Wednesday, November 22, 2017 - 3 Rabi' al-Awwal 1439

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What is the legal ruling for a pilgrim with special needs and one with a mental or physical handicap performing the obligatory Hajj?

What is the legal ruling for a pilgrim with special needs and one with a mental or physical handicap performing the obligatory Hajj?

Answer

Like the ruling for a healthy person who meets the condition of capability, a person with a physical disability who fulfills the same condition, is obliged to perform Hajj, either by themselves or by commissioning another to perform it on their behalf. This is based on the words of God the Almighty Who says,

And [due] to God from the people is a pilgrimage to the House - for whoever is able to find thereto a way (Quran 3:97)

The same ruling applies to a person with a mental disability whose condition does not render them legally irresponsible. This includes those whose mental (and not actual) age is equivalent to that of a mature and discernible person of 15 years or above, or even below, but who (according to specialists) is aware of physical matters related to the opposite gender similar to one who has reached puberty. This applies whether the disability is both physical and mental or mental alone. The Hajj of such a person is valid and fulfills the obligation, whether they perform it out of their own finances or someone else pays for it.


The Hajj (or 'Umrah) of a person whose mental disability renders them legally irresponsible as outlined above, is valid if they are accompanied to the holy sites and perform the rites and observe the conditions of Hajj or Umrah with the help of another. Such a person will earn the reward of Hajj (or 'Umrah), though it does not fulfill the obligation of an obligatory Hajj or 'Umrah (for those who maintain that 'Umrah is obligatory, such as the Shafi'is). This means that mentally disabled people, whose condition renders them legally irresponsible, must perform the obligatory Hajj and 'Umrah if they recover and become legally responsible.
 

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