Accessible Conspectus: Pilgrimage and the conditions for it being obligatory

This post is part of a series of posts aimed at making The Ultimate Conspectus accessible to readers who have never read fiqh before.


The Greater and Lesser Pilgrimage (Ḥajj and ʿUmrah, respectively) are both obligatory to perform at least once in an individual’s life.

The textual foundation for Ḥajj being obligatory is from the Quran and Sunnah. Allah Most High says “…And [due] to Allah from the people is a pilgrimage to the House – for whoever is able to find thereto a way…,” [Q3:97]; and “And complete the Hajj and ‘umrah for Allah…,” [Q2:196]. Abū Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ addressed us and said, “O people! Allah has made Ḥajj obligatory for you, so perform Ḥajj.” Additionally, the greater pilgrimage is one of the pillars of Islam mentioned in the well-known hadith narrated by ʿUmar bin al-Khaṭṭāb (may Allah be pleased with them): the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Islam is based on five pillars: testifying that there is no deity except for Allah and that Muḥammad is the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, establishing prayer, offering zakāh, performing Ḥajj, and fasting Ramaḍān.”[Bukhārī and Muslim]

The integrals of Ḥajj are: entering the state of pilgrimage, standing on ʿArafah, circumambulation, traversal between Ṣafā and Marwah, shaving or trimming the head; and doing most in order.

The integrals of ʿUmarh are the same as Ḥajj, except for standing on ʿArafah: entering the state of pilgrimage, circumambulation, traversal between Ṣafā and Marwah; shaving or trimming the head; and doing most in order.

6.1 Conditions Obligating Hajj

There are seven conditions obligating Ḥajj.

The first four conditions are that one be Muslim; mature; sane;  and free.

The fifth condition is that one possess excess provisions and a means of transportation.

The sixth condition is that one have safe passage.

The seventh condition is that one be able to travel.

Some of the conditions mentioned above are conditions for Ḥajj being obligatory in general. Some of the others are conditions for being required to perform it in person.

The conditions for it being obligatory are five. They are that one is: Muslim, mature, sane, free, and able to perform it.

The conditions for it being obligatory to perform in person are seven.

The first two of these conditions are that the individual possesses sufficient food and water for the trip (or funds to pay for them).

The third condition is that one possess a means of transportation. This is a condition for those traveling to Mecca.

These three things (food, water, transportation) must be in excess of what one needs for himself and his dependents for the duration of the travel. They also need to be in excess of any outstanding loans that are owed now or will come due while making Pilgrimage.

The fourth condition for it being obligatory to perform in person is that one can travel in safety.

The fifth condition is being able to reach Mecca in the allotted time.

The sixth is that a woman should be accompanied by her husband, a close male relative, her trustworthy male slave, or two or more trustworthy women. (The permissibility of traveling without a male maḥram is restricted to the personally obligatory pilgrimage.)

The seventh condition is being able to ride the means of transportation without extraordinary difficulty.

When the five conditions for it being obligatory in general are met, and when the seven conditions for one being able to travel are met, it becomes obligatory for one to make Ḥajj.


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