The pleasure of the Hajj
Source: Al-Nass Wal-Ijtihad, Text and Interpretation
By: Allama Abdul Husayn Sharafuddin al-Musawi
The Prophet (S) had practiced this pleasure 45 during the rite of the hajj. He had ordered the Muslims to practice it after he had been ordered of it by Allah. Allah has said in the sura of al-Baqara: “Whoever profits by combining the visit (umra) with the pilgrimage (should take) what offering is easy to obtain; but he who cannot find (any offering) should fast for three days during the pilgrimage and for seven days when you return; these (make) ten (days) complete; this is for him whose family is not present in the Sacred Mosque” (Qur’an 2:196).
Ibn Abdul Birr al-Qurtubi said: “There is no disagreement between the ulama that this verse (whoever profits by combining the umra46 with the pilgrimage…) refers to the umra that is practiced during the months of the hajj but before the (great) hajj.” 47 Umra is obligatory on the people who live forty-eight miles from Mecca from every direction.
In this kind of hajj, pleasure (sleeping with one’s wife or practicing temporary marriage) has been permitted during the period between the two ihrams 48 (of umra and great hajj). It was this thing that had been disliked by Umar and some of his followers.
Abu Musa al-Ash’ari permitted this pleasure in his fatwas. One day a man said to him: “Beware of some of your fatwas. You do not know what Ameerul Mo'mineen (Umar) has changed (of verdicts).” When Abu Musa met Umar later on, he asked him about that and Umar said: “I have known that the Prophet (S) and his companions have practiced this pleasure but I feared that the men might remain (sleeping) with their wives until they would go to offer the hajj while their (…) dripping.”49
In another way from Abu Musa that Umar had said: “…it is the Sunna50 of the Messenger of Allah, but I fear that they (the pilgrims) may remain sleeping with their women and then they go to offer the hajj with them (keeping on doing this).”51
Abu Nadhra narrated: “Ibn Abbas permitted people to practice this pleasure but Ibn az-Zubayr forbade people from it. I mentioned this to Jabir bin Abdullah and he said: “We have been practicing this pleasure during the time of the Prophet (S) but when Umar became the caliph, he said: “Allah has permitted his Messenger to do things as He liked and the Qur'an has been revealed as it has been! Offer the hajj and the umra as Allah has ordered you52 but you have to stop sleeping with women. Whenever I find a man practicing temporary marriage, I will stone him.”53
One day he (Umar) made a speech before people from above the minbar and he said frankly: “Two pleasures were practiced at the time of the Messenger of Allah but I prohibit them and punish for them; the pleasure of the hajj (sexual intercourse during the hajj) and temporary marriage.”54
In another tradition Umar said: “O people, there were three things that had been practiced at the time of the Prophet (S) but I prohibit them and punish for them; the pleasure of the hajj, temporary marriage and (hayya ala khayril amal) 55” 56
All of Ahlul Bayt (as) and all of their followers have denied this doing of Umar and many of the great companions have not agreed with him on this.
Muslim mentioned in his Sahih57 a tradition narrated by Shaqeeq saying: “Othman forbade people from practicing this pleasure but Ali permitted people to practice it. Othman said something to Ali and then Ali said to him: “O Othman, you know that we have practiced this pleasure at the time of the Messenger of Allah.” Othman said: “Yes, we have but we were afraid!”
Muslim also mentioned in his Sahih that Sa’eed bin al-Musayyab had said: “Once Ali and Othman met together in Asfan. Othman forbade people from temporary marriage and umra. Ali said to him: “Why do you forbid something that the Messenger of Allah has done?” Othman said: “Let us alone!” Ali said: “I cannot let you…”
Ghunaym bin Qays said - as in Sahih of Muslim: “Once I asked Sa’d bin Abu Waqqas about temporary marriage (during umra) and he said: “We have practiced it but this man 58 disbelieves in the Lord of the Throne.”
Abul Ala’ narrated from Mutrif that Imran bin Husayn had said to him: “I shall tell you something today that Allah may avail you of later on. Know that the Messenger of Allah (S) has assigned the tenth (of zakat) to a group of his relatives. Neither a verse has been revealed to annul that nor has the Prophet (S) prohibited it until he has left to the better world. But then everyone followed his own opinion.”
Hameed bin Hilal narrated that Mutrif had said: “Once Imran bin Husayn said to me: “I shall tell you something that Allah may benefit you with. The Messenger of Allah (S) offered umra and hajj together and he did not forbid people from doing that, and no verse was revealed to prohibit it until he died…”
Qatada narrated that Mutrif had said: “Imran bin Husayn sent for me when he became ill before his death. He said to me: “I am going to tell you some traditions that Allah may benefit you with after me. If I remain alive, keep them secret and if I die you can tell them if you like. Know that the Messenger of Allah (S) has offered umra and hajj together and then neither a Qur’anic verse was revealed to annul it nor did the Prophet (S) prohibit it. Then a man 59 determined according to his own opinion as he liked.”
From another way Qatada narrated from Mutrif bin ash-Shakheer that Imran bin Husayn had said: “Know that the Messenger of Allah has offered umra and hajj together and then neither the Qur'an nor the Prophet (S) have forbidden us from doing it. Then a man determined according to his own opinion as he liked.”
Imran bin Muslim narrated from Abu Raja’ that Imran bin Husayn had said: “The verse of “the pleasure of the hajj” was revealed in the Qur'an and the Messenger of Allah (S) ordered us to practice it (the pleasure). Neither did the Qur'an annul this verse nor did the Prophet (S) forbid us from practicing it until he died. Then a man determined according to his own opinion as he liked.”
This tradition has been mentioned by Muslim in his Sahih in many other ways narrated from Imran bin Hussayn but we do not want to mention them all. Al-Bukhari has also mentioned this tradition of Imran bin Husayn in his Sahih vol.1 p.187.
Malik bin Anass has mentioned in his Muwatta’ 60 a tradition narrated by Muhammad bin Abdullah bin al-Harith bin Nawfal bin Abdul Muttalib that he had heard Sa’d bin Abu Waqqas and ad-Dhahhak bin Qayss mentioning the pleasure of umra in the year when Mo’awiya bin Abu Sufyan had gone to offer the hajj. Ad-Dhahhak bin Qays said: “No one does that (practicing the pleasure) unless he is unaware of the verdicts of Allah.” Sa’d said: “How bad you said, O my nephew!” Ad-Dhahhak said: “Umar bin al-Khattab has prohibited that.” Sa’d said: “The Messenger of Allah (S) has practiced it and we have practiced it at his time.”61
Ahmad mentioned in his Musnad that Ibn Abbas had said: “The Prophet (S) has practiced the pleasure of hajj.” Urwa bin az-Zubayr said: “Abu Bakr and Umar have prohibited it.” Ibn Abbas asked: “What did Urwa say?” It was said: “He said that Abu Bakr and Umar had prohibited the pleasure of hajj.” Ibn Abbas said: “I see that they will perish. I say that the Prophet (S) has practiced it and they say that Abu Bakr and Umar have prohibited it!”62
Ayyoob narrated: “Once Urwa said to Ibn Abbas: “Do you not fear Allah? Why do you permit the pleasure (temporary marriage)? Ibn Abbas said: “Ask your mother, O Urwa!” Urwa said: “Abu Bakr and Umar did not practice it.” Ibn Abbas said: “By Allah, I see that you will not repent until Allah will torture you. We tell you from the Prophet (S) and you tell us from Abu Bakr and Umar!...”63
Muslim mentioned in his Sahih64 a tradition talking about someone who had asked Ibn Abbas about the pleasure of hajj and Ibn Abbas permitted it whereas Ibn az-Zubayr prohibited it. Ibn Abbas said: “This is the mother of Ibn az-Zubayr narrating that the Messenger of Allah (S) has permitted it. You can go to her.” The man said: “We went to her. She was a blind fat woman. She said: “Yes, the Messenger of Allah (S) has permitted it.”
At-Tarmithi mentioned in his Sahih 65 that once Abdullah bin Umar had been asked about the pleasure of hajj and he said that it had been permissible. The asker said to him: “But your father has prohibited it!” Abdullah bin Umar said: “Do you see that if my father has prohibited it and the Messenger of Allah (S) has practiced it, we should follow my father or follow the Messenger of Allah (S)?” the man said: “We should follow the Messenger of Allah (S).” Abdullah bin Umar said: “The Messenger of Allah (S) has practiced it.” There are many other true traditions in the books of Hadith denying this act of Umar (when prohibiting the pleasure of hajj).
In the Farewell Hajj (the last hajj of the Prophet (S)) there was a clear evidence on this matter. Refer to Sahih of Muslim 66 to see that the Prophet (S) had announced it before more than one hundred Muslims; men and women of the umma, who had come from different countries to offer the hajj with the Prophet (S).
When the Prophet (S) announced that, Suraqa bin Malik bin Khath’am got up and asked: “O Messenger of Allah, is this pleasure for this year only or forever?” The Prophet (S) interlaced his fingers and said: “Umra has entered into the hajj, umra has entered into the hajj forever, forever.”
Imam ‘Ali (as) came from Yemen (during the season of the hajj) and found that Fatima (sa) had put off her ihram and put on colored clothes and darkened her eyes with kohl. He denied that. She said: “My father has ordered me to do that.” Imam Ali (S) went to the Prophet (S) asking him about the matter. The Prophet (S) said: “She is true. She is true…”
45. During offering the umra (minor hajj) and the great hajj together (in the same year), the Muslims, after carrying out some rituals of the hajj, may sleep with their wives or practice temporary marriage. This is called “the pleasure of the hajj”.
46. Umra is the minor hajj.
47. Sharh Sahih Muslim by an-Nawawi, vol.7 p.46.
48. Ihram is the sacred state into which a Muslim must enter before performing a pilgrimage, during which sexual intercourse, shaving, cutting one's nails, and several other actions are forbidden.
49. Musnad of Ahmad, vol.1p. 50.
50. He means the pleasure during the hajj.
51. Musnad of Ahmad, vol.1 p.49.
52. By Allah, I do not know what to say! Has the Prophet (S) offered the hajj and umra unlike what Allah has ordered him? Was Umar more aware of the orders and verdicts of Allah than the Prophet (S)?!
53. Sahih of Muslim, vol.1 p.467.
54. This famous saying of Umar has been mentioned by most of the historians. Refer to Tafseer of ar-Razi when interpreting the verse no.196 of the sura of al-Baqara (2) and the verse no. 24 of the sura of an-Nisa’ (4).
55. Come on to the best of deeds! It is a part of azan.
56. Sharh at-Tajreed by al-Qoushaji.
57. Vol.1 p.472-475.
58. He meant Mo’awiya bin Abu Sufyan, who had forbidden people from practicing the pleasure of umra following the same way of Umar and Othman.
59. He means Umar.
60. Vol. 1, p.130.
61. Refer to Sharh Muwatta’ Malik by az-Zarqani, vol.2 p.178 to see the explanation of the author about this tradition.
62. Refer to Jami’ Bayan al-Ilm by Ibn Abdul Birr and Mukhtasar Jami’ Bayan al-Ilm by al-Muhammisani p.226.
64. Vol.1, p.479.
65. Vol.1, p.157.
66. Vol.1, p.157.