What are the evidences of Hajj being obligatory?
Is Hajj an obligation? What are the evidences for that?
It is clear from ayahs and hadiths that Hajj is an obligation
There is a consensus and no dispute among the Muslims that Hajj is fard (obligation).
It’s one of the pillars of Islam. Its evidence is Quran, Sunnah and Ijma (historical consensus).
Allah (SWT) commands in Quran al-Kareem that:
“The first House (of worship) appointed for men was that at Bakka: Full of blessing and of guidance for all kinds of beings. In it are Signs Manifest; (for example), the Station of Abraham; whoever enters it attains security; Pilgrimage thereto is a duty men owe to Allah,- those who can afford the journey; but if any deny faith, Allah stands not in need of any of His creatures.” (Surah Al‐e‐Imran, 96-97)
"And proclaim the Pilgrimage among men: they will come to thee on foot and (mounted) on every kind of camel, lean on account of journeys through deep and distant mountain highways.” (Hajj, 27)
There are so many hadiths about Hajj being obligatory in Hajj chapters of Hadith books. This hadith is one of them:
(The superstructure of) al-Islam is raised on five (pillars), to know and believe without suspicion, as if witnessed that there is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his servant and messenger, the establishment of prayer, payment of Zakat, the, fast of Ramadan, Pilgrimage (to Mecca). (Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Nasai)
“One day Hadrat (Gabriel) Jibreel (upon whom be peace):
“O Muhammad. Can you give me information about Islam?” said. Hadrat Prophet (PBUH):
“Witnessing that there is no God but Allah, making prayer properly, paying Zakat, fasting of Ramadan, making pilgrimage to Mecca if you can afford.” answered.
After that (Gabriel) Jibreel (upon whom be peace):
“You said right.” said. (Muslim)
“O people! Allah has prescribed Hajj for you, so you must perform it." (Bukhari, Muslim)
Since the worship of Hajj, which is one of the pillars of Islam, is certain with ayahs and hadiths, whoever denies its being obligatory is disbeliever.
Hajj is fard al ayn
Hajj is fard al ayn, in other words an individual duty that every Muslim who can afford is obliged to perform Hajj in person.
It’s not fard al kifaya (sufficiency duty) like prayer of janazah (funeral prayer) and jihad which are not required to be performed as long as a sufficient number of community members fulfill it. (Samarkandi)
Hajj is fard once in a lifetime
As mentioned in the evidences above, hajj is clearly fard on every Muslim who can afford it. However, as to whether to perform it once in lifetime or every year, we find the answer in the hadiths of our Beloved Prophet (pbuh)
Ibn 'Abbas narrates that;
“Once the Prophet (pbuh) addressed us and said: "O People! Hajj has been prescribed for you." At this Al-Aqra' bin Habis stood up and asked: "O Prophet of Allah! Are we to perform Hajj every year?" The Prophet (pbuh) said: "Had I said 'yes', it would have become a (yearly) obligation, and had it become a (yearly) obligatory duty you would have failed to keep it. Hajj is obligatory only once in one's lifetime. Whatever one does over and above this is supererogatory (a voluntary act) for him. (Ahmad, Abu Daw'ud, Nasa' i and Al-Hakim)