I. Details about the situation

Jawad has recently started his career after completing graduate studies and he has saved enough money to perform Hajj this upcoming year. At the same time, his family and friends are planning on traveling to Karbala in order to perform the Ziyarat Arbaeen of Imam Hussain (p) and they have encouraged him to join. While Jawad is excited about the opportunity, recognizing the value and reward of performing visitation to Imam Hussain (p), he is unsure how to proceed since he would spend the money he saved to go for Hajj to take the trip with his family and friends. With this perhaps once in a lifetime opportunity becoming available, how should Jawad proceed?

II. Background

Hajj is a religious obligation that is incumbent upon every Muslim man and woman who has the ability [istita’a] to make the journey and complete this essential act of worship. God says in the Quran, “In it are manifest signs [and] Abraham’s Station, and whoever enters it shall be secure. And it is the duty of mankind toward Allah to make pilgrimage to the House —for those who can afford the journey to it— and should anyone renege [on his obligation], Allah is indeed without need of the creatures.”1 In light of this verse of the Quran, scholars and Muslim jurists have unanimously maintained that the Hajj pilgrimage is a duty that one should perform when they have the ability (i.e., upon meeting the criteria) to do so; similar to that of the five obligatory prayers or fasting during the month of Ramadan. Postponing the Hajj pilgrimage for any reason would be deemed an act of transgressing God’s boundaries, and thus, a sin.

III. Ruling

Undoubtedly, it is a sign of the believer to perform and love the visitation to the King of Martyrs, Imam Hussain (p), and the rewards are great for those who perform his Ziyarat with a pure intention. That said, visiting the Imam is recommended, while performing the Hajj pilgrimage is obligatory.

IV. Action

Though it may be challenging to put off a blessing like the visitation to Karbala, Jawad has a religious obligation to perform and if it is delayed, he would be committing a sin. Thus, Jawad should save his money, ask his friends and family to remember him in their prayers this year, and make the necessary plans to perform the Hajj pilgrimage as soon as he can.

The Holy Quran 3:97

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