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"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
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User Name: Riaz
Full Name: Riaz Jafri
User since: 25/Jan/2008
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Hajj by the Debtor

 

An otherwise innocent looking but quite alarming a headline on the back page of daily "Pakistan Observer" August 10th, 2009 reading,  "Every Pakistani bears Rs. 24,412 debt" made me think if it was in order for a person under debt to perform Hajj? What I understood about Hajj is that it is a Fard (but only once in life) on all Sahib e Nisab, that is: one who can afford it, is in reasonable state of health to withstand the rigors of travel and Saiee etc., is not under debt, has no liabilities towards the family that would remain unmet if he/she spent the money on Hajj and lastly has no old or sick parents to take care of or who need his/her presence with them. I know there was no concept of national or collective debt during the early days of Islam and the condition of debt for a Sahib e Nisab applied to the individuals only. However, with the change of time and the present-day political systems of governance  all over the world, people have been divided into countries and nations.. The existence of a  country and that of a nation is determined by its geographical boundaries and populace. Similarly, the dealings between any two or more countries are taken to be the dealings between the peoples of those countries. Therefore, in their mutual financial dealings the entire population of one country is either the "˜lender' or the "˜debtor' to the other.  We are for the time being a "˜debtor' country and populace. Would it, therefore, be not proper that we repay our debt before we undertake Hajj? This year 159,647 Pakistani Hajis would spend about 39 billion 911 million 750 thousand rupees, at an average rate of about 2.5 lacs per Haji. A huge amount by any reckoning. It could be even more as lot many Tour Operators  are offering Hajj packages ranging from 4 lacs to 30 lacs !!  Could such huge and surplus capital pool year after year not be used for debt servicing and nation building activities for a few years? Who could be entrusted with such wealth by the intending Hajis? No one seems to have faith in the government that their money would be honestly and properly utilized. May I, therefore, suggest that over the next few years all intending Hajis "˜invest'  their money in setting up much needed and profitable industries in the country.  It will not only generate the needed revenue for debt servicing but also provide employment by the thousands to the unemployed. It could also accrue profit for the intending Haji share holders. Naturally, government would have to take other measures too for generating further revenue for debt relinquishing. Once the nation is no more under debt all could perform Hajj as fully qualified Sahibaan e Nisab.

 

The million dollar question:  Will all those involved in such a huge huge  multi-billion dollar "˜business' allow such a scheme of nation's debt relinquishment to take place?

 

Truly

Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)

30, Westridge-1

Rawalpindi 46000

Tel: (051) 546 3344

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