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




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Pilgrimage and Umrah Are Separate Duties

Adil Salahi

Arab News

Q. I have been told by different people that if a person offers the Umrah, offering the pilgrimage becomes obligatory for him within two years. Is this correct?

M. Hussain

A. No, it is not correct. The pilgrimage and the Umrah are two separate duties which we may perform separately or on the same trip. The pilgrimage is obligatory only when one is able to perform it. The ability is both physical and financial. To be physically able means that one can comfortably travel to the pilgrimage area and conduct all the rites and duties involved. Thus a person in permanently poor health who fears that flying could aggravate his condition can send someone to do the pilgrimage on his behalf, paying all the expenses of his proxy. Financially, a person must be able to afford all the expenses of his journey, including any fees charged in connection with it, and to leave his dependents enough money to look after themselves in his absence. If his financial status does not enable him to do so, the duty of pilgrimage is not applicable to him until such a time when he can afford it. These are the only conditions attached to the duty of the pilgrimage. It has no relation to the performance of the Umrah.

One more point must be explained, which concerns the timing of the obligation. If one is both physically and financially able to undertake the pilgrimage, when should he offer it? Scholars differ on this point with some saying the timing is open to the person concerned. Others say that the obligation should be fulfilled as soon as possible. This is perhaps the weightier view, because if you are able to do the pilgrimage this year, you cannot tell whether you will still be able to do it next year or in five years time. So the early fulfillment of this duty puts you in a much better position.


Earth, a planet hungry for peace

 Apartheid Wall

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).

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