Pilgrimage: Wife's Haj - an obligation for husband?

Q443 :Is it obligatory for a husband who has enough financial resources to take his wife to pilgrimage? Does the sound financial position of a man make pilgrimage obligatory for his wife, or is it necessary for her to have her own money in order to discharge her pilgrimage duty?

A443 : It is important to remember that pilgrimage is like all other Islamic duties. They are imposed on every individual, man or woman, in the same degree. When we stand before Allah on the day of judgement, and our deeds are reckoned for or against us, and our destiny is determined on the basis of what we had one in this life, every one of us stands as an individual. The fate of any one of us is never determined by what someone else has done for him or her. Nor is the forgiveness of any person withheld as a result of someone else's failure to do what he is required to do for that person. Pilgrimage is a duty required of every Muslim man or woman. But it does not become a binding duty until a person is able to undertake the journey, from every point of views. That ability includes having enough funds, transport, safety during travel, etc. It also includes in the case of a woman having a male companion who is closely related to her and who is known as "mahram." When the conditions of ability are not met in the case of any particular person, that person is not required to do the pilgrimage as a duty. The same applies in the case of a married woman. The conditions of ability must be met by her, not her husband. Therefore, if she does not have enough funds to undertake the pilgrimage, she is not required to go on pilgrimage as a duty. This is true even if her husband is one of the richest people. Some people may be stingy, even when they are rich. If we were to consider that pilgrimage becomes a duty to a woman simply because her husband can afford to give her what is enough for her trip, what would she do if he does not readily come out with the money? Islam does not require her to implore her husband to take her to pilgrimage or to provide her expenses. Further than that, a woman must not travel without being accompanied by a mahram, who is her husband or a close relative who she can never marry, such as her father, brother, nephew, etc. If she is taking someone with her as mahram, she is required to pay his expenses. Therefore, if she has sufficient funds for her own journey and expenses, but she does not have an extra amount to cover the expenses of her mahram, she is deemed not to be able to undertake her trip. Obviously, it is possible that one of her mahrams may be going on pilgrimage himself. She may accompany him without having to pay his expenses. Having said that, I am only stating the rules. It is needless to say that a husband who takes his wife to pilgrimage, paying all her expenses, does something which is highly rewarding in more senses than one. His wife will be ever grateful to him for enabling her to go on this trip which ensures her forgiveness by Allah for all her past sins. She feels that her husband is closer to her than ever before. If they share this experience together, they will always have something enjoyable and much more for every riyal he spends on the pilgrimage of his wife. Muslims have realized this ever since the time of the Prophet. It is gratifying to see the majority of Muslim men always willing to take their wives to pilgrimage, whenever they can afford that.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )