Debtors can go on pilgrimage

Moslems who owe money can go on pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia provided they do not stop paying debt installments while they are out of the country, according to a new Islamic ruling.

But the Fatwa centre at the ministry of justice stressed that payment of all debt should be given priority over Haj (pilgrimage) especially in case the debt is not paid in installments.

The centre was responding to a query by a person who said he had got a bank loan to fund the purchase of a car and that he wonders whether to go on pilgrimage or pay the rest of the debt after receiving a large allowance that allows him to settle the debt.

“Payment of the debt has priority over Haj whether it is an outstanding or postdated debt,” the centre said in a new edict published in the Arabic language daily Alkaheelj.

“If the debt is paid in installments and payment of these installments will continue while the debtor is away, then the debtor can travel for Haj because this will not negatively affect debt payment.”

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