The ruling for not spending the night at Mina for someone who has an excuse
What is the ruling for the weak, ill or women from among the pilgrims not spending the night at Mina?
There is a scholarly debate on the obligation of spending the night at Mina on the days of tashriq [the three days following 'Eid]. The majority of scholars have maintained that it is obligatory, while Hanafi scholars maintained that it is recommended. Ibn 'Umar (may God be pleased with them both) related that 'Abbas (may God be pleased with him) sought permission from the Prophet to spend the nights of Mina at Mecca since he was responsible for supplying the pilgrims with water and the Prophet granted him permission" [Bukhari and Muslim]. Therefore, it has become known that it is a sunnah (i.e. recommended).
If we add to the above, the extreme exhaustion of the pilgrims, limited places and fear of spreading diseases, then the chosen opinion for fatwa is its non obligatory.
If we maintain the recommendation, and not obligation, of staying overnight at Mina, then the ruling for those who neglect to stay overnight for all of the three days of Mina according to some scholars is the recommendation (and not obligation) of offering a sacrifice in expiation. And whoever neglects to stay overnight for one night, is to expiate by giving out a mudd (510 grams) of food.
Hanafi scholars, and Imam Ahmed in one report, maintained that no expiation is due upon anyone who does not spend the night at Mina. Even the majority of scholars who maintained the obligatoriness of staying overnight at Mina, granted a dispensation to anyone who has a valid excuse. Such a person is not blameworthy, does not have to make expiation, nor is his action disliked. There is no doubt that fear of contracting a disease is among the legitimate excuses for not spending the night at Mina that are taken into consideration.
Imam Malik related in his Muwatta` through 'Asem Ibn 'Adiyy (may God be pleased with him) that the Prophet gave the camel shepherds permission to encamp for the night outside Mina. He allowed them to stone on yawm an-nahr, combine two days' stoning on the next day and then stone on the day of their departure.
One must not take literal readings of texts into consideration without giving thought to the Legislator's purpose or else it is considered pure obstinacy.
It is known that obligating pilgrims to stay overnight at Mina along with the other rites of hajj only increases their exhaustion and compromises their ability to ward off epidemics and fatal diseases which are easily spread in crowded areas and which have become a global phenomenon. There is no doubt that women, children, the ill and the weak are the most susceptible to such harm, so it is only fitting to extend the permissibility of omitting the overnight stay at Mina to them.