Hajj performed by a minor, male or female, is acceptable because of the report narrated in Sahih Muslim on the authority of Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them) that  A woman lifted up a young boy to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said: "Would this child be credited with having performed the Hajj?" Thereupon he said: "Yes, and you will have a reward."

Moreover, it was narrated in Sahih Al-Bukhari on the authority of Al-Sa'ib Ibn Yazid (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: "I was seven years old when I was taken to perform Hajj with the Prophet (peace be upon him)." However, such Hajj does not exempt the person from the obligatory Hajj.

The same applie to slaves, whether males or females. The Hajj performed by them is acceptable, but it does not exempt them from the obligatory Hajj. It was authentically reported from Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "If children performs Hajj, they have to perform it again when they reache maturity. Likewise, if a slave boy or a slave girl performs Hajj and then they were freed, they have to perform it again." (Related by Ibn Abu Shaybah and Al-Bayhaqi through a sound Sanad [chain of narrators]).

If the child is below the age of discernment, then its guardian should make the intention of entering Ihram for Hajj on his behalf, letting him take off sewn garments and making Talbiyah (devotional expressions chanted at certain times during Hajj and `Umrah) on his behalf. The child thus enters the state of Ihram. Thereupon, he becomes liable to the prohibitions applying to the adult Muhrim (pilgrim in the ritual state for Hajj and `Umrah). The same procedures apply to a girl below the age of discernment. Then, during Tawaf, the child and his garment must be Tahir (ritually pure). This is because it is a prerequisite for Tawaf to be valid, just like Salah, that a person be Tahir.

If a male or female child, however, has reached the age of discernment, they should seek their guardian's permission to enter the state of Ihram. Then, they must do all the rituals of Ihram themselves, including washing and wearing perfume under the supervision of their guardian. The guardian, whether a father, a mother, or someone else, should be responsible for managing their affairs, including performing on their behalf the rituals they cannot perform, such as stoning the Jamrat (stone pillars at which pebbles are thrown during Hajj). Yet, they are required to perform other rituals themselves, including standing on the mount of `Arafah, spending the night in Minaand Muzdalifah, making Tawaf and Sa`y (going between Safa and Marwah during Hajj and `Umrah). However, if they fail to make Tawaf and Sa`y, their guardian may carry them. Yet, the guardian carrying a child is not recommended to perform one Tawaf and Sa`y for himself and the child. Rather, he should intend and do Tawaf and Sa`y on behalf of the child and then perform both rituals again for himself. This can be done as a precautionary measure and as a means of acting upon the Hadith: "Leave what causes you doubt and turn to what does not cause you doubt."

Yet, according to the preponderant view, it is acceptable to do one Tawaf and Sa`y for the child being carried and for the guardian carrying that child. The Prophet (peace be upon him) did not order the woman, who asked him about the validity of the Hajj of the minor she was carrying, to make Tawaf for the minor separately. Had it been obligatory, the Prophet (peace be upon him) would have pointed it out. May Allah grant us success.

In addition, the child - whether male or female - who has reached the age of discernment should be asked to remove the Najasah (ritual impurity) and to be Tahir before starting Tawaf. Besides, it is not incumbent upon the guardian to assume Ihram on behalf of the child. Rather, it is a supererogatory act; if he does so, he will be rewarded and if he does not do it, then there is no harm on him. And Allah knows best.

[By Shaykh Ibn Baaz - Alifta.net]

 See Also:     Hajj for Children