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Who is allowed to pray Qasr Namaz in Mina, Arafat and Muzdhalifa?

If any person has the intention of staying in Makkah for 15 days or more excluding his stay in Mina, Arafat and Muzdhalifa then he won’t do Qasr otherwise he has to do Qasr if he is staying in Makkah for less than 15 days.

Tawaf Ziyaarah can be done before the 10th Zul-Hijjah?

Firstly, Tawaf Ziyara cannot be done before the tenth, under any reason or justification. In the event of extreme rush, it can be delayed after the tenth.

Rules regarding the cutting of hair during Hajj and Umrah?

Firstly, we wish that Allah makes your trip a blessed one and accept your prayers and worship, Ameen.

Men have two options as they perform Hajj or Umrah; either they can shave their head (which is called Halq) or they can trim their hair (which is called Qasr). The Prophet prayed for those who shaved their head and those who trim it, so both are permissible (Sunan Tirmidhi, Book of Hajj, Hadith No. 837).

It is better to perform Qasr each and every time, and then shave it the last time you perform the Umrah. Do not symbolically snip a few hairs from each side as Qasr. Instead, perform the Qasr at a barber and ensure he does cut an equal amount all over the head.

What are the rules regarding Ihram (Ports of Miqaat)?

When a person performs Hajj or Umrah, there are certain ports outside Makkah from where the person must ensure he or she is in a state of Ihram. These ports are called Miqaat, precisely. The following are the names and locations of the Mawaaqits:

Zul-Hulaifah; this is for those coming from the direction of Madinah Sharif.
Yalamlam; this is for those coming from the direction of Yemen, India and Pakistan.
Juhfah; this is for those coming from the direction of Egypt, North Africa and Europe.
Qaran ul-Manazil; this is for those coming from the direction of Najd.
Zaat Irq; this is for those coming from the direction of Iraq.
As you rightly pointed out, The people already in Makkah, go to the outskirts of Makkah to Masjid Aisha where they wear the Ihram.

What is the minimum age for Hajj?

If the children have definitely reached the age of puberty and they perform the Hajj under the guardianship of their parents, then this will count as the compulsory Hajj. When the children are older, they are encouraged to visit the House of Allah again and again, but they will not be doing so with the intention of fulfilling the obligation of Hajj; that has already been done.

Is fasting on 13th Zul-Hijjah valid?

Fasting on the 13th Zul-Hijjah is not valid because it falls on the days of Tashriq. As for the Qurbani, our religion has prescribed three days for this, the 10th, 11th and 12th.

Is the person allowed to cut hair/nails before Qurbani (sacrifice)?

When a person is performing the Hajj, then there are certain restrictions placed on what the person in the state of Ihram can and cannot do. During this state, the person cannot cut nails and cannot trim his hair. The Haji is released from the state of Ihram when the Qurbani is done, either by himself or by the appointed representative.

Note – This is particular to those performing Hajj. Such restrictions are not placed on those performing the Qurbani as part of the requirement of Eid al-Adha.

Can Nafal prayer be performed after Tawaf?

No Salah is permitted after Fajr and before sunrise, regardless of whether it is a Nafal, Sunnah, Witr or Wajib. The best option thus is to:

perform the Nafal before the two Fards of Fajr
delay the Nafal until after sunrise, and then proceed to Sa’y
he can delay the Nafal after the Sa’y if he has a valid reason, but this is not desirable. As much as possible, one should perform Hajj in the same way the Prophet did and he performed the Nafal of Tawaf after the Tawaf.

Hajj only removes minor sins?

This is not true. Minor sins can be removed through lesser acts too (Wudhu, for example) and if Hajj did only remove minor sins, then there would be no reason to highlight its great significance and reward.

Minor sins are removed from the Muslim by many means. Imam Nawawi records a Hadith in Riyadh al-Salihin, that Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘The five daily prayers and Friday prayer to the next Friday prayer and the keeping of fasts from one Ramadhan to the next atone all minor sins during this period so long as major sins are avoided.’ (Sahih Muslim)

In the commentary of the famous Hadith ‘whoever performs Hajj for the sake of Allah‚Ķreturns home like the day his mother gave birth to him’ Ibn Hajar Asqalani writes in Fath al-Bari, that, ‘In other words, he returns home without any sin. And the apparent meaning of the Hadith is that it includes the minor and major sins.’

So Hajj, when performed properly and sincerely for Allah, removes all sins.

Praying 2 Rakaats for Ihram?

The two Rakaats for the Ihram are Sunna; Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) reports that he saw the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) perform two Rakaats at Zul-Hulaifa when he wore the Ihram. We are told it is better to recite Surah Kafirun in the first Rak’at and Surah Ikhlas in the second.

Who can be a Mahram?

It is difficult to answer this question as you have not clarified what type of cousin it is. Hence, I will list the ties which a person cannot marry, As clarified by Imam al-Quduri, the classical Hanafi scholar;

A Muslim woman cannot marry the following:

Son (son’s son, daughter’s son, husband’s son by another woman)
Father (Father’s father, mother’s father)
Brother real or step (in having same father or mother)
Brother’s son
Sister’s son
Father’s brother
Mother’s brother
Foster son (through breast-feeding only)
Foster brother (through breast-feeding only)

Is it permissible to travel with my adopted sister for Umrah as their Mahram? For men.

If the sister in question has been formally adopted, then she is a Mehram, and thus she is suitable as a partner for Umrah. Please note that it will be worthwhile taking official documents to Saudi Arabia to prove she is your adopted sister in case of any problems.