Fulfilling Obligations Before Hajj
Preparing for Hajj is one of the most important matters that help in performing Hajj in the right manner and ensuring that a pilgrim’s Hajj is accepted. Muslim scholars confirm that whoever wants to perform Hajj should first requite the rights of others by returning them to their rightful owners.
Almighty Allah says: “And eat up not one another’s property unjustly (in any illegal way), nor give bribery to the rulers (judges before presenting your cases) that you may knowingly eat up a part of the property of others sinfully.” (2: 188)
Almighty Allah also says: “O you who believe! Fulfill (your) obligations … ” (5: 1)
In addition, Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “The claimants would get their claims on the Day of Judgment so justly that the hornless sheep would get its claim from the horned sheep.” Abu Hurairah also narrated : “Whoever takes the money of the people with the intention of repaying it, Allah will repay it on his behalf, and whoever takes it in order to spoil it, then Allah will spoil him.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari)
Moreover, Abu Hurairah narrated : “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, ‘Do you know who the insolvent is? They (the Companions) said, ‘An insolvent man amongst us is one who has neither dirham with him nor wealth.’ He (the Prophet) said, ‘The insolvent of my nation would be the one who would come on the Day of Judgment with prayers and fasts and Zakah (alms) but (he would find himself bankrupt on that Day as he would have exhausted his stock of virtues since) he hurled abuses upon others, spoke slander against others, unlawfully consumed the wealth of others, shed the blood of others and beat others. Thus, every one of them would be given of his virtues ( i.e., his virtues would be credited to the account of those who suffered at his hands). And if his good deeds fall short to clear the account, then their sins would be transferred to his account and he would be thrown into the Hell-Fire’.” (Reported by Muslim)
There are many other Ahadith indicating that a Muslim should return the rights he had usurped to their rightful owners.
Furthermore, Muslim scholars confirm that whoever wants to perform Hajj should first release himself or herself from discharging rights of others by returning them to their rightful owners. Imam An-Nawawi said: “If a Muslim makes up his mind to travel to perform Hajj or to fight in the Cause of Allah or the like, he should first repent of all sins and evil deeds, return any usurped rights to their owners, settle as many debts as he can, return trusts to their owners, settle whatever dealings or partnership he has with others, write his will and have it witnessed, depute someone to settle the debts he could not settle, and leave his family and whomever he supports sufficient money until he comes back .” (See Al-Majmu Vol. 4, P. 385)
On the other hand, in his response to a similar question, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bin Baz, the late Mufti of Saudi Arabia stated: If a Muslim determines to travel to perform Hajj or Umrah, it is desirable for him to advise his family and friends to fear Almighty Allah by observing His ordinances and avoiding all that He has forbidden. He should also write down what others owe him and what he owes others and have this witnessed. In addition, he should hurry to sincerely repent of all sins, as Almighty Allah says : “And all of you beg Allah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful.” (24:31)
True repentance is represented in giving up the sins, regretting having done them and making a firm resolve never to commit them again. A fourth condition is that if the concerned person owes people any rights that belong to others related to life, property, or honor, he should settle them or seek their forgiveness before he travels. This is because it is authentically narrated that the Prophet (pbuh) said: ‘Whoever owes his (Muslim) brother a right of property or honor should settle it today, before a Day on which a dinar or a dirham will be of no avail. (On that Day, to clear his account) if he has virtues, they will be given to the other ( i.e., the creditor) and if he has not, sins of the other will be taken and added to his account.”
Accordingly, one should first settle any claims he has before setting out for Hajj.