Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Assalam alaykum
Can I perform Hajj or Umra on behalf of someone who is old enough but is not able to afford it financially?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,
It is valid to perform the Hajj on behalf of somebody who is physically unable to go themselves. The person upon whom the Hajj is due should appoint a person for this.
However, if they cannot afford to go themselves, it would not be obligatory upon them to send somebody on their behalf. The exception would be in the case that they were fully able at some point in their life, yet they didn’t go.
The lesser pilgrimage (‘umra) is an emphasised sunna, and not obligatory. Hence, it is not a requirement nor expectation to send somebody to perform it on your behalf.
But this doesn’t negate the permissibility of performing it yourself, and subsequently, donating the reward to a family member. And they wouldn’t need to be informed of this beforehand.
[Mawsili, al-Ikhtiyar li Ta‘lil al-Mukhtar]
And Allah Most High alone knows best.
[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.