SHAFAQNA (International Shia News Association) Question: A single young man has become capable to perform hajj; he is also thinking about marriage. Now if he goes for hajj, his marriage ceremony will be delayed for a while. Which of the two is preferable [marriage or pilgrimage]?
Answer: He should perform the hajj and postpone the marriage unless postponing the marriage entails difficulty to the extent that it be comes unbearable. And Allah knows the best .
2Question: person on whom hajj had become obligatory but he has not yet fulfilled it—is such a person allowed to go for ‘umrah in the month of Rajab? What if hajj became obligatory on him in Ramadhãn, can he go for ‘umrah [before performing hajj]?
Answer: The ‘umrah mufrada (minor pilgrimage done off-season) is permissible for him. However, if going to ‘umrah would financially prevent him from going for hajj, then it is not permissible for him to do ‘umrah .
3Question: If the exam schedule for a student conflicts with the timing of the hajj, is it permissible for him to postpone the hajj that year especially if the exam was very important for him?
Answer: If he is sure that he will be able to perform hajj in the following year, it is permissible for him to postpone it; otherwise, it is not permissible. However, if postponing the exam will cause difficulty to such an extent that it is normally unbearable, it is not obligatory on him to perform hajj that year.
4Question: Pilgrims are faced with one more problem regarding slaughtering, which poses more of a mental anguish: the animals slaughtered [in Mina] are wasted in spite of the fact that there are many poor people amongst us spread all over the Muslim countries who go without tasting meat for days! So is it acceptable for us to do the slaughtering in our own cities; or is there a religious solution that you can suggest for the people?
Answer: t is necessary to fulfill the religious duty by doing the slaughtering in Mina. As for the sin of wasting the meat of the animals slaughtered, if it actually happens, it is on the shoulders of the authorities in charge.
5Question: It has been said that some parts or the entire area of slaughtering in Mina is outside the boundary. Is it therefore obligatory upon us to ascertains the fact before the slaughtering? Knowing that ascertaining about one area and then going towards the other and again ascertaining about it is a difficult task, especially on the day of Eid, as you yourself know, where the time is also a factor. So what is the solution?
Answer: It is obligatory to ascertain in order to do the slaughtering inside Mina. If it is not possible because of overcrowding in Mina, it is permissible to do it in the valley of Muhassar. Moreover, the timing of slaughtering is not restricted to the day of Eid; it can be done till the last day of the days of tashríq [i.e., till the 13th of Dhu ’l-Hijja].
6Question: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia assigns the places for pilgrims in ‘Arafãt and Mina. We do not know whether or not those appointed places are within the boundaries required by the shari‘a? Are we obliged to inquire and ask about the matter?
Answer: If it is within the known boundaries and the signs that are normally known for religious rites from generation to generation, it is not necessary to inquire about it .
7Question: It is recommended to perform hajj every year. However, there are many poor Muslims who are in dire need of food and clothing in various Muslim countries. If it comes to making a choice between spending the money for hajj repeatedly or ziyãrat (pilgrimage to the shrine of one of the Infallibles [a.s.]) and between giving in charity for those believers—which is more meritorious?
Answer: In principle, helping those needy Muslims is better than a recommended hajj or ziyãrat of the holy shrines. However, at times the hajj or the ziyãrat is associated with certain other issues that can elevate them to the same or even higher status of virtue .
8Question: While shaving the head in Mina, if the pilgrim’s head is injured and blood flows out, what should he do in that case? And what are the implications [as far as penalty is concerned]?
Answer: If the injury was not intentional, there is nothing upon him .
9Question: Is it permissible to put on the ihrãm for hajj from the city of Jeddah? If it is not permissible, what should one do since the plane lands in Jeddah?
Answer: Jeddah is neither a miqãt nor parallel to any of the miqãts; therefore, it is not in order to put on the ihrãm from there for ‘umrah or hajj. However, if one knows that between Jeddah and the Haram [the holy territory around Mecca], there is a place which is parallel to one of the miqãts —this is not improbable, if one looks for a parallel of Juhfah— he can put on the ihrãm from there by offering nadhr. [Nadhr means making a vow in the name of Allãh that he will put on the ihram from place x. ]
10Question: Is it permissible to put on the ihrãm for hajj from the city of Jeddah? If it is not permissible, what should one do since the plane lands in Jeddah ?
Answer: Jeddah is neither a miqãt nor parallel to any of the miqãts; therefore, it is not in order to put on the ihrãm from there for ‘umrah or hajj. However, if one knows that between Jeddah and the Haram [the holy territory around Mecca], there is a place which is parallel to one of the miqãts —this is not improbable, if one looks for a parallel of Juhfah— he can put on the ihrãm from there by offering nadhr. [Nadhr means making a vow in the name of Allãh that he will put on the ihram from place x.]