Hajj al-tul Islam or Wajib Hajj is obligatory once in a lifetime upon all Muslims and the following conditions must be obtained before Hajj becomes Wajib.
1. Baligh, means age of puberty, girls 9 years of age and boys 15 years of age.
2. A'Aaqil, means being sane and of sound mind.
3. Istita'ah. Means capability. This means one must be able to defray all the necessary expenses during Hajj, including the return passage.
• If he has dependents, he must be able to maintain himself and his family.
• Upon his return, he must have enough means to maintain himself and his family.
• The journey to Hajj and returning from it must not involve any danger to the security of his life, wealth and family.
• One intending to go to Hajj must be healthy. If he is infirm or old or has any other justifiable excuse Hajj would not be Wajib, though if other conditions were fulfilled, however, he must send someone as his Naib (agent representative).
• Ample time must be there for one to prepare to go to Hajj, and to perform all the obligatory acts. If other conditions of Hajj are met, while time is limited or extraordinary effort is involved, one has to keep the money unused until the following year for the purpose.
When above conditions are fulfilled, Hajj, becomes Wajib immediately. To postpone it without any reasonable excuse is among the major sins. Hajj, must be performed in the same year of Istita'ah, and it continues to remain obligatory in the ensuing years as long as it has not been performed.
Before leaving for Hajj, make sure that:
a) You fully understand the rules of Taqleed.
b) Your money is clean, and you have paid your obligatory debts like Khums and Zakat. These essential, long term debts like house mortgages, business loans, car loans, furniture loans, etc., are not considered as debts for Hajj purposes, provided the installments are met by you without any hardship.
c) Your intention is purely for Hajj. The Niyyat must be to perform Hajj for the sake of seeking nearness to Allah, Qurbatan Illallahi.
d) You have prepared your Will, and given some "sadaqa" for your safe journey.