Praise be to Allaah.
Firstly we should draw
attention to the ignorance of many of the pilgrims who perform Hajj and
‘Umrah, which leads them to commit acts that are forbidden in ihraam, or to
do acts of worship in ways that are not prescribed. A pilgrim may spend a
great deal of money, especially if he is coming from a far-off land, then
lose his reward or have it reduced because he is ignorant of what is
required of him.
Hence everyone who wants to perform the rituals must learn
the rulings on them before he starts to do them. It was narrated that Anas
(may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace
and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Seeking knowledge is a duty on
every Muslim.” Narrated by Ibn Maajah and others; classed as saheeh by
al-Albaani in Takhreej Mushkilat al-Faqar.
Imam Ahmad said that what this means is that each person must
seek the knowledge that he needs, namely how to do wudoo’ and pray, how to
pay zakaah for those who have wealth, and how to do Hajj etc. (Jaami’
Bayaan al-‘Ilm by Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, 1/52).
Al-Hasan ibn Shaqeeq said: I asked ‘Abd-Allaah ibn
al-Mubaarak: How much knowledge should people seek to acquire? He said: No
one should start to do anything without knowledge; he should ask and learn.
This is what people have to do with regard to acquiring knowledge. (al-Faqeeh
wa’l-Mutafaqqih by al-Baghdaadi, 45). Hence Imam al-Bukhaari (may Allaah
have mercy on him) included a chapter in his Saheeh entitled: Baab
al-‘ilm qabla al-‘qawl wa’l-‘aml (Learning before speaking and acting).
This does not mean that everyone has to memorize by heart a
book that discusses the rituals of Hajj, rather what every Muslim must do is
to learn whatever he needs to know, according to his situation, either by
himself, if he is qualified to do so, or by asking scholars, or by
accompanying someone who can show him what to do and teach him whatever he
should do whenever he needs to know.
With regard to the things that are forbidden during ihraam,
these have been explained in the answer to question no.
But if a person does one of these things out of ignorance
that Allaah had forbidden that when one is in a state of ihraam, then he
does not have to do anything (i.e., offer fidyah etc), because Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning):
“And there is no sin on
you concerning that in which you made a mistake, except in regard to what
your hearts deliberately intend. And Allaah is Ever Oft‑Forgiving, Most
But if he knew that this thing he did is one of the things
that are forbidden when one is in a state of ihraam, but he did not realize
the consequences of this action, then Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have
mercy on him) said:
This is not an excuse, because a person is excused if he was
unaware of the ruling and did not know that this thing is haraam. As for the
one who was unaware of the consequences of doing this action, that is not an
excuse. Hence if a married man knew that zina is haraam, and he is an adult
of sound mind and he was married or previously-married, but he went ahead
and committed zina, then he must be stoned. If he says, ‘I did not know that
the hadd punishment (for zina) is stoning, and if I had known that the hadd
punishment is stoning I would not have done it,’ then we say to him that
this is not an excuse, and you must be stoned, even if you did not know what
the consequences of zina are. Hence when the man who had had intercourse
during the day in Ramadaan came to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) to ask him what he should do, the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told him that he had to
offer expiation, even though at the time when he was having intercourse he
was unaware of what he would have to do. This indicates that if a person
commits a sin and transgresses the sacred limits of Allaah, then he must
face the consequences of that sin, even if he did not know of its effects
when he did it.