Hajj-e Badal

Question

What is hajj-e badal. I just read that in USA somebody can perform hajj for somebody else for $1500.00. They quote two hadiths of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) narrated by Ibn Abbas. Appearing in Bukhari's Sahih the ḥadīth is claimed to be a sahih. Is there anything like hajj-e badal or its just an innovation?


Answer

In principle every person benefits only from those acts of worship that he himself has done. He may also benefit indirectly from those acts of worship that he has caused or encouraged to be done. Going to Hajj is no exception.

However if a person really has desire of going to Hajj and has the intention to go and has the means as well however due to some reasons cannot fulfil his intentions then he may send another person to perform the Hajj on his behalf. Also if a person take a pledge to perform Hajj but dies before being able to fulfil his pledge, it will be advisable for his children or inheritors to perform the Hajj on his behalf just as they would pay a debt on his behalf.

The narrations you referred to are generally about these situations, like this one:

"Ibn `abbas (ra) says that once a woman from Juhainah came to the Prophet (pbuh) and asked: My mother had vowed to perform hajj but could not carry out her vow and died. Can I perform hajj on her behalf? The Prophet (pbuh) said: Yes, perform hajj on her behalf. If your mother owed a debt to someone, wouldn't you have paid it on her behalf? Pay her debt towards Allah, on her behalf. Allah deserves most that the debts owed to Him be repaid." (Bukhari, Kita'b al-Hajj)

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