What is the hajj? What are the conditions for the Hajj being obligatory? What are the rules for Hajj 2023? Why was Hajj made obligatory? When did Hajj become obligatory?
For a person to be obligated to perform hajj, the following conditions must be met:
1) Being a Muslim: Non-Muslims are not obligated to perform Hajj. Therefore, if a non-Muslim converts to Islam after performing a pilgrimage for any reason, he must perform the Hajj again when he or she meets all other conditions. Likewise, if a Muslim converts out of religion after the pilgrimage and then repents and converts back to Islam, he too must perform Hajj again when he meets the other conditions.
2) Being sane and adolescent: Children and mentally ill people are not obligated to perform the pilgrimage. This is because they are not held responsible for religious rules. Hajj or ʿumra performed by a mentally ill person is not valid because he or she does not have the capacity to perform acts of worship. If these two perform Hajj, then if the child reaches puberty, and if the mentally ill person recovers, Hajj will be obligatory upon them. Furthermore, hajj performed by a child before puberty is considered supererogatory. The following is stated in the hadith, “There are three people whose actions are not recorded a sleeping person till he awakes, a child till he is a grown-up and an insane person till he is restored to reason or recovers his sense.” However, mental illness, fainting, drunkenness, and sleep do not remove the command of iḥrām.
3) Being free: Hajj is not obligatory for a slave, a captive, or a prisoner since pilgrimage is an act of worship that requires a long journey and requires one to be able to travel. No one who does not possess freedom or is restricted is able to perform it.
4) Time: Hajj can be performed once a year and at a time determined by Islam. For this reason, pilgrimage is not obligatory for a person unless he reaches the certain times for ritual standing in the plain of Arafat and obligatory circumambulation. The following verses show that pilgrimage is timely worship, “They ask thee concerning the New Moons. Say: They are but signs to mark fixed periods of time in (the affairs of) men, and for Pilgrimage.”, and “For Hajj are the months well known.” The Prophet (saw) made the Farewell pilgrimage with his companions in the month of Dhu’l-Hijja and made the following call regarding the pilgrimage, “Take the rites of pilgrimage from me, perform the pilgrimage as you see me performing it.” According to the Ḥanafis and the Ḥanbalis, the months of pilgrimage are the months of Shawwal and Dhu’l-Qaʿdah and the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijja.
Times outside this period are not suitable for entering the state of iḥrām for the farḍ hajj and for performing the rites of hajj. However, if one enters the state of iḥrām before these months with the intention of hajj, the iḥrām will be valid and the pilgrimage will be valid. Its evidence is the following verse, “And complete the Hajj or ʿumra in the service of Allah.” Therefore, it is not permissible to do anything from the rites of hajj before the months of hajj commence. According to the Ḥanafis, the state of iḥrām is a condition, and putting it forward is like putting the performance of wuḍū before the time of prayer. Because the state of iḥrām is the prohibition of certain things and making certain things obligatory on the person who will perform the Hajj. Again, this would be like entering the state of iḥrām before coming to the places of mīqāt.
According to the Malikis, the months of pilgrimage are exactly three months. The time to enter the state of iḥrām for Hajj starts from the beginning of Shawwal, that is, on the first night of Eid-al-Fiṭr, and continues until dawn on the morning of Eid al-Aḍḥā. If a person stays in the plain of Arafat for a moment before dawn on the morning of Eid, he will have attained the rites of pilgrimage. However, there will be some other rites of Hajj like the obligatory circumambulation and saʿy that will remain to complete.
5) Being able to perform the Hajj (istiṭāʿa): This could be about body, property, or road safety. In the verse, “Pilgrimage thereto is a duty that men owe to Allah, those who can afford the journey.” The expression “who can afford the journey” in this verse includes the elements of “physical ability and enough wealth (istiṭāʿa) and road safety” according to the Ḥanafis. These are the conditions for the performance of pilgrimage. Ibn Abbas interpreted “istiṭāʿa” as the existence of the provisions (zād) and mount (rāhila). Since the pilgrimage is an act of worship performed only on certain days in Mecca and its surroundings, the obligation is conditional upon sufficient physical and financial means. Because Islam does not impose a burden on a person that he cannot bear. “Istiṭāʿa” refers “to be able and able to do something” meaning that the person who will go on a pilgrimage must have sufficient time for pilgrimage and the financial power to provide for himself and his dependents in accordance with their social level until he returns.
If a poor person who comes from outside the mīqāts limits arrives at Mecca due to a job such as being a worker, driver, assistant, butcher, or with the opportunities provided by someone else, on the day of Arafa at the latest, he will be like a Meccan and he will have performed the obligatory pilgrimage because he has the ability to perform the hajj.
Conditions for The Valid Performance of Hajj
A) Common Conditions
1) Being healthy
According to Abu Ḥanīfa and Imam Malik, since being healthy is a condition of the obligation to perform Hajj, Hajj is not obligatory upon a person who is not healthy. Therefore, they do not need to send a proxy on their behalf.
According to Abu Yusuf, Imam Muhammad, Imam Shafiʿi, and Ḥanbali jurists, those who have a permanent illness or disability that prevents them from going to hajj, despite meeting the above-mentioned conditions for obligation, should send a proxy on their behalf or make a will if they cannot find the opportunity to perform it. Blindness, handicap, and illness or old age that inhibit the performance of the pilgrimage are listed among the diseases and disabilities that actually prevent pilgrimage. However, if their incapacity is recovered after sending a proxy on their behalf, they must still perform the pilgrimage themselves.
2) Road safety:
According to the opinion that is the basis of the preferred view in the Ḥanafi and the Ḥanbali schools, the existence of road safety is one of the conditions of the valid performance of the pilgrimage. According to the Shafiʿis and the Malikis, road safety is accepted within the scope of “istiṭāʿa” and regarded among the conditions of making pilgrimage obligatory. The widespread contagious disease, war conditions that may affect pilgrims, bandit raids, and the risk of being killed on the roads can be counted among the situations that remove road safety.
Road safety for women occurs when she goes to pilgrimage together with a maḥram man (permanently prohibited to get married to), who is a sane, adolescent or murāhiq (a boy between the ages of 12 and adolescence) from the blood or ṣihrī (relationship born by marriage contract) relatives or her husband. It is considered makrūḥ close to Ḥaram, for a woman to perform a pilgrimage to Mecca for three days and three nights (a journey distance) or from a farther place, without her husband or a maḥram relative. However, the pilgrimage of a woman who performs hajj without a maḥram is permissible with reprehensibility. The presence of a maḥram is a condition of the obligation to perform the pilgrimage. Some say that it is the condition of its valid performance. Due to widespread mischief today, a woman cannot travel with her milk brother. This is because it is makrūḥ to be alone (khalwah) with a milk relative, as is the case with young ṣihrī (marriage) relatives. The Shafiʿis add to this the principle that “a woman can perform Hajj together with other trustworthy women in the caravan”.
3) Absence of an external impediment to performing Hajj:
A situation that prevents travel, such as detention or a ban on going abroad, coincides with the pilgrimage season, which also hinders the performance of the pilgrimage. Even if such a person meets the other conditions, he or she delays the pilgrimage to the following years.
B – Special Conditions Regarding Women:
Although not directly related to the performance of Hajj, two more conditions were added as a result of other provisions regarding women only, i.e. having her husband or a maḥram relative with them, and not being in the waiting period. We will briefly describe them below.
1) The presence of the woman’s husband or another close male relative with the woman:
According to the Ḥanafis, women who have to travel a distance that the provisions of being on a journey apply cannot go on a pilgrimage alone. In such a case, they must have their husband or a maḥram relative with them for Hajj to be obligatory upon them. It is stated in the hadiths, “A Muslim woman must not make a journey of a night unless she is accompanied by her husband or by a man who is within the prohibited degrees.” Furthermore, it is commanded in another hadith “A woman should not perform Hajj unless her husband is with her.”
The Shafiʿis, on the other hand, consider the pilgrimage necessary for women when they are with other trustworthy women. However, one woman is not enough as a companion. According to the Malikis, a woman can perform Hajj alone with her entrusted female friends or with men, or with a mixed group of men and women. The evidence on which these two schools are based is the general meaning of the following verse, “Pilgrimage thereto is a duty that men owe to Allah, those who can afford the journey.”. Therefore, if a woman is safe from harm against her and she meets the other conditions, Hajj becomes obligatory for her.
The term maḥram includes those who are forbidden to marry her permanently because of blood, marriage, or milk suckling. Like son, grandson, father, grandfather, milk son, milk brother, groom, father-in-law. Since being the husband of a sister, paternal or maternal aunt creates a temporary impediment to marriage; it is not permissible to travel for pilgrimage with such in-laws.
This difference of opinion between the Shafiʿis and the Malikis on the one hand and the other jurists on the other hand is specific to a journey to perform a farḍ act of worship, as in the case of hajj. It is unanimously accepted that voluntary journeys can not be compared with these. According to a narration from Ibn Abbas (ra), the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “No man should stay with a lady in seclusion except in the presence of a maḥram.” A man stood up and said, “O Allah’s Messenger (saw)! My wife has gone out intending to perform the Hajj and I have been enrolled (in the army) for a such-and-such campaign.” The Prophet (saw) said, “Return and perform the Hajj with your wife.”
2) Not being in the waiting period (ʿiddah):
A woman who is going to perform hajj should not be in the waiting period due to divorce or death. A divorced woman waits for the duration of three menses and cleansing, a woman whose husband dies waits for 4 months and 10 days, and a pregnant woman waits until childbirth. The following is stated in the Qur’an, “Do not drive out the women you have divorced from their homes, so that they do not leave themselves.” It is possible to perform hajj at another time, but the waiting period (ʿiddah) only takes place at a special time. According to the Ḥanafis, this condition, which is a condition of the validity of performance, is considered a condition for the pilgrimage being obligatory upon a person in other schools.
Those who meet all the conditions of the validity of performance must personally perform the pilgrimage, and if any of these conditions are not fulfilled, they must send a proxy (agent) or make a will to do so.
C) Other Situations That May Be an Obstacle to Hajj
Parents can prevent their non-Meccan child from entering the state of iḥrām for supererogatory hajj or ʿumra. However, they cannot prevent farḍ hajj. This is because obedience and service to parents are superior to supererogatory acts of worship. Moreover, it is sunnah to get permission from parents in farḍ hajj.
According to the majority of Muslim jurists, the husband cannot prevent his wife from performing the obligatory pilgrimage when she meets the other conditions. This is because hajj became farḍ in the first year of obligation. According to the Shafiʿis, the husband can prevent his wife from performing both the obligatory and sunnah pilgrimage. For the right of the husband takes priority and hajj, on the other hand, can be performed at any time in one’s lifetime.
The master has the right to prevent his slave from performing both the obligatory and supererogatory pilgrimage. However, if the slave enters the state of iḥrām with his permission, he can no longer prevent him from completing the hajj or ʿumra.
Being imprisoned unjustly or for debt despite being in financial distress is a hindrance to the performance of the hajj.
The creditor may prevent the debtor who has no other property to make the pilgrimage to pay the due debt. Debts that do not come due do not constitute an obstacle to pilgrimage.
6) Being under the care of a guardian
A safih person cannot perform hajj without the permission of his guardian. Safih means a person who spends his wealth extravagantly without thinking thoroughly.
7) Prevention from performing Hajj (iḥṣār)
It is when a person who has entered the state of iḥrām for hajj or ʿumra has to end the state of iḥrām before completing the rites of hajj or ʿumra due to the enemy’s hindrance, being imprisoned, or illness. Encountering such an obstacle is called “iḥṣār”, and the person who encounters it is called “muḥṣar”. A person in the state of iḥrām, who is unable to overcome the obstacle except by facing death or giving away his property, can leave the state of iḥrām after waiting for a while, which is long enough for the obstacle to be lifted. However, in such a case, he has to offer a sacrifice.
According to Abu Ḥanīfa, if a person falls ill after entering the state of iḥrām, he is considered muḥṣar and can leave the state of iḥrām. According to Imam Shafiʿi, Imam Malik, and Ahmad Ibn Ḥanbal, a person who falls ill while in the state of iḥrām remains in that state until he recovers, even if it takes a long time.
Conditions for The Validity of Hajj
For the pilgrimage to be valid, four conditions must be met:
1) Being a Muslim: This is a condition for both the hajj to become farḍ upon a person and its validity.
2) Special places: Hajj must be performed at distinct places in the plain of Arafat, Kaʿba, and its surroundings.
3) Special time: The ritual of standing at the plain of Arafat must be performed between the zenith on the day of Arafa, until dawn on the morning of the Eid al-Aḍḥā. Obligatory circumambulation can be performed anytime starting from the morning of Eid until the end of life. However, since it is wājib to perform the visiting circumambulation in the first three days of the feast, the penalty of carrying out sacrifice becomes necessary for those who leave the circumambulation to a later time, since it means abandoning a wājib act of pilgrimage.
4) The State of Iḥrām: It means that a person, with the intention of hajj or ʿumra, makes certain acts and behaviors that are normally ḥalāl at other times unlawful for himself during the hajj or ʿumra. Among the people, the two pieces of cloth with which a man in the state of iḥrām covers himself are also called “iḥrām, iḥrām towels”.
 Abū Dawūd, Ḥudūd, 17; Ibn Maja, Ṭalāq., 15.
 Al-Kasanī, ibid, II, 120-122, 160; Ibn al-Humām, ibid, II, 120 ff.; al-Maydanī, ibid, I, 177; Ibn Rushd (Averroes), ibid, I, 308 ff.; Ibn Qudāmah, ibid, III, 218, 222, 241, 248-250.
 Al-Baqara, 2: 189.
 Al-Baqara, 2: 197.
 Muslim, Ḥajj, 310.
 Al-Baqara, 2: 196.
 Ibn al-Humām, ibid, II, 220 ff.; Ibn Qudāmah, ibid, III, 271; al-Shīrāzī, Muhadhdhab, I, 200; al-Zuhaylī, ibid, III, 63-65.
 Āl ʿImrān, 3: 97.
 Al-Baqara, 2: 286.
 Ibn Abidīn, ibid, IV, 424.
 Ibn Abidīn, ibid, IV, 422.
 Al-Kasanī, ibid, II, 121-125; al-Maydanī, Lubāb, I, 177; Ibn Abidīn, Radd al-Mukhtār, II, 194-199; al-Shīrāzī, ibid, I, 196-198; al-Zuhaylī, ibid, III, 25-32.
 Al-Bukhari. Taqṣīr, 4; Muslim, Ḥajj, 413; Abū Dawūd, Manāsik, 2.
 Al-Shawkanī, ibid, IV, 491.
 Āl ʿImrān, 3: 97.
 Al-Bukhari, Nikāḥ, 111, Jihād, 140, 181; Muslim, Ḥajj, 424.
 Al-Baqara, 2: 228.
 Al-Baqara, 2: 234.
 Al-Ṭalāq, 65: 4.
 Al-Ṭalāq, 65: 1.
 Al-Zuhaylī, ibid, III, 36, 37.
 Al-Kasanī, ibid, II, 130; Ibn Qudāmah, Mughnī, III, 240; Ibn Abidīn, ibid, II, 200.