Importance of Hajj
By: Maulana Sadiq Hasan
Among all the acts of worship (furoo-e-deen), Hajj is the only worship, for which a complete surah (Surah Hajj) is revealed in the Holy Quran. Hajj is also mentioned in Surah Ale Imran and Surah Baqarah in Quran. Hajj is also the only worship, which, if started, must be completed and can not be left half-done, even if it is a Mustahab Hajj (unlike Mustahab Sawm, which can be broken anytime, if necessary, without any sin).
Quran: "And the Hajj is incumbent upon mankind for the sake of Allah, for those who can afford to undertake journey to it; and whoever denies, then surely Allah is Self-sufficient, independent of the worlds", Surah Ale Imran, (3:97).
Hadith 1: If a person, on whom Hajj has become wajib, does not perform Hajj and dies, he/she will die as a Christian or a Jew.
Hadith 2: If Hajj becomes wajib on a person and it is not performed, then he/she will be raised as a Christian or Jew on the day of judgment.
Hadith 3: When a person, on whom Hajj becomes wajib, completes the Hajj properly, his/her sins are forgiven such as if he/she is a newly born person.
Hadith 4: When a person completes a Hajj properly, his/her every dua is accepted for four months.
When Does Hajj becomes Wajib?
Hajj becomes wajib only when a Muslim attains certain capability (Isteta’at) as defined by Islamic sharia. Hajj is therefore a conditional wajib (wajibe mashroot) act as opposed to absolute wajib (wajibe mutlaq) acts such as salat and sawm. Another example of conditional wajib act is Salatul Juma (Friday Prayer). For conditional wajib acts, it is not necessary for a person to deliberately create the conditions for the act to become wajib.
If a person does not attain the required capability (Isteta’at), then Hajj is not wajib on him/her. If such a person performs the Hajj without the required capability, then his Hajj is correct, but he has to perform the Hajj again in future if and when he attains the required capability (isteta’at).
It is not wajib on a person to try to achieve the required capability in order to perform Hajj. This is not the case for other acts of worship such as wudu for wajib salat, for which it is wajib to try to get the water for performing wudu.
The wajib Hajj is of two types depending upon how it becomes wajib:
(1) Hajje Isteta’ei (wajib when attaining required Isteta’at automatically)
(2) Hajje Bazli (wajib when someone gifts sufficient money to someone for Hajj)
When someone gives you sufficient money as a gift for performing the Hajj, then it is wajib for you to accept the gift and go for Hajj. For example, if husband is willing to pay for his wife or for his baligh child for Hajj, then it is wajib for the wife or that child to go for Hajj. If they go to Hajj with this gifted money, then they have performed their wajib Hajj and need not go again even if they get their own sufficient money in future.
If someone is giving sufficient money as a gift to someone without putting a condition to go for Hajj, then it is not wajib for the receiver to accept the money. But if he accepts and the money is sufficient and other conditions of isteta’at exist, then he has to go for Hajj.
If a person, on whom Hajj is not wajib (eg na-baligh person, or when the passage is not safe), performs the Hajj somehow, then he will get the sawab of that Hajj, but he will have to go to do his wajib Hajj in future when Hajj becomes wajib on him.
Conditions of Attaining Capability (Isteta'at) for Hajj
There are four types of capability (isteta’at) which must all exist for the Hajj to become wajib. Such a wajib Hajj is called Hajj-e-Islam. These capabilities are:
(1) Mental Capability (Isteta’at-e-Aqli) (2) Passage Capability (Isteta’at-e-Tariqi) (3) Physical Capability (Isteta’at-e-Badni) (4) Financial Capability (Isteta’at-e-Mali)
Mental Capability means that the person must be aqil (sane) and baligh. According to Islam, passage capability means that the passage for going to Hajj and return must be secure and safe without any danger to life. This also includes getting the visa. If passport or visa is denied, Hajj is not wajib.
Physical Capability means that the person must be physically fit to perform the Hajj. If a person has sufficient money to perform the Hajj, but he is physically unfit and does not expect to become fit in future, then it is wajib for him to send someone else to perform the Hajj on his behalf. This is the only situation when a person can perform a Hajj on behalf of a living person. But if the unfit person gains health in future and gains physical capability, then he must perform the wajib Hajj himself if other capabilities (financial, mental, passage) also exist. According to some marja, if he is physically unfit now, he has to send a naib(representative) to do Hajj on his behalf as well as perform Hajj himself later on when he becomes fit, if other capabilities also exist.
Financial Capability means that the person must fulfill the following conditions :(a) Has expenses for to-and-fro travel to Makkah (b) Has funds for local travel (c) Has funds to maintain his dependants during his absence due to Hajj (d) His source of income or any job is maintained after returning from Hajj
When the financial capability is attained by having a certain amount of funds to meet above expenses (say $5000), then it is wajib to go for Hajj, even if you spend lesser amount during the completion of your Hajj. But if you did not have the financial capability (by not having the required amount, say $5000), and if you still went ahead somehow and performed the Hajj, then you will have to perform the wajib Hajj again in future when you gain financial capability (plus other capabilities).
If Hajj had become wajib on a person once in the past, but he did not go to Hajj at that time, then it remains wajib on him even if he loses the required capabilities later on, and in such a case, he has to go and perform the Hajj even with hardships and with any minimum amount of funds possible.
It is not necessary that the required funds for expenses for Hajj should be available in cash in hand. Two cases will clarify this rule:
Case 1: If the Mahr of a woman, fixed at the time of marriage, is of sufficient amount to perform the Hajj, and the agreed time of Mahr payment has also come, then it is wajib on her to claim the Mahr from her husband, and use it to perform Hajj.
Case 2: If you have given a loan to someone, and the amount is sufficient to perform Hajj, and the time of loan return is due or the borrower is willingly to pay even before due date, then it is wajib on you to claim the loan back from that person, and use it to perform Hajj. And if the borrower refuses to return the loan, then it is wajib to take him to court or use other legal means to get back the loan in order to perform the Hajj. And if he is incapable of returning the loan, then you must try to find a person who can purchase that loan and give money to you on agreed terms. If Hajj has become wajib on you due to the loan money, then it is also not allowed to forgo the loan or gift away the loan to the borrower if the amount is sufficient for Hajj and, without it, you can not do your Hajj.
Minimum Time Required for Hajj
When considering the capability (Isteta’at) for Hajj (passage, physical and financial capabilities), the decision about capability should be based on the minimum time required for Hajj. According to sharia, after reaching Makkah, the minimum time required for completing all acts of Hajj is 5 days (8 to 12 Zil Hij). However, according to current Saudi laws, one must enter Makkah before 5th Zil Hij. Therefore, the minimum time required for completion of Hajj nowadays is 8 days.
If one is able to afford to go for his wajib Hajj by spending only the minimum number of days possible for Hajj, then it is wajib for him to go for Hajj.
Visit to Madinah is highly recommended in sharia although it is not part of Hajj. However, one can visit Madinah and complete all ziyarat in Madinah even in one day. According to Ahlul Sunnah, it is mustahab to stay in Medina for 8 days, but according to Shia ulama, there are no such traditions.
More on Passage Capability (Isteta'at Tariqi)
If the government of a country does not give permission to a person due to quota restriction imposed on the number of persons allowed for Hajj, then Hajj is not wajib on that person.
But if that person knows that permission can be granted to him by another country, then it is wajib for him to go to that country and seek permission, provided that his financial capability allows him to do so.
If a person can not get visa for Hajj from Saudi embassy in his own country, but he can get Hajj visa from Saudi embassy of another country, then it is wajib for him to go to that country and obtain Hajj visa, provided that his financial capability allows him to do so.
It is therefore wajib to try to attain passage capability (isteta’at-e-tariqi) for Hajj by all possible means. This is not so for financial capability, i.e., it is not wajib to try to attain financial capability in order to do Hajj.
In the process of attaining passage capability, if a person is required to commit a sin (such as speaking a lie), and if that sin is a lesser sin than the sin of not performing wajib Hajj, then it is wajib to commit that lesser sin in order to do the wajib Hajj.
If the passage for Hajj is not safe by going alone, but it is safe by taking a companion, then it is wajib to take the companion provided you could afford the expenses for companion if required. And the Hajj performed by that companion can be counted as his wajib Hajj.
According to Sunni fiqh, a woman is not allowed to go for Hajj without a mahram man. In Shia fiqh, a woman is allowed to go alone for Hajj if she feels that she will be safe.
More on Financial Capability (Isteta'at Mali)
If a woman is entitled to her share of property from her late father, and if the value of that share is sufficient to enable her to go for Hajj, then it is wajib on her to claim that share in order to perform Hajj.
If a woman owns plenty of jewelry, and if she is of the age of wearing that jewelry, and it is her daily requirement, then it is not necessary for her to sell the jewelry in order to perform Hajj. But if she reaches such an age that she does not wear it, and if it is of sufficient value to sell it to perform Hajj, then Hajj will become wajib on her. And in such a case, it is not allowed for her to give away such jewelry as a gift to anyone, including her daughter or daughter in law. And if she dies without performing Hajj, then it is wajib on her heir to arrange for Hajj on her behalf from her property.
Israf (extravagance) is a major sin in Islam. Hajj can also become wajib on a person if he leads a life with israf. However, one must understand the difference between the need (necessity), the status and the israf. Islam allows a person to own items of his daily life (such as clothes, car, house, jewelry etc), that are according to his need, or even more than his need. But Islam does not allow a person to own items, which are above his status (shaan) in the community where he lives. Israf is a life style using such luxurious items, which are considered beyond his status and is considered haram and a major sin.
If a person has obtained items or property (car, house, jewelry etc), which are beyond his/her status, and if the difference between the monetary value of these things and the value of those things required to live according to his status is enough to perform Hajj, then Hajj becomes wajib on him/her. It is then wajib on him/her to sell that item or property, set aside the amount necessary for performing the Hajj, and then buy the items according to his/her status.
How do we define status of a person ? Status of a person is not to be determined by the person himself. According to sharia, the status of a person is determined by urf (opinion of the majority of people in the community in which that person is living). Urf is considered an important criterion, which affects many other laws of Islamic sharia.
Loan (Qarz) Repayment and Hajj
If you have got sufficient funds to perform Hajj, but you are also in debt and the funds are enough to either repay the loan or go for Hajj, then should you go for Hajj or repay the loan first ? In such a case, there are two situations:
(a) The agreed time of repayment of loan has come (b) The agreed time of repayment of loan has not come
If the agreed time of loan repayment has come and if the lender is not agreeable that you can go to Hajj first (ie he wants his money back), then you have to repay the loan to him, and then Hajj is not wajib on you. And if you still went ahead and performed the Hajj with that fund, it will not be counted as your wajib Hajj, but according to Ayatullah Khui, it can be counted as your wajib Hajj.
If the time of loan repayment has come, but the lender has agreed not to take the repayment at that time, then according to Seestani and Khumaini, Hajj is not wajib, but according to Khui, you can go to Hajj and it will be counted as your wajib Hajj.
If the agreed time of loan repayment has not come at the time of going for Hajj, then Ayatullah Seestani and Ayatullah Khumaini say that Hajj is not wajib on you, and if you still went for Hajj, it will not be counted as your wajib Hajj. But Ayatullah Khui says that Hajj becomes wajib, and you have to go for Hajj with those funds.
The mortgage type of loan taken from non-Muslim banks is a different thing and can not be considered for repayment at the time of Hajj in all above cases. Thus, if you have got sufficient funds for Hajj, then Hajj may become wajib whether or not you have got a mortgage loan. Any loan, which you take with the intention of paying interest (riba) to the lender, is haram in Islam. (More details of mortgage and interest will be covered in futurefiqh lectures)
Taking Loan for Hajj or Other Purpose
It is not wajib to take loan in order to perform Hajj.
But if you take a loan, which is sufficient to perform Hajj, then Ayatullah Khui says that Hajj will become wajib, but Ayatullah Seestani and Khumaini say that Hajj will not become wajib.
If you take a loan for any specific purpose (eg car, house, marriage, education, travel, medical treatment etc), and if the money is not yet utilised and is sufficient for Hajj and the time for Hajj has come, then according to Ayatullah Khui, Hajj will become wajib if you are satisfied that you can pay back this loan easily, but according to Ayatullah Seestani and Khumaini, Hajj will not become wajib.
If you have been saving money for some specific purpose (eg car, house, medical treatment, marriage of daughter etc), and the amount becomes sufficient for Hajj and the time for Hajj has come, then Hajj will become wajib on you, according to all marja. The only exception is that if the person does not use the money for intended purpose, he will face exceptionally extreme hardship (haraj as defined by sharia), and then he can use the money for that purpose and delay the Hajj for future.
Khums and Zakat and Hajj
If any amount of khums or zakat is wajib on a person, and if the time of Hajj has come, then it is wajib on him to first pay the khums and zakat, and if sufficient money is left over for Hajj then go for Hajj. If the amount left after paying khums and zakat is not sufficient for Hajj, then Hajj is not wajib on him.
If your marja or his authorised representative (wakil) gives you permission to delay the full or partial payment of khums at a later date, then you can perform your wajib Hajj.
Undoing Capability for Hajj (Khurooje Isteta'at)
If a person has attained all capabilities (isteta’at) for Hajj, then it is haram for him to undo that capability. For example, if a person has got sufficient money to perform his wajib hajj at any time, then it is haram for him to spend it for any other purpose or to give it to someone for any purpose.
If, during a year, you have got money, which is sufficient for your Hajj and other capabilities also exist, and instead of going to Hajj, you spent the money on overseas trip to visit your home country, then such a visit is haram, and the Hajj will then become wajib on you for ever, which you have to perform at the first opportunity even with hardships.
If you have got sufficient money just to perform your own wajib hajj, then it is haram to give it to any one else (including your parents) to perform their Hajj. It is a great sawab (but not wajib) to send parents or any momin for hajj with your money, but it is allowed only if you have performed your own wajib Hajj or if the Hajj is not wajib on you.
If a son has sent his father to Hajj by paying him sufficient money but without performing his own wajib Hajj, then Hajj of his father is OK, but the Hajj has become wajib on the son for ever and he has to perform it at the first opportunity even with all hardships.
If you want to donate your money to your parent (or anyone) to send him to Hajj, without you first going for Hajj, then one possibility is to give away money in installments to him at different times such that sufficient fund for your own Hajj does not remain with you at any time. Hajj will become wajib when you attain sufficient fund necessary for your own Hajj,but if you avoid attaining that sufficient fund by permissible means, then Hajj will not become wajib on you.
Rules for Hajj Niyabat (Hajj by a Representative)
Hajje Niyabat (or Hajje Badal) is a Hajj performed by a person on behalf of another person(such as a dead person or a physically unfit living person). It is permissible to send a person for Hajje Niyabat from the country of the person for which Hajj is to be done. According to Seestani, Khui and Khumaini, it is also permissible to take a less expensive option of hiring a person from Medina or elsewhere in Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajje Niyabat.
In Sunni fiqh, a woman is not allowed to do Hajje Badal on behalf of any one. In Shia fiqh,a woman is allowed to do Hajje Badal on behalf of a man or a woman. Similarly a man can do Hajje Badal on behalf of a man or a woman.
In Sunni fiqh, a man doing Hajje Badal for anyone must first have completed his own wajib Hajj. In Shia fiqh, this is not so. A person can do Hajje Badal only if Hajj was not wajib onhim/her in that year.
Following conditions are wajib for a person going for Hajje Badal: (a) He/she must be able to perform wudu and ghusl correctly. (b) He/she must be able to offer salat correctly with proper pronunciation (qirat) of Arabic words. (c) He/she must know the Hajj masail (rules) of at least 2 or 3 marjas (his own marja, marja of the person for whom Hajj is being performed, and marja of the person who is sending him for Hajj) in order to perform the Hajj correctly.