Question: If I have taken loan from my company where I am working and have still not completed my installments i.e. my loan is still not paid & some balance is to be paid. Is it permissible for me to perform hajj?
Answer: There is not objection to making pilgrimage to Mecca, but due to your debt which has not been paid as yet, your hajj would not be considered Hajjat al-Islam (obligatory hajj).
Question: I would appreciate, if you kindly tell me the necessary conditions by which a person becomes Mustati' (financially and bodily capable). I am asking this question because I really want to know whether or not I am qualified for Hajj.
Answer: Hajj is obligatory on a person once in his lifetime, provided that he fulfils the following conditions:
I. Being Baligh (adult).
II. Being sane and free.
III. Because of proceeding to Mecca for Hajj, should not be obliged to commit a Haram act, avoidance of which is more important than Hajj, nor should he be compelled to forsake an obligatory work which is more important than Hajj.
He should be capable of performing Hajj, and this depends upon a number of factors:
(a) He should possess provisions as described in relevant books and means for transportation, if need be, or he should have enough money to buy them, or get tickets.
(b) He should be healthy and strong enough to go to Mecca and perform Hajj.
(c) There should be no obstacle on the way. If the way is closed, or if a person fears that he will lose his life, or honor, while on his way to Mecca, or he will be robbed of his property, it is not obligatory on him to perform Hajj. But if he can reach Mecca by another route, he should go to perform Hajj, even if the other route is a longer one. But that route should not be unusually longer.
(d) He should have enough time to perform all the acts of worship in Hajj.
(e) He should possess sufficient money to meet the expenses of his dependents whose maintenance is obligatory on him, like, his wife and children, as well as the expenses of those who have to be paid.
(f) On return from Hajj, he should have some means of livelihood, like, income from the property, farming, business, employment etc. so that he may not lead a life of hardship.
Question: It is recommended to perform hajj every year. However, there are many poor Muslims who are in dire need of food and clothing in various Muslim countries. If it comes to making a choice between spending the money for hajj repeatedly or ziyãrat (pilgrimage to the shrine of one of the Infallibles [a.s.]) and between giving in charity for those believers—which is more significant and meritorious?
Answer: In principle, helping those needy Muslims is better than a recommended hajj or ziyãrat of the holy shrines. However, at times the hajj or the ziyãrat is associated with certain other issues that can elevate them to the same or even higher status of virtue.
Question: A single young man has become capable to perform hajj; he is also thinking about marriage. Now if he goes for hajj, his marriage ceremony will be delayed for a while. Which of the two is preferable [marriage or pilgrimage]?
Answer: He should perform the hajj and postpone the marriage unless postponing the marriage entails difficulty to the extent that it becomes unbearable. And Allah knows the best.