Take from the deceased’s estate

Q: My father died thirty years ago. At that time we were underage and not able to remember any thing that he might have told us. However, his death was witnessed by his younger brother who informed us that my father said that he owed Hajj to three persons who had passed away before him. However, our uncle did not remember the names of those three people who died before our father could perform Hajj on their behalf. We tried in vain to find them and we unsuccessfully sought the help of some people in the surrounding areas. We hope that your Eminence could answer the following questions:First, is it obligatory on us to perform Hajj on behalf of each of those three people even though we do not know exactly who they are?Second; if it is obligatory on us to do so, how should the intention be made for it?Third, if it is not obligatory on us to perform Hajj on behalf of each of those people, is it obligatory on us to pay any financial Kaffarah (expiation) for this?Fourth whose sin is this? Is it the sin of the person who was given the will, the person who willed, or the inheritors? (Part No. 11; Page No. 106) Please provide us with your beneficial answer. May Allah guide you to all that which leads to goodness and righteousness. Finally, it may be useful to mention that our father died before performing his obligatory Hajj but he mentioned it in his will so that it would be made on his behalf along with the Hajj that he owed to the people mentioned above. However, we hired someone who performed Hajj on behalf of our father after his death. We hope that Allah (Exalted be He) will forgive our father.

A: If you are sure that your father owed Hajj to those people who passed away, it is obligatory on the inheritors to perform this Hajj out of your father's estate on behalf of these people. It is sufficient for them to make the intention upon entering Ihram (ritual state for Hajj and `Umrah) that the Hajj is on behalf of some person that the father undertook to perform Hajj on their behalf. They do not need to specify or mention the names of these people for Allah (Exalted be He) does not burden any one of His slaves with something that they can not bear. Nothing else would suffice in this situation; neither sacrifices nor money. Moreover, if the inheritors do not perform Hajj on behalf of the concerned people despite their capability of doing so, they are all considered sinners along with their father.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.