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 Hajj (Its definition, status, ruling and conditions)

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PostSubject: Hajj (Its definition, status, ruling and conditions)   Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:17 pm

Hajj (Its definition, status, ruling and conditions)



All praise is due to Allah who made pilgrimage to His Old House an act of obedience upon the believers, from the time of Ibrahim to the time of Muhammad Ibn Abdullah (the best of the human kind), have to do it. He distinguished this glorious nation with inheriting the Glorious House till the end of time and the coming of Hereafter. He made the Honorable Ka‘bah an asylum of security, and made it a direction to which Muslims turn regardless of the place or the time. It is a sign for one nation worships one God regardless of the time or the place {Truly! This, your Ummah [Shari‘ah or religion (Islâmic Monotheism)] is one religion, and I am your Lord, therefore worship Me (Alone)} [Surat Al-Anbiya 21:92]

{إِنَّ هَذِهِ أُمَّتُكُمْ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً وَأَنَا رَبُّكُمْ فَاعْبُدُونِ} سورة الأنبياء: 92

Transliteration: Inna hathihi ommatukum ommatan wahidatan waana rabbukum faoAAbudooni

Prayers and peace of Allah be upon the Prophet of guidance and mercy who had been sent for building the best nation humanity ever known. Ka’bah became the direction to which the people of this nation turn their faces, Hajj and ‘Umra became the tourism of this nation, Labaik Allahuma Labbaik became its national anthem and the Sacred Masjid became the place of its gathering to which its people come from every deep and distant (wide) mountain highway to remember Allah by all languages and perform great act of worship by their money, bodies and hearts.

Indeed, Hajj is one of the best acts of obedience in the eyes of the Lord of the worlds. It is the supreme of good acts for expiating the sins of the sinners.

Hence, what is Hajj? What is its status in the religion? What are its conditions and basic elements?

Hajj’s definition:

In Lisan Al-Arab (Tongue of Arab): Hajj means to betake oneself to some place (i.e. ‘A person performed Hajj to us’ means that he betook himself to us.)

Hajj: To betake oneself to the Sacred Masjid with the prescribed obligatory and mandatory acts. It means betaking oneself to Ka’bah for performing specific acts, or visiting specific place in specific time with specific act; the visit is going, the specific place is Ka’bah and ‘Arafa, the specific time is the months of Hajj (i.e Shawwal, Dhul-Qidah and the first ten days of Dhul-Hijja). For every act there is specific time, and the specific act is to come while wearing Ihram intending performing Hajj to specific places.

When Hajj had been legislated?

Hajj had been enjoined at late time of the ninth year Hijjrah; it had been enjoined by the saying of Allah Almighty {And Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) to the House (Ka‘bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allâh, those who can afford the expenses (for one’s conveyance, provision and residence)} [Surat Al-Imran 3:97]

Transliteration: walillahi AAala alnnasi hijju albayti mani istataAAa ilayhi sabeelan

{وَلِلّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلاً} سورة آل عمران: 97

This verse had been revealed in the year of the delegations at late time of the ninth year; this opinion is held by the majority of the scholars.

The status of Hajj and its merits:

Hajj is one of the best deeds; Abu Hurayra (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) had been asked: “Which deed is the best?” whereupon he said: “Believing in Allah and His Messenger.” It had been said: “Then what?” He replied: “fighting in the cause of Allah.” It had been said: “Then what?” He replied: “An Accepted Hajj.” [Agreed upon]

»أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم سئل أي العمل أفضل ؟ فقال: إيمان بالله ورسوله . قيل: ثم ماذا ؟ قال: الجهاد في سبيل الله . قيل: ثم ماذا ؟ قال : حج مبرور «متفق عليه

‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated that she said: “O Messenger of Allah, we see fighting in the cause of Allah as the best deed; would not we fight?” the Prophet said: “But the accepted Hajj is better than fighting in the cause of Allah.” [Reported by Al-Bukhari]

«قلت: يا رسول الله: نرى الجهاد أفضل العمل، أفلا نجاهد؟ قال: لكنّ أفضل من الجهاد حج مبرور» رواه البخاري

Moreover, the Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) declared that the accepted Hajj has no reward except Paradise. Abu Hurayra (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “A ‘Umra is expiation for the sins committed between it and the next ‘Umra, and Hajj which is accepted will receive no other reward than Paradise.” [Agreed upon]

«العمرة إلى العمرة كفارة لما بينهما، والحج المبرور ليس له جزاء إلاّ الجنّة» متفق عليه

If the person who performs Hajj did not have sexual relation (with his wife) or commit a sin during Hajj, he would be purified from his sins and would return like his status at the day of his birth. Abu Hurayra (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that he heard the Messenger of Allah (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) says: “Whoever performs Hajj without having sexual relation (with his wife) or committing a sin (during Hajj) would return like his status at the day of his birth.” [Agreed upon]

«من حج لله، فلم يرفث ولم يفسق، رجع كيوم ولدته أمه» متفق عليه

We present our congratulations to those who perform Hajj, for having their sins forgiven. They are the visitors of Allah Almighty. Ibn Omar narrated hat the Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The person who goes to fight in the cause of Allah and the person who goes for performing Hajj and the person who goes for performing Umra are the guests of Allah; He called them and they responded to His call, they asked Him and He gave them what they asked.” [Reported by Ibn Majah, Authenticated by Al-Albani]

«الغازي في سبيل الله والحاج والمعتمر وفد الله، دعاهم فأجابوه، وسألوه فأعطاهم» أخرجه ابن ماجه، صححه الألباني

Moreover, Ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Perform Hajj and ‘Umra one after another because they exterminate poverty and sins as fire exterminates the gangue of iron, gold and silver. And Hajj which is accepted will receive no other reward than Paradise.” [Reported by At-Tirmidhi, Hasan (good) Sahih (authentic) Ghareeb (strange)]

«تابعوا بين الحج والعمرة، فإنهما ينفيان الفقر والذنوب، كما ينفي الكير خبث الحديد والذهب والفضة، وليس للحجة المبرورة ثواب إلا الجنة» رواه الترمذي، حسن صحيح غريب

The ruling of Hajj:

Scholars agreed upon the obligation of performing Hajj one time in the whole life; this is proofed by texts from the Book and the Sunnah. As for the Book; Allah says: {And Hajj (pilgrimage to Macca) to the House (Ka‘bah ) is a duty that mankind owes to Allâh, those who can afford the expenses (for one’s conveyance, provision and residence); and whoever disbelieves [i.e. denies Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca), then he is a disbeliever of Allâh], then Allâh stands not in need of any of the ‘Alamîn (mankind, jinn and all that exists)} [Surat Al-Imran: 97]

{وَلِلّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلاً وَمَن كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ الله غَنِيٌّ عَنِ الْعَالَمِينَ} سورة آل عمران: 97

Transliteration: walillahi AAala alnnasi hijju albayti mani istataAAa ilayhi sabeelan waman kafara fainna Allaha ghaniyyun AAani alAAalameena

And as for the Sunnah; the Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) says: “Islam is based on (the following) five (principles): To testify that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, to offer the (compulsory congregational) prayers dutifully and perfectly, to pay Zakat (i.e. obligatory charity), to perform Hajj, (i.e. Pilgrimage to Makkah) and to observe fast during the month of Ramadan” [Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

«بني الإسلام على خمس: شهادة أن لا إله إلاّ الله وأنّ محمداً رسول الله وإقام الصلاة وإيتاء الزكاة، وحج البيت، وصوم رمضان» متفق عليه

The evidence of its being obligatory to be performed one time in the whole life is the Hadeeth of Abu Hurayra (may Allah be pleased with him) in which he says: the Messenger of Allah (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) addressed us and said: “O people, Allah has made Hajj obligatory upon you; so perform Hajj.” Thereupon a person said: “O Messenger of Allah, (is it to be performed) every year?” He (the Prophet) remained silent, and the man repeated (these words) thrice, whereupon Allah's Messenger (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “If I were to say ‘Yes,’ it would become obligatory (for you to perform it every year) and you would not be able to do it.” [Reported by Muslim]

«يا أيّها النّاس قد فرض الله عليكم الحج فحجوا، فقال رجل: أكلَّ عام يا رسول الله؟ فسكت، حتى قالها ثلاثاً، فقال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: لو قلت: نعم لوجبت ولما استطعتم» رواه مسلم

However, it may be obligatory to perform Hajj more than one time, because of extrinsic reason, such as saying “I vow performing Hajj for the sake of Allah”. And it may turn to be prohibited; such as performing it with ill-gotten money. And it may turn to be disliked; such as performing it without taking permission from whom it is obligatory to take permission from (e.g. the person whose one of his parents needs his help, the debtor who has no money to pay back his debt to the creditor and the warranter who guarantees the debt).

Here is a question jurists talk about much; is performing Hajj obligatory to be done at once or it may be postponed? Jurists differed about this issue. Some said that it is obligatory to perform it at once; those are the Hanbali scholars, Hanafi and Maliki schools. They proofed their opinion with proofs including the saying of Allah Almighty: {And Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) to the House (Ka‘bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allâh, those who can afford the expenses (for one’s conveyance, provision and residence)} [Surat Al-Imran 3:97]

{وَلِلّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلاً} سورة آل عمران: 97

Transliteration: walillahi AAala alnnasi hijju albayti mani istataAAa ilayhi sabeelan

And the saying of the Prophet “Hurry to performing Hajj , because you do not know what may happen” [Reported by Ahmed in his Musnad (2869) and declared authentic by Al-Albany in Sahih Al-Jami' (2957)], (meaning the obligatory one).

«تعجلوا إلى الحج فإنّ أحدكم لا يدري ما يعرض له» أخرجه أحمد في مسنده برقم (2869)، وصححه الألباني في صحيح الجامع

Sa’eed Ibn Mansour reported in his Sunan, and Al-Baihaqi also reported on the authority of Omar Ibn Al-Khattab that he said: “I intended to send men to these countries to find those who did not perform Hajj, although having ability to perform it, and oblige them to pay Jezya (i.e. tribute). Indeed, they are not Muslims, they are not Muslims.”

However, Ahmed and Shaf’i and Hanafi scholars said that the obligation of Hajj is not at once; they said that it can be delayed from a year to another, because it had been enjoined in the sixth year of Hijjra, according to the opinion that they hold, and the Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) postponed it till the tenth year without having an excuse. Actually, the first opinion is stronger because of the meanings of the above mentioned Ahadeeth, although some of them have weakness (in their chains of transmission). We would not mention here the evidences of the two parties and their rebuttals; however, we mentioned this point in short because this article does not have enough space for that.

What about the person who denies the obligation of Hajj?

The person who denies the obligation of Hajj is an infidel, who had apostatized from Islam, except in the case of his ignorance; like the person who is new convert to Islam or the one who lives in remote land and knows nothing about the rulings of Islam. Such person should be excused and introduced to the rulings of Hajj. However, if he insisted upon his denial, he would be declared as an apostate.

As for the one who neglects it, as a kind of remissness, although recognizing its being obligatory, he would not be declared infidel; however, he is in dangerous situation, and some of the scholars said that he is infidel.

Hajj’s conditions:

Sheikh Bin ‘Uthaimin (may Allah mercy him) said: As for the conditions of the obligation of Hajj and ‘Umra, they are five; Islam, freedom, mind, adultness and having ability.

First: Islam; Hajj is not obligatory upon the non-Muslim, and it would not be accepted from him if he performed it; moreover, he should not be allowed to enter Makkah, because Allah Almighty says: {O you who believe (in Allâh’s Oneness and in His Messenger Muhammad prayers and peace of Allah be upon him)! Verily, the Mushrikûn (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allâh, and in the Message of Muhammad prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) are Najasun (impure). So let them not come near Al-Masjidal-Harâm (at Mecca) after this year} [Surat At-Taubah 9:28]

{يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إِنَّمَا الْمُشْرِكُونَ نَجَسٌ فَلاَ يَقْرَبُواْ الْمَسْجِدَ الْحَرَامَ بَعْدَ عَامِهِمْ هَذَا} سورة التوبة: 28

Transliteration: Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo innama almushrikoona najasun fala yaqraboo almasjida alharama baAAda AAamihim hatha

Therefore, it is not allowed for the infidel, because of any reason, to enter Makkah. However, the infidel will be accountable (in the Day of Judgment) for neglecting Hajj and all other acts of Islam, according to the most authentic opinion that is held by the scholars. Allah Almighty says: {Except those on the Right, (i.e. the pious true believers of Islâmic Monotheism) in Gardens (Paradise) they will ask one another About Al-Mujrimûn (polytheists, criminals, disbelievers), (And they will say to them): “What has caused you to enter Hell?” They will say: "We were not of those who used to offer the Salât (prayers), nor we used to feed Al-Miskîn (the poor); and we used to talk falsehood (all that which Allâh hated) with vain talkers”} [Surat Al-Muddaththir 74:39-45]

{إِلَّا أَصْحَابَ الْيَمِينِ (39) فِي جَنَّاتٍ يَتَسَاءلُونَ (40) عَنِ الْمُجْرِمِينَ (41) مَا سَلَكَكُمْ فِي سَقَرَ (42) قَالُوا لَمْ نَكُ مِنَ الْمُصَلِّينَ (43) وَلَمْ نَكُ نُطْعِمُ الْمِسْكِينَ (44) وَكُنَّا نَخُوضُ مَعَ الْخَائِضِينَ} سورة المدثر: 39-45

Transliteration: Illa ashaba alyameeni (39) Fee jannatin yatasaaloona (40) AAani almujrimeena (41) Ma salakakum fee saqara (42) Qaloo lam naku mina almusalleena (43) Walam naku nutAAimu almiskeena (44) Wakunna nakhoodu maAAa alkhaideena

Second: Mind; Hajj is not obligatory upon the insane person. If the person were insane from before adultness till death, Hajj would not be obligatory upon him, even if he were rich.

Third: Adultness; Hajj is not obligatory upon the person who did not reach the age of adultness. However, if he performed Hajj, his hajj would be sound, but it would not take the place of the obligatory Hajj. The Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) said “Yes, and you will have a reward” to the woman who lifted up a boy to him and asked: “Would this child be credited with having performed the Hajj?” [Reported by Muslim]

«أن امرأة رفعت صبيا فقالت: يا رسول الله! ألهذا حج ؟ قال: نعم، ولك أجر» رواه مسلم

However, it does not take the place of the obligatory Hajj, because he is not addressed with Hajj (in this age).

Sheikh Bin ‘Uthaimin (may Allah almighty mercy him) says: By the way, I would like to say that in the occasions of crowdedness where it is difficult to keep the kids in the state of Ihram and make them perform their rituals well, it is better not to make them perform Hajj or ‘Umra, because this causes difficulties to the kids and their parents too. The parents may be diverted by the kids from performing their rituals well, and this may cause disconcertion to them. Actually, parents are not obliged to face this situation as long as Hajj is not obligatory upon the kids.

Fourth: Freedom; Hajj is not obligatory upon the slave, because he is preoccupied by serving his master; thereupon, he is not able to perform Hajj and he has an excuse.

Fifth: Having financial and physical ability; if the person has only financial ability, he could delegate someone to perform Hajj on his behalf. Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him and his father too) narrated that Al-Fadl (his brother) was riding behind the Messenger of Allah and a woman from the tribe of Khath'am came and Al-Fadl started looking at her and she started looking at him. The Prophet turned Al-Fadl's face to the other side. The woman said, “O Messenger of Allah, The obligation of Hajj enjoined by Allah on His devotees has become due on my father and he is old and weak, and he cannot sit firm on the Mount; may I perform Hajj on his behalf?” The Prophet replied, “Yes.” That happened during Hajj Al-Wada’ [Reported by Al-Bukhari].

«كان الفضل رديف رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ، فجاءت امرأة من خثعم ، فجعل الفضل ينظر إليها وتنظر إليه ، وجعل النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يصرف وجه الفضل إلى الشق الآخر ، فقالت: يا رسول الله ، إن فريضة الله على عباده في الحج أدركت أبي شيخا كبيرا، لا يثبت على الراحلة، أفأحج عنه. قال: نعم. وذلك في حجة الوداع» رواه البخاري

This proofs that it is obligatory upon the one who has only financial ability to delegate someone to perform Hajj on his behalf. However, Hajj is not obligatory upon the one who has only physical ability and cannot go to Makkah by his body.

Some scholars made the safety of the road part of this condition. This means that the road should be safe and free from dangers. If this condition was not available, Hajj would not be obligatory.

Here are additional conditions for women:

First: Having her husband, or some unmarriageable kin, with her. If she does not have any, Hajj would not be obligatory upon her.

Second: Not to be in the period of ‘Iddah because of divorce or husband’s death. This is because Allah Almighty prevented women from going out their houses during ‘Iddah by saying: {And turn them not out of their (husband’s) homes nor shall they (themselves) leave} [Surat At-Talaq: 1], and because Hajj could be performed in another time.

{لَا تُخْرِجُوهُنَّ مِن بُيُوتِهِنَّ وَلَا يَخْرُجْنَ} سورة الطلاق: 1


Transliteration: la tukhrijoohunna min buyootihinna wala yakhrujna





All praise is due to Allah who made pilgrimage to His Old House an act of obedience upon the believers, from the time of Ibrahim to the time of Muhammad Ibn Abdullah (the best of the human kind), have to do it. He distinguished this glorious nation with inheriting the Glorious House till the end of time and the coming of Hereafter. He made the Honorable Ka‘bah an asylum of security, and made it a direction to which Muslims turn regardless of the place or the time. It is a sign for one nation worships one God regardless of the time or the place {Truly! This, your Ummah [Shari‘ah or religion (Islâmic Monotheism)] is one religion, and I am your Lord, therefore worship Me (Alone)} [Surat Al-Anbiya 21:92]

{إِنَّ هَذِهِ أُمَّتُكُمْ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً وَأَنَا رَبُّكُمْ فَاعْبُدُونِ} سورة الأنبياء: 92

Transliteration: Inna hathihi ommatukum ommatan wahidatan waana rabbukum faoAAbudooni

Prayers and peace of Allah be upon the Prophet of guidance and mercy who had been sent for building the best nation humanity ever known. Ka’bah became the direction to which the people of this nation turn their faces, Hajj and ‘Umra became the tourism of this nation, Labaik Allahuma Labbaik became its national anthem and the Sacred Masjid became the place of its gathering to which its people come from every deep and distant (wide) mountain highway to remember Allah by all languages and perform great act of worship by their money, bodies and hearts.

Indeed, Hajj is one of the best acts of obedience in the eyes of the Lord of the worlds. It is the supreme of good acts for expiating the sins of the sinners.

Hence, what is Hajj? What is its status in the religion? What are its conditions and basic elements?

Hajj’s definition:

In Lisan Al-Arab (Tongue of Arab): Hajj means to betake oneself to some place (i.e. ‘A person performed Hajj to us’ means that he betook himself to us.)

Hajj: To betake oneself to the Sacred Masjid with the prescribed obligatory and mandatory acts. It means betaking oneself to Ka’bah for performing specific acts, or visiting specific place in specific time with specific act; the visit is going, the specific place is Ka’bah and ‘Arafa, the specific time is the months of Hajj (i.e Shawwal, Dhul-Qidah and the first ten days of Dhul-Hijja). For every act there is specific time, and the specific act is to come while wearing Ihram intending performing Hajj to specific places.

When Hajj had been legislated?

Hajj had been enjoined at late time of the ninth year Hijjrah; it had been enjoined by the saying of Allah Almighty {And Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) to the House (Ka‘bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allâh, those who can afford the expenses (for one’s conveyance, provision and residence)} [Surat Al-Imran 3:97]

Transliteration: walillahi AAala alnnasi hijju albayti mani istataAAa ilayhi sabeelan

{وَلِلّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلاً} سورة آل عمران: 97

This verse had been revealed in the year of the delegations at late time of the ninth year; this opinion is held by the majority of the scholars.

The status of Hajj and its merits:

Hajj is one of the best deeds; Abu Hurayra (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) had been asked: “Which deed is the best?” whereupon he said: “Believing in Allah and His Messenger.” It had been said: “Then what?” He replied: “fighting in the cause of Allah.” It had been said: “Then what?” He replied: “An Accepted Hajj.” [Agreed upon]

»أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم سئل أي العمل أفضل ؟ فقال: إيمان بالله ورسوله . قيل: ثم ماذا ؟ قال: الجهاد في سبيل الله . قيل: ثم ماذا ؟ قال : حج مبرور «متفق عليه

‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated that she said: “O Messenger of Allah, we see fighting in the cause of Allah as the best deed; would not we fight?” the Prophet said: “But the accepted Hajj is better than fighting in the cause of Allah.” [Reported by Al-Bukhari]

«قلت: يا رسول الله: نرى الجهاد أفضل العمل، أفلا نجاهد؟ قال: لكنّ أفضل من الجهاد حج مبرور» رواه البخاري

Moreover, the Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) declared that the accepted Hajj has no reward except Paradise. Abu Hurayra (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “A ‘Umra is expiation for the sins committed between it and the next ‘Umra, and Hajj which is accepted will receive no other reward than Paradise.” [Agreed upon]

«العمرة إلى العمرة كفارة لما بينهما، والحج المبرور ليس له جزاء إلاّ الجنّة» متفق عليه

If the person who performs Hajj did not have sexual relation (with his wife) or commit a sin during Hajj, he would be purified from his sins and would return like his status at the day of his birth. Abu Hurayra (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that he heard the Messenger of Allah (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) says: “Whoever performs Hajj without having sexual relation (with his wife) or committing a sin (during Hajj) would return like his status at the day of his birth.” [Agreed upon]

«من حج لله، فلم يرفث ولم يفسق، رجع كيوم ولدته أمه» متفق عليه

We present our congratulations to those who perform Hajj, for having their sins forgiven. They are the visitors of Allah Almighty. Ibn Omar narrated hat the Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The person who goes to fight in the cause of Allah and the person who goes for performing Hajj and the person who goes for performing Umra are the guests of Allah; He called them and they responded to His call, they asked Him and He gave them what they asked.” [Reported by Ibn Majah, Authenticated by Al-Albani]

«الغازي في سبيل الله والحاج والمعتمر وفد الله، دعاهم فأجابوه، وسألوه فأعطاهم» أخرجه ابن ماجه، صححه الألباني

Moreover, Ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Perform Hajj and ‘Umra one after another because they exterminate poverty and sins as fire exterminates the gangue of iron, gold and silver. And Hajj which is accepted will receive no other reward than Paradise.” [Reported by At-Tirmidhi, Hasan (good) Sahih (authentic) Ghareeb (strange)]

«تابعوا بين الحج والعمرة، فإنهما ينفيان الفقر والذنوب، كما ينفي الكير خبث الحديد والذهب والفضة، وليس للحجة المبرورة ثواب إلا الجنة» رواه الترمذي، حسن صحيح غريب

The ruling of Hajj:

Scholars agreed upon the obligation of performing Hajj one time in the whole life; this is proofed by texts from the Book and the Sunnah. As for the Book; Allah says: {And Hajj (pilgrimage to Macca) to the House (Ka‘bah ) is a duty that mankind owes to Allâh, those who can afford the expenses (for one’s conveyance, provision and residence); and whoever disbelieves [i.e. denies Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca), then he is a disbeliever of Allâh], then Allâh stands not in need of any of the ‘Alamîn (mankind, jinn and all that exists)} [Surat Al-Imran: 97]

{وَلِلّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلاً وَمَن كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ الله غَنِيٌّ عَنِ الْعَالَمِينَ} سورة آل عمران: 97

Transliteration: walillahi AAala alnnasi hijju albayti mani istataAAa ilayhi sabeelan waman kafara fainna Allaha ghaniyyun AAani alAAalameena

And as for the Sunnah; the Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) says: “Islam is based on (the following) five (principles): To testify that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, to offer the (compulsory congregational) prayers dutifully and perfectly, to pay Zakat (i.e. obligatory charity), to perform Hajj, (i.e. Pilgrimage to Makkah) and to observe fast during the month of Ramadan” [Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

«بني الإسلام على خمس: شهادة أن لا إله إلاّ الله وأنّ محمداً رسول الله وإقام الصلاة وإيتاء الزكاة، وحج البيت، وصوم رمضان» متفق عليه

The evidence of its being obligatory to be performed one time in the whole life is the Hadeeth of Abu Hurayra (may Allah be pleased with him) in which he says: the Messenger of Allah (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) addressed us and said: “O people, Allah has made Hajj obligatory upon you; so perform Hajj.” Thereupon a person said: “O Messenger of Allah, (is it to be performed) every year?” He (the Prophet) remained silent, and the man repeated (these words) thrice, whereupon Allah's Messenger (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “If I were to say ‘Yes,’ it would become obligatory (for you to perform it every year) and you would not be able to do it.” [Reported by Muslim]

«يا أيّها النّاس قد فرض الله عليكم الحج فحجوا، فقال رجل: أكلَّ عام يا رسول الله؟ فسكت، حتى قالها ثلاثاً، فقال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: لو قلت: نعم لوجبت ولما استطعتم» رواه مسلم

However, it may be obligatory to perform Hajj more than one time, because of extrinsic reason, such as saying “I vow performing Hajj for the sake of Allah”. And it may turn to be prohibited; such as performing it with ill-gotten money. And it may turn to be disliked; such as performing it without taking permission from whom it is obligatory to take permission from (e.g. the person whose one of his parents needs his help, the debtor who has no money to pay back his debt to the creditor and the warranter who guarantees the debt).

Here is a question jurists talk about much; is performing Hajj obligatory to be done at once or it may be postponed? Jurists differed about this issue. Some said that it is obligatory to perform it at once; those are the Hanbali scholars, Hanafi and Maliki schools. They proofed their opinion with proofs including the saying of Allah Almighty: {And Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) to the House (Ka‘bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allâh, those who can afford the expenses (for one’s conveyance, provision and residence)} [Surat Al-Imran 3:97]

{وَلِلّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلاً} سورة آل عمران: 97

Transliteration: walillahi AAala alnnasi hijju albayti mani istataAAa ilayhi sabeelan

And the saying of the Prophet “Hurry to performing Hajj , because you do not know what may happen” [Reported by Ahmed in his Musnad (2869) and declared authentic by Al-Albany in Sahih Al-Jami' (2957)], (meaning the obligatory one).

«تعجلوا إلى الحج فإنّ أحدكم لا يدري ما يعرض له» أخرجه أحمد في مسنده برقم (2869)، وصححه الألباني في صحيح الجامع

Sa’eed Ibn Mansour reported in his Sunan, and Al-Baihaqi also reported on the authority of Omar Ibn Al-Khattab that he said: “I intended to send men to these countries to find those who did not perform Hajj, although having ability to perform it, and oblige them to pay Jezya (i.e. tribute). Indeed, they are not Muslims, they are not Muslims.”

However, Ahmed and Shaf’i and Hanafi scholars said that the obligation of Hajj is not at once; they said that it can be delayed from a year to another, because it had been enjoined in the sixth year of Hijjra, according to the opinion that they hold, and the Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) postponed it till the tenth year without having an excuse. Actually, the first opinion is stronger because of the meanings of the above mentioned Ahadeeth, although some of them have weakness (in their chains of transmission). We would not mention here the evidences of the two parties and their rebuttals; however, we mentioned this point in short because this article does not have enough space for that.

What about the person who denies the obligation of Hajj?

The person who denies the obligation of Hajj is an infidel, who had apostatized from Islam, except in the case of his ignorance; like the person who is new convert to Islam or the one who lives in remote land and knows nothing about the rulings of Islam. Such person should be excused and introduced to the rulings of Hajj. However, if he insisted upon his denial, he would be declared as an apostate.

As for the one who neglects it, as a kind of remissness, although recognizing its being obligatory, he would not be declared infidel; however, he is in dangerous situation, and some of the scholars said that he is infidel.

Hajj’s conditions:

Sheikh Bin ‘Uthaimin (may Allah mercy him) said: As for the conditions of the obligation of Hajj and ‘Umra, they are five; Islam, freedom, mind, adultness and having ability.

First: Islam; Hajj is not obligatory upon the non-Muslim, and it would not be accepted from him if he performed it; moreover, he should not be allowed to enter Makkah, because Allah Almighty says: {O you who believe (in Allâh’s Oneness and in His Messenger Muhammad prayers and peace of Allah be upon him)! Verily, the Mushrikûn (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allâh, and in the Message of Muhammad prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) are Najasun (impure). So let them not come near Al-Masjidal-Harâm (at Mecca) after this year} [Surat At-Taubah 9:28]

{يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إِنَّمَا الْمُشْرِكُونَ نَجَسٌ فَلاَ يَقْرَبُواْ الْمَسْجِدَ الْحَرَامَ بَعْدَ عَامِهِمْ هَذَا} سورة التوبة: 28

Transliteration: Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo innama almushrikoona najasun fala yaqraboo almasjida alharama baAAda AAamihim hatha

Therefore, it is not allowed for the infidel, because of any reason, to enter Makkah. However, the infidel will be accountable (in the Day of Judgment) for neglecting Hajj and all other acts of Islam, according to the most authentic opinion that is held by the scholars. Allah Almighty says: {Except those on the Right, (i.e. the pious true believers of Islâmic Monotheism) in Gardens (Paradise) they will ask one another About Al-Mujrimûn (polytheists, criminals, disbelievers), (And they will say to them): “What has caused you to enter Hell?” They will say: "We were not of those who used to offer the Salât (prayers), nor we used to feed Al-Miskîn (the poor); and we used to talk falsehood (all that which Allâh hated) with vain talkers”} [Surat Al-Muddaththir 74:39-45]

{إِلَّا أَصْحَابَ الْيَمِينِ (39) فِي جَنَّاتٍ يَتَسَاءلُونَ (40) عَنِ الْمُجْرِمِينَ (41) مَا سَلَكَكُمْ فِي سَقَرَ (42) قَالُوا لَمْ نَكُ مِنَ الْمُصَلِّينَ (43) وَلَمْ نَكُ نُطْعِمُ الْمِسْكِينَ (44) وَكُنَّا نَخُوضُ مَعَ الْخَائِضِينَ} سورة المدثر: 39-45

Transliteration: Illa ashaba alyameeni (39) Fee jannatin yatasaaloona (40) AAani almujrimeena (41) Ma salakakum fee saqara (42) Qaloo lam naku mina almusalleena (43) Walam naku nutAAimu almiskeena (44) Wakunna nakhoodu maAAa alkhaideena

Second: Mind; Hajj is not obligatory upon the insane person. If the person were insane from before adultness till death, Hajj would not be obligatory upon him, even if he were rich.

Third: Adultness; Hajj is not obligatory upon the person who did not reach the age of adultness. However, if he performed Hajj, his hajj would be sound, but it would not take the place of the obligatory Hajj. The Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) said “Yes, and you will have a reward” to the woman who lifted up a boy to him and asked: “Would this child be credited with having performed the Hajj?” [Reported by Muslim]

«أن امرأة رفعت صبيا فقالت: يا رسول الله! ألهذا حج ؟ قال: نعم، ولك أجر» رواه مسلم

However, it does not take the place of the obligatory Hajj, because he is not addressed with Hajj (in this age).

Sheikh Bin ‘Uthaimin (may Allah almighty mercy him) says: By the way, I would like to say that in the occasions of crowdedness where it is difficult to keep the kids in the state of Ihram and make them perform their rituals well, it is better not to make them perform Hajj or ‘Umra, because this causes difficulties to the kids and their parents too. The parents may be diverted by the kids from performing their rituals well, and this may cause disconcertion to them. Actually, parents are not obliged to face this situation as long as Hajj is not obligatory upon the kids.

Fourth: Freedom; Hajj is not obligatory upon the slave, because he is preoccupied by serving his master; thereupon, he is not able to perform Hajj and he has an excuse.

Fifth: Having financial and physical ability; if the person has only financial ability, he could delegate someone to perform Hajj on his behalf. Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him and his father too) narrated that Al-Fadl (his brother) was riding behind the Messenger of Allah and a woman from the tribe of Khath'am came and Al-Fadl started looking at her and she started looking at him. The Prophet turned Al-Fadl's face to the other side. The woman said, “O Messenger of Allah, The obligation of Hajj enjoined by Allah on His devotees has become due on my father and he is old and weak, and he cannot sit firm on the Mount; may I perform Hajj on his behalf?” The Prophet replied, “Yes.” That happened during Hajj Al-Wada’ [Reported by Al-Bukhari].

«كان الفضل رديف رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ، فجاءت امرأة من خثعم ، فجعل الفضل ينظر إليها وتنظر إليه ، وجعل النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يصرف وجه الفضل إلى الشق الآخر ، فقالت: يا رسول الله ، إن فريضة الله على عباده في الحج أدركت أبي شيخا كبيرا، لا يثبت على الراحلة، أفأحج عنه. قال: نعم. وذلك في حجة الوداع» رواه البخاري

This proofs that it is obligatory upon the one who has only financial ability to delegate someone to perform Hajj on his behalf. However, Hajj is not obligatory upon the one who has only physical ability and cannot go to Makkah by his body.

Some scholars made the safety of the road part of this condition. This means that the road should be safe and free from dangers. If this condition was not available, Hajj would not be obligatory.

Here are additional conditions for women:

First: Having her husband, or some unmarriageable kin, with her. If she does not have any, Hajj would not be obligatory upon her.

Second: Not to be in the period of ‘Iddah because of divorce or husband’s death. This is because Allah Almighty prevented women from going out their houses during ‘Iddah by saying: {And turn them not out of their (husband’s) homes nor shall they (themselves) leave} [Surat At-Talaq: 1], and because Hajj could be performed in another time.

{لَا تُخْرِجُوهُنَّ مِن بُيُوتِهِنَّ وَلَا يَخْرُجْنَ} سورة الطلاق: 1


Transliteration: la tukhrijoohunna min buyootihinna wala yakhrujna

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Hajj (Its definition, status, ruling and conditions)
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