The Obligation of Hajj: Its Preconditions
- To be a Muslim. Non-Muslims are not permitted to perform Hajj.
- To be a major. Hajj is not obligatory for a minor. If perchance any minor had performed Hajj during his minority he will have to perform it again upon attaining majority, as Hajj performed during minority cannot be a substitute for Hajj which becomes obligatory for the adults. The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) declared that if a minor performed Hajj and thereafter attained the age of puberty, he will have to perform it again, provided he fulfils other conditions to discharge this obligation (Tabrani).
- To be sane. Hajj performed by an insane or mentally disabled person is void.
- To be a freeman. Hajj is not obligatory for men and women in bondage.
- To possess capacity to perform Hajj. One who intends to perform Hajj must be able to bear the hardships of the journey as well as of the Hajj rituals. He must have necessary wherewithal that is enough to sustain him and the family under his guardianship until his return from Hajj.
If a woman intends to perform Hajj it is compulsory for her to obtain the permission of her husband. She must be accompanied by some mahram or by a group of trustworthy women or co-travelers who can vouchsafe for her safety.