In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
To have your hajj accepted, you should do the following:
1- Have the intention of performing Hajj for the sake of Allah;
2- Avoid what Allah has forbidden;
3- Seek legal funds for your hajj;
4- You should be kind, generous and easy-going with your wealth and in your actions.
Answering this question, Sheikh Ibn `Uthaymeen, the late prominent Saudi Muslim scholar (may Allah have mercy on his soul), stated:
The things which a Muslim should do so that his or her Hajj will be accepted are:
1- He should have the intention of performing Hajj for the sake of Allah; this is the sincerity of intention.
In his Hajj, he should follow the way the Prophet (peace be upon him) performed Hajj, namely following the sunnah. No righteous deed will be accepted unless it fulfills these two basic conditions: sincerity of intention and following the sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him), because Allah says: “And they have been commanded no more than this: To worship Allah, offering Him sincere devotion, being true (in faith).” (Al-Bayyinah 98:5)
Also, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Actions are based on intentions, and each man will have according to what he intended.” (Al-Bukhari)
He also said: “Whoever does an action that is not in accordance with this matter of ours (Islam) will have it rejected.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
This is the most important thing that the pilgrim should seek: sincerity of intention, and following the sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him). The Prophet used to say during his Hajj: “Learn from me your rituals.” (Al-Baihaqi)
2- Another condition is that Hajj must be done with legal (halal) funds, as Hajj done with illegal (haram) funds is not permitted nor accepted. Some of the scholars even said that Hajj is not valid in this case, and one of them said:
“If you do Hajj with money of an illegal (haram) source, you have not done Hajj but your camel has.”
3- Another condition is that he should avoid what Allah has forbidden because Allah says:
“For Hajj are the months well known. If anyone undertakes that duty therein, Let there be no obscenity, nor wickedness, nor wrangling in the Hajj.” (Al-Baqarah 2:197)
He should avoid whatever Allah Almighty has forbidden in general, whether in Hajj or at other times, such as immorality and sin, obscene speech, forbidden deeds, listening to music and so on.
He should also avoid what Allah has forbidden particularly in Hajj, such as ar-rafath (intercourse with spouse), and shaving the head. He should also avoid wearing that which the Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade us to wear during ihram. In general, he should avoid everything that is forbidden when during ihram.
4- The pilgrim should also be kind, generous and easy-going with his wealth and in his actions. He should treat his brothers well as much as possible. He must avoid annoying or disturbing the Muslims, in the holy places and marketplaces, or in the crowdedness of the tawaf (the area around the Kabah where tawaf is performed) and the sa`i (the place where sa`i is performed) and during the jamarat (throwing pebbles), and in other places.
These are all things that are obligatory for pilgrims. The best way for a pilgrim to achieve that is to travel with a knowledgeable person who can remind him of what he must and mustn’t do. If that is not possible, then he should read the books of the scholars before going for Hajj, so that he can worship Allah with knowledge.
Almighty Allah knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.