Hajj in Second Life: Substitute for Real Hajj?
Hajj in Second Life is only an instructive means to help Muslims learn the rites of Hajj in a virtual reality environment. It is in no way a substitute for the physical performance of Hajj. There is no disagreement between Muslim jurists that Hajj is a down-to-earth journey that can never be done in dreams, Second Life or any other unrealistic realm. The very meaning of the word hajj in Arabic, in addition to the consensus of Muslim jurists, denies any such implication.
Those who are unable to perform Hajj due to sickness or physical inability are permitted to delegate someone else to perform it on their behalf under certain conditions.
Addressing this in more detail, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, said:
The so-called Hajj in Second Life cannot be considered as a real Hajj since Hajj is an act of worship and we are not allowed to innovate in the area of worship or `aqeedah (beliefs).
Furthermore, if anyone cannot undertake the physical journey to Makkah, then Hajj is not obligatory on him/her. They simply need to do whatever other virtuous acts they can; in that way they can catch up with the Hajj pilgrims. In other words, they will not be deprived of their rewards.