hajj

O people, fear Allaah The Almighty and perform the obligations that Allaah The Almighty has enjoined upon you, one of the most important among which is performing Hajj to His House whenever you can afford to do so. Allaah The Almighty Says (what means):{And [due] to Allaah from the people is a pilgrimage to the House – for whoever is able to find thereto a way. But whoever disbelieves – then indeed, Allaah is free from need of the Worlds.} [Quran 3:97]

The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), said: “Islam is to testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allaah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah; to observe prayer, pay Zakaah, observe fasting of Ramadan and perform Hajj of the House, provided you have the resources to make the journey to it.”The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), told us that Islam is built on these five deeds, which means that the Islam of a person will not be complete or stand firm until he performs Hajj.
‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him said, “I was about to send men to these regions to see who should pay Jizyah (meaning the rich people) who have not performed Hajj and to take Jizyah from them. They are not Muslims, they are not Muslims.” The obligation of Hajj is established by the Quran, theSunnah (Prophetic tradition) of the Messenger of Allaah,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), and the absolute consensus of Muslims. So, whoever denies the obligation of Hajj has disbelieved, and whoever acknowledges it but abandons it out of negligence is at great risk.
Allaah The Almighty, after mentioning its obligation on people, Says (what means): {But whoever disbelieves – then indeed, Allaah is free from need of the Worlds.} [Quran 3:97] This is the reason why some scholars say that a person who can perform Hajj and does not do it is a disbeliever and an apostate from Islam although the majority of scholars hold otherwise, and this is the preponderant opinion.  If a Muslim abandons Hajj while he is able to perform it, he is at great risk.
Dear Muslims, how can a believer leave Hajj while he is financially and physically able to perform it, knowing that it is one of the duties and chief acts of worship of Islam? How can he withhold money in order not to perform this duty while he spends a lot of money in what his soul desires? How can he spare himself the hardship involved in Hajj whereas he exhausts himself in pursuing his worldly affairs? How does he find the obligation of Hajj heavy although it is not obligatory except once in man’s life? Why does he delay performing it, when he knows not whether he will have access to it again? So, fear Allaah, O slaves of Allaah, and perform Hajj that Allaah has enjoined upon you as an act of worship to Him and an act of accepting His rule and obeying His order if you are believers. Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {It is not for a believing man or a believing woman, when Allaah and His Messenger have decided a matter, that they should [thereafter] have any choice about their affair. And whoever disobeys Allaah and His Messenger has certainly strayed into clear error.} [Quran 33:36]
O Muslims, when the believer performs Hajj and ‘Umrah once after reaching the age of puberty, he has discharged himself of the obligation and completed one of the main obligations of Islam. After that, he is not required to perform Hajj or ‘Umrah unless he vows to do so. Whoever vows to performHajj or ‘Umrah must fulfill his vow, because the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), said: “Whoever vows to obey Allaah, let him obey Him.”
O Muslims, it is the very mercy of Allaah The Almighty and His profound wisdom that He has set limitations and conditions for the religious obligations so that they would be regulated and that responsibility can be defined. He made such limitations and conditions in a very appropriate manner including the time, the place and the person who should do the act. Hajj is one of these obligations. It has its limits and conditions that should be met before it becomes obligatory on the Muslim. These conditions include attaining the age of puberty. Hajj is not obligatory for Muslims who have not reached the age of maturity. The age of puberty in males occurs with one of three signs: the discharge of semen, the attainment of fifteen years or the growth of pubic hair. In females, puberty occurs with these three signs, in addition to a fourth one, which is menstruation.
Hajj is not obligatory on a Muslim who has not reached puberty, even if he is rich; but if he performsHajj, it would be valid voluntary Hajj for which he is rewarded. When he reaches puberty, he must perform the obligatory Hajj because his Hajj before puberty does not discharge him of the obligation.Hajj does not become obligatory before the age of puberty; it is as if he gives away some money with the intention of paying Zakaah before he owns the minimum amount on which Zakaah becomes obligatory. Therefore, if a Muslim performs Hajj with his young sons and daughters, he would be rewarded and the children would have the reward of Hajj. If they did not perform Hajj, there would be no blame on them.
The opinion of Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih Al-Uthaymeen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him is that today, due to conditions like overcrowding and other hardship, a person should not take his young children to perform Hajjwith him. He should not allow them to enter the state of Ihraam for Hajj or ‘Umrah because of the hardship that he and they will undergo.  Allaah The Almighty loves and wants to make matters easy for His slaves; He does not want to place hardship on them. If the matter is easy, the schedule is flexible, and people are few in Makkah, it would be fitting to take children along to perform Hajj. However, in times of congestion and seasons of Hajj and the days of Ramadan, young children should not be taken for Hajj because of the hardship on them and on their parents as well.
In the Sunnah, a woman asked the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), when she raised a young boy saying, “Is there Hajj for that boy?” He said: “Yes, and you will receive reward.”There is no record in the Sunnah that the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), ever ordered his Companions to let their young children enter the state of Ihraam, but he approved of it.
Another condition of Hajj is that the Muslim is financially and physically able because Allaah The Almighty laid this condition for the obligation of Hajj Saying (what means): {for whoever is able to find thereto a way.} [Quran 3:97] Hajj is not obligatory on the Muslim who is not able. Being financially able means that the Muslim owns enough money for Hajj which is over and above the needs of his home and what he needs of provisions and clothing for him and his dependants, rental accommodation and settling immediate debts. If a person has money that he needs for what has been mentioned, he is not obliged to perform Hajj. Whoever owes an immediate debt, is not required to perform Hajj until he has paid it off.
Debt in this context includes loans, the price of a commodity, rent and others. The person who owes one dirham that must be settled now is considered an indebted person on whom Hajj is not obligatory until he is discharged of it by paying it off or by forfeiting it. Settlement of debts is very serious in the sense that if a man is killed in the cause of Allaah The Almighty as a martyr, martyrdom remits everything except the debt. Also, if the indebted man dies, his soul is suspended by that debt until it is settled, as it was narrated from the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ). Even when a man was brought to the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), to offer his funeral prayer, he would ask if the deceased was in debt. If they said that he has a debt that will not be settled, the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), would go back and not pray for him, saying, “You offer the funeral prayer of your companion.”
It is amazing that some people today take the issue of debt lightly and borrow a lot of money without necessity or need at a time when the heirs no longer care for the debt of the deceased and do not pay it off immediately. Sometimes the deceased is heavily indebted and has real estate, but the heirs wait until this real estate commands higher prices. The heirs are indifferent to the deceased, who is more entitled to his money than them. Thus, it is not permissible for an heir to take one dirham until the debt of the deceased is paid off. As for deferred debts, if it is documented by mortgage enough to cover it, the obligation of Hajj is not waived. So, if the Muslim owes a debt for which he gave a mortgage that covers the debt and he has money and is able to perform Hajj provided that the debt is deferred, Hajj becomes obligatory because he is able to afford it. However, if the deferred debt is not documented by a mortgage that covers it, Hajj is not obligatory upon him until he pays off the debt.

Being physically able means that the Muslim is able to travel to the Sacred House without difficulty. If he cannot travel to the House or can only reach it with severe difficulty like a sick person or an elderly person; in such a case, if there is no hope of recovery from his sickness he should authorize a relative or someone to perform Hajj or‘Umrah on his behalf. However, if he dies before authorizing someone to perform Hajj on his behalf, his heirs should perform Hajj on his behalf. If a woman does not have a Mahram, Hajj is not obligatory on her because she does not find the way to perform Hajj. A woman is forbidden by the Sharee‘ah (Islamic legislation) to travel without a Mahram (non-marriageable male).

Ibn ‘Abbaas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him said that he heard the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), say in a Khutbah:“No man should be alone with a woman without a Mahram, nor should a woman travel except with a Mahram.”A man stood up and said, “O Messenger of Allaah, my wife set out to perform Hajj and I have been recruited in such-and-such a battle.” The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Go and perform Hajj with your wife.” The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), ordered him not to go to the battle but to perform Hajj with his wife. He did not investigate whether the woman was young, or in a company of women or otherwise. This indicates that it is forbidden for a woman to travel without a Mahram in all cases, whether by plane or car. The woman’s Mahrammight be her husband or any man whom she is permanently forbidden to marry such as her father, grandfather up to all levels, and her son, her grandson down to all levels, her brother, the son of her brother down to all levels, the son of her sister down to all levels, her paternal and maternal uncle, or the paternal uncle of her father or mother or the maternal uncle of her father or her mother. The maternal uncle of a person is his maternal uncle as well as all his descendants until the Day of Resurrection. So, is the paternal uncle, whether through biological factors or breastfeeding.
Mahrams also include the Mahrams through a marriage relation, such as the father of the husband up to all levels, the son of the husband down to all levels, the husband of the daughter down to all levels and the husband of the mother up to all levels provided the husband has consummated the marriage. The Mahram must be sane and have already reached puberty. The male who has not reached puberty cannot be a Mahram because the purpose of the Mahram is to guard the woman and protect her, and this is not achieved by a young boy.
If a person finds that he has satisfied the conditions of the obligation of Hajj, let him perform it as early as possible. The commands of Allaah The Almighty and His Messenger are to be carried out immediately without delay. Ibn Al-Qayyim, the renowned student of Shaykh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, said, “Whoever abandons Hajj deliberately while he is able to do it until he dies, or withholds Zakaah and does not pay it until he died, the proofs and principles of Sharee‘ah indicate that he is not discharged of them even if they are done after his death, nor will they be accepted from him. The truth is most deserving to be followed.”
Man does not know what will happen in the future, and so, you should be grateful for the blessings of Allaah The Almighty by thanking Him and performing what Allaah made obligatory upon you before death comes to you and you regret when regret is of no avail. Listen to what Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {And return [in repentance] to your Lord and submit to Him before the punishment comes upon you; then you will not be helped. And follow the best of what was revealed to you from your Lord before the punishment comes upon you suddenly while you do not perceive, Lest a soul should say, “Oh [how great is] my regret over what I neglected in regard to Allaah and that I was among the mockers.” Or [lest] it say, “If only Allaah had guided me, I would have been among the righteous.” Or [lest] it say when it sees the punishment, “If only I had another turn so I could be among the doers of good.”} [Quran 39:54-58]
A Muslim who performs Hajj according to the guidance of the Sharee‘ah and follows the Messenger of Allaah,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), his Hajj shall be complete whether or not ‘Aqeeqah was slaughtered on his behalf. Some of the common people think that there is no Hajj for the Muslim for whom ‘Aqeeqah was not slaughtered on his behalf. This is not correct, and there is no connection between Hajj and ‘Aqeeqah.Hajj is also valid even if a person did not make up for the days of fasting missed in Ramadan because there is no relationship between Hajj and fasting.
O slaves of Allaah, fear Allaah The Almighty Who Says (what means): {And fear a Day when no father will avail his son, nor will a son avail his father at all. Indeed, the Promise of Allaah is truth, so let not the worldly life delude you and be not deceived about Allaah by the Deceiver.}[Quran 31:33]
O Muslims, perform Hajj that Allaah The Almighty prescribed for you. Do not neglect or be slow.Hajj is one of the great pillars of Islam on which it is built and without which Islam will not be perfect. Perform it with sincerity to Allaah and following the Messenger of Allaah,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ). The Muslim who is in charge of workers, who have not performed Hajj, should facilitate the matter for them and help them do it. Let him not prevent a worker from performing Hajj because the Muslim is rewarded for making these matters easy for others. The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), said: “Whoever prepares a fighter in the cause of Allaah will be considered fighting in His cause.”
 When we see a person who has not performed the obligatory Hajj and he needs assistance, we should help him as much as we can, especially if he is under our responsibility and at our disposal. We should help and assist him in order to receive the reward and achieve goodness. We will not incur a great loss. A Muslim can go on the sixth day or the seventh or even the eighth day of Thul-Hijjah and return on the thirteenth day. So, Hajj takes only five days or so. When the Muslim quits work on these days for the sake of Allaah The Almighty, Allaah will compensate him with goodness and blessings. Help your brothers, for Allaah helps the person as long as he helps his brother, and whoever fulfills the need of his brother, Allaah The Almighty fulfils his needs.