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Hajj and loan


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Heba E. Husseyn
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« on: February 27, 2015, 10:11:00 pm »

..  I've noticed time and again that our 'scholars' say a certain thing and in the  next sentence they overturn their own words with a different twist.

Here is an example.  Someone named Faraz Khan answered a query by a questioner who asked if it's okay for them to perform Hajj as they still have $9,000 remaining to pay off their mortgage. 

So the scholar replies that it's better to pay off the loan before going for Hajj if the loan is interest based.  Well, all bank loans nowadays (even in Muslim countries) are interest based.  All loans given by Islamic institutions claiming to be riba-free are also interest based only with a different label.   The purpose of going for Hajj after paying your mortgage will give you a chance to repent in Hajj and ask forgiveness for the interest paid for the mortgage, even though it's a compulsion for you and the actual fault lies with the bank. 

The point is, what about those who have purchased a home recently and have a solid 20 years ahead of them for finishing their mortgage?  They cannot perform Hajj for 20 years?

Then he says, quote:  "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."  He means you shouldn't take loan for performing Hajj for you will have to pay interest for it which will make the money unlawful.  Correct, I agree with that.  But since unlawful money is not accepted or rewarded by Allah Almighty, how can we deem the obligation to be fulfilled while purposely using unlawful money?
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Zeynab
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« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2015, 10:28:26 pm »

"....... although the obligation would be deemed fulfilled.

I have no idea what he means by this.  First he forbids use of illegal money for performing Hajj (fair enough) and then he implies that unlawful money is okay for fulfilling the obligation.  Complete contradiction of values.  Furthermore .. regardless of the source of money, how can he (or anyone for that matter) confirm whether or not the obligation has been deemed fulfilled?  Acceptance of our Hajj or otherwise is only up to Allah Almighty. 
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« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2015, 10:33:57 pm »

So, after a few years if they decide to sell that house and buy another one, then they'll again be laden with sins. I don't know why our scholars don't see things truthfully and practically.

If a Muslim is compelled to pay interest for their loans to institutions like banks, credit unions, payday loan centers etc., why are they called sinful?    How are they expected to get interest-free loans especially those living in Western countries?  Even the imams and scholars pay interest for their homes, cars and credit card purchases.  They conveniently never talk of that and just address the people they lecture as 'sinful' if they are laden with debt.

The only difference is that it's much easier for the imams to pay their loans as they get plenty of funding from the oil rich gulf states for running the masjids with big shares for their personal expenses.  We are not as fortunate if they only knew that.
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Zeynab
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« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2015, 10:36:36 pm »

Absolutely correct.  What needs to be blamed is the system.  What can the poor people do?
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« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2015, 10:41:48 pm »

On this issue of loans, our scholars talk on the assumption that people take loans from neighbors or friends so you can make your own rules and mutual adjustments.  It's not like that.  Everyone deals with banks and it's their rules every debtor is helplessly stuck with.  Interestingly enough, our imams and scholars never decry the banks. 

Of course no doubt it's best that you don't deal with interest based loans and that you perform Hajj when you've paid off your non-interest based loan.  But can you get that anywhere these days?  And not allowing people to do Hajj until they have fully purchased their homes would mean hardly anyone can perform Hajj while young or even middle aged.  No one finishes paying mortgage before 70 or later ... if at all they are ever able to.
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« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2015, 10:50:52 pm »

True, I've observed exactly the same.

Secondly another thing I want to say.  Bank taking interest from you and bank giving "interest" to your account are two different things.  If you have an a/c with a bank and it gives you for example 2% interest on your savings a/c, it makes a profit worth 4% or more.  Banks are not individuals in straightened circumstances.  Banks are multi-billion dollar financial establishment.  Giving you that 2% interest (or whatever you call it) doesn't hurt the bank.  It does that for its own benefit.  It can put a stop to it and tell you to get lost any time it likes.  This is not what is meant by riba.  The Quran condemns interest taken from an individual by an individual or from an individual by an organization.  If a financial institution or bank gives you something, that's like being given a share or partial income or stipend by a syndicate .. at the goodwill of the syndicate in lieu of keeping your money with them as trust or investment.  Even if they use that money, you can get back that principle whenever you like.  In case your principle is locked for a certain period, it will be unlocked as soon as those months or years are over.  This is not the sort of loan that hurts a debtor.  In this case, "debtor" is a multi billion dollar bank.  How can a common individual hurt that huge entrepreneur by investing a few thousand dollars with them in return for a small monthly or annual payment ?

Btw, in colloquial English "syndicate" often refers to an organization involved in illegal activities.  This misconception must also be cleared.  According to its real definition, a syndicate is a private group of individuals, companies, corporations, organizations or entities formed for the transaction of shared business and profits for themselves.  This is precisely what a bank does.  In French, syndicate means trade union.  In Latin syndicate means caretaker of an issue. These interpretations are also correct.
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Heba E. Husseyn
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« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2015, 10:57:45 pm »

Thanks sisters.  And Sister Zeynab, that's a very valid point you stated above.  I don't know how, but our Shariah is unable to make the huge difference between  a multi billion-dollar financial institution giving to an individual and Shylock the Jew sort of dealings taking from an individual.  It's specifically the latter which the Quran absolutely forbids.  The former is a very different story which you already described.
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« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2015, 10:59:58 pm »

I know, they're two very different stories.
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« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2015, 11:01:10 pm »

So eventually what would you say?  Is it okay to go for Hajj while in debt?
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« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2015, 11:08:12 pm »

I would say yes, it's okay.  If the universal system is such that there's practically nothing in the form of a genuine, non-profit, interest-free loan, it's not the person's fault.  If he or she doesn't have the money and needs a loan, they have no other choice but to approach the existing financial institutions and borrow money on their terms and conditions.  The sin is upon the financial institution, not the individual.  The individual only needs to make sure that if it lends money to a relative, friend, colleague or neighbor or any other person, it must NOT charge any interest or riba and only seek back the principle.  If the debtor is in a difficult situation, you should try to waive the payback and remit it as charity.  That would be best if the amount is not too big and if you can afford to remit it.

Secondly the individual must also make sure not to borrow money or take loan for performing Hajj. Certainly not interest based loan.  Even if it's interest-free, borrowing money for fulfilling any responsibility simply means you're financially not comfortable enough.  And Allah Almighty has made it clear in the Quran that He has not placed any difficulties in religion and that only those to perform Hajj who can undertake it. 
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« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2015, 11:10:06 pm »

Right, understand Sister.  Sounds perfectly sensible.
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