Firstly, the desirability of making dua', remembering Allah, or reciting Qur'an.
Secondly, the desirability of touching the black stone or kissing it if it’s possible, on condition that a woman does not crowd the men in doing so.
The same ruling applies to the Yemeni corner.
Thirdly, the permissibility of speaking if it’s necessary or with befitting speech.
Fourthly, the undesirability of eating or holding the urge to urinate, or pass wind, or having a strong desire for food and other things of this nature.
The Difference in Tawaf between men and women
In general, the method of performing Tawaf is the same for men and women. The agreed upon rule is that what is mentioned concerning the men applies to the women so long as there is no specific proof which shows that her ruling is different.
To review the aspects of Tawaf that apply to both men and women, one may refer to the many Fiqh books on this subject. Our concern here is to illustrate the differences which are as follows:
Women should not jog in Tawaf
At the beginning of Tawaf, it is sunnah for the men to jog, known in Arabic as Raml, the first three circumbulations around the Ka'bah. The woman is not required to do this.
Ibn Al-Mundhir said, “There is consensus amongst the scholars that the woman should not jog in Tawaf. Instead, she should do the Tawaf walking.”
Al-Idtibaa' - uncovering the right shoulder
It is logically clear that a woman should not uncover her right shoulder when performing Tawaf. Imam An-Nawawee said, “Uncovering the right shoulder is Sunnah for the men and not permissible for the women. There is no difference of opinion on this matter.”
Nearing the Ka'bah
It is recommended that the women should not crowd themselves near the wall of the Ka'bah, crushing themselves in to the men. Instead, she should perform her Tawaf on the outer circles of the Tawaf, away from the crowd.
This is recommended as a protection for her. However, if she is performing Tawaf at a time when the crowd is light, she may draw as near as she can to the Ka'bah.
This ruling is based on an incident that happened in which Umm Salamah - the wife of Allah's Messenger, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam - complained of a sickness. He instructed her to perform the Tawaf riding on a camel, behind the people.
Ibn Hajar, explaining this Hadith, said, “He instructed her such because the Sunnah for the women is that they should distance themselves from the men in Tawaf.”
Performing Tawaf at Night
The scholars mentioned that it is desirable for a woman to delay her Tawaf until night if she arrives in Makkah during the day. The reason, they say, is that this would be more protective for her and others since the crowd would be lighter at that time.
This ruling is illustrated by that which Imam al-Bukhaaree narrated from `Ataa' who said; Aisha - radiyAllahu anha- use to perform tawaf away from the men, not crowding them. A woman said to her, “Let us go, O Umm Al-Mumineen, to touch the black stone.” Aisha declined until night came and then they went for tawaf. Whenever they wished to perform tawaf they stood there until the crowd of men would be on their way out.
However, if she feels that she may be nearing her monthly cycle, it is better that she performs the Tawaf as soon as she can so that she does not miss it.
Crowding to kiss the black stone
It is desirable that a woman should not crowd with the men to kiss the black stone. Instead, she should wave to it with her hand just like the person who cannot reach it.
Imam An-Nawawee said, “Our Ulumaa' have said that it is not desirable for a woman to kiss the black stone, nor to touch it, except at those times when the Tawaf area is light or empty, like during the night or at other times. This is because in her crowding the men it would bring hardship upon herself and hardship upon the men.”
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