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The Obligation of Hajj & Umrah

By the great scholar and Imam, his eminence, Shaikh Abdul-Azeez Ibn Baz (رحمه اللّه)

Know (may Allah give you and I success in awareness of the truth and following it) that Allah the Mighty and Sublime has obligated upon His servants the pilgrimage to His holy house (the Kabah) and made it one of the pillars of Islam, Allah says (what means), “and Hajj to the House is a duty that mankind owes to Allah, those who can afford the expenses; and whoever disbelieves, then Allah stands not in need of any of the Alamin (mankind, jinn, and all that exists)” -Al-Imran: 97.

And in Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim on the authority of Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), the prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Islam has been built on five (pillars): testifying that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, performing the prayers, paying the zakat, fasting Ramadan, and pilgrimage to the House”.

Saeed has reported in his collection of hadeeth on the authority of Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said:  “I have determined to send men to these lands to look for everyone that has wealth and has not made hajj so as to tax them with the jizyah (a tax for non-Muslims living in the Muslim lands), they are not Muslims, they are not Muslims”.

And it has been reported from Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said:  “whoever has the ability to make hajj and leaves it then it is not upon him to die a Jew nor Christian”.  It is obligatory upon the one who has never made hajj and is capable to pursue and undertake it according to what was reported from Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) that the prophet (peace be upon him) said:  “Hasten to the pilgrimage –that which is an obligation– for verily any of you knows not what has been laid ahead of him”, Reported by Imam Ahmad.

And also for the performance of hajj being an obligation as soon as one is able to bare the expenses, from that which is apparent from the Most High’s statement (what means), “and Hajj to the House is a duty that mankind owes to Allah, those who can afford the expenses; and whoever disbelieves, then Allah stands not in need of any of the Alamin (mankind, jinn, and all that exists)” -Al-Imran: 97 and the statement of the prophet (peace be upon him) in his sermon,  “O people, Verily Allah has made incumbent upon you the pilgrimage so perform the pilgrimage” reported in Muslim.

Several hadeeth have mentioned, proving the obligation of umrah, the statement of the prophet (peace be upon him) in his answer to Jibraeel (peace be upon him) as he said (peace be upon him): “Al-Islam is that you testify that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, to establish the prayer, pay the mandatory charity, make pilgrimage to the House and umrah (lesser pilgrimage), to clean yourself from sexual impurity, completely perform the ablution, and to fast the month of Ramadan” [reported in Ibn Khuzaimah and Ad-Darqutany from the hadeeth of Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him).  Ad-Darqutany said that this chain of narration is authentic and correct.

And from the evidences, the hadeeth of Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) when she said, "O Messenger of Allah!  Is their an obligation upon the women of jihad?  He said: “Upon them is a jihad with no combat (warring):  the hajj and umrah” [reproted by Ahmad and Ibn Majah with a correct chain].

Hajj and Umrah are not an obligation except once in a life time according to the statement of the prophet (peace be upon him) in an authentic hadeeth, “the pilgrimage is once so whoever increased upon that it is voluntary”. It is the sunnah to increase in voluntary performances of hajj and umrah from what has been authentically reported in Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim on the authority of Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) when he said: the messenger of Allâh (peace be upon him) said: “One umrah to another umrah is an expiation for what is between them and the accepted hajj has no reward except paradise”.

Excerpt taken from:

أركان الإسلام

Translation: Abu Ibrahim John Starling

January 5, 2006