Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
1- Before traveling for Hajj, prospective pilgrims have to prepare themselves for this blessed journey by doing more good deeds, asking Allah for forgiveness, and avoiding bad deeds and anything that may harm their Hajj.
In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Islam is built upon five pillars: testifying that there is no true god except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, performing Prayer, paying the Zakah, making the pilgrimage to the Sacred House (Hajj), and fasting the month of Ramadan”(Al-Bukhari)
There are certain things that the prospective pilgrims must do before traveling for Hajj:
1- To ensure that their source of income for Hajj is earned through lawful means, and not tainted by haram sources.
2- To pay off their debts if they are outstanding; otherwise, to make arrangements to pay them off in case they are not able to return home safely.
3- To ensure that their family and dependents are provided with sufficient funds or means to look after themselves during their absence.
4- To leave a written will stating their obligations and liabilities and how to fulfill them, in case of their death.
5- To ask forgiveness of those whom they may have hurt or offended, for this journey should be undertaken with a clear conscience.
6- To educate themselves as best they can with regard to the correct performance of Hajj in form and spirit. One of the best books about the spirit of Hajj is the Four Pillars of Islam by Sayyid Abul Hasan Ali Nadvi.
7- To advise their family to fear Allah and remain steadfast on their religion.
8- To consistently seek forgiveness of Allah and make dhikr a habit.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.