When does Hajj become Obligatory?
Question asked by .
Answered by Dr. Shehzad Saleem

When does Hajj become obligatory on a Muslim? If a person has gathered some money by which he/she can easily perform Hajj, is it allowed for him/her to spend that money on some other account, for example to go for higher education? Please elaborate.


In this regard, the Qur’an has guided us in the following words:

And for those who have the resources to reach there – [the House of their Lord] – on them is an obligation to perform for Allah the Hajj of this House. (3:97)

Keeping in view the Arabic word Istata‘ah (resources), sense and reason demand that, except in extraordinary circumstances, as soon as a person has arranged for his basic necessities of life like food, clothing, health, house, transport, and education, he should try to raise money for offering Hajj. He should also plan to take time off from the daily routine of life for this all important undertaking. The importance Hajj has as a form of worship ritual entails that one should plan to collect money specifically for this purpose and should embark upon this sacred journey whenever it is possible for him.

The whole event of Hajj has a deep symbolic significance and if performed with sincerity and spirit, cleanses a person from all his sins. The Prophet (sws) is reported to have said:

Abu Hurayrah narrates: ‘If someone offers Hajj during which he abstained completely from lewd talk and did not indulge into any act of disobedience of Allah, he will be rid of all his sins and become as pure as he was on the day he was born’. (Bukhari, Kitabu’l-Hajj)

A believer should yearn for such opportunities, for purifying the soul is the objective of Islam – something which will lead him to the life of bliss in the Hereafter. As such, saving money for Hajj should be among his goals. The current practice of waiting to go for Hajj when one grows old seems to be against the spirit of worship. The Prophet (sws) is reported to have remarked:

He who intends to go for Hajj should do it as soon as is possible for him. (Abu Da’u d: Kitabu’l-Manasik)

 The money collected for Hajj  can be used for other purposes if any unavoidable need arises.

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