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Important Questions on Hajj

Please find below a number of questions related to hajj, which were initially submitted by Br. Azhar Zaidi, the Program Coordinator for Darussalaam, Canada. I am posting them with the answers for the benefit of all hujjaaj. I pray to Allah to accept our hajj and help us all return home safe and sound of body, mind and spirit.

Question
When approaching Meeqaat or at the Meeqaat, does one have to pray 2 rak’ahs  for assuming ihraam, be it for‘umrah or hajj and be it in the aircraft or on the ground?  Is this sunnah?  Can one simply make the intention and say the talbiyah?

Answer
Majority of scholars are of the view that praying two rak’ahs before ihraam is strongly recommended. They base this ruling on the evidence in the source that the Prophet (peace be upon him) assumed ihraam for hajj following the salah as reported in the famous hadith of Jabir b. Abd Allah, one of the prominent companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) who had accompanied him. We also read in another report that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said in Dhul hulafyah, “Amessenger from my Lord came to me last night and said, ‘Pray in this blessed valley. He also ordered me to combine ‘umrah and hajj.”

Based on the above evidence most of the scholars consider it a sunnah to pray two rak’ahs before ihraam. However, if it is the time of fardh salah, one may assume ihraamimmediately afterwards, as we can learn from the hadith of Jabir.

While saying this, it is also important to note: The above rule does not apply to women who are menstruating or in a post-natal state (following delivery). In their case, they are not allowed to pray; rather they should simply recite talbiyah and follow it up with dhikr of their choice.

Before concluding, I should also point out: Although it is recommended to assume ihraam after the prayer, it is not an essential condition or integral of either hajj or ‘umrah; and, therefore, the hajj or ‘umrah is still considered as valid if one were to omit the prayer.

Question
During the state of ihraam, is it wrong to use scented soap since it is being used for cleaning and not for adornment, similar to using scented tooth-paste or mouthwash to clean your teeth which is permitted.

Answer
The majority of schools and scholars are of the view that, while in a state of ihraam, we are to shun the use of perfumes or scented soaps or shampoos.  However, there is a minoritythat permits the use of such products under the pretext that they are not called perfumes.  The ruling of the majority seems to be stronger for we cannot doubt that certain soaps and shampoos have the same effects as those of perfumes. Therefore, there is no reason to consider a simple perfume as nonpermissive while allowing the use of scented soaps and shampoos as permissible.

Furthermore, the wisdom behind such prohibitions is clear; namely, to ensure that the pilgrims shun the extra comforts they are used to. The Prophet (peace be upon him)describes the pilgrim as untidy and unkept in his appearance.

Therefore, we are best advised to shun such comforts until we have achieved the first release, after which, we are allowed to make use of such comforts.

Question
After arriving in Makkah in ihraam, does one have to perform the ‘umrahright away even if he/she is very tired?  Can he/she get some rest/sleep even if staying in a hotel next to the Haram?

Answer
It is fine to take some rest and recuperate after the tedious journey in order to ensure that we perform the rituals of ‘umrah with energy. The Prophet (peace be upon him) told us in regard to prayer: “Pray according to the level of your energy.”  He alsoadvised us to make dhikr and du’awhile we are mentally and spiritually awake.  So we can extend the same to performing tawaaf and sa’y, for, he himself has told us that such rites are instituted solely for the purpose of celebrating the remembrance of Allah.

Question
Can one do extra ‘umrah after completing the initial ‘umrah?  Or is it recommended to do extra ‘umrah after the hajj?

Answer
There is no need to stop people from doing this; for we cannot forbid what Allah and His Messenger did not forbid. If a person wants to make use of the opportunity to do ‘umrahs on behalf of his parents or other close relatives or even friends he/she may do so. To forbid them is akin to being rigid. The Prophet (peace be upon him) never stopped people from doing optional acts of virtue or devotions; rather he always encouraged them.

If the Prophet (peace be upon him) told ‘A’ishah to go to Tan’eem to do ‘umrah, while it would have been possible for her to come back from Madinah easily, how could we stop those who come from overseas to make use of the same concession?

Question
Some of the hotels close to the Haramhave prayer areas inside the hotel overlooking the Haramwhere one is able to follow the imamof the Haram.  How does this compare to the performance of the prayers in the actual Haram?  Is it still considered 100,000 times the reward for praying?

Answer
As long as the prayer linesfollow the lines of the mosque, even if there is an unavoidable gap or wall to separate them, we are allowed to do so, according to the standard rule in fiqh. However, it is best for the worshiper to join the lines directly flowing from the mosque. Where there is a valid excuse or hardship, rules are always flexible in the shari’ah. If, therefore, one is left to choose between praying alone or following the imam of the Haram, he may choose the latter—provided, he can do so by looking at the lines of worshippers.

Question
Some of the scholars have said that the suburbs of Makkah are also considered part of the precints of the Haram with the same rewards for praying as if praying in the Haram.  Please comment.

Answer
This is definitely stretching the point too far; if it had been the case, then the Prophet (peace be upon him) would have allowed people to pray anywhere in the precincts of theHaram; which he never did, as he always insisted that they should come to the mosque.

By stretching the issue too far, one may end up emptying the main prayer of worshippers as everyone may choose to pray in his own comfortable five star hotels to avoid mixing with the hujjaaj. We need to remind ourselves that one of the wisdom of the hajj is to help Muslims interact with the global community in order to nurture a deep sense of brotherhood.

Question
Are the hujjaaj considered as travellers and as such allowed to shorten and combine their prayers if not following a local imamin salaah?

Answer
If you are not following a local imam, you may pray qasr as long as you are considered a traveler, but jam’ is not recommended--unless you need to do so because of exhaustion, or, while you are actually traveling.
While agreeing on the concession for qasrfor a traveler, the jurists disagree in regard to the details:

The HanafiSchool, for instance, maintains the position that if a person decides to stay more than fifteen days he should pray full; otherwise, he should pray qasr.Maliki, Shafi and HanbaliSchools, on the other hand, generally share the view that if a person decides to stay more than four days, he should pray full.

A third view is held by a number of companions and scholars, who belong to various schools: They say that since there is no firm evidence to stipulate a fixed number of days, a person is considered atraveler as long as he did not decide to settle down.

It is allowed for those who belong to other schools to follow the HanafiSchool on this issue. And that would not constitute a violation of the rules of following a madhhab--as long as they are doing so because of a real hardship or specific circumstances warranting it.

Question
Are you allowed to combine salaat al-‘asr with salaat al-jumu’ah? (Some say the permission to combine is for salaat al-dhuhr and salaat al-‘asr and not salaat al-jumu’ah and salaat al-'asr).

Answer
There is nothing in the sources or the authentic fiqh to disallow it as long as he or she is a traveler. Jumu’ah is not obligatory on a traveler, but if he does pray with the local, he is absolved of his duty to pray dhuhr, and thus he can make use of the concession of a traveler, if he chooses to join ‘asr with it.

A haji should seize every opportunity to pray in the Haram as much as possible for thus he will be earningmany times more rewards than praying in the hotel.

This should not mean that a person who is feeling exhausted, and therefore, needs to rest cannot make use of the concessions of a traveller. Jumu’ah day during the hajj is one such case. For usually one has to go early to theHaramin order to get a place to pray; hence one would be exhausted when he returns to hotel. Therefore, he/she is allowed to make use of the concessions of the travelers,and pray jam’ and qasr; thus they would be able to come to pray at least the maghrib and ishain the Haramwith full concentration.

Question
If a local leads you in salah, should he shorten the salah in the days of hajjas is recommended for the hujjaaj?

Answer
The locals are not to pray qasr, according to the rules of the majority of scholars; it is best and safest for us to adhere to this ruling. However, there is a minority who is of the view that during the hajj even the locals are to pray qasr. If a person who adheres to the minority view leads the hujjaaj in hajj, they don't need to refrain from praying behind him. Otherwise, it is best that the hujjaajthat are from outside the city be led by one of their own. In this way, we are following the safest rule, which is the best course to follow in matters of ‘ibaadaat, unless we are facing a genuine hardship whence the rigor of the law can be relaxed, according to the authentic principles of jurisprudence.

Question
If you go the Makkah first, perform your ‘umrahthen go to Madinah, do you have to perform tawaaf al-wada’ before departing for Madinah, even though the plan is to return to Makkah for performing hajj?

Answer
There is no such requirement as there is no evidence in the sources that the Prophet (peace be upon him) ever asked any of his companions who came to Makkah for ‘umrahs or any other purpose to perform tawaafal-wada before leaving Makkah. He only ordered those who came for hajj to perform tawaafal-wadaa’. If it had been necessary he would have said so, and it would have been recorded, for it is a common issue that everyone needs to know clearly. Neither does one find any report that the companions who visited Makkah for ‘umrah were in the habit of performing tawaafal-wadaa’ as a rule.

Question
If you go to Makkah at first and perform the ‘umrah, then go to Madinah (outside the Meeqaat), then return to Makkah on the 5th Dhul hijjah(2-3 days before Hajj), do you:

  • Have to perform another ‘umrahas you had gone outside the meeqaat?
  • Have to enter the state of ihraamat the meeqaat with the intention of Hajj, even though hajjis 2-3 days away?
  • Have the option of returning without being in the state of ihraam even though you will pass the meeqaat again?  Can you assume ihraam on the 8th dhul Hijjah from your place of residence and go to Mena?

Answer
There is virtually no evidence for the stipulation that a person who has performed ‘umrah of tamattu’-- if he were to go out to Madinah or anywhere outside theHaram-- needs to come back to Makkah in ihraam unless he is going directly to Mina on the eight of dhul hijjah, in which case he needs to do so not for an extra ‘umrah but for hajj.

I think people confuse two things: Firstly, according to the majority of scholars, from all the four schools as well as the scholars of traditions, those who intend to perform hajj should not cross the meeqaat except in a state of ihraam. What follows from this is that those who do ‘umrah before hajj in the months of hajj need to offer sacrifice as they have performed tamattu’.  It is well known that everyone who chooses to perform either tamattu’ or qiraan is required to offer sacrifice; while someone who chooses to do ifraadis not required to do so.

However, it seems that many confuse the above with the issue of someone who have done ‘umrah of tamattu’ and has freed himself from ihraam. There is nothing in the sources to make it obligatory on them if they were to return from Madinah prior to the day of tarwiyyah (i.e. the 8th of dhul hijjah) to assume ihraam for ‘umrah or hajj from Madinah. They may choose to assume ihraam from Makkah as long as they are not heading straight to Mina on the 8thof dhul hijjah.

There is no need for us to insist on this as we find no valid evidence for it in the sources. It goes against the spirit of tayseer(ease/comfort) characteristic of theshari’ah. And mind you by insisting on this condition one is contributing to unnecessary crowding in the Haram making it next to impossible for those who are performing their essential rites of ‘umrah of tamattu’to do so.

Likewise, no one says that if a person--who has done tamattu’ and has thus released himself from ihraam before hajj, if he were to go out of the boundary of Haram (to Jeddah or anywhere else, for that matter)-- must return to Makkah in ihraam.

Question
What are the conditions allowing one to leave Muzdalifah in the middle of the night?

Answer
Ideally, everyone should stay in Muzdalifah except those who are sick, weak, or with validreasons-- such as those who are accompanying women or sickly people or rendering essential services for hujjaaj. There is evidence in the sources for all of these.

As for others, they should stay. However, there are differences of opinion among the scholars of various schools in regard to defining the requirements of the stay, while they all agree the sunnah is to stay until the morning and pray fajr there, for that was what the Prophet (peace be upon him) did.

However, almost all the scholars agree that if a person did not stay all night but only spent a part of the night after midnight, then his/her hajj is valid, and by doing this they are not guilty of any violation.
In conclusion, it is best to stay in Muzdalifah, if one can, until fajr. But, if there are valid reasons such as unforeseen circumstances related to transportation or movement of people due to overcrowding, etc., it is enough to spend at least some part the night there, especiallyaftermidnight

Question
Can a mahram also leave Muzdalifahif others for whom he is the mahram leave in the middle of the night?

Answer
There is no question that those who are accompanying women as their mahrams can leave with them. The Prophet (peace be upon him) sent Ibn Abbas with the women of his family, he sent them ahead after midnight to Mina. Ibn Abbas, though a teenager at the time, had reached puberty.

Question
Does one have to pickup all the pebbles for Mena from Muzdalifah or can the pebbles be picked up from the camp or nearby in Mena?

Answer
We don’t need to pick up the pebbles (for all of thee three or four days of pelting) from Muẓdalifah; rather it is enough to pick the pebbls for the first day. That is what the Prophet (peace be upon him) had done.

Having said this, if a person chooses to pick the pebbles for all the three days of pelting from Muzdalifh, we cannot object to it.

Question
Can those returning from Muzdalifahin the middle of night throw their pebbles at jamrat al-‘aqabah in the middle of the night (before sunrise), and then cut / shave their hair (before sunrise)?

Answer
According to the majority, the time for the pelting on the day of sacrificestarts after sunrise. This is based on a report from Ibn Abbas that the Prophet (peace be upon him) while sending the members of his family after the midnight told them to do the pelting  aftersunrise.

There is,however, another view endorsed by some scholars, from both the Shafi and Hanbali Schools; they say: pelting can be done before fajr for those who are allowed to leave Muzdalifah. This opinion is based on the practice of Umm Salamah, the Prophet’s wife, who pelted before fajr; the report from her states: “The Prophet (peace be upon him)  sent me with those members of his family, he sent from Muzdalifah on the night before sacrifice, and so I pelted the jamrah at night and went to Makkah where I prayed fajr and then I returned to Mina.” There is another report from Asma to the same effect, and when asked why she had pelted before fajr, she replied, “The Prophet (peace be upon him) had allowed it for women.”

Based on these reports, we cannot stop those who have left Muzdalifh for valid reasons from pelting before fajr. In these times when the pelting often takes a heavy toll on the pilgrims because of the unprecedented crowds, there is no reason to limit this concession to women but it can very be extended to all those with valid excuses.

Question
If throwing the pebbles at the jamraat, which is a symbolic action, your pebble does not reach the pillar do you need to throw that pebble again?

Answer
As long as one has thown the pebbles aiming at the pillar, he does not need to worry whether it has actually hit the pillar or not, and this is the virtual consensus among scholars. So there is no need to be rigid about it.

However, this should not be taken to mean that one does not have to aim at the pillar while throwing the pebbles. He should try to do so, otherwise it is not valid.

Question
Does one have to ensure that his/her animal sacrifice is completed before removing oneself from ihraam?  Or can one remove oneself from ihraam after throwing the pebbles at jamrat al-‘aqabah and shaving/cutting one's hair?  Dar El Salam usually arranges for sacrifice through the Al Rajih bank where they pay and get a coupon for their sacrifice.  The bank, in conjunction with the Islamic Development Bank, manages slaughter houses which start the slaughter process from sunrise of 10th dhul Hijjah to sunset of 13th dhul Hijjah and the meat is then shipped to poor Muslim countries after hajj.  This is sponsored by the Saudi government so the meat is not wasted.  However, one does not know the time when one's own animal will be sacrificed.

Answer
According to the majority of schools, a haji achieves the first release from ihraam after pelting and shaving or cutting the hair. There is a report from ‘A’ishah, the beloved wife of the Prophet (peace be upon him), that he said, “Once you have pelted the stone pillar (at aqabah) and shaved (or cut your hair) you are allowed to use scent and wear clothes and freed of all other restrictions except the intimate relationship with your wives.”

Hanafi School, however, is of the view that shaving or cutting the hair should follow sacrifice; and if the order is not followed, one is required to pay the fidyah (expiation) of sacrifice.
The majority of schools,however, are of the view that there is no need to observe the order.

There are well attested traditions from the Prophet (peace be upon him) that clearly indicate the flexibility: Imam Bukhari reports on the authority of Ibn Abbas that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked by a number of people about sacrifice, shaving and pelting (i.e. about advancing them or delaying them) and his reply to everyone was, ‘never mind; never mind.’ In other words, a person is perfectly allowed to pelt and shave regardless of whether the sacrifice is done or not. Once a person has shaved or cut the hair, then he/she has achieved the first release from ihraam.

In conclusion: It is absolutely permissible for us to release ourselves from ihraam after pelting and shaving or cutting the hair. There is no need to asceratin the fact whether the sacrifice has already been performed or not.

Question
Can those throwing the pebbles on the last day of hajj(12th dhul Hijjah), do so in the morning before zawaal?  Can it be before sunrise or after sunrise or not at all before zawaal?

Answer
The majority of scholars are of the view that the time-- for pelting proper during the 11th, 12, 13th -- begins afterzawaal (i.e.after the sun has passed the meridian).

However, Imam Abu Hanifah and a number of other scholars consider it as permissible to pelt before zawaal: i.e., after the arrival of dawn. This view has been adopted by a number of later scholars of the Shafi School as well. And in the modern times, scholars such as Mustafa al-Zarqa, Qardawi, Ali Jumu’ah, etc., have ruled in favor of this ruling in view of the overcrowding in hajjin our times.

It is also important to remember this view can be traced back to the earliest times; as it was held by eminent jurists of the generation of successors such as Ata and Ta’oos, who had been recognized as experts in the jurisprudence of hajj.

In conclusion, those who wish to leave Mina on the 12th can pelt before zawaal. By doing so they are not guilty of any violation.

Question
Can the men throwing pebbles at the jamraat delay it until after sunset, especially if they have womenfolk with them?  Or do the men have to throw the pebbles before sunset?

Answer
Throwing pebbles at the jamraat can be done at night, although ideally it is to be done before sunset. According to the Shafi School, the permissible time for throwing at the ‘aqabah extends to the sunset of the last day of tashriq (i.e.13th of dhul hijjah), while according to the Hanafi School, the time extends up to the fajr of the next day.

The pelting in the next three days, according to the majority, begins from zawaal to the fajr of the next day. However, according to the Shafi School, the time extends all the way upto the sunset of the 13th. However, these scholars insist that a person who has skipped an earlier day’s pelting must make up for it first before he throws for the current day.

The report from Ibn Abbas states that someone told the Prophet (peace be upon him): “I threw the pebbles after the evening?’, the Prophet (peace be upon him) replied, “Never mind.” Also as indicated earlier, as Ibn Abbas explicitly on all issues of advancing or delaying the various rituals on the day of sacrifice, the Prophet’s ready response was, ‘laa haraj meaning there is no need to worry as it is perfectly acceptable to do so.

Based on such precedents, scholars such as the late Mustafa al-Zarqa, Qaradawi, Ali Jumu’ah as well as the majority of scholars from Saudi Arabia consider it as permissible to throw the pebbles at night.

Question
If you cannot throw the pebbles at the jamraat in the prescribed time, is it better to do it outside the time period or should one delegate the throwing of pebbles to someone as such that it is done within the prescribed time?

Answer
As indicated in my earlier answer, it is best that those who are healthyand are able to do so without hardshipdo it for themselves instead of delegating the task. If they couldn’t do it on the previous day they may do it on thenext day. But in this case, as stated before, they should make up for the earlier one before doing the current one.

Question
Is there specific times for throwing pebbles at the jamraat and if not, what evidence do we have for it from the Sunnah or the Sahabah (the Prophet’s companions)?

Answer
As mentioned earlier, we cannot restrict the permissible time for throwing pebbles at the jamraat. We find abundant evidence in all the authentic schools to prove this point. Most of the eminent scholars today are also in favor of adopting this position.

Furthermore, these scholars also point out that a personbelonging to any of the valid schools can follow the ruling of another school on such issues because of the fundamental principles of the shair’ah that stresses the importance of saving lives, and removal of hardship.

The latitude and flexibility on the issue of throwing pebbles has been based on the Prophetic precedents and the views of scholars from among the companions as well as the famous jurists of manaasik(jurisprudence of hajj) such as Ata and Ta’oos and many others. Imam Ibn Abideen, one of the outstanding jurists of the Hanafi School, also favors the removal of hardship as a valid ground for the relaxation of rulings on such cases.

Question
Does one have to perform tawaaf al-ifaadahbefore the 12th Dhul Hijjah or can one do it after as long as it is completed before leaving from Makkah?

Answer
Although ideally the time for tawaaf al-ifaadah is on the day of sacrifice, it can be postponed even up to the last days of Dhul hijjah.

Question
Can one combine tawaaf al-ifaadah with tawaafal-wada’?If so, under what circumstance?

Answer
It is permissible to do so, if a person did not do tawaaf al-ifaadahearlier. In fact, it was done by a number of Prophet’s companions as reported by Imam Malik: “I have received the information that a number of companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) would go to Makkah only after completing their stay and pelting rituals in Mina. They would then go to Makkah and perform tawaf al-ifadah. Having done so, they would head back home on the mounts that were ready at the doors of the Haram.”

It is clear from this report that these companions combined tawaaf al-ifaadah and tawaaf al-wadaa’.

Question
Can one perform tawaaf al-wada’in the morning, if there is rush expected, and then depart from Makkah later that evening?

Answer
Ideally,tawaafal-wada’is the last thing to be done in Makkah according to the majority of schools. However, the Hanafi School is of the view that it does not have to be thought of in this way; rather it is the final ritual of hajj; therefore, according to them, it is permissible for a person to engage in any other business, should there be any need for him to do so. As we have indicated in our previous answers, where there is a hardship, we can adopt the easier of the two rulings.

Question
What are the prohibitions for one after having completed the tawaaf al-wada’?

Answer
According to the majority, tawaaf al-wada’should be postponed until such time when the pilgrim is ready to leave Makkah. So after having done it, one should not be engaged in normal business transactions such as buying and selling, etc.  But in case of hardship, one may adoptthe Hanafi postion as mentioned earlier.

Question
If a woman is in her menstrual cycle during the manaasik of Hajj, how can she complete her tawaaf al-ifaadah and tawaaf al-wadaa’ if she has to depart from Saudi Arabia, right after the manaasikof Hajj?

Answer
Women who are in their period are exempt from tawaafal-wadaa’ if they have done the tawaaf al-ifaadah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) allowed women in menses to leave Makkah without the farewell tawaaf. We also learn from the traditions that the Prophet’s wife Aishah did not do tawaafal-wadaa’-- even though she had been clean; as the tawaaf she had performed for the extra ‘umrah after hajj was deemed as sufficient for her.

As for women who did not perform tawaafal-ifaadahearlier, if they cannot stay in Makkah as they must leave with the group, then they should make use of the ruling which allows them to perform tawaaf while still menstruating. It is based on the principle in the shari'ah which can be stated as follows: If a person cannot do a certain condition or essential of an act of worship, he/she is excused from fulfilling the same; and in spite of that, the act of worship they have performed is deemed as perfectly valid.

Therefore, it is obvious that in the case of women who are not able to observe the condition of purity (i.e. freedom from menses) for tawaaf, the condition of purity should be lifted. This is the view of Imam Ibn Taymiyyah, and it has been endorsed by others as well.

Imam Ibn Abideen of Hanafi School has also offered a similar ruling on issues of the same nature.

Question
Is it okay for a woman to take pills before Hajj that would stop her from menstruating during the Hajj?

Answer
Some scholars consider it permissible to do so. However, I would say it should only be done by following the expert medical advice in order to ensure that there are no other complicationsinvolved in it.

Question
Is it a requirement for the woman to expose her face and hands during Tawaaf and Sa’y?

Answer
Ibn Umar reports: “I heard the Messenger of Allah forbid women in ihraam from wearing gloves, face veils, as well as clothes dyed in…saffron. They may, however, wear anything else, including colored ones, gowns, long sleeve shirts, boots, etc., etc.”

The scholars have deduced from the above that women in ihraam are to uncover their faces and hands. They, however, agree that they may draw something on their faces temporarily while they are being stared at by men, but they should remove it as soon as they pass such men.

Question
Can a woman wear socks during Tawaaf and Sa’y?

Answer
There is no evidence in the sources forbidding women from wearing socks while doing tawaaf or sa’y.

Question
There are many opinions regarding the cutting of hair of women as part of releasing them from Ihraam(cutting the length of one fingertip, cutting some from the front, top and back of the head, etc.).  Please provide the correct position on this issue and the source for your position.

Answer
As Imam Ibn Hajar states, “According to the consensus of scholars, women are only required to cut their hair. There is a hadith reported by Abu Dawud on the authority of Ibn Umar that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said that women are not to shave their heads, but need only to cut it.”

Now as to the exact definition of cutting the hair, it is reported from Ibn Umar that the Prophet said, “A woman in ihraam (in order to release herself from it) should gather her hair and cut only as much as the size of a few fingers.”

Question
For a woman travelling without mahram(because we are going as a group), is it required for her to always stick with at least one or more woman when she goes outside her room (to the Haram, shopping, eating in the restaurant, etc.)?

Answer
The rationale for the rule forbidding women from traveling without a mahram is to safeguard her honor and dignity in a strange environment outside her home territory. So it is best that she takes all the precautions for her safety. Having said that there is no need to insist that she cannot venture out from her hotel (if close by) to theHaram by herself if she is comfortable in going alone. Women used to come to the Prophet’s mosque without escorts during the Prophet’s time.

Having said this, I would still insist that for reasons of her own security and health, it is always advisable for a woman not to go out except accompanied by one or two women, or in a group.

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