This is customary among the Shias from the past centuries. Many traditions have clearly stated the recommended nature of these good deeds. Also the traditions that speak of doing good to a believer, also apply in such a case and support this custom. Scholars have recorded numerous traditions that praise the performance of good deeds on behalf of believers. A couple of such traditions are presented below:
1. Ibne Miskan narrates from Imam Sadiq (as) in the book of Al-Kafi that he asked Imam (as): How much reward is earned by a person who performs a Hajj on behalf of someone else? Imam (as) replied, “The reward of ten Hajjs shall be given to the one who performs it on behalf of someone else.”1
2. Shaykh Sadooq (a.r.) writes in his book, Man La Yahzarul Faqih that Imam Sadiq (as) was asked regarding the person who performs Hajj on behalf of others. Would be earn any rewards? Imam (as) said, “One who performs Hajj on behalf of someone else gets rewarded for 10 Hajjs. (Also), the person (who has performed the Hajj on behalf of someone) his mother, father, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, paternal uncles and aunts and maternal uncles and aunts, all of them receive salvation. The Mercy of Allah is spread wide and He is kind.”2
3. In Kafi it is narrated through the author’s own chain of narrators from Abu Baseer that Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) said: One who performs a Hajj on behalf of his relatives as a good turn to them, his Hajj will be perfect, and one on whose behalf he performed the Hajj will get an equal reward, Allah, the Mighty and Sublime is One Who expands that reward. 3
I say: The above two traditional reports and some other traditions that we have not quoted for the sake of brevity, prove that it is recommended to perform Hajj on behalf of other believers whether dead or alive, especially if they are relatives.
Thus proxy Hajj on behalf of our master (aj) is more meritorious and its reward is higher, because the status of His Eminence (aj) is much higher than other believers and his reward is more than all others. Also in support of this is the tradition that says that kindness to the relatives of the Holy Prophet (S) is more important than kindness to anyone else.
For example: There is a tradition that mentions the excellence of taking other believers as partners in recommended Hajj. That which proves it is are traditions that talk of doing it absolutely on behalf of all believers. After that it is derived from traditional reports that doing Hajj of proxy on behalf of the Imam of the believers is more deserving.
1. There is a traditional report of Muhammad bin Hasan that is mentioned in Kafi and other books that His Eminence, Imam Musa Kazim (as) said: Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) said: If you make a thousand persons as partners in your Hajj, each will get reward of a complete Hajj without there being any decrease in your reward.4
2. In the same book, through the author’s own chain of narrators it is narrated from Muhammad bin Ismail that he said: I asked His Eminence, Imam Musa Kazim (as): How many persons can I include as partners in my Hajj? He replied: As many as you like.5
3. It is narrated from Muawiyah bin Ammar that he asked Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as): Can I make my parents partners in my Hajj? He replied: Yes, indeed Allah, the Mighty and Sublime will make it a Hajj for you and a Hajj for each of them and as it would be a good turn on your part towards them, you will also get reward for that. I asked: Can I perform Tawaf for a man and a woman who reside in Kufa? He replied: Yes, when you begin the Tawaf, recite as follows: O Allah, accept it from so and so, as I am doing Tawaf on his/her behalf.6
I say: The last hadith clearly shows that taking a partner in a an act means to take him or her right from the beginning and does not mean that after doing the thing for yourself, you make him or her share in the reward. Pay attention to this point.
For example: There is a tradition which proves sending of proxy for Imams (as) to Mecca so that he may perform the Hajj on behalf of the Holy Imam (as) and to compensate that person for this. As it is allowed for the living Imam it must also be permitted for others as there is nothing which shows that it can only be for the living Imam.7
In Wasail, it is narrated from Tahdhib of Shaykh Tusi through the author’s own chain of narrators from Muhammad bin Isa Yaqteeni that he said: Imam Ali Reza (as) sent through Yunus bin Abdur Rahman some clothes, servants and money to perform Hajj and ordered me to perform the Hajj on behalf of the His Eminence. Thus a hundred dinars were divided into three parts between us…
For example: In Kafi it is narrated through the author’s own chain of narrators from Musa bin Qasim Bajli that he said: I asked Imam Muhammad Baqir (as): My master, I hope to keep the fasts of Ramadan in Medina. He replied: Insha Allah, you will get those fasts. I said: And I hope to set out on the 10th of Shawwal for Hajj and may the Almighty Allah bless me with Ziarat of the Messenger of Allah (S) and his family and to see you once more. Sometimes it so happens that I perform Hajj on behalf of your father, and sometimes on behalf of my father, and sometimes on behalf of one of my brothers and at times on my own behalf. Thus how should I perform it? He replied: Perform the Hajj Tamatto. I asked: I am living in Mecca since the last ten years. He said: Perform the Hajj Tamatto.8
I say: This tradition can be testified from two aspects:
One: The words of the narrator, that: ‘Sometimes it so happens that I perform Hajj on behalf of your father’ and Imam’s silent approval to its shows that there is no difference between Hajj on behalf of the late Imam and on behalf of the living.
Two: It is that the silent approval of Imam to the following words of the narrator: ‘and sometimes on behalf of one of my brothers’ shows its goodness. If Hajj is performed on behalf of the Imam of the Time (as) it would be more perfect and more preferable.
For example: Qutub Rawandi has mentioned in Al Kharaij wal Jarah: Abu Muhammad Da-alji who was a good co-religionist of us, was a traditionist and he had two sons. One was named Abul Hasan and he was a righteous man who had lawful profession and washed the dead bodies. The other son indulged in unlawful professions. A sum of money was sent to Abu Muhammad to perform Hajj on behalf of the Imam of the Time (aj) and this custom was prevalent among the Shias.
So, Abu Muhammad gave some of this money to his errant son, and then he went to perform the Hajj. When he returned from there he reported the following incident: I was standing in Arafat when I saw an elegant young man of wheaten complexion standing besides me and busy in supplication and worship.
When people departed from Arafat, he turned to me and said: O Shaykh, are you not ashamed? I said: My master, for what? He replied: From the money someone sent to do Hajj on my behalf you gave an amount to a person who is a transgressor and drinks wine? Very soon you will lose this eye. And he pointed to one of my eyes. From that day I am living in dread. Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Muhammad Noman, Shaykh Mufeed also heard of this. The narrator says: Not even forty days passed after his return that from the same eye which was pointed to, pus came out and it became blind.9
I say: It is appropriate to study this tradition from the beginning to the end as it contains numerous benefits and important matters.
1. His Eminence (aj) informs about a matter of the unseen.
2. To accord importance and respect to funds associated with Imam (as) and that they must not be given to anyone except the righteous because in that incident Abu Muhammad gave only a part of that money to his erring son and not the whole of it as some people think.
3. Swiftness of punishment for a believer who does something that is inappropriate. And this is a blessing on him from the Almighty Allah.
4. Implied approval of the Imam for Hajj on behalf of himself or paying someone to do Hajj on the Imam’s behalf as is clear from the above.
Among the matters that more or less show that it is recommended to do Hajj by proxy of Imam are traditions that emphasize performing Tawaf on behalf of the Holy Imam (as).
- 1. Furu Kafi, Vol. 4, Pg. 312, Chapter of Hajj by Proxy, Tr. No. 2
- 2. Man Laa Yahzarul Faqih, Vol. 2, Pg. 222-223, Tr. No. 9
- 3. Furu Kafi, Vol. 4, Pg. 316
- 4. Furu Kafi, Vol. 4, Pg. 317
- 5. Furu Kafi, Vol. 4, Pg. 317
- 6. Furu Kafi, Vol. 4, Pg. 317
- 7. Wasailush Shia, Vol. 8, Pg. 147, Chapter 34; At-Tahdhib, Vol. 8, Pg. 40, Chapter 3, Tr. No. 40
- 8. Furu Kafi, Vol. 4, Pg. 314
- 9. Al-Kharaij wal Jarah, Qutub Rawandi, Pg. 73