Hajj While In an Interest Based Loan
  • Question:

    I had a few questions regarding Hajj because, Inshallah, my mom and dad are really considering it this year. They have the money to go and were skeptical about certain issues that were clouding their judgment.

    First, my mom is very hesitant to go because of the fact that we have a house and we are paying mortgage on it and within the mortgage there is interest. She believes that it would be wiser for her to go after the mortgage is paid off so she does not have to worry about interest payments and such things when she comes back. She also told me that some shuyookh say that it is permissible to own a house under interest because it is the law of the land to pay interest and there is nothing that we can do about that. So the question is, if she goes for hajj while she has to still pay interest, is it possible for her to do hajj?

    Secondly, would this interest issue void her hajj if she came back and continued to pay interest?

    Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

    Thank you for your question. May Almighty Allah accept the good intentions for Hajj and make it a reality for all who intend to proceed to fulfill this obligation.

    You have raised three matters in your question:

    1. The ruling regarding proceeding for Hajj while having an interest based impermissible loan.

    2. The validity of having an interest based loan in western non muslim majority countries.

    3. The validity of Hajj, while making interest based payments, upon one's return from Hajj.

    Hajj While Having an Interest Based Loan
    Hajj is only obligatory upon those who are free from debt. However if one wishes to proceed while still being in a state of debt, it is permissible. If the dept is interest based, such as in the case of your respected mother, it would be wise to first pay off the debt and then proceed for Hajj.

    "As a right of Allah, it is obligatory on the people to perform Hajj of the House - on everyone who has the ability to manage (his) way to it". (Holy Quran 3:97)

    Imam Hasan Shurunbulali in Nur Al Idah and Imam Fakhruddin Al Razi in Al Tafseer Al Kabeer have listed 'paying all outstanding debts'as one of the conditions for Hajj to become fardh (mandatory). (See Nur Al Idah and Al Tafseer Al Kabeer)
    Interest Based Loans / Mortgages in Non Muslim Majority Countries

    The statement that "it is the law of the land to pay interest" is inaccurate. In my knowledge, there is no such law compelling citizens to purchase homes through interest based loans. In fact, there are various halal alternatives such as Islamic financing and living in rent etc.

    From amongst the objectives of Hajj is to renew one's commitment to adhere to all Quranic injunctions and abandon all wrong.

    Imam Abu Bakr Jaabir Al Jazaairi writes "From the wisdom of Hajj and Umrah, is to purify oneself from the effects of sin, so that one becomes worthy of the honour of Almighty Allah, particularly in the abode hereafter" (Minhaj Al Muslim).

    Therefore, deliberately engaging in sin after one's Hajj would not be appropriate. Despite this, it should be noted that the obligation of Hajj will be fulfilled, even though one may commit sin after one's return from Hajj.

    And Allah knows best.

    Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Badat
    Hadith of the Day Imam
    Imam of the Islamic Foundation of Toronto and Director of Mathabah institute
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