The soundness and meaning of the hadeeth about performing Hajj every five years
The text of the hadeeth:
It was narrated from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah says: ‘A person whose body I make healthy and to whom I grant ample provision but five years go by and he does not come to Me is indeed deprived.’”
Narrated by Abu Ya’laa, 2/304; al-Bayhaqi, 5/262
Discussion of the hadeeth:
Some of the scholars have discussed this hadeeth. Some of them – such as Ibn al-‘Arabi al-Maaliki – were of the view that it is mawdoo’ (fabricated). Others classed it as da’eef, such as al-Daaraqutni, al-‘Aqeeli and al-Subki. Ibn Hibbaan and Shaykh al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah (1662) are of the view that it is saheeh.
Some of the scholars have interpreted this hadeeth as referring to Hajj or ‘Umrah. Based on this, al-Haythami included this hadeeth in his book Mawaarid al-Zam’aan under the heading “Chapter concerning one who is well off but does not go for Hajj or ‘Umrah in five years.”
Mawaarid al-Zam’aan, p. 239.
Others interpreted it as referring to Hajj only, as al-Mundhiri included it in his book al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb under the heading, “Warning to one who is able to do Hajj but does not go for Hajj.”
Some of the scholars quoted this hadeeth as evidence that it is obligatory to perform Hajj once every five years for the one who is able to do that. This is a weak view, either because the hadeeth is weak (da’eef) and not saheeh, or because the hadeeth is to be understood as referring to what is mustahabb, not what is obligatory.
The scholars are agreed that Hajj is an individual obligation upon every accountable, free Muslim who is able to do it, once in his or her lifetime, except for very few scholars who held different views, who said: It is obligatory once every five years, and they based that view on the report that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Every Muslim should come to the House of Allaah every five years.” This was narrated by Ibn al-‘Arabi. We say: Narrating this hadeeth is haraam, so how can a ruling be established based on it?
Al-Daaraqutni said: It was narrated through more than one isnaad, none of which are saheeh at all.
Fataawa al-Subki, 1/263
Some of those who held an odd view said that it is obligatory every year, and it was narrated from some of them that it is obligatory every five years, because of the report according to which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Every Muslim should come to the House of Allaah every five years.” Ibn ‘Arabi said: Narrating this hadeeth is haraam, so how can a ruling be established based on it? Meaning that it is mawdoo’ (fabricated). Al-Nawawi said: This idea is contrary to the consensus of the scholars, so this odd view is to be rejected on the basis of the consensus of the scholars who came before those who held this odd view.
Even if we accept this hadeeth, then it is to be understood as meaning that it is mustahabb.
Mawaahib al-Jaleel, 2/466.
And Allaah knows best.