Community Economics Hajj

Going to Hajj or Donating to East Africa?

The Question:

Brother Suhaib, I was planning to go to Hajj this year, but I have a feeling that feeding the starving children in Somalia could be more rewarding at this moment. What is your opinion on this? JazakAllahu khayr.

The Answer:

Imam al-Haramayn said, “There are times when establishing a community obligation is better than an individual one.” This is one of those times. The Shaf’i madhab holds that a person is allowed to delay his hajj since it is a wajib muwa’si (expanded obligation). While the Malikis differ with them. The Shaf’i opinion is what I follow based on the fact that the Prophet ﷺ (peace be upon him) delayed his Hajj. Barakallahu fik akhi (may Allah bless you).

About the author

Suhaib Webb

Suhaib Webb

Suhaib Webb is a contemporary American-Muslim educator, activist, and lecturer. His work bridges classical and contemporary Islamic thought, addressing issues of cultural, social and political relevance to Muslims in the West. After converting to Islam in 1992, Webb left his career in the music industry to pursue his passion in education. He earned a Bachelor’s in Education from the University of Central Oklahoma and received intensive private training in the Islamic Sciences under a renowned Muslim Scholar of Senegalese descent. Webb was hired as the Imam at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, where he gave khutbas (sermons), taught religious classes, and provided counselling to families and young people; he also served as an Imam and resident scholar in communities across the U.S.

From 2004-2010, Suhaib Webb studied at the world’s preeminent Islamic institution of learning, Al-Azhar University, in the College of Shari`ah. During this time, after several years of studying the Arabic Language and the Islamic legal tradition, he also served as the head of the English Translation Department at Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah.

Outside of his studies at Al-Azhar, Suhaib Webb completed the memorization of the Quran in the city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia. He has been granted numerous traditional teaching licenses (ijazat), adhering to centuries-old Islamic scholarly practice of ensuring the highest standards of scholarship. Webb was named one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center in 2010.


  • Wow, this is a tough one. I am going to Hajj this year, at a cost that could probably feed some African families for generations. On the other hand, what I’m spending is less than the price of a Toyota pickup truck that is used to drive around government thugs with weapons in East African conflict zones.
    Allah knows best. Whether we sacrifice our wealth to follow his direct orders, or whether we sacrifice our Hajj to try to save lives, He knows.
    I donated some money to a charity (UNHCR) and when i went on their website, I was surprised to see how many hundreds of millions they were getting from governments around the world. My donation is like a drop in the ocean, but Allah measures it against what He has blessed me with.

  • Asalaam Alaikum,

    Do BOTH! There is no reason why you can’t do both. Alhamdulilah, you are in position to take upon a wonderful journey and obligation that is prescribed for you. If you don’t go and If you die next year, then you have missed out on a lifetime opportunity. I admire your concern for the children, but believe me you will have plenty of poor children from African nations come to you while at Hajj. You can choose to donate at that point. The best time to do Hajj is in your youth…who knows if you will have the strength/money when you’re old! Please go and when you’re in Masjid Al Nabawi or Masjid Al Harram, make duaa for us all back home. May you have a safe journey. InshAllah.

  • I would suggest to donate for the sake of Allah. Imagine if you were able to save even one life! that would be a great and honorable deed to have on your scales on the day of judgment. any good deeds that person does after, (because of your help) are all counted for you as well. A life is precious, it’s all we have.

  • You can donate through Islamic Relief who are on the ground and doing lots of long term work. I would save as many lives as I can, if you have the intention to go Hajj another time and you die before then, Allah knows what’s in your heart.

    I think for many of us it is unimaginable to be dying of thirst and hunger. One who saves one life is as if he has saved all of humanity. You can delay your Hajj.

  • Whereas I understand the obligation upon us all to perform the Hajj — indeed it is one of the five pillars of our faith — I find it somewhat disheartening to find that we are unable to come to the conclusion on our own that Islam would probably want us to feed starving mouths in this time of intense crisis and faminine rather than performing the hajj.

    My comments are not an indictment against the dear shaikh, as he has provided the questioner with an beautiful answer that is rooted in Islamic sources and an invaluable methodological process. My comments are rather an observation on the sad state of the hearts and minds of the ordinary individuals such as myself, who must consult our dear scholars to address questions that our common sense and fitrah should already answer.

    • I just want to reiterate how essential and invaluable I believe that this specific Question & Answer are to the Muslim community. Jazak Allah khair to the dear shaikh for providing this practical and priceless advice. I believe this point cannot be overstated.

    • Br. Junaid,

      Just wanted to comment that instead of being disheartened, it is a good sign that people are coming and asking scholars, instead of making conclusions on their own (as they may or may not reach the right conclusion). As Allah instructs us to go to people of knowledge “Ask the people of Dhikr [the Scholars] if you don’t know” 16:43

      Jazak Allah Khairan for your concern for the Ummah.

  • i would rather pay myself a ticket and feed those orpahsn in the somalia with my own hand and have their du’a with me lifelong for saving them … dont be dazzled by the amount of money poured by goverment many promises fly …do what ur right hand can ..coz only that u will carry into ur grave and weight upon u on the day of judgement

  • If you can be certain that the money you intent to go to Haj can really feed the hungry children, my opinion is that it is better to posphone your trip, feed the hungry children first insyallah Allah knows better and your noble deeds would be rewarded. Allah will invite you to perform you Haj next year and He will povi
    de you with rezki from the sources unknown to you.May Allah Bless you with good health and help those who are really in need.

  • Nothing stops you from doing both. If it’s not your first Hajj, you should donate. As brother Suhaib mentioned, depending on who you follow, you can decide.


  • I just had to comment that debate aside, the questioner forces us all to reflect. Here we are telling him what to do, hajj or give sadaqa, two HUGE acts that please Allah, and I’m thinking to myself, “What should I be sacrificing this week to take care of those who are in most need right now?” Eat out this weekend, or send that money.

    SubhanAllah, that questioner’s heart is in a beautiful state, may Allah protect them and increase them in ikhlas and taqwa. Ameen.

    If someone is willing to even CONSIDER not going on hajj to donate, then I have a whole lot more I should be worried about!

    May Allah forgive us for the opportunities we forget, or the sacrifices we fail to make.

  • I personally think it is better to donate as much as we can, if you study the Quran and hadith you will find there are much more ayahs and hadith exhorting us to care for the poor than there are to do pilgrimage. Allah (swt) Knows best.

    For me personally I have not done hajj yet, but I feel better giving whatever extra money I have to help my brothers and sisters who are in such dire need.

  • Assalam-O-Alikum

    Hajj is an annual religious pilgrimage to Mecca undertaken each year by 2-3 million people. The approximate dates for the 2017 Hajj are August 30 to September 4..
    If You are From Muslim Community of United Kingdom and wants to perform Hajj or Umrah then you can choose our Cheap Hajj & Umrah Packages 2017.

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