Pilgrimage: Father's pilgrimage

Q429 :You have mentioned that a Muslim is not obliged by duty to take his wife to pilgrimage. Does the same apply to one's father? A friend of mine says that he has sent money to his father to help him offer the pilgrimage. Need he not have done so?

A429 : As I have explained, pilgrimage is an individual duty. If a person meets the conditions of ability to offer the pilgrimage, then it is a duty incumbent on him. If he is unable to offer the pilgrimage, that duty does not apply to him. An Islamic duty is not made dependent upon someone else. Otherwise, we will be accountable to Allah for that over which we have no control. Allah is too merciful to put us in such a difficult position. In the case of a father and son, if the father does not himself meet the conditions of ability to offer the pilgrimage, the duty does not apply to him. If he dies without offering pilgrimage, Allah will not hold him to account for any omission. However, the case of his son being able to bear the expenses of his pilgrimage is not of dutifulness. A person may argue that he is not required to fulfil the religious duties of his father. But is he? The Prophet was asked once by one of his companions whether he should offer the pilgrimage on behalf of his father who died before completing that duty. The Prophet asked him: "Had your father left some debts unpaid, would you pay them on his behalf?" When the son answered in the affirmative, the Prophet said: "A debt owed to Allah has a better claim to be paid." This Hadith show clearly that a son is responsible to settle his father's debts. If a son is required to offer the pilgrimage on behalf of his father after his death, then it stands to reason that helping a father offer the pilgrimage himself is far better. Not only would he be bringing happiness to his father, but also he will benefit by his father's supplication to Allah in the Haram and in Arafat and the other places to help, protect and be pleased with his son. A parent's prayer is certainly answered. Moreover, the son would earn the meritorious position of being dutiful.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )