Islam and the Quran

Circumambulation of a woman during her period

Question: Can a woman circumambulate the Kaaba (tawaf) during her period?

There are some narrations on the prohibition of a woman’s circumambulation of the Kaaba during her period.

Narrated from Aisha:

“I came to Mecca while I was on my period. I didn’t circumambulate the Kaaba. I didn’t visit Safa and Marwah. I reported this to the Prophet. He said: Do what other pilgrims do, but don’t circumambulate the Kaaba until you are cleaned.” (Bukhari, Hajj/Pilgrimage 81; also Muslim and Ahmad ibn Hanbal)

“Women on period and postnatal women clean themselves, wear the ihram and do all the necessary things of pilgrimage besides circumambulating the Kaaba.” (Tirmidhi, Hajj/Pilgrimage 98; also Abu Dawud and Ahmad ibn Hanbal)

One of the scholars, Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya states (in brief): “In the first times, Muslim pilgrims did not return to their homes until all members of the group finished their duties of pilgrimage. For example, if a woman from the group was on period, the other members used to wait for her. When she gets cleaned and circumambulates the Kaaba, then the group returns altogether. However, the situation is different today. When a group comes for pilgrimage to Mecca from some part of the world, their schedule and returning dates are often very strict. They do not necessarily possess the opportunity to wait for other members of the group. This creates a compelling reason (darurah) for the women. So if the group is to be in Mecca until the woman is cleaned, she will have a chance to make the circumambulation after cleaning herself. If the group will not be in Mecca that long and she faces the risk of returning home without circumambulation of the Kaaba, she makes it while she is on her period.” (Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, I’laam al-Muwaqqi’een, Beirut, 1986, v.3, p.25-40)

Our opinion is the same as this.

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