Rafed English

Condition of Attaining Capability (Isteta’at) for Hajj

There are four types of capability (isteta’at) which must all exist for the Hajj to become wajib. Such a wajib Hajj is called Hajj-e-Islam. These capabilities are:

(1) Mental Capability (Isteta’at-e-Aqli)

(2) Passage Capability (Isteta’at-e-Tariqi)

(3) Physical Capability (Isteta’at-e-Badani)

(4) Financial Capability (Isteta’at-e-Mali)

Mental Capability means that the person must be aqil (sane) and baligh islamically.

Passage Capability means that the passage for going to Hajj and return must be secure and safe without any danger to life. This also includes getting the visa. If passport or visa is denied, Hajj is not wajib.

Physical Capability means that the person must be physically fit to perform the Hajj.

If a person has sufficient money to perform the Hajj, but he is physically unfit and does not expect to become fit in future, then it is wajib for him to send someone else to perform the Hajj on his behalf. This is the only situation when a person can perform a Hajj on behalf of a living person.

But if the unfit person gains health in future and gains physical capability, then he must perform the wajib Hajj himself if other capabilities (financial, mental, passage) also exist. According to some marja, if he is physically unfit now, he has to send a naib (representative) to do Hajj on his behalf as well as perform Hajj himself later on when he becomes fit, if other capabilities also exist.

Financial Capability means that the person must fulfill the following conditions:

(a) Has expenses for to-and-fro travel to Mecca

(b) Has funds for local travel

(c) Has funds to maintain his dependants during his absence due to Hajj

(d) His source of income or any job is maintained after returning from Hajj

When the financial capability is attained by having a certain amount of funds to meet above expenses (say $5000), then it is wajib to go for Hajj, even if you spend lesser amount during the completion of your Hajj. But if you did not have the financial capability (by not having the required amount, say $5000), and if you still went ahead somehow and performed the Hajj, then you will have to perform the wajib Hajj again in future when you gain financial capability (plus other capabilities).

If Hajj had become wajib on a person once in the past, but he did not go to Hajj at that time, then it remains wajib on him even if he loses the required capabilities later on, and in such a case, he has to go and perform the Hajj even with hardships and with any minimum amount of funds possible.

It is not necessary that the required funds for expenses for Hajj should be available in cash in hand. Two cases will clarify this rule:

Case 1: If the Mahr of a woman, fixed at the time of marriage, is of sufficient amount to perform the Hajj, and the agreed time of Mahr payment has also come, then it is wajib on her to claim the Mahr from her husband, and use it to perform Hajj.

Case 2: If you have given a loan to someone, and the amount is sufficient to perform Hajj, and the time of loan return is due or the borrower is willingly to pay even before due date, then it is wajib on you to claim the loan back from that person, and use it to perform Hajj. And if the borrower refuses to return the loan, then it is wajib to take him to court or use other legal means to get back the loan in order to perform the Hajj. And if he is incapable of returning the loan, then you must try to find a person who can purchase that loan and give money to you on agreed terms. If Hajj has become wajib on you due to the loan money, then it is also not allowed to forgo the loan or gift away the loan to the borrower if the amount insufficient for Hajj and, without it, you can not do your Hajj.

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