Answered by Sidi Moustafa Elqabbany
Do I have to perform hajj as soon as I am able or can I delay it?
In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate. All praise is due to Allah, Lord of all things. May Allah bless and grant peace to our Master Muhammad, his family, and companions.
Quoted from Reliance of the Traveller, j1.9:
It is recommended to perform hajj as soon as possible (N: i.e. to perform it the first year that one is able to, and likewise for umra). One is entitled to delay it, but if one dies without performing it after having been able to, one dies in disobedience, and it is obligatory to take out the cost for it from the deceased’s estate (n: just as debts are, as at L4.3(1)) to pay for someone to make it up (A: in the deceased’s place (dis: below)).
However, other schools are stricter than the Shafi’is in this matter.
Allah the Exalted knows best and He alone gives success.
Metropolitan Vancouver, Canada
(Note: I am not Mostafa Azzam, the Shafi’i faqih currently residing in Amman, Jordan.)