tawaf and sa’y performed for hajj will be sufficient for her.
c) If she has entered the state of ihram for hajj al-qiran, her umrah will not be invalidated by performing the waqfa in the Plain of Arafat before performing the tawaf al-umrah. Her hajj will still be accepted as hajj al-qiran and she needs to offer a sacrifice for thanksgiving (qurban for shukr). She is not required to perform tawaf and sa’y after hajj to make up the tawaf and sa’y for umrah that she could not perform. The tawaf and sa’y performed for hajj will be sufficient for her.