Doing Hajj on Behalf of Others (Niyabat)
Doing hajj on behalf of others has its own special rules. Therefore, I consider it appropriate to mention some of its rules separately to guide those who are doing hajj on behalf of others.
The pilgrim in this case is known as “na’ib” and the person on whose behalf the hajj is being done is known as “manūb ‘anhu”.
1. Gender compatibility between the na’ib and the manūb ‘anhu is not necessary. Therefore, a man can become na’ib for a lady and a lady can become na’iba for a man.
2. The na’ib must be baligh and sane. Therefore, based on precaution, an obligatory pilgrimage done by a non-baligh child for someone else would not be valid. Of course, such a child can do a sunnat hajj for someone else with the permission of his guardian.
The na’ib must also be a Shi‘a Ithna ‘Ashari. So a hajj done by a non-Shi‘a na’ib will not be valid even if he does it according to the Shi‘a madhhab. This is based on precaution.
A person who knows that he himself is under the obligation of doing hajj in that same year cannot be a na’ib for someone else. However, if such a person is made a na’ib and he does the hajj, his hajj will be correct and the responsibility of the manūb ‘anhu will be fulfilled, and the na’ib would deserve the payment for his work.
3. If the na’ib violates the rules in which penalties are involved, the price of paying the penalties is the na’ib’s responsibility irrespective of the fact that the niyabat was in lieu of payment or free.
4. In recommended (sunnat) hajj, one na’ib do the hajj on behalf of more than one person.
5. Tawaf by itself is a commendable good deed. Therefore, it is permissible to do the recommended tawaf on behalf of a dead or even a living person who is not in Mecca or unable to do the tawaf.
6. A person who wants to do the hajj on behalf of someone else in lieu of payment or free, he should do the rituals based on his own taqlid and not the taqlid of his manūb ‘anhu. However, if a person has been hired by someone else to do the hajj and the manūb ‘anhu has asked him to do the hajj according to the taqlid of manūb ‘anhu, then he should do accordingly unless he is sure that that method is the incorrect way of doing the rituals.
7. If a person who was capable of doing hajj but didn’t do it in his lifetime and after his death leaves an estate, then it is obligatory upon his heirs to hire a person to do the hajj from the actual estate before diving it among the heirs because the unfulfilled hajj is equal to a debt on the deceased.
8. A person who is financially capable of doing hajj but physically incapable –because of illness or old age– then he is allowed to appoint someone else to do the hajj on his behalf.
9. Between doing ‘umrah mufradah or hajj and then praying to dedicate its reward to one’s parents and between doing that on behalf of the parents, the latter is preferable.