Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan
Question: I have been noticing that the people going for Hajj are writing emails and posting facebook messages to forgive them of any mistakes or if they owe someone money to let them know etc.
What is the proper way to address this and to whom. I have not told many people that I am going for Hajj. I want to keep my intention for Hajj solely for Allah (swt). I feel the more people I tell the more attention it is grabbing, not that its a bad thing, but for me I feel it sometimes throws me off track for the real purpose behind this journey.
Being the weak human that I am, i know i have said things about people, not to hurt or defame them or to spread rumors, but more like comments after I heard something about them. I have read in some instances you should confront the person whom you think knows you said “xyz” about them, and in another instance one should confront the persons whom you have broken ties with only. Whereas if they do not know then ask Allah (swt) for forgiveness instead.
Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,
I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.
Seeking Others’ Pardon
It is a good thing to seek people’s pardon and forgiveness for any wrongs committed before one leaves for hajj. The basic idea is that hajj is a journey of repentance and returning to Allah, and it is hoped that the hajj will be accepted and one returns afterwards with his or her sins forgiven by Allah.
However in general, with regards to wrongs done to others, one would need their forgiveness as well.
In terms of your intention, it should make no difference if you inform others of going on hajj. This is a public act of worship anyways, and you are doing it for Allah, not for others. Ask Allah for sincerity in this and all of your acts.
Speaking Ill of Others and Severed Ties
In terms of speaking ill of others, you must repent to Allah for that. Repentance entails having genuine remorse for the sin, ceasing it immediately, and resolving never to return to it.
If the one spoken ill of did not hear of your words, then repentance to Allah alone is sufficient. You should privately pray for those people though, as a sign of your genuine remorse.
If they did hear of your ill words, you would need to seek their pardon as well for your repentance to be complete.
In terms of severed ties, it is absolutely necessary to reconnect, and to forgive and forget. This should be done before leaving for hajj, so that the hajj will be a true new page in your book of life.
[Nahlawi, Durar Mubaha fil Hazr wal Ibaha; Nawawi, Riyad al-Salihin]
And Allah knows best.
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani