The Obligation To Perform Hajj

Question

I apply for hajj and my application is not approved for certain reasons. My name does not come out in the ballot. People tend to say that "you have not got a call from God." My question is this: Is this true? If it is then how would you substantiate it through the Quran and Hadith?


Answer

The Qur'an says:

And for those who have the resources to reach there -- [the House of their Lord] –- on them is an obligation to perform for Allah the Hajj of this House. (3:97)

If we consider the Arabic word used in the verse: Istata'ah (resources), it becomes clear that we are only obligated to perform Hajj when we have means to do so. The word "resources" covers basic necessities of life like food, clothing, health, house, transport, and education. These are the things which related to our being able to set out for the worship. When one is not permitted to join the pilgrims for any disease that could harm the others or when it is not possible for the government to accommodate more people that also lies under Istita`ah. We have no control over these factors and therefore are not obliged to perform Hajj in these circumstances. Sense and reason also demand this.

The Almighty does not burden us with responsibilities, which we cannot fulfill.

The Prophet (sws) is reported to have said:

He who intends to go for Hajj should do it as soon as is possible for him. (Abu Da'ud: Kitabu'l-Manasik)

This conclusion we could reach at keeping in view the sense and reason and the overall guidance regarding Shari'ah. There is always a relaxation in case there is no way for us to discharge a religious duty.

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