Hajj on Behalf

From WikiHaj

Hajj on behalf (الحج النيابي, al-hajj al-niyabi) is the hajj performed on behalf of another person. If a person was mustati' for hajj and hajj became obligatory for him but now he does not have power to perform hajj due to old age, sickness, or unbearable hardship and has no hope of recovery and gaining power to perform hajj without hardship in the coming years, it is obligatory for him to hire someone to perform hajj on his behalf. However, if hajj did not become fully obligatory for him, he is not required to hire someone else for this purpose.

Once the hajj is performed by the agent, the hajj will not be an obligation for the original person. It is not obligatory for him to perform hajj himself, provided the cause is genuine. However, if his excuse is removed while his agent is performing hajj, it is obligatory for him to perform hajj again and the hajj of the agent is not sufficient for him.

If hajj becomes obligatory for a person but he dies on his way to hajj after wearing ihram and entering in the Haram, this hajj will be sufficient to replace hajjat al-Islam. But, if he dies before wearing ihram, his duty of performing hajj is not fulfilled. Likewise, the person who dies after wearing ihram but before entering the boundary of Haram, on the basis of obligatory caution, his hajjat al-Islam will not be considered performed.

If a person dies before performing hajj —while hajj was fully obligatory for him— and leaves behind estate that is sufficient for hajj, his heirs should hire an agent for hajj on his behalf paying from his original wealth [i.e. the estate before its distribution among the hires and fulfilling the will]. However, if he has made a will that the expenditures of hajj should be spent from one third of his property, it takes priority over mustahabb bequest. However, if one third of the estate is not sufficient for hajj expenditures, then the deficiency should be paid from his original wealth.

If a person is allowed to hire an agent for hajj, it is obligatory to do so as soon as possible and there is no difference whether this hajj is on the behalf of a dead or living person. It is not obligatory for a man to hire his agent from his country. Hiring him from the place of miqat is sufficient. Likewise, if a person dies when hajj was/is obligatory for him, it is sufficient to hire an agent from the place of miqat, but if hiring an agent is only possible from homeland of the dead person or another city, it is obligatory for the heirs to hire an agent from there and the expenditures of hajj should be provided from the dead's estate. However, in case, he made a will to hire an agent from his homeland, then they should act according to his will and the additional expenditures over hajj from miqat should be paid from the one third of the estate.

If a person makes a will that a mustahabb hajj be performed on his behalf, the expenditures must be provided from the one third of his estate.

When the heirs or will executor of a deceased person come to know that hajj was obligatory on the deceased and they doubt the performance of hajj during his lifetime, it is obligatory to perform hajj on his behalf. But if they are not sure that he was mustati', and the deceased did not make his will regarding this matter, nothing is obligatory for them.

Conditions of Agent

The person who performs hajj on the behalf of another person should enjoy the following qualifications:

  • Adulthood on the basis of obligatory caution: If a person who has not reached the age of religious puberty perform hajj on behalf of another person, it does not fulfill the obligation of hajjat al-Islam or any obligatory hajj in general.
  • Intellect: This refers to the fact that performance of hajj on behalf by an insane person is not valid. The same rule applies to recurrent insanity if he performs hajj in a state of insanity.
  • Belief (to be a Twelver Shiite): On the basis of obligatory caution, the person should be a Twelver Shia; the agency of a non-Twelver is not sufficient.
  • Basic knowledge of hajj rites: The person must be well-acquainted with practices and rules of hajj so that he can perform the hajj rites correctly. This is important even if he does that with a guide who teaches him each practice at its time.
  • No other hajj is obligatory for the agent during the same year: If the agent does not know that hajj is obligatory for him, it is not remote to say his hajj on behalf of another person is valid.

To suffice with hajj on behalf, one should be confident that the agent has performed hajj on behalf of the represented person. But, once it is certain that he has performed hajj, it is not a condition to investigate its correctness. It is sufficient to rule it as correct.

Criteria of the Represented Person

The represented person should enjoy the following characteristics:

  • Being a Muslim; performing hajj on behalf of an infidel is not valid.
  • The represented person should be dead or unable to perform hajj due to old age, sickness or extraordinary hardship and has no hope to regain power to perform hajj rites without being unbearably hard for him in the coming years of his life. As to mustahabb hajj, it is permissible to do it on behalf of another person in all cases.

Sanity and maturity are not categorized as a condition in the represented person.

Issues Regarding Hajj on Behalf

A woman may perform hajj on behalf of a man and vice versa.

It is permissible for a ṣarūra (a person who has not performed hajj in his life) to represent a ṣarūra/non-ṣarūrah whether the representative or represented person is a man or a woman. The intention of representation and identification of the represented person are termed as necessary conditions for hajj on behalf. However, it is not a condition for the agent to mention the name of the represented person. It is incorrect to hire a person whose duty is to perform hajj al-ifrad, due to lack of time. However, if he is hired and accidentally he faces shortness of time, it is obligatory for him to turn to hajj al-ifrad. This deed will compensate for hajj al-tamattu', and surely he deserves to get the wages for this deed.

If an agent dies after wearing the ihram and entering Haram and he is hired so that the represented person's duty is fulfilled, he deserves a full wage. In this case, the hired person deserves the full wage and it should be given to his heirs. If a person is hired to perform hajj for certain amount of money but that amount is insufficient to meet the expenditures, it is not obligatory for the hiring person to pay more. Similarly, if the amount exceeds, he has no right to claim it back.

In case the performed hajj on behalf is ruled insufficient to fulfill the duty of the represented person while he has been hired to perform hajj the same year, it is obligatory for him to return the amount to the hiring person. If the year is not specified, he must perform the hajj on behalf in the coming years.

The person who is unable to perform some rites of hajj cannot be hired as a representative. By being unable, it is meant a person who cannot perform normal rites of hajj such as a person who cannot recite talbiya or say the tawaf prayer in a correct manner or is unable to walk for tawaf and sa'y, or ramy (stoning) at Jamarat with his own hands, stay in 'Arafat and al-Mash'ar at the specified time, stay in Mina during required nights so that it amounts to defect in some hajj rites. However, if it does not amount to defect in any hajj ritual but he is excused from avoiding some prohibited acts of ihram, his representation is valid.

If a representative becomes disabled during hajj and his disability results in imperfection of some rites, it is not remote that the hire deed becomes invalid. So, by caution, hajj should be performed again and there should be reconciliation between the representative and the represented person. Representation by those who are unable to have normal stay in al-Mash'ar al-Haram is invalid and if they are hired, they would not deserve the wages e.g. caravan's servants who are forced to accompany the weak people or to perform some services for the caravan and as a result they leave al-Mash'ar for Mina before sunrise. If these individuals are hired for hajj on behalf, they should have normal stay and perform hajj.

As far as insufficiency in hajj on behalf by an excused person is concerned, it makes no difference, whether he is paid or volunteered to perform it, whether the representative is ignorant of his excuse or the hiring person is ignorant about this issue. Likewise, it makes no difference, whether the representative or the represented person is ignorant about the fact that this excuse makes representation invalid, e.g. the representative does not know that urgent stay is not sufficient for him.

It is obligatory for the representative to perform hajj in accordance with his own duty by following his own marja' or by acting upon his own fatwa if he is a mujtahid. If a pilgrim on behalf dies after wearing ihram and entering the Haram, that act compensates for the hajj of the represented person. However, if he dies after wearing ihram and before entering into Haram, on the basis of obligatory caution his deed is not sufficient. It does not matter, whether his representation is for free or not, whether he is performing hajjat al-Islam or another obligatory hajj.

He who performed hajj as a representative without performing his own hajjat al-Islam earlier to this, performs, by mustahabb caution, al-'umra al-mufrada on his own behalf before leaving the city of Mecca, if possible. After performing hajj on behalf, a representative is allowed to perform tawaf or al-'umra al-mufrada for himself or on behalf of others. On the basis of obligatory caution, the condition of being a Shi'a, which is necessary in hajj representation, is also necessary in a person who performs the rites of hajj such as tawaf, stoning, animal slaughtering on behalf of others.

The pilgrim on behalf must perform rites of hajj, including tawaf al-nisa, intending on behalf of the represented person.


  • The Rites of Hajj, In Accord with Fatwas of Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei, Hajj and Ziarah Research Center