Making hajj on behalf of another
Our company specializes in mediation, hotel, tourism, marketing and accommodation services. Our question is as follows:
Our company acts as an intermediary between those who wish to perform hajj on behalf of their relatives or patients residing in some Arab countries including the Arab Republic of Egypt and residents in Saudi Arabia who are willing [to offer this service].
This service stems from our desire to help because we believe that the cost of hajj is exorbitantly expensive — reaching 30, 40 or 50,000 EGP. Since we are a Saudi based company and we are capable of affording this service, we are able to do this by virtue of a binding contract obligating the commissioned person to perform hajj by making an oath, and by an actual cost that is approximately less than 6000 EGP. We commission volunteers to perform hajj on behalf of another and undertake to facilitate for him the rituals through internal hajj service and by affording transportation and accommodations during the hajj period. We therefore act as intermediaries between whoever wishes to make hajj on behalf of his relatives and those who perform the task through internal hajj campaigns. We seek the legal opinion on our question
If a Muslim is incapable of performing hajj himself, it is permissible to hire someone to perform it on his behalf. According to the opinion of the majority of scholars, it is permissible for a person who has the means and has performed his own obligatory hajj, to perform hajj on behalf of his deceased relatives or relatives who cannot make it themselves, referred to by scholars as ma'dub. Alternatively, he may commission another person to perform hajj on their behalf, whether for a fee or as a cost free voluntary service. This permissibility is based on the narration of Ibn 'Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them both) who said, "On the year of the farewell pilgrimage, a woman from the tribe of Khath'am approached the Prophetwith a question and said, "O Messenger of Allah! My father is an old man. He cannot sit firmly on his mount and therefore cannot perform his obligatory hajj. May I perform it on his behalf?" The Prophet replied, "Yes, you may" [Recorded by Bukhari and Muslim].
The inability to perform hajj is either due to death, being prevented from performing hajj, chronic conditions such as weakness due to an illness, hemiplegia, blindness, limping, infirmity due to old age, insecure routes, and the absence of a mahram for a woman. All of these are classified under the inability of performing hajj if they continue until death.
It is permissible for a person to perform hajj on behalf of another who is unable to make it himself or on behalf of a deceased, whether the commissioned person resides in their country (and will therefore start his journey from there specifically for this purpose) or resides at one of hajj stations, thus reducing the hajj costs for the commissioner.
It is permissible for companies in Saudi Arabia to facilitate hiring residents and commissioning them to perform hajj on behalf of those unable to perform this duty or on behalf of their relatives with the object of reducing expenses provided the conditions are fulfilled.
Based on the above and in reference to the question, it is permissible to act as an intermediary between a person who desires to commission another to perform hajj on his behalf or on behalf of his relatives and between those who will perform it through internal hajj travel in Saudi Arabia. There is no objection to receiving fees in exchange for this service provided they are predetermined and do not involve jahala (ignorance or lack of clarity).
Allah the Almighty knows best.