Kids at Hajj: Should your little one become a pilgrim?

Hajj one of the 5 pillars of Islam

The Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam and the Muslims who possess enough resources and can afford have obligation to perform Hajj.

The Muslims love and wait for their turn throughout their life to perform Hajj and there are many who actually save money for the number of years to discharge their obligation by performing Hajj.

Hajj pilgrims mostly thinks whether to bring their infants and small children for performing Hajj or Not

Sometimes, the Hajj pilgrims face the issues related to bringing along with them, their infants and small children for Hajj upon whom the Hajj is not obligatory because of their less age. Read more: Children of Hajj pilgrims will be taken care in Nurseries during Hajj 2019

They sometimes get confused whether they should bring their children with them for the Hajj or not, since performing Hajj is absolutely not mandatory and required for their children.

They also remain unsure as well whether the children’s Hajj is counted according to the Islamic teachings and whether the rewards exist for the children and their parents if the children perform Hajj. Read more: Domestic/ local Hajj pilgrims wouldn’t have to worry about their luggage anymore

They also feel why to bring their children with them for Hajj as it will make the Hajj difficult for both of them.

Performing Hajj by children in the light of Islamic Hadith

Many of our frequent website readers and others who wish to perform Hajj but have children keep asking us whether it is fine to bring the small children (upon whom the Hajj is not mandatory) and whether Almighty Allah has kept any reward for the parents and such children performing Hajj at a small age. Read more: Pilgrims and Saudi expats may soon travel to Madinah on Camel backs

We have enlisted below several Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) which can provide the guidance to all the Muslims who have small children and they want to know the reward if they perform the Hajj and also whether their Hajj will be counted or they need to perform another Hajj when they reach the required age when it becomes mandatory on them.

Hadiths related to children performing Hajj

  • HADITH NO. 1

The Sahih (Right) Sunnah indicates that a child may do Hajj and be rewarded for it, but that does not count as the “Hajj of Islam” (obligatory Hajj). Muslim (2378) narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: A woman lifted up a child of hers and said: O Messenger of Allah, is there Hajj for this one? He said: “Yes, and you will have the reward.” 

  • HADITH NO. 2

Al-Tirmidhi (926) narrated that Al-Saa’ib ibn Yazeed said: My father took me for Hajj with the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) during the Farewell Pilgrimage when I was seven years old. Classed as Sahih by Al-Albaani in Saheeh Al-Tirmidhi.

  • HADITH NO. 3

And it was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas (May Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “Any child who does Hajj then reaches puberty, he must do Hajj again.” Narrated by Al-Shaafa’i in his Musnad; classed as sahih by Al-Albaani in Irwa’ Al-Ghaleel (686). 

Opinion of Imaam Shaafa’i, Imaam Maalik and Imaam Ahmad Bin Humble

The great Islamic scholars Al-Shaafa’i, Imaam Maalik, Imaam Ahmad Bin Humble and the majority of scholars based on the above narrated Hadith is of the view and opinion that:

“The Hajj of a child counts and is valid, and he will be rewarded for it, but it does not count as the Hajj of Islam (the obligatory Hajj), rather it is regarded as a voluntary Hajj.”

This Hadith clearly states that.

The above scholars say that the words of the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) “and you will have the reward” mean that this is because of her carrying him and making him avoid the things that are forbidden to the pilgrim in ihraam, and do what the pilgrim does. 

An opinion of Scholar Al-Khattaabi

has commented on this issue and said, it is Hajj for him in the sense of reward, without being counted as Hajj in the sense of obligatory Hajj if he lives until he reaches puberty and becomes a man. 

According to Al-Khattaabi, Hajj is like prayer, the child should be told to pray when he becomes able to pray, although it is not obligatory for him, and the reward will be written for him by the bounty of Allah, and also for the one who tells him to pray and teaches him to do so.

If he does Hajj then he must do the all the rituals, such as standing in ‘Arafah and circumambulating around the Kaa’bah, being carried if he is unable to walk, and doing saa’i between Al-Safa and Al-Marwah, and other actions of Hajj. End quote from ‘Awn Al-Ma’bood.

Some other Scholars disagrees and posses opinion otherwise

However, there is a small group who held another opinion and deviates from the above 3 Islamic scholars view and says that Hajj of a child doesn’t count since he is not at the required age. Read more: No Immigration will be Required for Pakistani Hajj Pilgrims in Saudi Arabia

Top tips for taking children to Hajj

  1. Get the necessary immunizations done.
  2. Ask whether your Hajj guide has special facilities or programs for kids.
  3. Keep hydrated and wear light clothing, preferably cotton.
  4. Prepare for colder days during your pilgrimage, such when pilgrims visit Muzdalifah.
  5. Take along basic medicines such as cough syrup and pain killers.

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Source: Al-Arabiya

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