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Delaying Hajj could be your downfall

‘Umar bin Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) once remarked: “I was about to send envoys to the towns (on the outskirts of the Muslim empire) to check on all those who have the means to make Hajj but do not perform it, in order to impose the Jizyah[1] upon them.”[2]

The auspicious Hajj trip is one of the five pillars on Islam, a onetime obligation upon those have the ability to perform it. Every year millions of devout Muslims answer the call to Hajj following in the footsteps of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in answering the call of their father Abraham.

Unfortunately, many people delay performing the Hajj until the latter part of their lives simply because of convenience. They wish to postpone the trip until they feel they are financially ‘stable’. Some people hold back out of fear of a new Islamic lifestyle they will be obligated to embrace when they return – one should never fear drawing closer to God. Indeed the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Hurry to perform Hajj (the obligatory one), as none of you knows what may happen to him”[3] and “Whoever wants to do Hajj, let him hasten to do so.”[4] 

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There is of course a well-known scholarly difference of opinion as to whether Hajj is an obligation that must be executed promptly, or, can be delayed. According to scholars who hold the opinion that the obligation of the Hajj is one of promptness; the Hajj must be carried out as soon as all the preconditions are fulfilled and one cannot delay performing it for the next year. The one who delays the performance of Hajj, even though he has the means to perform it, and then dies, is sinful and has left himself open to the punishment and displeasure of Allah in the Hereafter.

Others opine that the Hajj may be delayed because the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) choose to perform Hajj in the 10 AH – around four years after the obligation was revealed. This school has other supporting arguments for which there exist counter arguments.

Without wanting to endorse one opinion over another, I would like to place the legal difference of opinion to one side and draw our attention to a few other points. Allah the Almighty encourages His servants to compete with each other in performing virtuous deeds. He says in one verse,

“Race each other to forgiveness from your Lord and a Garden as wide as the heavens and the earth, prepared for the people who have taqwa.”

And in another verse,

“Race each other to forgiveness from your Lord and to a Garden, whose breadth is like that of heaven and earth combined, made ready for those who have faith in Allah and His Messengers. That is Allah’s favour which He gives to those He wills. Allah’s favour is indeed immense.”

Why would one delay the prospect of performing a Hajj mabroor, the accepted Hajj, the reward of which is nothing less than the gardens of paradise?

This is your chance to have all of your sins forgiven as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever performs Hajj to this house – Ka’bah- and does not commit any obscenity and wrongdoing, he, or she, will come out as the day he, or she, was born – pure and free from sins.”[5]

From another perspective the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) is reported to have said: “Hurry to perform Hajj, as none of you knows what may happen to him.” It is as if the Prophet is telling us to think about the matter in a rational way. If someone who has the ability to perform the Hajj delays it; do they not fear that death may catch them up and they then meet Allah with no Hajj to their account?

The reality is that many do delay Hajj until it’s too late. As the years pass by some of them fall sick with debilitating conditions, others become financially stricken and so the great opportunity is lost.

I would thus appeal to all Muslims who know that they can perform Hajj without great difficulty to do so before they lose this unique chance of attaining complete forgiveness for their sins and be granted paradise.

Notes: This article has been reposted.
[1] A tax imposed on non-Muslims living under Muslim rule.
[2] Reported by al-Bayhaqi; Al-Haitami declared it Sahih. In another narration the words “they are not Muslims, they are not Muslims” are included.
[3] Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah
[4] Ahmad and Abu Dawud
[5] Bukhari and Muslim

About Shaikh (Dr) Haitham Al-Haddad

Dr. Haitham al-Haddad is a jurist and serves as a judge for the Islamic Council of Europe. He has studied the Islamic sciences for over 20 years under the tutelage of renowned scholars such as the late Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia as well as the retired Head of the Kingdom's Higher Judiciary Council. He specialises in many of the Islamic sciences and submitted his doctoral thesis on Islamic jurisprudence concerning Muslim minorities. Shaikh Haitham is highly respected having specialised knowledge in the field of fiqh, usul al-fiqh, maqasid al-shari'ah, ulum al-Qur’an, tafsir, aqidah, and fiqh al-hadith. He provides complex theories which address the role of Islamic jurisprudence within a western environment whilst also critically re-analysing the approach of Islamic jurists in forming legal rulings (ifta’) within a western socio-political context. He has many well known students most of whom are active in dawah and teaching in the West. The shaikh is an Islamic jurist (faqih) and as such is qualified to deliver verdicts as a judge under Islamic law, a role he undertakes at the Islamic Council of Europe as Islamic judge and treasurer. Dr Haitham al-Haddad also sits on various the boards of advisors for Islamic organisations, mainly in the United Kingdom but also around the world.

22 comments

  1. The Saudi’s must make an absolute fortune from this. You have to hand it to religion, when it comes to seperating people from their money, religion beats all!

    • LOL ONLY if we include Neoliberalism/Capitalism under the banner of ‘religion’. Everything else is kindergarten compared to that

  2. trying to find a hadith, which says, if anyone have the means to do perform hajj and does not do it, Allah does not care if oyu die as christian or jew. Please let m eknow the reference, JZK

    • That hadith is da’if (weak) from Abu Dawud’s collection – so we’re not sure if true or not.

      However, I know another (popular) hadith from Sahih al-Bukhari and perhaps Muslim’s collection also, that our Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wassallam informed us that anyone who believed firmly in “la ilaha illAllah Muhammad ar-rasool Allah”, will (eventually) enter jannah (paradise) (even if they have to go through hellfire first).

  3. Assalamu’alaikum wr.wb.
    As a nation with the biggest muslims in the world, our country (Indonesia) has a problem with those who want to perform hajj. As you know, each country has their own quota from the KSA. Before the expansion of Masjidil Haram, we got about 200,000 people each year. But since 2013, the quota is minus 10 to 20% due to the expansion. And that makes the “queue” to perform hajj is longer and longer! We, for example. My husband and I registered our hajj in 2009, and we had to be in the waiting list for 3 years before we could finally go performing hajj in 2012 (alhamdulillah). But now, the waiting list is more than 15 years! So, if you register now, you would go there in 2030! That is such a long time that make some people choose to perform umrah rather than hajj, ‘cos we can perform umrah anytime. So what do you think for problem like this? FYI, when we register, we should also pay the down payment for Rp. 30,000,000,- an amount that takes years to collect! No wonder if you see that most Indonesian pilgrims are senior citizens!

  4. Hello would you mind sharing which blog platform
    you’re using? I’m going to start my own blog soon but I’m having a hard
    time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and
    I’m looking for something completely unique.
    P.S Sorry for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

  5. Nice article
    Salaam.. I heard the imam in our masjid quote a saying of the [u]prophet saws[/u], that anyone who dies whout performing his/her hajj could well be raised as a jew or christian (Allah forgive me if I made a mistake in conveying the hadith). When I heard this hadith, I made a firm intention to go in 2009, but unfortunately couldn’t go because my wife was diagnosed with a heart condition and because of her heart condition we lost our baby boy. The following year I made the intention sincerely from my heart that no matter what happens, even if I need to resign from my job, I’m going to go, I basically didn’t want to die a christian or jew. One thing I experienced is that when u makde the intention from the heart, then nothing can stop u, because Allah has seen in ur heart that u are serious about going to his house, and when Allah wants you to come, then nothing, and I mean nothing gets in his way, believe me, I’ve had first hand experience, and alhamdollilah, me, my wife, my nephew and my elder sister all went last year 2010, and what an experience. w/salaam

  6. um_adam Golsteijn

    hadj I have been there.
    assalaam aleikoem me I went nearly 4 jears ago to Mekka .And every year when I see it on television I cry . because I lost my heart there in Mekka,the house of Allah,(s.w.t) our souls belong to the creator from heaven and eard.The best place on eard to be devote to your Rab.And don”t think you are not ready for it. if you have the change to go do it.You make realy the journey of your life.I became muslim nearly 30 years ago ,and I am so greatfull ,that Ihad been there and be a guest of the house from Allah (s.w.t)to see every thing in reality , it make you stronger also to see all the people from all over the world, as one nation with one desire hoping for the satisfaction of our Rab el Aalemien and be forgiving of all our mistakes .What more can Jou wish.May Allah(s.w.t.) make Jour dream come true, my dear ummah from rasoellaah Mohammed (a.w.s.)Don”t delay it. if you have the possibility .I wish you all barakah and sabr on your yourney to the house of Allah (s.w.t)salaam aleikoem we raghmettoe Allahi we barragettoe

  7. Trust in Allah Tie your camel
    The problem with most muslim today generation is, we dont put our sole trust in Allah. If you have taqwa, Allah will make everything easy for you. This artical is good, but people are so negative. How are you suppose to earn money if you dont work? So if you dont earn Allah pleasure how are you suppose to get his help! Without making intention to Go Hajj, Allah will not help you. pray to him on the 3rd night odd or even night, i gurenttee people, Allah will help you from least place you expect. Allahuakbar

  8. Shadow Caster
    An excellent idea 🙂 Let’s try to put this into practice Inshallah.

  9. Cheapest Hajj Package
    You know if you are a revert then some mosques, Islamic organisations and the like may be able to help you financially in planning your Hajj trip. Just ask those in charge, I know some people who have gone for free in a group and this has been quite successful. Such a great shame that something so very important to all Muslims is not in some way subsidised.

  10. Shadow Caster

    Help
    I think that those who are rich enough and have already gone and done the obligatory hajj themselves should donate money to a pot from which those who are too poor in the community to go can use to pay the expenses of travel. It’s a great way to get thawab of hajj again and create a better community that has more hajjis.

  11. hajj
    The brother is only saying that Hajj can be done for far less than 5000 dollars but we need to do our homework. What is so offensive about that? I pray Allah blesses the Shaikh and the brother for their words of encouragement. I pray allah helps those of us who need to perform the hajj perform it soon. Ameen

  12. Young Parents who are performing Hajj This Year
    To Young Parents:

    I read your comment in amazement, I am writing this from the Holy city of Makkah. Me AND my wife will be performing Hajj this year Inshallah and we have three children, one aged 4, one aged 3 and the youngest is 10 months.

    We are from Australia (which is a harder journey to Saudi than the UK).

    I don’t believe having young children is an excuse, many many people here have young children with them and it’s so beautiful to see these children running around the Holy Mosque.

    Rely on Allah and Allah will take care of your children.

  13. young parents?
    There is one thing that can make it difficult and that is children esp when young babies. Hajj is a difficult environment at the best of times (i remember grown men dying in stampedes) but with a few babies (under 2 years old) who are too young to be away from their mother it is even more difficult.

    I wonder if delay till the children are maybe 4-5 years old is acceptable in such a case?

  14. Umm Rayyana wa Abdullah

    Subhan Allah if i could afford to go i’d jump at the chance! May Allah facilitate it for me if it is good for my deen, and the outcome of my affairs ammen thumma ameen.

  15. a-muslim-brother

    What’s the cheapest hajj package from England
    read between the lines: “On that note, you dont have to go on a 5* hajj package, my parents did it last year for £1200 each, approx $2000.”

    Please could anyone tell me what the cheapest available hajj package is from England. I just need the flights and I’m willing to have just a basic roof over my head, for myself and my wife. We don’t need any luxuries just the experience of the hajj is enough for us.
    Or is it better to do things separately i.e flights, hotels etc.

    Also, can you tell me what is the minimum requirement of hajj (wajib & fard) and how many days do we have to be there?

    If you know, please reply back here – jazakAllahu khairan

  16. read between the lines

    is he/she being serious??!!
    “You make it seem like everyone is rich enough to afford $5000″…well obviously if you can afford to go, duh!! Why would you assume that the shaikh meant everyone regardless of their financial situation – come on people use your brains!!

    On that note, you dont have to go on a 5* hajj package, my parents did it last year for £1200 each, approx $2000.

  17. May Allah grant us all the tawfeeq…
    May Allah grant wealth to those who do not have the means, and may Allah give the tawfeeq and guide those who do to be able to undertake this most wonderful experience

  18. To Wow…
    as-salamu’alaykum
    The Shaykh clearly mentions it is for the person who can afford it. We can afford to buy cars, latest iphone gadgets, sky sports subscriptions, go on Family holidays etc. The point being is to encourage one to save and try and perform Hajj at the earliest and not put it off with ‘false’ excuses. I personally know many people who have done that because time hasn’t permitted them to do so…..I also know personally PLENTY of people who are not rich but save their yearly savings just to go on Hajj and Umrah each year or every two years. Some of these people have families and are shelf stackers in Shopping stores. If you sincerely try your best to find an affordable package and set a goal to reach it, if Allah wills, you will get there….but not with that negative attitude.

  19. Wow….
    You make it seem like everyone is rich enough to afford $5000 + per person to go to Haj. Not everyone is rich in this world..we have families to support..including western countries..

  20. Great Reminder
    Jazakallahukhairan Shiekh for this. If only i knew this before…

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