A Guidebook for Women on Rites of Hajj
Conditions for Pilgrimage
The holy Quran and the traditions of the Ahlul Bayt (pbuth) say that any mature person who fulfills certain conditions is required to perform Hajj.
Hajj is a pillar of Islam. If all the conditions are fulfilled but still pilgrimage is not performed then it is considered to be a major/great sin. Not accepting it as an obligatory part of Islam is blasphemy.
Allah (swt) says in Qur'an:
فِيهِ آيَاتٌ بَيِّنَاتٌ مَقَامُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ ۖ وَمَنْ دَخَلَهُ كَانَ آمِنًا ۗ وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلًا ۚ وَمَنْ كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَنِيٌّ عَنِ الْعَالَمِينَ.
"In it are clear signs, the standing place of Abraham, and whoever enters it shall be secure, and pilgrimage to the House is incumbent upon men for the sake of Allah, (upon) everyone who is able to undertake the journey to it; and whoever disbelieves, then surely Allah is Self-sufficient, above any need of the worlds " (Surah Ali-‘Imran, 3:97)
Rules for Pilgrimage
l. One should be mature (baligh).
On should be sane. Therefore an insane or under age person cannot perform obligatory pilgrimage. If an underage child performs pilgrimage then it will be valid but not considered "Hajjut-al-Islam''.
One should be free, that is a female slave cannot perform obligatory pilgrimage even if she has the means.
a. Financial: Sufficient finances to fulfill one's needs.
b. Physical health: One should be healthy and strong enough to perform all the rites without any difficulty.
c. Situation: One should have enough time to reach Makkah and perform all the rites. If the previous conditions are fulfilled, but one faces problems in this one, then pilgrimage does not become obligatory.
d. Peaceful situation: The conditions in all the Holy places to be visited should be peaceful.
Questions and Answers
Q1. Is a husband's permission needed for an obligatory pilgrimage?
Ans: lf a (house wife) has enough financial resources and she fulfills all other conditions then for an obligatory pilgrimage the husband's permission is not required and he does not have the right to stop her from performing her religious duty. But for a recommended pilgrimage the husband's permission is needed.
Q2. During the iddah (waiting period) of revocable divorce is it necessary to get the husband's permission for an obligatory pilgrimage?
Ans: The husband's permission is not required for an obligatory pilgrimage but it is required for a recommended one.
Q3. If a lady owns expensive jewels and gold is she supposed to sell them and get funds to perform the obligatory pilgrimage?
Ans: lf she needs those items and the sale will cause problems for her then she should not sell them to raise funds for the obligatory pilgrimage.
Q4. Can a wife demand from her husband the payment of her mahr (Dowry money) or return of a loan that she has given him for funds for her obligatory pilgrimage?
Ans: Yes a wife can ask for her mahr. But if such a demand will result in divorce or enmity then she should refrain from doing so. But if the result is only mild displeasure then she must ask for her money.
Q5. If a wife received her mahr at the time of marriage, and spent the money on buying clothes, jewelry and household goods, even though the money was sufficient to make Hajj obligatory on her, is Hajj still considered obligatory on her?
Ans: If the utilization of mahr for the obligatory pilgrimage instead of above mentioned items will cause hardship then she cannot do so. Otherwise she will be considered to have enough funds and therefore capable of performing pilgrimage.
Q6. If a relative or son is willing to finance the obligatory Hajj but the lady concerned finds it insulting, is it necessary for her to accept the offer?
Ans: If it is very degrading then she should not accept the offer otherwise she has to take up the offer.
Q7. A girl of marriageable age has enough funds to perform obligatory pilgrimage but this will delay her marriage. Is it correct to go for Hajj in such a case?
Ans: She should perform obligatory Hajj and delay the marriage. But in case the consequences will be (far reaching) then marriage is more important.
Q8. Someone fulfills all conditions required for Hajj, but has to sit for an examination during the pilgrimage dates, and missing them will affect her whole future. What should she do?
Ans: If she is sure she will be able to perform pilgrimage the following year then she can delay her Hajj (Can anyone be sure of such a thing?) But if missing examination will result in irreparable damage then she can delay her obligatory pilgrimage.
Q9. If a husband gives his wife enough funds for pilgrimage and she knows that no khums (1/5 of savings) has been paid on it, can she accept it?
Ans: If a wife receives any funds from her husband for pilgrimage she can use it even if she knows that khums has not been paid on it. The same rule applies for funds she receives for· other expenses.
Q10. Is it permissible for a husband to give his Syeda wife a part of sehm al-sadat for pilgrimage expenses?
Ans: He cannot do this. However if Hajj has become mandatory on his wife for some reason, and he still has to pay her household expenses, and if sehm al-sadat is due on the money which he has allocated for her household expenses, only that he can give to her.
Q11. lf a husband puts away some money with his wife's pilgrimage in mind, but she dies before going for the Holy trip, will pilgrimage become obligatory on her (i.e. will someone else have to perform Hajj on her behalf) even though the money was not her own?
Ans: Even if the money was her own but she could not go because the opportunity to travel did not arise, then the conditions were not fulfilled and obligatory Hajj never became mandatory upon her.
Q12. If a wife has enough funds but her husband passes away near the time of Hajj, and she is in iddah is Hajj mandatory for her?
Ans: Yes Hajj will be mandatory for her if she fulfills all other conditions.
Q13. Is it a must for a lady to travel with a mahram (male relative whom she cannot marry) for pilgrimage?
Ans: If she considers it safe to travel without a mahram then she can do so. If not, then she will have to pay for a mahram or someone else to travel with her. If she cannot afford this then the conditions are not fulfilled, and Hajj is not mandatory on her.
Q14. If a child provides funds for his mother's pilgrimage does she need her husband's permission?
Ans: No she does not need to ask for husband's permission.
Q15. If a pregnant or breast feeding mother may harm herself or her child during her journey, will she be considered as fulfilling the conditions necessitating Hajj?
Ans: No she cannot go for Hajj in such a situation.
Q16. If one is in disagreement with the business partner over business affairs, is it permissible to use funds from the business without the partner's permission for Hajj?
Ans: No, one cannot do this.
The following conditions will make it mandatory for a woman to perform her obligatory Hajj.
Finance: She possesses sufficient wealth, because she has a right to spend them the way she wants.
Jewels: If she possesses jewels of which she has no need. For example because of old age if she does not use them then she can sell them and perform pilgrimage.
Mahr: The amount of mahr is enough to meet the expenses of pilgrimage or at the time of marriage the husband promised his wife to take her for pilgrimage then it is mandatory on him to do so.
Inheritance: If she inherits money after the death of her husband or any other relative then she is considered as having met the financial condition.
Gift: If her husband, father or any other relative is willing to provide funds then pilgrimage becomes obligatory.