Is it Ethical to go to Hajj More than Once?

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Many people may wonder if it is unethical to go to Hajj knowing the expense. You may have heard that some people spend approximately $25,000 per person for Hajj. On the other hand, many other people may not be able to ever afford the Hajj, while other people go multiple times during their lives. Some may think to themselves, “If my spouse and I go and we spend $40,000, what could I be doing with that money instead of going for Hajj?”


Dr. Wael Shehab, the Imam at the Toronto Islamic Center in downtown Toronto, wrote a comprehensive article for aboutislam.net. I like the way he specified the major principles of Islam, and based on these principles, how does it measure up to go to Hajj again and again?


In principle, it is better to avert harm than to gain some benefit, thus, if people are being harmed all around you and they need this money, then it's better to alleviate that harm than to get the benefit of going to Hajj on your own.

Secondly, he pointed out in principle, the public benefit takes precedence over the personal benefit. When there is a great public need for your money, it could be because there's poverty all around you. While exploring this matter in a new perspective, there could be Islamic centers that need your support for them to grow or there could be schools in which children will learn about Islam that need your financial support. Rather than spending your money to go to the pilgrimage for your own personal benefit, you can offer your money for the public benefit. Examining principles like this and seeing where the money can bring about the greatest good, he does not recommend that you go to Hajj again and again. It would seem that you're choosing something less beneficial and foregoing something of greater benefit. It doesn't make sense.


In the end, if people are going to spend their money anyway and are not going for the Hajj, maybe they'll take a cruise somewhere and spend the money anyhow. If that's what you're going to do, you may as well go to Hajj. Of course, giving the money to charity is not the same as going to Hajj. When going to Hajj, you're not only making the financial sacrifice, but you're also sacrificing your personal time, and there's also an opportunity cost since you could have been working at the same time, but instead, you are taking time off from your employment and from your income generation. There is a physical effort that is put into the Hajj as well. All of that makes a lot of difference and in this regard, we can see that there are hadiths that encourage going to Hajj. Thus, if you're going to spend the money on a vacation anyway, then Hajj is the best place to be. However, some scholars point out the overcrowding there and it's better if people did not go again and again.


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