You can be a Shia Muslim by just believing in the main faith of Islam (There no God but Allah, and Muhammad is His Messenger and Ali is the successor after the Prophet). This faith is enough for you to become a Shia Muslim.
Obligatory acts are not condition to be a Shia Muslim although you need to do whatever you know and can afford.
When you perform Hajj, you need to get yourself circumcised before performing Tawaf around the Ka'bah.
Please refer to our previous answer on this topic.
With prayers for your success.
By looking at the history of Islam, and how close Imam Ali (a.s.) was to the holy Prophet (s.a.w.), and their frequent travelling, along with the victory of conquering Meccah al-Mukarramah, this leaves no doubt that Imam Ali (a.s.) performed Hajj, and visited the holy Ka'bah, which was his birthplace.
We can see the many instances of how Imam Ali (a.s.) describes Hajj, in Nahj al-Balaghah, and in other sources as well.
Furthermore, we know about the authentic mutawatir hadith of Hajjatul-Wida', where on their way back from the last Hajj, our beloved Prophet (s.a.w.) announced the succession and wilayah of Imam Ali (a.s.).
With prayers for your success.
The main reason is that it was not mandated by the Prophet; in fact, he prayed with his wife and daughter there.
Also, (a) because to do tawaf you have to go all the way around the Ka'bah, and that is difficult to do with segregation, similarly it might be challenging to arrange gender segregation for sa'i between Safa and Marwah, and (b) perhaps it could cause hardship for people travelling together.
While it is true that there are some people with sick minds who misuse the arrangement there, by and large, I think most Muslims behave themselves properly there and respect the sanctity of the place, and the rules of ihraam (forbidding certain things between genders) also provide extra incentive to behave correctly, even if they may run into each other by accident.
That being said, wearing an extra outer garment can help provide more personal space without inconveniencing others.
Qurbani is compulsory on pilgrims during Hajj but recommended for those who are not in Hajj.
If you are a man and your Hajj is the first Hajj, you must shave your head on the day of Eidul Adhha as one of the obligatory acts of Haj according to most of the scholars.
If your Hajj is not the first Hajj, it will be highly recommended to shave your head.
Shaving the head is not permissible for women.
When you are able to perform Hajj, then it becomes compulsory on you to perform Hajj with out any delay even if you have not been to Umrah. In fact Hajj consists of two parts, the first is Umra Tamattu' and the second is Hajj Tamattu'.
A cousin is not mahram unless you are married to them or is a secondary reason why you are mahram (such as being milk siblings). However you do not need a mahram to go to hajj. This is just a legal requirement for the visa from Saudi and is not required in Shi'i fiqh.
I hope you are able to perform the hajj successfully, God willing!
1. Going for Hajj with Sunni Muslims does not harm your Hajj as far as you perform the Hajj in the proper way according to the Prophet (SAWA) and Ahlul Bayt (AS). You need to read a book of Hajj steps according to Ahlul Bayt (AS) or to contact Shi'a scholars how can guide you.
2. Going for Hajj on behalf of a Sunni deceased person is allowed if you have already performed you own obligatory Hajj, or if Hajj is not yet obligatory on you because you can't afford it.
Hajj is prescribed for both men and women in Islam and is obligatory one time on anyone who is able to perform it.
If she is not able to perform hajj (because she cannot afford it, because it would cause hardship, because she is physically unable to, because she cannot get a visa, or for other reasons), then it is not obligatory right now.
Sometimes we are not able to do things in life because of our circumstances, and this is part of life. We are not responsible for the things we cannot do.
As the Qur'an says, Allah does not intend to burden us!
If she is not able to go, it is good for her to pray for Allah to grant her the opportunity to go in the future and to have the intention to go if it becomes possible. How often are prayers to go to hajj answered!
If her circumstances change so that she becomes able to do it, then it becomes obligatory.
However the intent behind Islamic law is that everyone who can perform hajj does so regardless of whether they are a homemaker or not.
Delaying the full payment of Khums is a sinful act whether Hajj is intended or not.
Hajj is invalid if any amount used in its obligatory acts are from saved money out of which Khums is not paid fully.
Yes, this is in the book Kamil al-Ziyarat:
The narration is as follows: I said to Imam Sadiq (A), “May I be sacrificed on you, I cannot afford to go to Hajj every year.” The Imam (A) replied: If you ever wanted to go to the Hajj but could not afford it, go to the Ziyarat of Imam Husain (A), for indeed it will be recorded as a Hajj for you. And if you ever wanted to go for Umrah but could not afford it, go to the Ziyarat of Imam Husain (A), for indeed it will be recorded as an Umrah for you.
As for why? Allah knows best.
However, some thoughts. First, it is not neglecting hajj, only discussing the situation where it is impossible.
Second, it is also said that worshipping at Masjid al-Kufa has a similar reward to hajj, and Masjid al-Kufa is associated with Imam Ali (A) so this general idea is not only said about Karbala (although it is more emphasized for Karbala).
Third, if someone from afar cannot perform hajj, then probably they also cannot go to Medina and visit the Prophet (S), so it is not worth mentioning here.
Fourth, there are many narrations that indicate there is something spiritually unique about Karbala and where Imam Husain (A) was laid to rest, and visiting Imam Husain (A) is emphasized above visiting the resting places of the other Imams. So, it is good to trust in that and assume there is in fact a hidden merit to visiting Karbala which is not found in other places. There are many aspects of the spiritual world that we don't see with our physical eyes and in our everyday reality. Of course, it is also very good to visit Imam Ali (A)!
The best way to answer this question for one's self is to go to all these places (hajj, Najaf, Karbala) and develop a personal view. If you have not, may Allah bless you with the opportunity!