One day in Saudi Arabia, my Sudanese friend mentioned that he was going to perform Hajj on behalf of his penniless friend in Sudan. When I insisted he was not permitted to do that, he was surprised and didn’t believe me.
I told him that his young friend in Sudan must wait until he had a sufficient amount of money, and then he must perform the Hajj for himself.
All Sane, Healthy Adults With Money Must Do One Obligatory Hajj
Now, every Muslim knows that all sane, healthy, financially capable adult Muslim males or females must perform Hajj at least one time in their lives since it is one of the five important pillars of Islam.
So, if you are an adult, are mentally sound, in good health, and have the financial means then you are obliged to go for Hajj as soon as you possibly can.
If you satisfy the few conditions above, you are not permitted to appoint and send someone else on your behalf for the obligatory Hajj (Hajj Al Badal) called changing places for performing the Hajj.
What Must I Do If I Don’t Complete Hajj Or Umrah?
Deceased, very old, infirm Muslims or those with incurable illnesses (physical or mental) are exempted from performing Hajj and CAN appoint a proxy (male or female) on their behalf. Also, those falling ill during obligatory Hajj and unable to complete it must sacrifice a sheep and do Hajj again.
However, they are not obligated to perform Umrah since it is a voluntary form of worship.
So, How Do I Know If I Should Perform Hajj or Not?
To know if you should perform the Hajj, read the following categories in the table below then decide which one applies to your circumstances:
|General Circumstances||Actions/Expiation (Fidiyah)|
|1. I Am Unable to Attend Hajj||Appoint a Proxy To Do Hajj on Your Behalf|
|2. I Am Able To Attend Hajj, But Choose Not To Attend||Make Repentance Then Perform Hajj, ASAP|
|3. I Am Able To Attend Hajj, But Delay Going||Make Repentance Then Perform Hajj, ASAP|
|4. I Attended Hajj But Was Not Able To Complete It||Sacrifice A Sheep And Repeat The Hajj IF It Is An Obligatory One|
|5. I Attended Hajj But Stopped Or Invalidated Parts Of It||Make Repentance (Tawba), Sacrifice One Sheep Or More, And Repeat Hajj IF It Is An Obligatory One.|
The proofs for each of the rulings are not given in the article but can be accessed and read by clicking on the relevant link in the Useful References And Links section at the bottom of the page.
1. I Am Unable to Attend Hajj
A: I Passed Away
After We Die And Our Families Want To Perform Hajj On Our Behalf. Should And Can They?
You are permitted to perform Hajj on behalf of your deceased parents if they were unable to perform it themselves during their lifetime whether they gave permission to do it or not in their will.
If your parents had already performed Hajj during their lifetime, you are permitted, but there is no need for you to perform another Hajj on their behalf.
In this case, it is better for you to perform supplication ‘Duaa’ for them.
You are permitted to offer Hajj on their behalf, but better for you to do Hajj just for yourself and with your family, give charity (Sadaqah) on your own behalf, perform Jihad and spend money on building mosques and the like on your own behalf.
Like your parents, you will need the blessings (Ajar) after your own death.
Covering The Costs of Proxy Hajj
The Hanafi and Malaki schools (Madhabs) state that you do not need to take the money for the proxy Hajj from the deceased person’s inheritance since Hajj as an act of worship ceases to be obligatory when a person dies.
However, the Hanbali and Shaafi scholars maintain that you are obliged to deduct the Hajj expenses for the deceased person’s estate before the inheritance has been divided.
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B: I Passed Away But Had Not Reached The Age Of Puberty
Since puberty is one of the conditions for performing Hajj, there is no requirement for anyone to make Hajj by proxy for a deceased person who did not reach the age of puberty.
C: I Am Elderly
If an elderly person is not physically able, he/she is exempted from having to perform the Hajj.
However, being an elderly person does not necessarily exempt you from performing Hajj. The pilgrimage welcomes the elderly and provides facilities such as electronic cars and wheels chairs for them at the Haram mosque.
However, the Hajj rites demand that you are physically fit and able. The elderly need more personal care and if they are weak, will struggle to adequately perform all the rites.
Before coming, you should arrange for the proper care of an elderly Hajj pilgrim that includes constant physical assistance, walking aids, medicines, first aid, and transport from site to site.
D: I Have An Incurable Or Debilitating Illness
Muslims suffering from chronic illnesses or a permanent disability that result in immobility and impede physical movement and strength are exempted from performing Hajj.
In Mina, Muzdalifah, and the plains of Arafat the pilgrimage requires physical agility and stamina. Hajj cannot be easily undertaken in a wheelchair or when there is a serious physical disability.
E: I Am Mentally Sick Or Insane
Muslims who are insane or those who are not of sound mind are also exempted from the performance of Hajj.
However, if the person’s poor mental condition does not especially affect their reasoning and day-to-day life then he is obliged to go for Hajj. Likewise, he/she should pray and fast in the usual way.
In the case that the brother/sister loses his mind only from time to time and then later returns to being sound of mind and lucidity, then he/she is obliged to perform Hajj, to pray, and fast as any other normal Muslim would be expected to do.
The decision to go for Hajj in the first place would depend entirely on the ability of the afflicted person to maintain his mental reasoning, the proper use of medication, and the ability of those around him/her to assist during an unanticipated psychotic episode.
2. I Am Able to Attend Hajj But Choose Not To Do It
A: In The Past, I Was Able, But Neglected To. Now I Am Not Able To Perform Hajj Due To Poor Health.
If your health problem is only temporary and later improves enough so that you are able to perform the Hajj. then you should do it.
If it is a permanent health issue that will not get better over time, then make sincere repentance to Allah (SWT). Nothing else is required of you!
Your repentance will erase the sin of not completing Hajj as long as it was sincere.
B: I Have Enough Money For Hajj, But Purposely Choose Not To Perform It
Not performing Hajj when you have the means and where there is no impediment to its completion is a serious matter indeed.
Hajj is the fifth pillar or column of Islam and is central to your life as a Muslim.
The others are testimony of faith (Shahada), formal prayers (Salat), giving charity (Zakat) and fasting (Sawm). The five pillars are what defines you as a Muslim and observance of the five pillars is obligatory on all adult Muslims.
In the Holy Quran, Allah (SWT) distances, ignores, or disowns those who neglect to perform Hajj.
In it there are clear signs and the station of Abraham; whoever enters it becomes secure. Pilgrimage to the House is a duty owed to Allah by all who can make their way to it. As for those who refuse to follow His command, surely Allah does not stand in need of anything
فِيۡهِ اٰيٰتٌ ۢ بَيِّنٰتٌ مَّقَامُ اِبۡرٰهِيۡمَۚ وَمَنۡ دَخَلَهٗ كَانَ اٰمِنًا ؕ وَلِلّٰهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الۡبَيۡتِ مَنِ اسۡتَطَاعَ اِلَيۡهِ سَبِيۡلًا ؕ وَمَنۡ كَفَرَ فَاِنَّ اللّٰهَ غَنِىٌّ عَنِ الۡعٰلَمِيۡنَ
There is also a weak Hadith that suggests that Muslims who ignore going for Hajj will die as if they are a Jew or a Christian.
If you are physically able and have the financial means, it is incumbent on you to do Hajj. You are NOT permitted to assign a proxy and have someone else do it for you on your behalf.
3. I Am Able to Attend Hajj But Delay Going
A: I Have Enough Money For Hajj And We Are Saving Up For Someone Else To Go With Me.
If only you have the means and are physically capable, you should attend Hajj at the first possible opportunity.
In slam, delaying Hajj is a sin, and putting it off till later may not be possible due to health or other circumstances that could prevent you from completing it.
Prophet Mohammed (SAW) urges Muslims not to delay going for Hajj since they may fall sick, lose their money or new circumstances could arise to prevent them.
It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas that Fadl said:
“The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘Whoever intends to perform Hajj, let him hasten to do so, for he may fall sick, lose his mount, or be faced with some need.’”:
B: I Borrowed Money for Hajj. Am I Allowed Now To Perform It?
There are no rulings in Islam that prevent you from performing Hajj if you have borrowed the money to do it.
It is also permissible to pay for Hajj installments to Hajj agencies, borrow money from friends, get salary advances and take loans from banks provided they are interest (Ribaa) free.
However, Muslims should not place an extra burden on themselves in the form of debts. You should take care of your day-to-day needs first and go for Hajj only if you have the extra finance.
However, since in the first place you are exempted from performing Hajj due to the fact that you do not have sufficient funds why burden yourself with loans.
There is no obligation on you to perform Hajj until you are both financially and physically able.
B: I Want To Pay For Hajj Using Haram Money
All scholars agree that performing Hajj out of ill-gotten gains is completely unacceptable. You are NOT permitted to use that money for this purpose.
If you fear that the money earned has been obtained by Haram means then you should refrain from using it even if you did not personally earn it yourself but are the recipient of the funds with the knowledge that the earnings are Haram.
Allah (SWT) will likely not accept your Hajj. This is because he/she has not fulfilled the conditions for making Hajj.
Indeed, Allah only accepts from the righteous [who fear Him]
C: I Did Not Pay Alms (Zakat) And Want To Use That Money Hajj
You should pay the Zakat due on that money first and then go for Hajj. It is a sin not to.
If you already have completed Hajj using money where the alms (Zakat) have not been paid, the scholars differ in their interpretation of its permissibility.
Shaafi’i scholars agree that it is sinful. Others argue that since it is related to the individual and NOT to the wealth he /she has still acted sinfully, and the Hajj is still valid.
D: I Have A Mortgage For My Home. Can I still Perform Hajj?
If you are paying a mortgage (debt), but are able to afford to pay the current installment with enough left to cover your Hajj expenses then you are permitted to attend Hajj.
If the mortgage is interest-bearing then you should sincerely repent to Allah (SWT)
4. I Attended Hajj But But Stopped Was Not Able To Complete It
A: I Became Sick In Hajj And Was Unable To Complete It. What Should I do?
If a pilgrim falls sick during Hajj and is unable to complete all the Hajj rituals he/she may leave the state of Ihram. Later they should sacrifice a sheep, a cow, or a camel (Hady).
If this is an obligatory Hajj, then he/she must repeat the Hajj another time in the following year.
However, the sick person may continue in Ihram if he/she leaves Arafat and remains in Muzdalifah without performing stoning at the Jamaraat. his/her Hajj will still be valid.
The caveat to this is that a sick person must sacrifice one animal for every one of the rites that were missed due to the illness.
5. I Attended Hajj But My Actions Caused Stopped Or Invalidated Parts Of It
A: I Started The Hajj Rites, But Before The End Of Arafat Failed To Complete It And Intentionally Came Out Of The State Of Ihram.
The pilgrim (Haji) who stops in the middle of his/her Hajj and came out of the state of Ihram should make sincere repentance to Allah (SWT).
They must also sacrifice a sheep, a cow, or a camel (Hady) for each of the rites that they had failed to perform. (See the list of violations below)
And, if the broken Hajj were an obligatory one, then he/she must repeat the Hajj another time in the following year.
There is also a list of violations and penalties for mistakes made in Hajj some that include serious punishments (Bandanah) for having sexual relations during Hajj, a majority of less serious punishments (Damm), and giving alms (Sadaqah) for violations that include improper Ihram, wearing perfumes, cutting the hair and nails and not performing any one of the Hajj rites.
Read this Hajj Violations and Penalties document for a comprehensive list of violations and the penalties required for making atonement.
How Should I Prepare For Hajj?
Do a medical check-up before Hajj. Make sure you have ample finance. Get the required Hajj Vaccines. Some include COVID-19- Meningitis, Yellow Fever, Influenza Polio. Be sure to bring an adequate supply of the medicines you need. Pack disinfectants, painkillers, soaps, Vaseline, rash creams, shampoos, and towels. Also, bring any medical reports for pre-existing conditions. Wear loose clothing, hats, parasols, etc.
Can Women Travel Alone For Hajj?
Yes, but only if she is 45 years old and above and traveling in a group. They must also provide a notarized certificate of no objection from the family certifying that they agree to her travelling alone for Hajj. Women and girls under the age of 45 must go with a guardian (Mahram).
What is The Talbiyah Or Calling Out To Allah?
From the Miqaat all the way to Mecca and during the period of Hajj and Umrah, pilgrims call out the Talbiyah to Allah (SWT).
|لَبَّيْكَ اللَّهُمَّ لَبَّيْكَ، لَبَّيْكَ لاَ شَرِيْكَ لَكَ لَبَّيْكَ، إِنَّ الْحَمْدَ وَالنِّعْمَةَ لَكَ وَالْمُلْكَ لاَشَرِيْكَ لَكَ||Labbayk Allahumma Labbayk.|
Labbayk La shareeka laka.Labbayk.
Innal-hamda wan-n’imatalaka wal-mulk.
La shareeka lak.
|Here I am at Thy service O Lord.|
Here I am.
Here I am at Thy service
Thou hast no partners.
Thine alone is All Praise
and All Bounty.
Thine alone is Sovereignty.
Thou hast no partners.”
‘Oh, Allah I Come At Your Service!
I Am Here To Serve You
There Is Non Like You And You Have No Partners.’Talbiyah Section (See Below)
Allah (SWT) hears the pilgrim call out to Him and responds because He (SWT) has asked you to come to his house by obliging you to perform Hajj and Umrah.
Useful References And Links
- Who Is Excused From Hajj-Islamic Relief
- General Health Guide for Hajj and Umrah Pilgrims-Saudi Ministry of Health
- The Jurisprudence of Hajj and Umrah – Fatwa Corner
- General Rulings On Hajj By Proxy (Hajj Al Badal) – Islam Q & A
- Permissibility of Making Hajj On Behalf Of A Deceased Person-Islam Web
- Dying Before Performing Hajj-Islam Web
- Hadith About Performing Hajj On behalf Of The Elderly– Sahih Bukhari
- Hajj With The Elderly And Disabled People– I’timaar
- An Insane Person Is Exempted From Hajj And Other Forms Of Worship-Al Feqh
- The Ruling On Mentally Sick People Praying And Fasting- Islam Q & A
- Hajj And Umrah Violations And Penalties -Hajj and Umrah Planner
- No Day of Judgment Until The Hajj As Abandoned– Sahih Bukhari- Hajj Pilgrimage
- Warning For Not Performing Hajj If One Has The Means-Hadith Answers
- Who Ever Is Not Prevented But Does Not Perform Hajj Dies As IF Were A Jew Or A Christian- Islam Q & A
- Delaying Hajj to a More Convenient Time: Possible?-About Islam
- Delaying Going Out For Hajj-Hadith Ibn Majdah 2883– Sunnah.com
- Paying For Hajj Using Loans, Credit cards and Advances-Islam Q & A
- Doing Hajj With Haram Or By Ill-Gotten Gains– Islam Q & A
- Performing Hajj On Money Whose Zakat Has Not Been Deducted-Islam Web
- Making Hajj But With A Mortgage Debt- Islam Q & A
- Falling Sick During Hajj And Unable to Complete It– I’timaar
- Hajj And Umrah Violations And Penalties -Hajj and Umrah Planner