Very Sick: Should I Do Hajj?

Question and answer details
As-salamu `alaykum. I want to make Hajj this year but I am not sure if I can physically perform the rituals. I have had Rheumatoid Arthritis for 40 years. My left foot is deformed making it nearly impossible to walk without shoes for support. I have a very hard time walking for long periods of time and find it difficult to walk down stairs. I have to sit to pray. I want to believe I can physically handle it but I’m just not sure. Do you have any advice? Thank you.
Ahmad Kutty

Wa `alaykum as-salamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

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Dear brother, we are really impressed by your question that emanates from a God-loving heart and that shows your eagerness to perform Hajj though you have such physical problems.

Hajj is obligatory (fard) only with the financial and physical ability. However, if you can perform Hajj with the help of others, we encourage you to do so.

Responding to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states,

Hajj is fard (obligatory) only when you are able to undertake the journey both financially and physically.

However, you should know that most of the rituals of Hajj such as tawaf, sa`i, etc. can be done by people who are in similar conditions like yours by assistance of others and by using wheel-chairs, etc. So if you are able to do that, you should not be discouraged or deterred.

Having said this, I should also point out: If your physician has advised you against it, because of your specific condition, then you need to listen to him. If that is the case, you are allowed to pay someone to perform Hajj on your behalf.

Allah Almighty knows best.