Physical and financial ability to perform Hajj
Fatwa No: 152365

  • Fatwa Date:22-3-2011 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 17, 1432
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Question

AsSalaamo Alaikum, My question is about hajje badal whether one can opt for this option if he has some disability (the nature here is related to the limb that the person cannot bend his leg fom knee so the leg has to be straight all the time no matter sitting aur parying etc though living a normal life and fulfilling all his responsibilities but offcourse with this dificulty), secondly if a person is at the elderly stage with this condition and still earning money but at the same time dependent on his only son for running the expenses ( considering here the nature of expenses are of paying off debts and maintaining the same level of life style), can opt for hajje badal for his own self and sending his wife for hajj financed by his son? Though he can some how is able to save money not in one go but in parts and then may be in 2-3 years can finance by himself, here please consider that the person is at his elderly stage of life once had already opted for early retirement from a bank n now doing a contractual job in another bank from where he might get retired but not yet confirmed. On the other side the son is not very wealthy but yes earning good n can finance his parents hajj only by his annual bonus money, has mortgage on him for the property which he pays in installments and also he himself has not performed his own hajj yet. please my request is not post this question on the web JazzakAllah Alkhair

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

In principle, a person must perform Hajj by himself and not appoint another person to perform Hajj on his behalf. However, if a person is unable to perform Hajj by himself, then it becomes permissible for him to appoint someone else to perform Hajj on his behalf as the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said to the woman who told him that her father cannot sit firmly on the riding animal due to his old age and she asked him whether she is permitted to perform Hajj on his behalf, and he ( sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention )) replied: “Yes.” [Al-Bukhari]

The criterion of inability is when there is an unbearable hardship due to a chronic disease or old age and the like. An-Nawawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him when defining the person who is physically unable to perform Hajj and who is permitted to appoint someone to perform Hajj on his behalf, said: “If a person has a disease and it is expected that he will be cured from it, then he is not considered physically unable to perform Hajj and it is not permissible for him to appoint someone else to perform Hajj on his behalf in his life. There is no difference of opinion among the scholars on this issue... However, if he is unable to perform Hajj by himself in a way that is not expected to end due to old age, infirmity, a sickness that is not expected to be cured, or that he is too old to be able to sit firmly on the riding animal except with great difficulty, …then this is the person who is physically unable to perform Hajj.”

Therefore, if a person is unable to bend his leg but he is able to perform Hajj by himself even with a bearable hardship, then it is not sufficient for him to appoint someone else to perform Hajj on his behalf, and he must perform Hajj by himself. However, if he knows that Hajj is difficult for him due to that disability, and its difficulty is usually unbearable, and it is not expected for him to be cured of this disability, then in this case, it is not obligatory for him to perform Hajj by himself. In case he has enough money for Hajj, then he is obligated to appoint someone else to perform Hajj on his behalf.”

Nonetheless, if one does not have enough money to be considered financially able to perform Hajj and his son offered to pay him the expenses of Hajj does Hajj become obligatory on him? There are two different opinions amomg the scholars regarding this: the first opinion is that it becomes obligatory on him, and this is the view of the Hanbali School of jurisprudence, and the second opinion is that it does not become obligatory on him and this is the view of the Shaafi’i School of jurisprudence.

Hence, if the old person whom you referred to in the question has enough money to perform Hajj with, then it becomes an obligation on him to perform Hajj whether he gathered it from retirement pension or from the money given to him by his son or by someone else.

Allaah Knows best.

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