Hajj of Children
Hajj al-Sagheer is the Hajj of children who have not attained the age of maturity. Muslim scholars have agreed upon the thought that Hajj and Umrah are not obligatory for those who have not yet reached their adulthood. The main cause of this agreement is described in the self-explanatory saying of Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him):
“The Pen is lifted from three (i.e., their deeds are not recorded): a child until he reaches adolescence; an insane man until he comes to his senses; and one who is asleep until he wakes up.” (Narrated by Abu Dawud, 4403; Ibn Majah, 2041)
If a child has reached the age of awareness but has not yet reached adolescence and his father or guardian wants to take him for Hajj, it is their duty to teach the child about every ritual of Hajj. The basic thing to be taught is the importance and significance of this divine and blissful journey. They should aware the child about the great retribution and reward of Hajj.
Before reaching the sacred land of Makkah, the parents should advice the child to put on ihram which includes not just putting on the clothes but also making the intention to perform Hajj and doing all the cleanliness acts which are the prerequisites of entering the ihram. The child should do all the rituals of Hajj for himself, starting with entering ihram from the Miqat, until the end of the actions of Hajj. However his father or guardian could stone the Jamaraat on his behalf if he cannot do that himself because of the crowd. The child should be guided to avoid the things that are forbidden while he is in state of ihram and should be taught to maintain his piety and best conduct throughout the journey.
If the child is below the age of awareness, then his father or guardian should make the intention of entering ihram for Hajj or Umrah on his behalf, and do Tawaaf and Sa’ee with him, and take the child with him for all the other rituals, and stone the Jamaraat on his behalf. However it will not be considered as an obligatory Hajj though he will get the reward for this but it will be regarded as a voluntary Hajj. Ibn ‘Abbaas narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) said:
“Any child who does Hajj then reaches puberty, he must do Hajj again.”
Ibn ‘Abbaas narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) met some riders in Al-Rawha’ and said,
“Who are these people?” They said, “Muslims.”
They said, “Who are you?” He (PBUH) said, “The Messenger of Allah.”
A woman lifted up a child and said, “Is there Hajj for him?”
He said, ‘Yes, and you shall have a reward.” (Narrated by Muslim, 1336)