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A Question from a non-Muslim

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brasswatchman View Drop Down
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    Posted: 02 August 2005 at 7:54pm

Greetings. I have a question regarding the tradition of the Hajj, if you do not mind an outsider's curiousity. What happens if a Muslim does not have access to Mecca, and thus cannot make the traditional pilgrimage? Are there any precedents or interpretations in Islamic law regarding such a situation? If so, what is to be done? Thank you very much for your time.

Sincerely, brasswatchman

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balqees View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote balqees Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 August 2005 at 1:20am

Assalaamu alaikum.

OK, first of all, please do take into consideration the order in which the pilgrimage is listed in the five pillars.

And to back up even one more step, I will explain to you about the pillars in general.

For basic guidance to Islam, it is stated that there are five pillars of which it is necessary for anyone claiming Islam as their religion to abide by. And they are, basically, and in the order as was first stated by prophet Mohammed(SAAW):

1. The statement of belief: 'There is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is His messenger'.

2. The prayer, observed 5 times daily.

3. The month of fast (Ramadhan), which consists of one whole month of the year (all muslims fast during this time).

4. Paying of the 'poor tax', called 'zakat', taken from those who fall into the category of eligible for taxation, and given to the needy.

5. Performing the pilgrimage (haj) to Makkah and the surrounding area, also consisting of observing the traditional rites of this process during that time of the year.

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That said, let me say that the importance of each of the above stated pillars is in accordance with it's position in the line up of the order in which they come.

Each is important, of course, but do take into consideration also the amount of times the particular type of worship is done or observed:

The statement of the belief is stated at the onset of one's acceptance into Islam, and from then on it is also stated many times throughout each day of the muslim.

The prayer is performed 5 times daily throughout the life.

The fast is for one month of the year. It is observed yearly for the life of the muslim.

And the tax of the 'zakat' is to be observed yearly as well, but taken into consideration of the status of the individual (i.e. whether or not he/she is in position financially to pay such a tax).

And the haj, or pilgrimage, is to be performed only once in the lifetime (the basic requirement is once...it is permitted to do it more often, if one wishes). And even then, under certain conditions...that the individual is capable of doing so, both financially and physically (i.e. health-wise). If the individual does not fall into such category of capability, then the responsibility or obligation of the haj is lifted from them.

In other words, one should realize that Allah is oft-merciful and all-forgiving, and has provided for each and every obligation upon the muslims, provisions to help him/her live up to such obligations. And out of His never-ending mercy, He has also provided for exclusions in order to NOT concur any burden on any of His slaves.

As for 'access' to Maccah...developments in today's world have evolved so as to make it quite easy and accessible for all who wish to attend to it.

Yet at the same time, we must realize that it is a great expense on anyone.

God has given provision for this, thru the explanation of prophet Mohammed(SAAW), that for those who are not able to realize such expense, then the responsibility has been lifted from them.

Many muslim worldwide save money all their life working towards the goal of finally attending this magnificent event of the haj. Some make it, and some do not.

And yet some leave it for their old age. When in reality, we should all strive to attend to it once we have attained the age in which it is incumbent upon us (basically, that means once we have passed puberty).

For muslims, it is a basic goal that so many dream of and work towards with eager anticipation.

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I hope that this has helped you in some way.

If you have more questions, do feel free to post them.

balqees.

 

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brasswatchman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote brasswatchman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 August 2005 at 8:05pm

I see. Just to make sure I have everything straight: if something transpires that makes the Hajj to Meccah impossible, then a Muslim is released from that obligation?

:) Thank you very much for your time. I appreciate the assistance.

Sincerely, brasswatchman

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Meedo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Meedo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 August 2005 at 2:35pm

The answer  is simply yes

and this goes for anything in Islam

Islam is logic , if something is impossible then bye bye

Peace and welcome to teh forum brother

Meedo
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