Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Conditions of Hajj

  Anonymous       Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Hajj is one of the obligatory form of prayers as outlined in five pillars of Islam. Every eligible person has to meet a number of prerequisites to be able to participate in the pilgrimage.

1) Islam

The pilgrim must be Muslim, and must know that Hajj is compulsory. Any non-Muslim cannot participate in the pilgrimage.

2) Maturity

The pilgrim must have reached puberty, i.e. be Baligh. It is not mandatory for kids to perform Hajj. All scholars agree that if a minor performs Hajj, the pilgrimage should be repeated during adulthood, since minors are not required to perform Hajj in Islamic jurisprudence.

Abdullah ibn Abbas I reported that a woman carrying a child to the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) after Hajjat al-Wida and asked: "Will this boy be rewarded for Hajj?" The Prophet has answered: "Yes, and you too will be rewarded." This account reflects that the child is being rewarded for his obedience, while the mother is being rewarded for helping and instructing him to perform Hajj.

3) Sanity

The pilgrim must be mentally sound and fully control his mental abilities. Those mentally ill are not obliged to perform Hajj. If an individual with such condition were to perform the Hajj, presumably as expected from someone in control of his mental faculties, the Hajj would still need to be repeated if he returned to a state of mental well-being.

4) Capability

The pilgrim must have sufficient funds for the journey to Makkah and back.

5) Freedom

The pilgrim must not be a slave. The entire world has now ridden of slavery as institution so everybody meets this condition.

6) Ability

With regard to a person's ability, this category includes further conditions:

-Physically capable

The pilgrim must be physically capable of travelling and performing Hajj rites and be free from any illness or disease that would restrict him from doing so. If an individual is unable to perform Hajj due to being old, ill or disabled, he may pay someone to perform Hajj on his behalf, provided he is financially able to do so.

Financially capable

During the journey, the pilgrim must have sufficient expenses to cover travel, accommodation and other requirements. He must also spend enough to support his dependents during his absence. If the individual has insufficient funds to cover his family's needs, Hajj is not his responsibility. Being debt-free is not a prerequisite, although pre-Hajj arrangements should be made for debts to be fulfilled.

7) Safety En-route

The journey to Hajj must be considered safe enough to secure the life and possessions of the pilgrim from any danger.

Transportation Pilgrims must have access to and should be able to afford the appropriate means of transportation to travel to Makkah and Hajj.

Conditions For Women

There are two additional conditions for the Hajj duty that apply only to women. Those are:

A Mahram's Need

According to Hanafi and Maliki schools, a woman intending to perform Hajj or Umrah must be accompanied by a Mahram-- a male guardian. If she has no Mahram willing to accompany her in cases of widow or orphan, Hajj would not be obligatory for her. On the other hand, according to the Shafi'i and Maliki schools of thought, she may pilgrimage with trustworthy women (two or more) or even alone, according to some scholars, provided her safety is guaranteed in terms of her life, wealth and honour. However, for a Nafl Hajj or Umrah, reliable women's escort wouldn't be enough to accompany her husband or a Mahram.

Although not a condition, it is also desirable for a married woman to seek pilgrimage permission from her husband, although he has no right to prevent her from carrying out the obligatory Hajj. However, he may prevent her from doing a Nafl Hajj.

Free from Iddah.

She should also be free from the waiting period after her husband's death, known as Iddah. Therefore, if the other conditions of the obligation to perform Hajj are met while she is waiting or her waiting period is at a time when it is possible for her to travel to Hajj, it is not obligatory for her to perform it.

Hajj's Urgency

How urgently or immediately one must perform Hajj is the most commonly asked question. Once Hajj's obligation conditions are met, it should be done as soon as possible. According to most opinions, delaying pilgrimage is sinful, although a delayed Hajj still fulfils the obligation. 

On the other hand, the Shafi'i school of thought believes that performing it as soon as possible is not compulsory and an individual would not be sinful for postponing it. However, this postponement can only be made if there is a firm intention to carry out the pilgrimage in the future, without fear of being unable to do it.


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