Subject : Ruling on Performing Hajj with Stolen and Usurious Money
Fatwa Number : 3207
Date : 19-07-2016
Classified : "Pilgrimage and Omrah "Minor Pilgrimage
Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

What is the ruling on performing Hajj with stolen and usurious money?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to The Lord of The Worlds; and may his blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

Theft is unlawful and one of the major sins, and so is usury (Riba); therefore, both usurious and stolen money are unlawfully gained money that a Muslim isn`t allowed to benefit from. Allah, The Almighty, said, "O ye who believe! Fear God, and give up what remains of your demand for usury, if ye are indeed believers." {Al-Baqarah/278}. He also said, "And do not eat up your property among yourselves for vanities, nor use it as bait for the judges, with intent that ye may eat up wrongfully and knowingly a little of (other) people’s property." {Al-Baqarah/188}. In addition, The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: "The blood, honor and property of a Muslim is inviolable for another Muslim." {Narrated by Muslim}.

If a Muslim performs Hajj with usurious or stolen money, his Hajj is valid, but he doesn`t receive the reward of what he spends for it; rather, he is sinful for benefiting from unlawfully gained money. Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (PBUH) as saying: O people, Allah is Good and He therefore, accepts only that which is good. And Allah commanded the believers as He commanded the Messengers by saying: "O Messengers, eat of the good things, and do good deeds; verily I am aware of what you do" (xxiii. 51). And He said: "O those who believe, eat of the good things that We gave you" (ii. 172). He then made a mention of a person who travels widely, his hair disheveled and covered with dust. He lifts his hand towards the sky (and thus makes the supplication): "O Lord, O Lord," whereas his diet is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, and his clothes are unlawful and his nourishment is unlawful. How can then his supplication be accepted?" {Muslim}.

Although the person who offers Hajj with this kind of money becomes free from the liability of offering this great act of worship, it doesn`t mean that Allah will accept it and that he will receive the reward. This is because the validity of Hajj has nothing to do with the source of financing for Hajj consists of certain pillars and obligations that once a person performs he becomes free from the liability. "One who performs Hajj or Umrah with unlawful money is sinful, but his Hajj or Umrah is valid as it is similar to performing prayer while wearing a stolen or a silk gown." {Moghni al-Mohtajj, 2/222}.

Sincerity in performing acts of worship and spending lawful wealth to that end are essential in receiving the reward from Allah and His acceptance of those acts. It was stated in the weak (Da`eif) Hadith: "When a man performs Hajj with unlawful money and says Talbiyah, "I am at Your service, O Allah, I am at Your service. Allah says to him, you aren`t at My service." {Narrated by Ibn Uday in the book, "Al-Kamil Fi al-Du`afa`" Ibn al-Jawzi said, this Hadith isn`t authentic.

In explaining this Hadith, Al-Menawi (May Allah bless his soul) said: "Your Hajj isn`t accepted, so you won`t be rewarded for it even if it was considered valid as an act of worship since Allah the Almighty is Good and accepts only that which is good." {Please refer to Faid al-Qhadeer}.

Al-Dumairi stated, "It is recommended that a Muslim spends from lawful money on his way to offer Hajj because Allah, The Almighty, is Good and accepts only that which is good. Another version of the aforementioned Hadith reads, "Whoever offers Hajj with unlawful money and mentions Talbiya (I`m at Your service, O Allah, I`m at Your service, Allah shall reply, "You aren`t at My service, you aren`t at My pleasure and your Hajj isn`t acceptable), and whoever performs Hajj with stolen money or travels to perform it while riding a stolen animal, his Hajj is valid as an act of worship, but he is sinful for committing theft."

In conclusion, performing Hajj with stolen and usurious money absolves the person from the liability of performing this great act of worship, but he remains sinful for indulging in theft and eating up usury. Therefore, he must make repentance and give back that money to whom it belongs. And Allah knows best.



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