Fri 18 Jm2 1435 - 18 April 2014
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Ruling on appointing a deputy to perform Hajj on one’s behalf

What is the ruling on appointing a deputy to perform Hajj on one’s behalf?.

Praise be to Allaah. One of the following two scenarios must apply when a person appoints someone to perform Hajj on his behalf:   1 – That is for an obligatory Hajj

2 – That is for a naafil Hajj. 

If it is for an obligatory Hajj, it is not permissible for a person to appoint someone else to do Hajj and ‘Umrah on his behalf, except in the case where he is unable to reach the Ka’bah himself because of an ongoing illness for which there is no hope of a cure, or because of old age and the like. If there is the hope of recovery from that sickness, then he should wait until Allaah heals him and then perform Hajj himself.  

If there is no impediment to performing Hajj, rather he is able to do Hajj himself, then it is not permissible for him to appoint someone to perform it on his behalf, because he is the one from whom that is required, personally. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) to the House (Ka‘bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allaah, those who can afford the expenses (for one’s conveyance, provision and residence)”

[Aal ‘Imraan 3:97] 

The point of acts of worship is that each person should do them himself, so that he will submit and humble himself before Allaah. It is obvious that this purpose, for which acts of worship have been prescribed, is not achieved in the case of one who delegates someone else to do it on his behalf.  

But if the person has already performed the obligatory Hajj and he wants to appoint someone else to go and do Hajj and ‘Umrah, then in this case there is a difference of opinion among the scholars. Some of them said that it is permissible, and others disallowed it. The most correct view in my opinion is that it is not allowed, because it is not permissible for anyone to appoint someone else to perform Hajj or ‘Umrah on his behalf if that is naafil, because the basic principle concerning acts of worship is that each person should do them for himself. Just as no one can appoint someone else to fast on his behalf, although if he dies and owes some obligatory fasts, his heirs may fast on his behalf, the same applies to Hajj, which is an act of worship which a person should do himself, physically. It is not a financial act of worship which is intended to benefit others. Because it is a physical act of worship which a person must do himself, it is not valid if it is done by someone else on his behalf, except in the cases mentioned in the Sunnah, but there is no mention in the Sunnah of anyone doing a naafil Hajj on behalf of someone else. This is one of the two views narrated from Imam Ahmad (may Allaah have mercy on him), i.e., that it is not valid for a person to appoint someone to perform naafil Hajj or ‘Umrah on his behalf, whether he is able to do it or not. 

Based on the above, the rich who are able to do Hajj themselves should do it themselves, because some people spend many years not going to Makkah and sending someone else to do Hajj on their behalf every year. Thus they miss out on the purpose for which Hajj was prescribed, based on their appointing someone else to perform Hajj on their behalf. End quote. 

Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 21/136 

The scholars of the Standing Committee favoured the view that it is permissible to do Hajj and ‘Umrah on behalf of a living person who is unable to do that, even if that is naafil.  

It says in Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (11/81): 

If you have done ‘Umrah for yourself, it is permissible for you to do ‘Umrah on behalf of your mother and father if they are unable to do it because of old age or sickness for which there is no hope of a cure. End quote. 

This view was also favoured by Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him). When he was asked: “I want to perform Hajj on behalf of my mother; is it essential to ask her permission, knowing that she has already performed the obligatory Hajj?” 

He replied: 

If your mother is unable to perform Hajj because she is elderly or is sick and there is no hope of recovery, then there is nothing wrong with your performing Hajj on her behalf, even if that is without her permission, because it is narrated that a man asked the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) for permission, saying, “O Messenger of Allaah, my father is an old man who cannot perform Hajj and ‘Umrah.” The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do Hajj and ‘Umrah on behalf of your father.” And a woman asked him for permission saying, “O Messenger of Allaah, my father is an old man and cannot perform Hajj and ‘Umrah and he cannot travel, can I perform Hajj on his behalf?” He (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do Hajj on behalf of your father.” Similarly many ahaadeeth speak of performing Hajj on behalf of the dead. End quote. 

Fataawa Ibn Baaz, 16/414.

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