The Prerequisites of The Obligation of Performing The Hajj

الحمد لله رب العالمين، والصلاة والسلام على أشرف الأنبياء والمرسلين نبينا محمد، وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين. أما بعد

Shaikh Muhammad bin Saalih Al-‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) said:


“For the obligation (of Hajj) there are conditions:

Firstly: Islaam: therefore non-muslims are not obligated to perform the Hajj – rather it is not even correct if he (i.e. a non-muslim) performs the Hajj; and his entry into Makkah is not allowed. This is due to His saying The Most High:

 {إِنَّمَا الْمُشْرِكُونَ نَجَسٌ فَلا يَقْرَبُوا الْمَسْجِدَ الْحَرَامَ بَعْدَ عَامِهِمْ هَذَا}

((Indeed the polytheists are unclean, so let them not approach the Masjid Al-Haraam after this year of theirs)) (At-Tawbah: 28)


Therefore it is unlawful for the one who is a disbeliever – no matter what reason his journey is based upon – it is impermissible for him to enter the Haram vicinity of Makkah. However the disbeliever will be held to account over the abandonment of the Hajj as well as other than it from the branches of Islaam in the preferred opinion from the opinions of the people of knowledge, due to His saying The Most High:

{إِلَّا أَصْحَابَ الْيَمِينِ} {فِي جَنَّاتٍ يَتَسَاءَلُونَ} {عَنْ الْمُجْرِمِينَ} {مَا سَلَكَكُمْ فِي سَقَرَ} {قَالُوا لَمْ نَكُ مِنَ الْمُصَلِّينَ} {وَلَمْ نَكُ نُطْعِمُ الْمِسْكِينَ} {وَكُنَّا نَخُوضُ مَعَ الْخَائِضِينَ} {وَكُنَّا نُكَذِّبُ بِيَوْمِ الدِّينِ} {حَتَّى أَتَانَا الْيَقِينُ}

((Except the companions of the right, in Gardens (Paradise) they will ask one another, about the Mujrimeen [criminals/wrongdoers], “What has caused you to enter Hell?” They will say: “We were not of those who prayed, nor did we used to feed the poor, and we used to partake in vain discourse with the vain-talkers, and we used to belie the Day of Recompense, until there came to us the certainty.”)) (Al-Muddathir: 39-47)


The Second Condition: ‘Aql (intellect): therefore the insane individual does not have the Hajj obligated upon him. So if a person is insane from a time before he reached puberty until he dies; then the Hajj is not obligatory upon him – even if he is affluent.

The Third Condition: Reaching Puberty/Maturity: therefore whoever is below the age of puberty then the Hajj is not obligatory upon him. However if he were to perform the Hajj; then his Hajj would be correct except that it is not a requital for him of the obligation in Islaam. This is due to the saying of the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) to the woman who raised a child up to him and said:

‘Is there a Hajj for this one?’ he said: ((yes; and for you is the reward))[1].


However it is not a requital for him of the obligation in Islaam, this is because he has not been encountered by the command of it and as such be rewarded by way of it – since the command would not be addressed to him except after his reaching puberty.

On this occasion I would like to say that in the like of these  seasons in which the crowds become great, the wearing of the Ihraam becomes difficult for the young ones and the observance of the completion of their rights (of Hajj). Therefore it is of more precedence that they do not go into Ihraam, not for Hajj nor for ‘Umrah – I mean these young ones. This is because there is hardship in that upon them as well as upon the parents and could possibly busy them from completing their rights, meaning that the sons could busy their fathers or their mothers from completing their rights. Therefore they will remain in anguish, so for as long as the Hajj is not obligatory upon them; then they have an ample extent in their affair.

The Fourth Condition: Freedom/Liberty: therefore the slave and bondsman does not have the obligation of Hajj upon him, this is because he is a slave who is busy with his master. So he is excused with leaving off the Hajj as he cannot find a way to perform it.

The Fifth Condition: The ability to perform the Hajj by way of financial ability and bodily enablement. Therefore if a person has the financial ability but not the bodily enablement then he should deputize someone who can perform the Hajj on his behalf. This is due to the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Abbaas (radhiyallaahu ‘anhumaa) who said:

 A woman of the Khath’amiyyah asked the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam): ‘O Messenger of Allaah; indeed my father has come under the obligation of Allaah which is enjoined upon His servants by way of the Hajj, he is an elderly man who cannot remain steady on a riding beast – should I make the Hajj on his behalf?’ so he said: ((yes))[2].


This was in the farewell Hajj; and in her saying: ‘he has come under the obligation of Allaah which is enjoined upon His servants by way of the Hajj’ and the agreement of the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) of that is a proof that whoever has financial ability and not the physical (bodily) enablement; then it is obligatory for him to appoint someone who will perform the Hajj on his behalf.

As for if he has the bodily enablement but not the financial ability and so cannot physically reach Makkah, then the Hajj is not obligatory upon him.”


The Shaikh said elsewhere with regards to this fifth condition:

“The types of ability to perform the Hajj are four:

The First: that a person is wealthy and has the physical ability, such a person has the Hajj and ‘Umrah obligated upon him to perform himself.

The Second: that a person has the physical ability but not the financial ability, then the Hajj and ‘Umrah are still obligatory upon him if he is not impeded by performing them due to the issue of finance. Such as his being from the people of Makkah and so it is not difficult for him to set out to the Hajj stations, yet if he is far from Makkah; then he could say: ‘I can be of service to the people and so eat along with them’, so he is able – therefore the Hajj and ‘Umrah are compulsory upon him.

The Third: that a person has the financial ability but lacks the physical ability, the Hajj and ‘Umrah are obligatory upon him through appointed deputation.

The Fourth: that a person lacks the financial as well as the physical ability, hence the (obligation of) Hajj and the ‘Umrah fall away from him.”


(Taken from: Majmu’ Fataawaa wa Rasaa-il Fadheelah Ash-Shaikh Muhammad bin Saalih Al-‘Uthaimeen vol 21 p.14-15 & Sharh Al-Mumti’ vol 7 p.11)


[1] Reported by Muslim in The Book of Hajj, chapter: the correctness of the Hajj of the young one (no.1336) (409).

[2] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree in The Book of Hajj, chapter: the obligation of the Hajj and its excellence (no.1513) and Muslim in The Book of Hajj, chapter: the Hajj on behalf of the one unable to perform it (no.1334).

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