Wa`alaykumas-salam warahmatullahi wa barakatuh.
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:
In his answer to your question, Dr. Salah Al-Sawi, Secretary General of the Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America (AMJA), stated:
Hajj is one of the pillars of Islam and has great merits and rewards. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is reported to have said: “Alternate Hajj and Umrah because both rid one of poverty and sins just as the blacksmith’s bellows remove all the impurities from metals like iron, gold, and silver. The reward for Hajj mabrur [accepted] is nothing short of Paradise.” (At-Tirmidhi)
Every Muslim is required to put forward his or her plans for performing this fundamental pillar of Islam. We are really impressed by what you are doing and hope that Allah helps you to complete the expenses of Hajj and visit the Sacred House of Allah.
As stated, the Prophet (peace be upon him) declared, “Islam is built upon five pillars: testifying that there is no true god except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; performing Prayer; paying the Zakah; making Hajj to the Sacred House; and fasting in the month of Ramadan.” (Al-Bukhari)
Accordingly, we are expected to observe the five pillars, and none of them should affect the other. That is to say that you are equally asked for zakah and Hajj.
This saved money should be added to any other wealth you have, and you must pay zakah on it if it has reached the nisab and a full lunar year has passed while it has been in your possession. That should be done until you have actually spent the money on the journey of Hajj.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.