Assalamu Alaikum, My father has large amount of debt that he is trying to pay off. I use the extra money I have to help my parents. Questions are: 1) Should I go to hajj first or should I continue to help my parents instead? 2) If my parents kept on increasing their spendings, by buying another car (on interest), getting cable tv, and buying a bigger house (on interest), should I still continue to help them? I really want to help my parents pay off their debt but cannot convince them to control their spending. 3) If I have debts of my own that I am paying off, can I continue to do some charity? Say if I have debts of my own and I use whatever extra money I have to pay off my debt (after taking out my parents’ portion), but sometimes the masjid, madarrsa, neighbours or some poor muslim families need help and I help them instead of paying off my debt. Is it right if people who lent me money do not expect it to be repaid right away? JazzakAllahu Khairun and may Allah SWT raise your status in jennah inshah’Allah.
1. If a person has sufficient provisions for his dependants, e.g. Children for the duration of his absence as well as he possesses all the requirements for travel and be financially independent, Hajj becomes Fardh. This wealth has to be over and above his basic necessities and which will be sufficient for him to make the onward and return journey for Hajj. In your case, you should finish paying off your debts if it is more than your assets then go for Hajj. Hajj will only be compulsory on you if after discharging your debt you have the amount to go for Hajj.
2. It is not permissible to buy anything on interest. By giving your parents money, you will be assisting them to do Haraam and will give them more encouragement to carry on spending and buying on interest as they know they can fall back on you. Try advising them and let them know that what they are doing is Haraam and to assist in Haraam is Haraam itself.
3. Your first duty would be to fulfil your debts. However, giving a little charity from time to time will be permissible. (Aalamgiri vol.1)
and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai