Using hoverboard in Tawaaf and Sa'y
Fatwa No: 343297

Question

Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuhu, Shaykh. I have pain in my heels and knees. Is it permissible for me (being a woman) to use a hoverboard wheel that exists these days? Families use these to go to the park and so on? (Please note, praise be to Allaah, that I am covered from head to toe and wear a loose abaya). Also, can I use it in Makkah and Madeenah while going to the masjid or in its outer courtyard? And, if needed, inside the masjid as well? Also, in performing 'Umrah, especially in during Sa'y (going back and forth between Mount Safa and Mount Marwah) as it is a long distance and my feet hurt. I even pray the obligatory prayers while sitting on a tool, I cannot even sit down and pray. (And in Tawaaf [circumambulation] as well if I could use it as I do not know if it works in a crowded area or not?) Please advise, Shaykh, on when I can use it and when I cannot. If not, I may think of an electric wheel chair; however those are not cheap, and I would be using my Hajj savings to buy the needed items, Allaah willing. Please advise on what is best for me to have and on what is permissible even though it may not be the best option. May Allaah reward you, Shaykh.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

As far as we know, it is difficult to use the hoverboard and maintain balance on it except with effort. It is hard for the woman in sound health to use it, let alone a woman in your condition who suffers pain in the heels and knees.

In general, it is permissible to perform Tawaaf while riding for a valid excuse, and this Tawaaf is valid according to the agreement of scholars. Ibn Qudamah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote:

We do not know of any disagreement among the scholars regarding the validity of the Tawaaf while riding if the pilgrim has a valid excuse. Ibn ‘Abbaas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him said, ‘The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, performed Tawaaf in the Farewell Hajj on a camel and touched the corner (Black Stone) with a crooked stick.’ Umm Salamah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her said, ‘I complained to the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, of my ailment, whereupon he said, ‘Perform Tawaaf beyond the people (not close to the Ka'bah) while riding.” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim] Jaabir  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him said, ‘The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, performed Tawaaf around the House (the Ka’bah) and made Sa‘y between Safa and Marwah on his Camel so that the people could see him and ask him questions (about Hajj) for the people were crowding around him.’

If you cannot afford the electric wheelchair, you can look for other alternatives, like the regular wheelchair, for instance.

Allah knows best.

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