#295: Consuming Menstruation Preventing Pills During Hajj and Umrah

Question:

Assalamualaikum ustaz. What is the ruling for taking menstruation preventing pills for female pilgrims during hajj season? Hope for an explanation.

Answer:

Waalaikumussalam wrt. wbt.,

Alhamdulillah, praise and gratitude to Allah SWT for His countless blessings for us all. Praise and salutations to our beloved Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his family, companions, and all those who follow his footsteps until the Final day.

We start with the statement of Allah SWT:

إِنَّ أَوَّلَ بَيْتٍ وُضِعَ لِلنَّاسِ لَلَّذِي بِبَكَّةَ مُبَارَكًا وَهُدًى لِّلْعَالَمِينَ

“Indeed, the first House [of worship] established for mankind was that at Makkah – blessed and a guidance for the worlds.” [1]

Allah SWT declares the eminence of Baitullah al-Haram which is the first house of worship built to worship Him on earth and it is located in Mecca, of which there are blessings and guidance in it for all mankind. [2]

Basically, a menstruating woman is permissible to perform all the acts of hajj except tawaf (circumambulation) in Baitullah. This is based on a narration of al-Qasim bin Muhammad who said, he heard Aisyah R.Anha say:


خَرَجْنَا لاَ نَرَى إِلَّا الحَجَّ، فَلَمَّا كُنَّا بِسَرِفَ حِضْتُ، فَدَخَلَ عَلَيَّ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَأَنَا أَبْكِي، قَالَ: «مَا لَكِ أَنُفِسْتِ؟ قُلْتُ: نَعَمْ، قَالَ: إِنَّ هَذَا أَمْرٌ كَتَبَهُ اللهُ عَلَى بَنَاتِ آدَمَ، فَاقْضِي مَا يَقْضِي الحَاجُّ، غَيْرَ أَنْ لاَ تَطُوفِي بِالْبَيْتِ

“We went out with the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) with no intention other than Hajj. When he was in Sarif I began menstruating. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) entered upon me and I was weeping. He said: ‘What is the matter with you? Has your Nifas begun?’ I said: ‘Yes.’ He said: ‘This is something that Allah the Mighty and Sublime has decreed for the daughters of Adam. Do what the pilgrims do but do not perform Tawaf around the House.'” [3]

In another narration, the Prophet Muhammad PBUH said to Ummul Mukminin Aisyah R.Anha:

افْعَلِي كَمَا يَفْعَلُ الْحَاجُّ غَيْرَ أَنْ لَا تَطُوفِي بِالْبَيْتِ حَتَّى تَطْهُرِي

“You should perform all that a pilgrim would do, except circumambulation until you are pure (i.e. performed Ghusl).” [4]

According to Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani, the above hadith shows the prohibition on a menstruating woman from performing tawaf until her blood stops and she has performed the obligatory bath. The reason is one of the prohibitions from performing worship shows the damage of the worship performed. In other words, tawaf performed by a menstruating woman is invalid. [5]

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali stated that menstruation doesn’t affect the manasik (acts) of hajj at all except for the tawaf in Baitullah and the prayer after it. Other than that, such as dhikr and supplication, then a menstruating woman isn’t prohibited from doing them. Included in this matter are wukuf in ‘Arafah and Muzdalifah, throwing of jamrah and supplicating to Allah SWT in these places. Furthermore, all of these matters’ permissibility is agreed upon. [6]

The ruling of taking menstruation preventing pills

First, we’ll present the opinions of jurists regarding this matter:

Al-Bahuti is of the opinion that a woman is permissible to take any permissible medicine to stop her menstruation for a while as long as it is safe and doesn’t harm her. [7]

Moreover, Ibn Hajar al-Haitami also as though signalling the permissibility of the usage of medicines for a woman to halt her menstruation so that she can complete her hajj worship by performing ifadhah tawaf, even if she starts menstruating again after the travel. [8]

Likewise, among contemporary scholars, former Saudi Arabia Grand Mufti, ‘Abd al-‘Aziz bin Baz was asked regarding the usage of pills to stop menstruation for female pilgrims during hajj. He answered that there isn’t an issue on the matter, for there are benefits and maslahah, which enable her to perform tawaf together with others (other pilgrims) and doesn’t let her company or group leave her behind. [9]

Furthermore, Da’irah al-Ifta’ al-Am al-Urduniyyah also issued an opinion that it is permissible for a woman to consume medicine to delay her menstruation. Especially if there is a necessity according to syarak such as taking them in fear that her company during the hajj and umrah process couldn’t wait for her when she is late due to her menstruation. [10]

The usage of menstruation preventing pills in performing hajj is included in the worldly matter. Moreover, this matter helps and eases women in completing the worship of hajj. In worldly aspects, the basic principle is that the origin of a ruling for something is its permissibility as long as there isn’t any evidence that states its prohibition or otherwise. This is in line with the Islamic legal maxim:

الْأَصْلُ فِي الْأَشْيَاءِ الْإِبَاحَةُ حَتَّى يَدُلُّ الدَّلِيلُ عَلَى التَّحْرِيمِ.

The original ruling of something is its permissibility until evidence which shows of its prohibition (of the matter) is presented.” [11]

Other than that, the usage of the pills is considered to be in accordance with the commandment of religion which is to ease its followers, where it facilitates the female pilgrims in completing their manasik. Allah SWT states:

يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ

“Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship,” [12]

However, if it is medically proven that the usage of such pills will harm or negatively affect its users regardless of whether it is short or long term, then the permissible ruling will change to prohibited. This follows the general statement of the Prophet PBUH:

لاَ ضَرَرَ وَلاَ ضِرَارَ

“There is no injury nor return of injury.” [13]

Conclusion

According to the above discussion and deliberation, in our opinion, the usage of menstruation preventing pills for hajj pilgrims is permissible, as long as it doesn’t lead to harm to its users. Especially, if its usage is to help and ease the female hajj pilgrims in completing their manasik. Although the pilgrim should first consult with a medical expert before consuming it.

May Allah SWT grant us all a clear understanding in religion. Amin.

Wallahu a’lam.

[1] Surah Ali ‘Imran: 96

[2] See Tafsir al-Madinah al-Munawwarah, 213-214.

[3] Narrated by al-Bukhari (294)

[4] Narrated by al-Bukhari (1650)

[5] See Fath al-Bari, 3/505.

[6] See Fath al-Bari, 2/42.

[7] See Kassyaf al-Qina‘, 1/218.

[8] See Hasyiah Ibn Hajar al-Haitami ‘ala Syarh al-Idhah fi Manasik al-Haj, pg. 387-388.

[9] See Fatawa Islamiyyah, 2/185.

[10] See https://aliftaa.jo/Question.aspx?QuestionId=863#.YcsxGGhBy3C.

[11] See al-Asybah wa al-Naza’ir oleh al-Suyuti, pg. 60.

[12] Surah al-Baqarah: 185.

[13] Narrated by Ibn Majah (2341)

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