Q 5: Why does
begin fasting a day before
every year? What is meant by the "ability" to perform Hajj? Is there a greater reward in a person’s setting out to Makkah to perform Hajj or in returning home after performing it?
Is there a greater reward in returning to one’s homeland, or in remaining there in Makkah?
The fact that
Algeria begins fasting a day before
Morocco every year in Ramadan should be referred to the officials in both countries, so that the answer is based on the status quo of both countries, as they know it better. This question should be directed to them, provided that the questioner is sure that this recurs every year.As for the ability to perform Hajj, it means that a person should be physically healthy and have a means of transport to
Allah’s Sacred House - by plane, car, pack animal, or hiring whatever means of travel one can afford (according to the ability of each person). Moreover, it means that one should have enough provisions for the journey, back and forth, which are above what he needs to support his dependents until he returns from his Hajj; and that a woman should have her husband or a Mahram (unmarriageable male relative) accompanying her in Hajj or ‘Umrah.As for the reward for Hajj, it is according to the level of sincerity to Allah, commitment in performing rites, the prohibitions avoided for perfect Hajj, the money spent, (Part No. 11; Page No. 31) and the effort made, whether the pilgrims return to their homeland, remain there, or die before or after the completion of Hajj. Allah knows best their status, and it is He who rewards them accordingly. A Mukallaf (person meeting the conditions to be held legally accountable for their actions) should strive to do their best, examine their deeds to make sure they are acting according to the Shari‘ah (Islamic law) both outwardly and inwardly, as if they are seeing their Lord, for although they cannot see Him, He surely sees them. One must not investigate into matters whose knowledge is reserved for Allah, for Allah is Merciful to His servants. He multiplies their rewards and forgives their misdeeds. He is never unjust to anyone. Therefore, you should mind your own self and whatever matters are related to Allah, leave them to Allah, as He is the Just, Merciful Judge.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions.