Going On Hajj While in Debt

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: Please note we are planning to go for hajj this year ‘Inshallah’.

1. At the time of hajj, the house loan we would owe to the bank will be approx $9,000. The cost of Hajj will be approx $20,000 for me and my family. In these circumstances is it permissible for us to go to hajj (please note the bank has no problem as how we spent our money, as long as their payment is coming). We should be able to pay the house by early next year.

2. I have parents living in a foreign country, should I go to Hajj or visit them this year?, please note this will be our first time in the Holy city of Mecca and Medina. We are planning to go visit my parents in 2013 ‘Inshallah’. The last time we visited them was in 2010 (The point is that its not that we have been depriving our parents of our visits and seeing their grandchildren).

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.

(1) It is permissible for a person in debt to go for hajj if he can continue to make his payments on time and will not be delayed in repayment. One could not go on hajj if doing so would hinder his payments, especially if delayed payment would result in more charges or interest.

Having said that, it is of course more preferable to pay off your mortgage first before going on hajj, especially if the loan is interest-bearing. You seem very close to paying off the entire loan — this is a huge blessing, and something you should make a top priority. Hajj however is not obligatory on you while you are overall in debt (after taking into account your assets).

Also, although hajj is not obligatory on a person overall in debt, going on hajj would fulfill his hajj obligation.

Finally, one must ensure that the wealth used for hajj is from a lawful source, as a hajj performed with unlawful money is not accepted or rewarded by Allah Most High, although the obligation would be deemed fulfilled.

(2) Yes you may perform hajj this year and visit your parents whenever feasible inshaAllah.

[Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

And Allah knows best.
Faraz A. Khan

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani