Question: My grandma owes $100,000 in debt and wants to make hajj, what is your advice?

Answer: It is incumbent upon any individual who wants to perform the compulsory Hajj to first and foremost return the rights that he owes to anyone - especially debts. This is because the debt in Islaam is a matter which is very serious as the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم on one occasion even refused to pray over someone who died leaving a debt.[1]

As it relates to this situation, if the person to whom your grandmother owes the debt (the lender) is not in a hurry to receive the money, rather they understand that it may be a difficulty, and they don't have a problem receiving it in payments or even receiving it after some time, then that is not a problem. Even if the individual wanted to make Hajj and she gave the lender a small lump sum from the money that she has which she is going to use for Hajj, then that is the best thing to do. Before making Hajj, any extra money that is available to pay the lender can be used i.e. money that would have been used for non-essential expenses (like shopping etc.) during the Hajj trip may instead be paid to the lender. This is the best thing to do.

But let's say that the individual doesn't do this, and she makes Hajj without giving the lender anything, then her Hajj is saheeh (correct). However, what was incumbent upon her - what was more appropriate was that she gave or offered the lender some money, even if a small lump sum. This is the best thing to do, but if in fact she does make the Hajj without doing this then the Hajj is still correct.

Answered by: Shaykh Wasiullaah al-`Abbas

Title of Lecture: As-Seerah an-Nabawiyyah

Date of the Lecture: January 30th, 2007

Listen to Lecture: Click Here

Read the Transcribed Lecture: Click Here

[1] He صلى الله عليه وسلم asked: "Does this individual have a debt?" and when it was replied to him: "Yes.", he said: "Sallu 'Ala Saahibikum", meaning "Pray on your Companion", i.e. he was not going to pray over him to show the companions the seriousness of debt in Islaam. Reported in Saheeh al-Bukhaaree and Saheeh Muslim. This is the wording from Muslim, Kitaab al-Fawaa' id (# 1619)