*NEITHER ROME NOR THE GANGES, MAKKAH IS BEST(2nd Part).*
Lastly there was a uproar in the local and international press about some exceptional cases of sexual harassments during the rites circumambulation of tawaaf in Makkah around the sacred Ka`bah. First of all these exceptional seldom cases are very far from the rampant harassments that have happened in the Christian priests and also the taboos that exist between Hinduism.
I have done personal research on the number of cases of harassment during a tawaaf and have concluded that it limits only very seldom cases.
Nontheless know that these seldom cases only arose because of the crowd difficulty. Know that Islam seclude man and woman in every sphere of life including rituals. Women are supposed to do their prayers at home/hotel and men in the Masjid/haram. When the crowd was not consistent, there was a segregation between man and woman. Eye witness of old persons says that there was a metal rail separating men and women circumambulation or tawaaf aroud the Ka`bah. Furthermore, because of crowd difficulty, these rails and other segregation limits have been removed for security reasons.
In Makkah, the segregation issue started more than 1400 years ago. The beloved prophet Muhammad Swalallahou Alaihi Wasallam advised his wife to circumambulate and do tawaaf while men were praying maghrib. And then he would lengthen the maghrib salaah.(Bukhari) This denote that jamaat of women was not of importance as it is for men. And also that women can leave out jamaat completely and pray individually. Note that this was 3 months before the prophet left this world. Practically the last practice recorded around these issues.
عن أم سلمة قالت
شكوت إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أني أشتكي فقال طوفي من وراء الناس وأنت راكبة فطفت ورسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يصلي إلى جنب البيت يقرأ بالطور وكتاب مسطور
The beloved prophet Muhammad Swalallahou `Alaihi Wasallam clearly prohibited to touch any unlawful female. In fact he Swalallahou `Alaihi Wasallam said that it is better that one`s head be poked with an iron than touching an unlawful female.(Tabrani;Baihaqi)
حَدَّثَنَا شَدَّادُ بن سَعِيدٍ الرَّاسِبِيُّ، قَالَ: سَمِعْتُ يَزِيدَ بن عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بن الشِّخِّيرِ، يَقُولُ: سَمِعْتُ مَعْقِلَ بن يَسَارٍ، يَقُولُ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ:”لأَنْ يُطْعَنَ فِي رَأْسِ أَحَدِكُمْ بِمِخْيَطٍ مِنْ حَدِيدٍ خَيْرٌ لَهُ مِنْ أَنْ يَمَسَّ امْرَأَةً لا تَحِلُّ لَهُ”
The beloved prophet Swalallahou Alaihi Wasallam said:”I don’t shake hands with women.”(Ibn Majah). That is why muslim men and women refuse to shake hands with opposite genders.
Nontheless, ulamas advised that men and women should not go through the crowded circumambulation except for their umrahs and hajj tawaafs. Nafil tawaafs can be done in non peak time. We advise the ladies to go to haram at night shift and during non peak time hours. Nonetheless, Alhamdulillah, with the barkah of the feet of my mother, i have visited the harams with the family several times. I have asked my close relatives and friends and non of them reported such discomforts of harassment around the Ka`bah. This means that the incident reported in the media is negligible, but should still be finely corrected.
The awe and sanctity of Makkah turns its inhabitants into a regular prayer addicted citizens that becomes the most pious and the most respected. Although a negligible exceptional incidents may persist. But nothing compared to the Christian priests and the Hinduism unresolved taboos.