A menstruating woman can perform all acts of Hajj except Tawaf which she has to do after she gains purity from her menstruation. Here, we are faced with a question of a woman who cannot wait until she attains purity and who has to leave immediately after the days of Tashreeq are over and thus will not be able to perform Tawaf Al-Ifadah which is a pillar or an essential part (rukn) of Hajj.

To give a detailed explanation on this, we would like to cite the following statement of Dr. Abdul-Karim Zidan in his book ‘Muslim Family Law:

Stating the view of Hanafis on this case, Imam Ibn Taymiyah maintains that if a woman performs Tawaf while she is in menstruation, it is acceptable but she has to slaughter a sacrificial animal (a camel or a she-camel). The simple reason for this is that purity is not a requirement for Tawaf to be acceptable. However, it is a wajib which can be compensated for by slaughtering an animal as an expiation for abandoning a rule.

However, in his personal view, Imam Ibn Taymiyah makes it clear that a menstruating woman can do all the acts of Hajj. In case of Tawaf, she can make ghusl (purifactory bath) and apply a sanitary towel. As for the texts that require purity for making Tawaf, such as the Prophet’s words: “A menstruating woman does all acts of Hajj save Tawaf.” and also the Hadith: “When one of you gets impure, he should not pray unless after purification”, these texts denote general obligation which is to be observed according to one’s ability. Almighty Allah says: (So keep your duty to Allah as best ye can.) (At-Taghabun 64:16). The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) also says: “When I command you to do something, do it according to your capacity.” (al-Bukhari and Muslim). Attaining purity is known to be a condition pertaining to Tawaf. In case of prayer, purity is more required and is considered to be a condition for accepting prayer. However, in cases of extreme necessity this condition is neglected. This involves the case of a person with enuresis who can pray and make Tawaf after making ablution.

Thus, according to Ibn Taymiyah, it is acceptable for a menstruating woman, who cannot wait in Makkah and who has to leave due to traveling arrangements, to make Tawaf. She is even not required to make slaughtering simply because when a Muslim is forced to leave a wajib (requisite), he is not required to offer slaughtering. However, if he leaves the wajib act out of negligence or if he deliberately abandons it, then he has to offer a sacrificial animal. In case of a menstruating woman in question, she finds herself in case of extreme necessity, which forces her to leave a wajib act and thus is not required to offer a slaughtered animal.

The most correct opinion in this issue is that a menstruating woman should wait in Makkah until she is pure and then makes Tawaf in case she can do this. But if it is difficult for her to stay in Makkah till she gets pure, then she can make Tawaf and, in this case, she does not have to offer a slaughtered animal as shown by Imam Ibn Taymiyah.