If a person has wealth which is over and above his basic necessities and which will be sufficient for him to make the onward and return journey for hajj, then hajj becomes fard upon him. There are great virtues in performing hajj. Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said: “There is nothing in return for a hajj that is free of sins and evils except paradise.” Similarly, great rewards have been mentioned for performing umrah . Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said: “Hajj and umrah wipe out sins just as a furnace removes the rust that has settled on steel.”

Severe warnings have been mentioned with regard to the one who does not perform his hajj despite it being fard upon him. Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said: “The person who has food, drink, and the means of transportation in order to undertake the journey of hajj and still does not go – Allah Ta’ala has no concern if the person dies as a Jew or a Christian.” He has also said that the abandoning of hajj is not the way of Islam.

1.  Hajj is fard at least once in a life time. If a person performs the hajj several times, the first one will be regarded as fard and the rest will be regarded as nafl hajj. There is also great reward in offering nafl hajj.

2.  Hajj that is offered before one can reach the age of maturity is not considered. If a person is rich, hajj will become fard upon him once he reaches the age of maturity. The hajj that he performed before maturity will be regarded as nafl hajj.

3.  Hajj is not fard on a blind person irrespective of how rich he may be.

4.  Once hajj becomes fard on a person, it becomes wajib on him to go for hajj in that very year. It is not permissible to delay in performing the hajj without a valid reason. It is also not permissible for a person to think that he is still young and that there is still plenty of time to perform the hajj. If a person delays in performing his hajj and performs it after a few years, his fard duty will be fulfilled but he will still be regarded as a sinner.

If a woman is going on hajj, it is necessary for her to be accompanied by her husband or some other mahram. It is not permissible for her to go on hajj without a mahram. However, if a woman lives within 77 kilometres of Makkah, it is not necessary for her to go with her husband or a mahram.