Opinion Editorials, July 2004, To see today's opinion articles, click here: www.aljazeerah.info




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Pilgrimage and Unsettled Debts

Adil Salahi

Arab News, 7/12/04

Q. A man who came to the Kingdom to work soon found himself jobless and in debt. When time for the pilgrimage was approaching, he had conflicting advice about whether he could perform the pilgrimage, since he was in debt. Yet he thought that the opportunity was too great to miss. Could he have done the pilgrimage? If so, would it fulfill his duty for the future? Or should he have waited until he had settled his debts.

M.M. Saeed, Jeddah

A. This is a common point of confusion, which arises from the nature of the pilgrimage duty. God states in the Qur’an that this duty is owed to Him by everyone who is able to undertake the journey. The ability is physical and financial. Hence a person who has no money to pay for his traveling ticket and his other expenses, let alone the expenses of his dependents during his absence, is exempt from this duty until such a time when he can financially afford the journey.

What about a person who has substantial debts but finds himself in a position where doing the pilgrimage is easy for him, or would not cost him much, as in the case of a person who happens to be in Saudi Arabia as the pilgrimage season draws near. Well, if he knows that his creditors would not mind his absence, or the marginal delay in his settling his debts, then he can go and fulfill his duty. Even if he does not mention his intention to them, and he goes on his pilgrimage, he commits no offense. His pilgrimage is correct and valid, and it fulfills his essential duty. The same applies if he has arranged to pay a certain amount every month, and he can pay for his pilgrimage while maintaining his debt payments. This rule also applies to a person who is not earning enough to meet his family’s expenses. If he incurs a reasonable amount of debt as a result of offering the pilgrimage, and he manages to look after his family in this way, and offers the pilgrimage, he is deemed to have done the pilgrimage when the duty is not applicable to him. Yet, his pilgrimage is valid and counts as fulfillment of the duty required of all Muslims who are able to make the journey.

Wearing Stones

Q. Does Islam permit the wearing of stones on one’s fingers or body? Is there any reference to this in the Qur’an or the Hadith?

A. Jafferey, Bombay

I am not sure what you mean by wearing stones. If you mean precious stones such as sapphire, emerald or ruby, then this is permissible, unless they are worn to boast of one’s wealth. If stones are used as a sort of charm to prevent harm or to bring benefit, then wearing them is forbidden. It is an act of associating partners with God, or shirk. The Hadith which relates to this is in the form of a prayer: “Whoever wears a charm, may God not grant him his purpose”, i.e. the purpose for which he has worn it.

Earth, a planet hungry for peace


The Israeli Land-Grab Apartheid Wall built inside the Palestinian territories, here separating Abu Dis from occupied East Jerusalem. (IPC, 7/4/04).


The Israeli apartheid (security) wall around Palestinian population centers in the West Bank, like a Python. (Alquds,10/25/03).

Opinions expressed in various sections are the sole responsibility of their authors and they may not represent Al-Jazeerah's.