The word ‘Hajj’ - – is linguistically synonymous with the word ‘Qasd’ – – (Aim, intention). In the Shariah it applies to the well-known religious pilgrimage to Mecca and its surrounding precincts, which is to be carried out by a Muslim at least once in his or her lifetime.
The Ruling of Hajj
Hajj is binding when the following conditions are fulfilled. The first set of conditions is called ‘prerequisites for being an obligation’:
- That one is a freeperson (i.e. non-slave)
- That one is at least pubescent
- That one is sane
- And that one has the capacity to fulfill the Hajj. This means,
a. That the path taken is secure as not to put the person’s life or property in danger
b. That one has sufficient means to reach Mecca
c. That one has the strength to reach Mecca on foot or riding
d. And that one is physically fit to complete the rites
 All of this means that Hajj is not compulsory for a slave, a non-pubescent child, an insane person, or one who isn’t fully capable. Despite that, the Hajj of each of those mentioned is considered to be valid, but they are merely given the reward of performing a voluntary act with the exception of the person who is physically and extraneously incapable of carrying out the Hajj, as long as his intention is to fulfill an obligation as opposed to a voluntary act.