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Chapter ten » Buying and Selling → ← Alms Tax (Zakat)» Miscellaneous rulings on zakāt al-fiṭrah

CHAPTER NINE » Hajj(1)

Ruling 2045. Hajj means visiting the House of Allah [the Kaʿbah in Mecca] and performing the prescribed rituals there. It is obligatory (wājib) on someone who fulfils the following conditions to perform hajj once in his lifetime:

1.
being of the age of legal responsibility (bāligh);
2. being sane (ʿāqil) and a free person;
3. on account of going for hajj, one must not be compelled to commit an unlawful (ḥarām) act which is more important to avoid than performing hajj; nor must he be compelled to abandon an obligatory act which is more important than performing hajj. However, if such a situation transpires and he goes for hajj, his hajj is valid (ṣaḥīḥ) although he will have committed a sin;
4. being able (mustaṭīʿ). This is determined by the following criteria:
a. he must possess the provisions, and – in the event that he requires it – the means of transportation for the journey; or, he must have the wealth to procure them;
b. he must be healthy and able to travel to Mecca and perform hajj without it causing him excessive difficulty (mashaqqah). This condition is a requirement for the obligation of hajj when a person is performing it himself; as for someone who has the financial capacity but not the physical ability to perform it himself, or performing it himself would cause him hardship (ḥaraj) and he is not hopeful of his physical condition improving, such a person must appoint a representative (nāʾib) [to perform hajj on his behalf];
c. during any stage of his journey, there must not be an obstruction to going further. If the route is closed, or, if a person fears that he will lose his life or honour on the journey, or that his property will be taken, then it is not obligatory on him to perform hajj. However, if he is able to go by another route, he must do so even if it is a longer route, unless that route is so much longer and so unusual that it can be said the road for hajj is closed;
d. he must have sufficient time to perform the rituals of hajj;
e. he must be able to meet the living expenses of those whose maintenance is obligatory on him, such as his wife and children, and those who, if he were to stop spending on them, it would cause him hardship;
f. upon returning, he must have a business, a farm, an income from a property, or some other means of earning his livelihood, i.e. it must not be such that because of the expenses he incurs for hajj, he is compelled to live in difficulty when he comes back.

Ruling 2046. With regard to someone who on account of not owning a house experiences hardship, hajj only becomes obligatory on him when he has money for a house as well.

Ruling 2047. With regard to a woman who is able to go to Mecca, if upon her return she will not possess any wealth and her husband is, for example, a poor person (faqīr) who does not meet her living expenses, and if therefore she would have to live in difficulty, then it is not obligatory on her to go for hajj.

Ruling 2048. If someone does not possess the provisions and the means of transportation for the journey, and if someone else tells him to go for hajj and that he will pay for his living expenses and the living expenses of his dependants during his trip for hajj, then, in the event that he is confident (i.e. he has iṭmiʾnān) that the person will pay for his expenses, hajj is obligatory on him.

Ruling 2049. If in order for a person to perform hajj some people gift him the expenses for going to and returning from Mecca, and they also gift him the living expenses of his dependants during the time he is on his journey to Mecca, then hajj is obligatory on him even if he has a debt to pay off and even if he does not possess wealth that he can live on upon his return. However, if the journey for hajj falls on the days when he earns a living, and were he to go for hajj he would not be able to repay his debt on time, or he would not be able to pay for his living expenses for the rest of the year, then hajj is not obligatory on him.

Ruling 2050. If some people provide one’s travel expenses and the living expenses of his dependants for the period he is in Mecca, and they tell him to go for hajj but the money will not be his own, [rather, it will only be permissible for him to use it,] then, in the event that he is confident that they will not take it back from him, hajj is obligatory on him.

Ruling 2051. If some people provide someone with an amount of money that is sufficient for performing hajj, but they make it a condition that during the journey to Mecca he serves someone who is giving him the money, hajj is not obligatory on him.

Ruling 2052. If some people gift an amount of money to someone, making hajj obligatory on him, in the event that he performs hajj and he later acquires wealth himself, hajj is not obligatory on him again.

Ruling 2053. If a person goes on a business trip to Jeddah, for example, and there he acquires some wealth that would enable him to go to Mecca if he wanted to go there, he must go for hajj. And in the event that he performs hajj and he later acquires wealth that enables him to go to Mecca from his home town (waṭan), hajj is not obligatory on him again.

Ruling 2054. If a person is hired to personally go for hajj on behalf of another person, in the event that he is unable to go himself and wants to send someone else on his behalf, he must get authorisation from the person who hired him.

Ruling 2055. If someone becomes able to go to Mecca but does not reach the plains of ʿArafāt and Mashʿar al-Ḥarām at the prescribed time, in the event that he is unable to go for hajj in subsequent years, hajj will not be obligatory on him. However, if for some years he was able to go but did not, then he must go for hajj even if it entails difficulty.

Ruling 2056. If a person who has become able does not go for hajj, and afterwards due to old age, illness, or incapacitation he is unable to perform hajj or it entails hardship, and if he loses hope in being able to perform hajj himself in subsequent years, then he must send someone to perform hajj on his behalf; and if in subsequent years he is able to perform hajj himself, he must do so. The same applies if a person cannot perform hajj due to old age, illness, or incapacitation in the first year that he acquires a sufficient amount of wealth for performing hajj, and he loses hope in being able to perform it in subsequent years. In all of these cases, the recommended precaution (al-iḥtiyāṭ al-mustaḥabb) is that if the person being represented (al-manūb ʿanhu) is a man, then the representative (nāʾib) should be someone who will go for hajj for the first time (ṣarūrah).

Ruling 2057. A person who has been hired to perform hajj on behalf of someone else must perform ṭawāf al-nisāʾ(2) on behalf of that other person, and if he does not, then sexual relations are unlawful for the person who has been hired.

Ruling 2058. If a person does not perform ṭawāf al-nisāʾ correctly or forgets to perform it, in the event that he remembers this after a few days, comes back, and performs it, it is valid. However, in the event that returning causes him excessive difficulty, he can appoint a representative [to perform it on his behalf].

(1) This chapter contains only a selection of al-Sayyid al-Sistani’s rulings on hajj. A separate work, titled Manāsik al-Ḥajj wa al-Mulḥaqātuhā, contains all of his rulings on hajj.

(2) This is an obligatory circumambulation (ṭawāf) of the Kaʿbah that is performed as part of the hajj rituals.
Chapter ten » Buying and Selling → ← Alms Tax (Zakat)» Miscellaneous rulings on zakāt al-fiṭrah
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