loans and its impact on Hajj and Umrah

Question 1 and 2: assalaamualaykum,
i have a student loan…partly subsidized and partly unsubsidized. what i wanted to know was if i can go on (Question 1) hajj and give (Question 2) qurbani considering the fact that i am making my payments regularly and have a fixed time-frame in which i intend to pay it off. furthermore, if i were to die, then i do intend to first pay off my loan through any jewelry  and belongings that i may leave behind.
jazakAllah khayr for your help.

Time: Monday October 25, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Q3: I got accepted to medical school. I owe $45 000 in loans. Out of happiness I want to go for umrah. I have not done hajj. Whts your take? (text – area code 251)

Answers: وعليكم السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته

A1: Based on your fixed loan status, you can choose to go for hajj. This loan would not be in the category of a person that has an outstanding debt in which a creditor can make a demand. (May Allah accept your Hajj should this be your immediate desire for 2011, Ameen.)

A2: Once you do the calculation in relation to what you have and do not have, (checks and balances, positives and negatives)  if it proves that you own more then you owe and qualify as it releats to nisab, then doing the qurban would be wajib for you (hanafee.)

A3: To go for Umrah in the circumstances described by you would not be correct. Had you been in the vicinity as part of being in transit/business/conferance in Saudi Arabia, the matter would be different.

Your scenario indicates that it would be better for you to pay off your debt, go for your Hajj first and then opt for an Umrah later. As a choice, it is always better to do Hajj before Umrah. (Umrah is not a feel good holiday session as it has turned out to be for many, nor is its intent linked to a spiritual high, it is a serious act of worship which has become trivialized. So proceed with caution in your choices as they relate to actions of worship.)

Allah Certainly Knows Best.

p.s. The above is based on the questions asked. Kindly view the responses in context to the  given scenario.

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