Praise be to Allah, Who enjoined Hajj to the Sacred House on His servants and gave good reward on that. Whoever performs Hajj to the House and does not approach his wife for sexual relations nor commits sins while performing Hajj, he will come out as sinless as a newly born child, just delivered by his mother. An accepted Hajj will be rewarded with nothing but Paradise. I testify that there is none worthy to be worshiped but Allah, with Whom there is no associate, the Lord of Glory and Splendor. I testify that Muhammad is Allah’s servant and Messenger, the best of those who performed prayer, gave Zakaah, made Hajj and observed fasting. May Allah bless him, his family, his Companions and those who will follow them on proper way until the Resurrection Day!
O people! Fear Allah and fulfill the obligation of Hajj, which Allah enjoined on you, as much as you can. Allah the Almighty says which translates as: “In it are Signs manifest; (for example), the Station of Abraham; whoever enters it attains security; pilgrimage thereto is a duty men owe to Allah, those who can afford the journey; but if any deny faith, Allah stands not in need of any of His creatures.” (Surah Aal-`Imraan: 97)
The Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said: “Islam is to testify that there is no deity but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establish prayer, give Zakaah, observe fasting in Ramadan and make Hajj to the House if you can afford it.” The Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said that Islam is founded on these five pillars, and that if any of these five is lacking Islam will be imperfect. ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “I was about to send envoys to the towns to check on all those who have the means to make Hajj but do not perform it, in order to demand them to pay Jizyah; they are not Muslims, they are not Muslims”.
The obligation of Hajj is confirmed by the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah, as well as the consensus agreement of the Muslim scholars. Whoever denies the obligation of Hajj will be regarded an infidel, and whoever abandons it because of his indifference to it, though he admits its obligation, he is on the verge of disbelief. After mentioning the obligation of Hajj, Allah says which translates as: “In it are Signs manifest; (for example), the Station of Abraham; whoever enters it attains security; pilgrimage thereto is a duty men owe to Allah, those who can afford the journey; but if any deny faith, Allah stands not in need of any of His creatures.” (Surah Aal-`Imraan: 97).
How can a Muslim feel assured when he abandons Hajj while he is able to afford for it both financially and physically, though he is well aware that Hajj is an obligation and one of the pillars of Islam? How can a Muslim withhold money from spending it in Hajj, though he spends much of it in worldly pleasures? How can a Muslim save himself the fatigue of Hajj, while he exerts himself in the worldly endeavors? How can he slacken to perform Hajj, while it is enjoined to be performed once during one’s whole lifetime? How can he procrastinate in performing Hajj, while he does not know if his life will extend a day longer or not?
So, fear Allah, servants of Allah, and fulfill the obligation of Hajj enjoined on you by Allah, with sincere devotion to Him, complying with His commandments and stimulated by the desire to obey Him, if you are truly believers. Allah the Almighty said what means: “It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger, to have any option about their decision: if anyone disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path” (Surah Al-Ahzab: 36).
If a believer performs Hajj for once after he attains puberty, it will be sufficient for him and will fulfill this essential cornerstone of Islam. He will not be demanded to perform either Hajj or ‘Umrah after that, unless he vows to make either of them, in which case he will be obliged to fulfill his vow. The Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said: “Let whoever vows to obey Allah fulfill his vow.”
O Muslims! It is an indication of Allah’s Mercy and Wisdom that he specified certain limits for His obligations, in order to well define responsibilities. Allah made such obligations most fit the doer, the place and the time in which such obligations should be fulfilled. Like all other obligations, Hajj has certain limits and conditions that should first be fulfilled in order to demand a Muslim to perform Hajj. Among the conditions of the obligation of Hajj is to attain puberty, which is ascertained in males with one of three signs:
a. Ejaculation of semen,
b. Reaching the age of fifteen years old,
c. Growth of pubic hair.
Puberty is ascertained in females with the above three signs, in addition to their monthly period.
Anyone who has not attained puberty will not be required to make Hajj, even if he is financially able to do so. However, his Hajj will be valid and he will get reward on it. On attaining puberty he will be required to make the obligatory Hajj, since the Hajj he made before attaining puberty does not absolve him from the obligatory Hajj. Thus, if one accompanies his young children in Hajj, both he and his children will get reward for Hajj, and if he does not accompany them, neither he nor his children will incur sin.
One of the conditions of the obligation of Hajj is the ability, both financially and physically. Allah the Almighty said what means: “In it are Signs manifest; (for example), the Station of Abraham; whoever enters it attains security; pilgrimage thereto is a duty men owe to Allah, those who are capable and can afford the journey; but if any deny faith, Allah stands not in need of any of His creatures” (Surah Aal-`Imraan: 97).
Thus, if this condition is lacking, Hajj becomes not obligatory. Financial ability is realized when someone owns enough money to undertake the journey of Hajj after fulfilling his needs and the needs of his dependents including outlay, clothing and hire for his accommodation for one year, and after repaying the debts he owes to others, whose time of repayment is due. If someone owns money, but needs it to fulfill any of the above-mentioned obligations, he will not be obliged to make Hajj. The same applies in the case of the one who is in debt, until he repays it. The term ‘debt’ includes all credits owed by a person, including loans, purchase prices, hires, etc. Thus, one who owes, even one dollar, to another is considered a debtor and will not be obliged to make Hajj unless he repays the debt he owes. Islam attains so much importance to fulfilling debts that a martyr’s sins will be expiated except for the debts he owed. According to Islam, the soul of the deceased is suspended until his debt is repaid on his behalf.
The Hajj obligation does not fall on a man whose deferred debt is guaranteed by a pledge equal to its value, rather the debtor will be requested to perform Hajj if he has the means to do so. However, if the deferred debt is not guaranteed with a pledge that equals its value, the debtor will not be requested to perform Hajj, unless he absolves himself from this debt.
Physical capability denotes that one has the ability to reach the Sacred House in Makkah on his own without difficulty. If he cannot do that, or can do it but with extreme difficulty, such as the case of the sick person, he may wait until his conditions improve, if the improvement is possible. If he waits but dies before making Hajj, Hajj is to be made on his behalf, with the expenses taken from his legacy. If his conditions are not likely to improve, such as the case of senility or chronic incurable diseases, he should authorize another person to make Hajj on his behalf, either from his relatives or others. If he dies before assigning a person to make Hajj on his behalf, any person may make Hajj for him, with the expenses covered from the former’s legacy. If a woman finds no Mahram (husband or male relative whom she cannot marry) to accompany her on the journey, she will not be obliged to perform Hajj. In this case she will be regarded as those who do not have the ability to perform Hajj, since she is legally banned from travel on a journey without a Mahram. Ibn ‘Abbas said: I heard the Messenger (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) saying: “It is not permissible for a man to be alone with a woman, and no lady should travel except with a Mahram (i.e. her husband or a person whom she cannot marry in any case forever; e.g. her father, brother, etc.)." Then a man got up and said, "O Allah Messenger of Allah! I have enlisted in the army for such-and-such Ghazwah and my wife is proceeding for Hajj." Allah's Apostle said, "Go, and perform the Hajj with your wife.”
In this Hadith, the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) ordered the man to accompany his wife in the journey of Hajj, without asking him whether she was young or that she would join a group of women in the journey. This formulates a proof that a woman is prohibited to travel without a Mahram on any occasion or by any means of transports, i.e. planes, cars, etc. A Mahram should be a mature male, as an immature person cannot serve the purpose of this condition, which is to preserve woman’s honor and chastity.
O Muslims, let those who fulfill the conditions of Hajj perform it without delay before he is overtaken by death and then regret when it will be too late for regret. Allah the Almighty says which translates as: “"Turn ye to your Lord (in repentance) and bow to His (Will), before the Penalty comes on you: after that ye shall not be helped."And follow the Best of (the courses) revealed to you from your Lord, before the Penalty comes on you - of a sudden while ye perceive not! - "Lest the soul should (then) say: `Ah! Woe is me! In that I neglected (my Duty) towards Allah, and was but among those who mocked!' "Or (lest) it should say: 'If only Allah had guided me, I should certainly have been among the righteous!' "Or (lest) it should say when it (actually) sees the Penalty: 'If only I had another chance, I should certainly be among those who do good!'” (Surah Az-Zumar: 54 – 58)
Whoever performs Hajj, abiding by the legal rules, with sincere devotion to Allah and with adherence to the conduct of the Messenger of Allah, his Hajj will be perfect, no matter whether that Aqiqah was slaughtered by his parents on the seventh day of his birth or not.
May Allah guide you and I to establish His ordinances and to abide by their limits, out of His Bounty and Generosity, for He is Most Bounteous and Most Generous.
I ask Allah’s Forgiveness for you and for me, for all Muslims from all sins. So, seek His Forgiveness, for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
Praise be to Allah, Who enjoined devotional practices in order to purify the souls and perfect faith, dividing them to that which is purely physical and that which is purely financial and other kinds of devotion, which combine the two types. I testify that there is no deity but Allah, with Whom there is no associate, the King, the Judge. I testify that Muhammad is Allah’s servant and Messenger, who was sent to all humankind and Jinn. May Allah bless him, his family, his Companions and those who will follow them in the proper way until the Resurrection Day!
O people! Fear Allah, the Almighty and know that Hajj is one of the best kinds of worship and the greatest in reward. It was related that the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said: “(The performance of) ‘Umrah is an expiation for the sins committed (between it and the previous one). And the reward of Hajj Mabrur (the one accepted by Allah) is nothing except Paradise. Whoever performs Hajj to this House (Ka’aba) and does not approach his wife for sexual relations nor commits sins (while performing Hajj), he will come out as sinless as a newly born child. (Just delivered by his mother)”.
Hajj is a physical devotion that a servant is requested to fulfill in person, though a small part of it pertains to money, such as the offering of a sacrifice. However, the Prophet’s Sunnah clarified that proxy is permissible in Hajj, in case one is unable to perform it on his own due to legal excuses. It was relayed in Sahih Al-Bukhari on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) that: A woman said: “Messenger of Allah, my father is very old. There is an old obligation of Hajj upon him from Allah, but he is not capable of sitting on the back of the camel.” Thereupon Allah's Messenger (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said: “Perform Hajj on his behalf.” This happened in the Farewell Pilgrimage. Another woman came to the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) and said, "My mother had vowed to perform Hajj but she died before performing it. May I perform Hajj on my mother's behalf?" The Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) replied, "Perform Hajj on her behalf. Had there been a debt on your mother, would you have paid it or not? So, pay Allah's debt as He has more right to be paid."
If a person has the ability to perform Hajj in person, he is not permitted to authorize another person to make Hajj on his behalf. Many people loosely resort to Hajj by proxy in the case of supererogatory Hajj, even if they are capable to perform it in person, thus depriving themselves from the reward attained from the fatigue of worship and all that it contains of remembrance, supplication, submissiveness to Allah, redoubling of reward, useful meetings, etc. In one of the two narrations reported from Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, he forbade proxy in supererogatory Hajj for those who are capable to perform it in person. Thus, a Muslim should not be careless concerning the matter of Hajj; he should perform supererogatory Hajj in person if he wishes, or provide pilgrims with money in order to share with them the reward of Hajj.
O people! Hajj is a kind of worship done by the servant as a means to please Allah and to attain reward in the Hereafter. A servant’s attention should not be completely diverted to attaining worldly gains through Hajj. Unfortunately, many people who perform Hajj on behalf of others do this solely for the sake of money, which is prohibited, since worldly considerations should not spoil worship.
Allah the Almighty says which translates as: “Those who desire the life of the Present and its glitter, to them We shall pay (the price of) their deeds therein, without diminution. They are those for whom there is nothing in the Hereafter but the Fire: vain are the designs they frame therein, and of no effect are the deeds that they do!” (Surah Hud: 15-16).
He also says which translates as: “So when ye have accomplished your holy rites, celebrate the praises of Allah, as ye used to celebrate the praises of your fathers, yea, with far more heart and soul. There are men who say: "Our Lord! Give us (Thy bounties) in this world!" But they will have no portion in the Hereafter.” (Surah Al-Baqarah: 200).
Allah will not accept a worship done not for His sake. The Messenger of Allah prevented seeking worldly gains in the places of worship when he said: “If you see a man indulges in a transaction in the mosque, say to him, ‘may Allah not render your trade profitable” If this strict attitude is taken against those who utilize places of worship for worldly gains, what about those who turn the worship itself into a means of attaining worldly gains? We find those requested to make Hajj on behalf of others bargain and ask for more money, which turn worship into a craft or profession. For this reason the Hanbali jurists maintained that it is invalid to hire a man to perform Hajj on behalf of another. Ibn Taimiyah declared that whoever makes Hajj only to attain hire will have no reward in the Hereafter. However, if proxy is made for a religious purpose, such as benefiting others with the reward of Hajj or aiming to increase acts of obedience through supplication and remembrance of Allah during the rituals of Hajj, Hajj by proxy will be valid in this case.
Those who charge for proxy in Hajj should devote their intention to seek the pleasure of Allah, aiming to exercise worships related to Allah’s House, remembering Him and supplicating Him, in addition to the fulfillment of the needs of their fellow Muslims who authorized them to make Hajj on their behalf. They should not pour all their attention on gaining worldly benefits, for if this becomes their sole interest, they will not be permitted to charge for proxy in Hajj. If one entertains a sound intention for proxy in Hajj, all the money he gets from the authorizing person will be his, unless the latter demand refunding remaining amounts after covering the costs of Hajj. The deputy person should intend to perform Hajj and ‘Umrah on behalf of the authorizing person, unless the former stipulates to perform ‘Umrah for his benefit. A person deputized to make Hajj on behalf of another person cannot deputize a third party, unless after obtaining the consent of the person who commissioned him to make Hajj on his behalf. All the reward of acts related to rituals of Hajj goes to the authorizing person, but the redoubling of reward through offering supererogatory prayers and Tawaf, as well as extra types of worship that exceeds the rituals goes to the authorized person. The representative in Hajj should exert the best of his efforts to accomplish the verbal and practical acts related to the rituals, since this is a kind of trust that he should fulfill duly. When pronouncing Talbiah, he should say: ‘labbaika ‘an fulan’ (O Allah I respond to Your Call on behalf of so and so.) If he forgets his name, he may intend it with his heart, saying: ‘labbaika ‘Amman anabani fi hadhihil-‘Umrah, or fi hathal-Hajj’ (I respond to Your Call on behalf of one who authorized me to make this ‘Umrah or this Hajj.)
O servants of Allah! Fear Allah and do not pay much attention to the worldly gains, and do not turn worship into a means of attaining material gains! May Allah guide you and I to be sincere in our intentions and to perfect our deeds! May Allah guide you and I to the straightforward path, for He is Most Bounteous, Most Generous. Praise be to Allah the Lord of all worlds. May Allah bless our Prophet Muhammad, his family and all his Companions!
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