Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 5: The ability to perform hajj - what does it imply?
The ability to perform Hajj, which is one of its essential conditions,includes the following:
-1- A person must be healthy and physically fit. If one is disabled by oldage or a disease that is incurable or is unable to perform Hajj for some othersimilar reason, he may, if he is financially capable, assign someone else toperform Hajj on his behalf and at his expense. This will be discussed laterunder "Hajj On Behalf of Another Person."
-2- The journey to Hajj must be safe so that the pilgrim's life andpossessions are safe and secure from any danger. If one is afraid for one'slife from highwaymen or an epidemic or if one is afraid to be robbed of one' spossessions, then such a one is deemed as one of those who cannot afford thejourney for Hajj .
There is, however, a difference of opinion among scholars regarding theentry fees and other charges levied on pilgrims. Can a person be excused andreckoned as unable financially to perform Hajj because of these charges?AshShafi'i and others are of the view that the presence of these levies doesqualify a person to be classified as unable to perform Hajj, even though thelevy involved may be paltry. The Maliki scholars disagree for they do notregard this as a sufficient reason for a person to be deemed as unable toperform Hajj, unless the amount involved is too exorbitant or is demandedrepeatedly.
-3- One must possess the necessary provision and also the requisite means ofjourney. Necessary provision here means that the intending pilgrim must havesufficient supplies for himself as well as for his family that he leavesbehind. These supplies include sufficient and adequate clothing, housing, meansof traveling, and tools for the pursuit of his trade or profession besides thefinancial means for the journey. (The person intending to perform Hajj shouldnot sell his clothes, his personal belongings, or his house--even if they wereabundant to get money for Hajj) Means of traveling imply that which enables himto go to Hajj and come back, whether it is by land, by sea, or by air. Thisconcerns those who live far from Makkah and cannot walk there.
As for those who live in the vicinity of Makkah, this condition does notapply, for they are so close that they can go for Hajj on foot.
Some ahadith explain the Qur'anic words "those who can afford thejourney," (Qur'an 3.97) as meaning provision of food and means of journey.Anas reports that the Prophet (peace be upon him) when once asked about themeaning of "those who can afford" said: "It means possessingmeans of sustenance and transportation." (Ad-Daraqutni considers thishadith sound) Al-Hafiz remarks: "Most probably its chain of transmittersis not traceable to the Prophet (peace be upon him). Tirmizhi as well hasreported it on the authority of Ibn 'Umar but its chain of transmitters isweak. Abdul Haqq remarked: "All its chains of transmitters are weak."Ibn Al-Munzhir says: "It is not traceable to the Prophet (peace be uponhim) and the correct position is that it is a sound but incompletelytransmitted hadith whose chain of authorities does not go back to the Prophet(peace be upon him)."
Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Prophet (peace be uponhim) once said: "He who possesses sufficient provisions and means ofjourney for the performance of Hajj and yet does not do so, let him die thedeath of a Jew or a Christian." For Allah says in the Qur' an:"Pilgrimage thereto is a duty men owe to Allah - those who can afford thejourney." (Transmitted by Tirmizhi, but among the narrators of this hadithare included "Halal" ibn Abdullah, who is unknown, and"Al-Harith" whom Ash-Sha'abi and others have described as a liar)
All these ahadith are weak in authority, yet most scholars regard provisionsand means of journey as a necessary condition for Hajj. If a person has neitherthe necessary provisions nor means of travel, he is not obligated to performHajj.
Ibn Taimiyyah says: "These ahadith are musnad (A report which istraceable in uninterrupted ascending order of the narrators to its firstauthority) and have a sound chain of authorities, some are mursal (A hadithtransmitted by a successor (atabi'), young or old, without mentioning theCompanion who might have heard it from the Prophet directly. Ash-Shafi'iconsiders such a hadith weak, while Abu Hanifah and Malik consider it sound)and others are mauquf. (A hadith reported from a Companion through words oracts uninterruptedly or otherwise) They all prove that the ability to arrangeone's provisions and possession of means of journey is a necessary prerequisitefor Hajj, and this despite the fact that the Prophet (peace be upon him) knewthat many of the people (in his time) were able to go for Hajj on foot.
Similarly the words of Allah: "Pilgrimage thereto is a duty men owe toAllah - those who can afford the journey" underline the fact that abilityand power are the necessary prerequisite for all forms of worship. It signifiesthe unspecified power or a little bit more than what may be necessary. In thecase of sawm (fasting) and salah (obligatory prayers) the financial ability issuperfluous and is not specified in the Qur'an, unlike Hajj for which it is animportant requirement. Similarly, Hajj is a form of worship which involvestraveling for which one must be in possession of sufficient means to supportoneself (and one' s family), as well as be able to shoulder the cost of thejourney as in jihad.
In this regard we may refer to the Qur'anic verse (9.91-92) "Nor isthere any blame on those who find no resources to spend, nor is there (blame)on those who come to you to be provided with mounts, and when you said, 'I canfind no mounts for you,."'
In Al-Muhazhib we read: "If someone has the money to buy provisions andthe passage to Hajj but he needs it to pay his debts, Hajj is not binding onhim, whether the settlement of the debt is required immediately or is due aftera time. The debts that are due for immediate settlement must be paid at once,whereas the Hajj may be performed later on in life. But if he spends all thathe has on Hajj he may not be in a position to pay off his debt."
Similarly, if one is in need of a dwelling or a servant to help him, he maybe classified as unable to perform Hajj. Likewise, if one needs to take a wifebecause he fears he may not be able to avoid evil, he must get married, for itis his immediate need. Furthermore, if one needs goods for his business toobtain requisite resources therefrom, such a one, according to Abul 'Abbas, IbnSarih, may be classified as unable to perform Hajj in view of his specificneed. Al-Mughni says: "If the debt is owed to a wealthy person who doesnot demand immediate settlement of the loan, defers settlement to a laterstage, and is ready to permit the debtor to proceed for Hajj, then such adebtor is (technically) able to perform Hajj. But in case the lender cannotafford to defer settlement of the loan, the debtor would be reckoned as unableto perform Hajj."
According to the Shafi'i school: "If someone offers another a freepassage for Hajj, one is not obliged to accept the offer, for it is a favor andinvolves distress of being obliged to another person. If, however, such anoffer is made by one' s son to perform Hajj, then one is obligated to do so,for one can perform it without being beholden to anyone else."
The Hanbali school is of the view that an offer of financial help by someoneelse does not obligate a person to perform Hajj, nor does this classify him as(financially) capable of performing it, whether the offer comes from a strangeror a relative and whether the offer provides means of travel and provision, or linanacialhelp as such.
-5- There must also be no obstruction which may prevent people fromundertaking the journey for Hajj, like fear of torture or imprisonment by atyrannical ruler.
Though Hajj is not compulsory for these two groups it is quite valid if theyperform one, but it will not suffice them as regards the Hajj prescribed inIslam.
Ibn 'Abbas reports: "The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: 'Any minor(child) who performs Hajj must perform it again after coming of age; any slavewho performs Hajj and is then freed, must perform his Hajj again'."(Reported by At-Tabarani on sound authority) As-Sa'ib bin Yazid says: "Myfather performed Hajj with the Prophet (peace be upon him) who was performinghis Farewell Hajj, while I was only seven years old." This was reported byAhmad, Bukhari and Tirmizhi, who noted: "All scholars agree that if aminor performs Hajj, he must repeat his Hajj upon coming of age. Likewise aslave who performs Hajj, and thereafter gains his freedom, must also repeat hisHajj if he is in a position to do so."
It is also reported from Ibn 'Abbas that during a Hajj a woman lifted a boy,and asked the Prophet, "Will this boy be rewarded for Hajj?" TheProphet (peace be upon him) answered: "Yes, and you too will berewarded." (The boy will be rewarded for his obedience, while the motherwill be rewarded for helping and instructing him to perform Hajj. This hadithis also reported from 'Umar)
Jabir reports: "We performed Hajj with the Prophet (peace be upon him)and a number of women and children were with us. We said talbiyah on behalf ofthe children, and (also) threw pebbles on their behalf. This is narrated byAhmad and Ibn Majah.
If a minor is able he may himself declare the state of ihram and perform therites of Hajj. Otherwise, his guardian (An-Nawawi said: "The guardian whodeclares the state of ihram on behalf of a non-discerning minor, is theguardian of his properties, i.e., his father, grandfather, or the guardian appointedby law. Conceming the mother, the scholars differ. Some are of the opinion thather ihram on his behalf is only valid if she is appointed by law as hisguardian. Others claim that her ihram is valid even if she is not the guardian)must declare the state of ihram and say talbiyah on his behalf, circumambulateround Ka'bah, run between Safa and Marwah, stay at 'Arafah and throw stones onhis behalf. If, on the other hand, a minor attains the age of puberty on orbefore the Day of 'Arafah, his Hajj is then credited to him. The same appliesto a slave who is liberated on or before the Day of 'Aratah. Malik and IbnAl-Munzhir say: "To both of these people their Hajj cannot be credited as(replacement for) the obligatory Hajj, for they intended a supererogatoryworship while putting on ihram; its supererogatory status cannot be transformedinto an obligatory worship."
It is desirable for a woman to seek her husband's permission for the prescribedHajj. Then if he grants her the permission she may leave for Hajj; in case herefuses to give permission, she may still proceed for Hajj, for a husbandshould not forbid his wife from performing obligatory Hajj. It is an obligatoryact of worship. It is unlawful to obey anyone in something that involvesdisobedience to Allah. A woman should perform obligatory Hajj as soon aspossible, just as she should offer her prescribed daily prayers at theirearliest prescribed times. In either case a husband has no right to prevent hiswife from doing what is her obligatory duty. The same applies when a wife hasvowed a Hajj, because it is obligatory like the prescribed Hajj. In the case ofsupererogatory Hajj, however, the husband may prevent his wife, and the wifemust obey her husband. This is supported by a hadith reported by AdDaraqutni onthe authority of Ibn 'Umar who narrated that while speaking about a wealthylady whose husband had refused to give her permission to perform Hajj, theProphet (peace be upon him) said: "She must not go for Hajj except by herhusband's permission."
If a person dies before performing obligatory Hajj or if one vowed toperform Hajj but died before fulfilling one' s vow, his heir must assignsomeone to perform Hajj on behalf of the deceased. All the ensuing expenses inthis regard must be paid out of the deceased's property, as indeed must be anydebts left by him.
Ibn 'Abbas narrates that a woman from the tribe of Johainah came to theProphet (peace be upon him) and said: "My mother had vowed to perform Hajjbut she died before fulfilling her vow, should I perform Hajj on her behalf?The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Yes, perform Hajj on her behalf.Would you not pay off any debts your mother might have left behind upon herdeath? Pay off what you owe to Allah, for He is most deserving of settlement ofHis debt." (Bukhari)
This hadith underlines the obligation of performing Hajj on behalf of adeceased person, whether or not he leaves a will to this effect (it is a kindof debt for the deceased), and all debts left by the deceased must be settled,just as all other financial obligations such as zakah, an atonement or a vowtransacted by the deceased has to be fulfilled.
Ibn 'Abbas, Zaid bin Thabit, Abu Hurairah, and Ash-Shafi'i hold thisopinion. They consider that the expenses of the substitute (the hired person)must be paid out of the wealth of the deceased before dividing it up among hisheirs.
In case the wealth is insufficient to cover both the cost of Hajj (by thesubstitute) and settlement of the deceased's debts, the expense of Hajj must bepaid first, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Allah is mostdeserving that His debt be paid back."
Imam Malik says: "A person may perform Hajj on behalf of the deceasedonly if the deceased leaves a will to that effect. If the deceased leaves nosuch will, then a Hajj on his behalf may not be performed, for this worshipinvolves, more than anything else, physical exertion and struggle and as such,no other person can replace or substitute another person. If a deceased makes awill regarding it, then Hajj may be performed, meeting all its cost from out ofone third of the share of his heritage."
If someone has the ability to perform Hajj but afterwards he is unable toperform it due to sickness or old age, he must arrange for someone else toperform Hajj on his behalf, for he may never be able to do it himself. In thisrespect, such a person is very much like the deceased, hence the permission forhim to choose his substitute in Hajj.
This is based on a hadith reported by Al-Fadl ibn 'Abbas, who says: "Awoman of Khath'am said, 'O Prophet of Allah! Allah has prescribed Hajj for Hisservants. (Now that) I am grown up, I find that my father is an old man, and hecannot ride on the camel (for long). Should I perform Hajj on his behalf?' TheProphet (peace be upon him) said: 'Yes.'" This happened during the FarewellHajj. (Reported by the Group) Tirmizhi considers it a sound hadith with a soundchain and adds: "On this topic, reports other than this hadith are alsofound; they are of sound authority, and the companions of the Prophet (peace beupon him) believed and practiced accordingly; they held that one may performHajj on behalf of a deceased person." At-Thawri, Ibn al-Mubarak,Ash-Shafi'i, Ahmad and Ishaq also hold a similar view.
Imam Malik says: "If the deceased leaves a will that someone perform aHajj on his behalf, then it may be performed." Some scholars like IbnMubarak and Ash-Shafi'i say that it is permissible for an old man, who isunable to perform Hajj on his own, to arrange for a substitute to do it on hisbehalf.
The above hadith also lends support to the view that, both for a man or awoman, it is quite permissible to perform Hajj on behalf of another man orwoman. There is nothing against this in the Qur'an or hadith.
If a sick person recovers after someone has performed Hajj on his behalf, hewill be considered as having performed his obligatory duty, and he will not berequired to repeat it, for it would imply the obligation of performing twoobligatory pilgrimages (rather than one). This is Imam Ahmad's view.
The majority of scholars are, however, of the view that such a substitutoryHajj will not suffice a man to absolve him of his obligation, for his recoveryshows that his case was not really hopeless (and he should therefore repeatit), for the decisive factor in this respect is cessation of illness andrestoration of his health.
Ibn Hazim is inclined to the first view. He says: "When the Prophet(peace be upon him) commanded to perform Hajj on behalf of those who are unableto walk or ride (i.e., cannot travel for Hajj), and told that this will pay offtheir debt to Allah, then indeed the debt is settled, and their effortaccepted." And surely if an obligation is removed or fulfilled, there isno justification for its repetition, especially when there is nothing in thetexts to support it. Had such a repetition been necessary, the Prophet (peacebe upon him) must have clearly mentioned it, but as he did not, there is noreason for its repetition.
Before performing Hajj on behalf of someone else, a person must haveperformed his own Hajj . This is based on the hadith in which Ibn 'Abbasnarrates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) heard a man saying: "OAllah! Here I am in response to Your call on behalf of Shabrumah." TheProphet (peace be upon him) asked him: "Have you performed your ownHajj?" He replied: " No", whereupon the Prophet (peace be uponhim) told him: "You must perform Hajj on your own behalf first, and thentor Shabrumah." (Abu Daw'ud and Ibn Majah) Al-Baihaqi says: "Itschain of authorities is sound, and in this regard it is the most genuinereport."
Most of the scholars hold that it is not proper for a person to perform Hajjon behalf of others prior to performing it on his own behalf, whether or not heis able or unable to do so.
According to the verdict of Ibn 'Abbas and 'Ikrimah if a person performsHajj in fulfillment of a vow, while he has yet to perform the prescribed Hajj,then it should suffice him (and absolve him) trom both. 'Ata and Ibn 'Umar, onthe other hand, hold that one must first perform the Hajj obligatory on him,and thereafter perform another Hajj to fulfil his vow.
Ibn 'Abbas reports: "The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: 'There is noSarorah (delaying performance of obligatory Hajj) in Islam.''' (Ahmad and AbuDaw'ud)
Al-Khattabi remarks: "The word sarorah has two meanings:
-1- a person who does not marry and leads a life of celibacy, like monasticChristians; or
-2- someone who has not performed Hajj. In other words this means that noone able to perform Hajj should fail to do so, because in Islam there is nodelaying of obligatory Hajj.
Some scholars refer to it as a proof that a person who has not performedHajj is not allowed to perform Hajj on behalf of others. Al-Awza'i,Ash-Shafi'i. Ahmad and Ishaq hold this view. Malik and Ath-Thawri say:"Such a person's Hajj depends on his own intention." Al-HasanAl-Basri, 'Ata and An-Nakh'i also hold a similar view.
Abdullah ibn Abi 'Awfa relates: "I asked the Prophet (peace be uponhim) about a man who has not performed Hajj, 'Should he not get a loan toperform Hajj?' The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: 'No"'(Al-Baihaqi).
Someone performing Hajj with unlawfully gained money, may technically fulfilhis prescribed duty of pilgrimage, but according to the majority of thescholars, he will be guilty of sin for doing so. Imam Ahmad disagrees and holdsthat such a Hajj is not enough for a person to absolve him of his prescribedobligation, and this is more correct as the sahih hadith says: "Surely,Allah is Pure, and He does not accept anything but what is pure (andclean)." Also it is reported by Abu Hurairah that the Prophet (peace beupon him) said: "As soon as a pilgrim sets out for Hajj with a provisionwhich is lawful, and puts his foot in the stirrup (rides his mount) and callsout: 'O, Allah! Here I am in response to Your call,' an announcer answers himfrom the heavens above, saying: 'Your call has been heard; you are a happy one;your provisions are lawful, your mount is lawful and your pilgrimage is free ofsin and acceptable.' But, if his provisions are unlawfully gained, and he putshis foot in the stirrup and calls out: 'O Allah! Here I am in response to Yourcall,' an announcer from the heavens above answers him back, saying: 'Your callis not accepted; nor are you welcome; your food is unlawful; your provisionsare unlawful; and your pilgrimage is not free of sin and is unacceptable."'Al-Munzhri says: "This is reported by At-Tabarani in Al-Awsat, and also byAl-Asbahani in a mursal hadith from Aslam, the freed slave of 'Umar binal-Khattab."
Al-Hafiz writes in Al-Fath: "Ibn al-Munzhir says there is a differenceof opinion as to what is better for a pilgrim, walking or riding during theHajj.
The majority of scholars hold riding is better, for the Prophet (peace beupon him) did so, and because it is more helpful (in concentrating) on prayingand making supplications to Allah, apart from other benefits.
Ishaq bin Rahoweh says: "Walking is preferable for it involves moreexertion and hardship (in the cause of Allah)." We may say that whether aperson walks or rides during Hajj depends on each person and his particularcircumstance .
Bukhari has transmitted from Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) that theProphet (peace be upon him) saw a man leaning on both sides on his two sons,whereupon he asked: "What is the matter with this man?" The peoplesaid: "He has vowed to walk during Hajj." The Prophet (peace be uponhim) said: "Allah is in no need whatever of torturing this man." Thenhe commanded the man to perform his Hajj riding."
There is no harm if a pilgrim engages in trade and business during Hajj or'Umrah.
Ibn 'Abbas said: "In the beginning when Hajj was prescribed, the peopleused to trade at Mina, 'Arafah, and the market place of Zhul-Majaz (A placeclose to 'Arafah) during the Hajj season, but they feared it might be forbiddenfor them while in a state of ihram. Thereupon Allah revealed the verse (Qur'an2.198): "It is no crime in you if you seek of the bounty of your Lord(during pilgrimage)." This is reported by Bukhari, Muslim and Nasa'i.
Commenting on the above verse, Ibn 'Abbas adds: "The people used toshun business while in Mina, so they were instructed to engage in business ortrade while pouring down from 'Arafah.''ls Abu Omamah At-Taimi narrates that hesaid to Ibn 'Umar: "I rent mounts to people during Hajj season, and thepeople tell me that my Hajj is void." Ibn 'Umar asked him: "Do younot don Hajj garb, say talbiyah, go around the House of Allah, pour down from'Arafah, and stone the Satan?" The man said, "Yes, I do." Ibn'Umar said: "Then your Hajj is quite valid (and you will be rewarded forit). A person came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and asked him somethingsimilar to what you asked me, whereupon the Prophet (peace be upon him)remained silent until this verse (Qur'an 2.198) was revealed to him: "Itis no crime in you if you seek the bounty of your Lord (during Hajjseason)." Then the Prophet (peace be upon him) sent for the man andrecited the verse to him, saying: "Your Hajj is valid." This isreported by Abu Daw'ud and Sa'id ibn Mansur. Al-Hafiz Al-Munzhri said AbuOmamah is not known (as a narrator).
Ibn 'Abbas says that a man asked him: "I hire myself to these people toguide them in performing their rites of Hajj; will I have a reward forHajj?" Ibn 'Abbas said: "Yes." (And then he recited) "Tothese will be allotted what they have earned; and Allah is quick in account.''(Qur'an 2.202) This is transmitted by Al-Baihaqi and Ad-Daraqutni.