I have a question regarding performing Hajj for my Mother and Father. My Mother's age is 74, and my Father's is 77 years old. My parents are retired and no longer work. They don't have any income from work except social security income from Government. They sometimes live with my brother or me and are dependent on us. At one point, they had enough savings, but they gave away their savings to my brother and me. My mom has arthritis (with other ailments) and can only walk a limited distance. My Father also has a heart problem and other ailments and can only walk a limited distance. My parents never went to Hajj before. Is Hajj Fard (compulsory) on my parents? Are they eligible for someone else doing Hajj on their behalf (also called Hajj-e-Badal)? Can someone else do Hajj on their behalf, and will it be accepted as a valid Hajj?
If your parents possessed enough assets (excess of their necessities, e.g., house of residence, debts, clothes, etc.) to perform the Hajj, it became compulsory for them. If someone delays the Hajj to such an extent, they become weak/sick; thus, they cannot perform it, they must appoint someone to go on their behalf (Hajj Badl).
It is best for the one who cannot perform Hajj due to a valid excuse that he appoints someone who has already completed their own Hajj. However, suppose the designated person performing Hajj Badl, on behalf of the incapable one, has not performed his own Hajj after it became binding on him and chooses to perform Hajj Badl for someone else. In that case, the obligation will be fulfilled for the one who appointed him. Nevertheless, it would be prohibitively disliked (makruh tahreemi) to discard his own Hajj and perform someone else's because he is sinful for delaying his religious obligation. For detailed rulings regarding how to perform Hajj Badl, you can refer to your local scholars or read a reliable book on this subject.
Fatawa Hindiya: v. 1, p. 240-241 (DKI) Raddul Muhtar: v. 4, p. 21 (Maktaba Imdadia); Fatawa Darul Uloom Zakariya: v. 3, p. 425 (Zamzam)
And Allah knows best
Written by Maulana Mohammad Ahsan Osmani
Darul Ifta Texas